Dishwasher under sink: Are they Worth it and how to install?

A mini dishwasher is entirely different from a normal dishwasher. For example, it dips down to the lower in the back and fits perfectly under the sink. This can make it easier to install them in smaller sinks. Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of these types of sinks.


Benefits of these dishwashers

The dishwasher under the sink has found many takers. In a sense, it frees up space and time. They are very versatile. This explains why many with a small kitchen in their home love to own one such dishwasher.

You can derive the best outcomes from your dishwasher under the sink provided you do three things:

· Choose the right style, 

· Maintain them well, and

· Integrate them very diligently to the rest of your design.

This way, you will succeed in adding the dishwasher to a very small kitchen without requiring to vary or lose the layout. Often it is possible to add a door to the dishwasher so that it integrates with the rest of your kitchen. People won’t notice that you have a dishwasher and this can give it a cool look.

 The miniature nature of the dishwasher under sink makes it apt for small kitchens. Such kitchens often suffer from space constraints. Nevertheless, it is incredibly easy to accommodate them in a small space. In a sense, they ensure your kitchen functions fluidly without any major hassle.

These dishwashers are less heavy, this makes it easier to install them upstairs. You don’t need multiple people to carry it. Often two people can work together to get it where it needs to be.

They are very easy to access. You will hardly encounter any difficulty as it does not come in the way even when the door is down. It is often easy and fast to store the plates as the cupboards are nearby.

 Depending on your needs, you can opt