Site icon Kitchen Rank

How to Hook Up a Portable Dishwasher Permanently?

how to hook up a portable dishwasher permanently

Can you convert a portable dishwasher to a built-in unit? The answer is yes, and you can do it yourself. If you’re tired of losing access to the kitchen sink and the hassles involved, it’s time to make the change. Our helpful guide gives you easy-to-follow instructions about how to hook up a portable dishwasher permanently.

How To Hook Up a Portable Dishwasher Permanently: What To Expect

This guide walks you through each step of the installation of a dishwasher. We cover all of the small details to help you do the job right the first time. Before you wade into the job, here are the things you need to do first.

Choose The Ideal Location

Some kitchens are laid out to accommodate built-in dishwashers, but if yours is not, you need to prepare an area. Most sit under the countertops near the sink. Keep the installation spot close to the sink for easy water-line hookup.

You will also need to have access to an electricity source. If there is not a slot for the unit to fit, you may need to make alterations in the counter configuration for your dishwasher to fit. Carefully measure the dimensions of the dishwasher, and make sure you have enough room in the available space. Make allowances for the frame that holds the unit in place.

Technical Considerations

This is a DIY project to save money on the cost of hiring a professional installer. If you’re experienced with electrical wiring and installation of hardwired appliances, you can do this step yourself. If not, it’s advised to get help for this step from an electrician. You can also ask a friend or family member who has experience to help. Your safety is the top priority.

Plug-in Vs. Hardwiring

You can use a plug-in style dishwasher that uses a power outlet or you can hardwire the unit directly into an electrical source. The easiest method is to go with the standard power cord. You can bypass the need to hardwire if you have the appropriate electrical wall outlet. For safety and compliance with electrical codes, you’re required to have an AFCI/GFCI outlet. If this is not currently available, you must install one that offers easy access. It’s best to install the outlet somewhere on the cabinet frame or on an open wall that gives it exposure.

Check Your Local Codes on Air Gap Requirements

Some states require the use of an air gap. It’s a safety requirement for preventing contaminated water from the drain from backflowing into your dishwasher. It’s a dome-shaped device that is installed on the sink countertop. If your locality allows, you can bypass the need for an air gap if the dishwasher comes with an anti-siphon mechanism. It’s best to check on the local code to be sure you comply with this rule.

Convert Your Portable Dishwasher

Before you attempt to install your portable dishwasher, you’ll need to make a conversion. In most cases, it’s an easy process. You must remove the wheels and casters. It usually requires a screwdriver to remove the hardware that holds them in place. If the controls on your dishwasher are on the side, the installation is going to be simpler. If you have a unit with top-mounted controls, it won’t fit under the counter and you’ll need to prepare a space that has no countertop covering the top of the unit. Since the wheels are gone, you can no longer slide the dishwasher in and out.

Get Your Supplies in Order

Before you start your project, get the tools and supplies you need to avoid delays. You can find everything you need for the job at a hardware store that carries plumbing supplies.


Lumber pieces for the installation frame (small framing sizes available at your local hardware/lumber stores).
Wood Screws.

Installation Process Steps

If you’ve decided on the location, prepared the space, converted the dishwasher, and installed the power outlet, you’re ready to begin the permanent installation.

Step 1: New Hot Water Shutoff Valve Installation

First, go to your water heater and turn off the cold water inlet valve. Open the kitchen faucet’s hot water port. This action relieves drain line pressure. Use locking pliers to disconnect the water supply line, removing it from the shutoff valve. Remove the shutoff valve and install the new double-port shutoff valve. Make sure to use the pliers to tighten the compression fitting. You shouldn’t need to use Teflon tape for this step.

Leave one of the ports open for the dishwasher while connecting the water line for the faucet to the other port. Leave the valve off, but turn on the water to check for leaks. If the hose leaks, you may need to tighten the connection.

Step 2: Drill the Power Cord and Drain Hose Holes

For this step, you can either use a hole saw or a drill with a spade bit. You need to place a 1-1/2-inch hole in the wall that sits between the sink cabinet and the dishwasher slot in your counter area. It’s best to place the hole as close to the countertop as possible for an air gap or the loop, whichever is used. Make a 1-inch hole to accommodate the water line. Next, drill a 3/4-inch hole for the power cord and plug. Make sure the hole is large enough for the plug-end to fit through.

Step 3: Replace the Tailpiece

It’s essential to install a new tailpiece on your sink drain. New dishwasher installations require a tailpiece that has a dishwasher hose port. If there has already been a dishwasher in this location, there may already be one in place. The tailpiece is a simple drain fitting. If there is a garbage disposal, you can connect to that. First, disconnect the power source, remove the garbage disposal drain port, and remove the plug.

Step 4: Air Gap Installation (If Required)

If local codes require the installation of an air gap, this is the time to address that step. You’ll need to drill a hole in the countertop or sink deck. Make sure it’s near the sink so any water spurts will go into the sink instead of the countertop. Again, your state may not require this device, and you may be able to bypass the air gap.

Step 5: Dishwasher Preparation

Gently place the dishwasher on its side for easy access to the parts you need to work with. Find the drain port and connect the drain hose. Fasten it to the port with a hose clamp. Next, find the water inlet and connect the water supply line. Tighten the connection with either an adjustable wrench or locking pliers.

Find the electrical terminals and connect the power cord. When the wires are connected, use a screwdriver to ensure that the lugs are tightened. Next, screw on the cover plate.

Step 6: Position the Dishwasher

You’re nearing the end of your project on how to install a portable dishwasher permanently. It’s time to pick the dishwasher up and set it upright. Move the unit toward its prepared location. It’s time to feed the power cord, water line, and drain hose in the holes you’ve drilled. Take your time and gently pull cords and hoses through the holes, moving the dishwasher forward slowly. One person can do this job, but it goes much faster if you have a helper to slide the dishwasher forward as you feed the cords and hoses.

Step 7: Level the Dishwasher

Adjust the leveling feet before you move the dishwasher into its final location. Bring the unit to 1/2 inch of the countertop. Open the dishwasher door and set the level on the floor of the unit, to check for needed adjustments. Use the front leveling feet to make any necessary adjustments before you push the dishwasher into place.

When level, attach it to the framework with the included brackets. Most dishwashers come with these brackets and 1-inch screws to secure it to the underside of the countertop. If your dishwasher is not installed under a countertop,e.g., top-mounted controls, you must secure the dishwasher to the sides of the wood framework.

Step 8: Drain Hose

Now it is time to connect the drain hose. If an air gap is present you must connect the hose to the inlet port. Use a hose clamp to secure the connection. Use a second hose length to connect the air gap to the garbage disposal or the drain tailpiece, whichever is applicable. Firmly attach hose clamps to secure both ends. If an air gap is not required, use a hose bracket to secure the drain hose to the underside of the countertop and to the disposal or tailpiece.

Step 9: Water Hookup

Go to the hot water shutoff valve and find the free port. Use a screwdriver to secure the water hose to the port. Use an adjustable wrench or locking pliers to tighten and secure the connection.

It’s time to turn the shutoff valve on to check for leaks. If you see any leaks, the solution is tightening the connection.

Step 10: Power It Up

The final step is connecting your newly installed dishwasher to its power source. If you’re hardwiring the unit, follow the wiring diagram provided by the manufacturer to find the electrical box. Connect the circuit wires to the electrical source, securing them with wire nuts. Cut the power to this circuit before attempting to work with the electrical wires. Cover the electrical box with the included cover plate and screw securely into place.

If your dishwasher comes with the standard plug-in, the task is simplified. Plug it into the appropriate electrical outlet. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on a job well done.


We hope you’ve found our guide on how to hook up a portable dishwasher permanently helpful. It’s a simple task, but if this is your first time, it’s good to get advice before you start. You can simplify the job by reading through this guide first. Take your time, and complete each preparatory step correctly. Now you can enjoy the convenience of a built-in dishwasher and tell your friends and family you did it yourself.

Exit mobile version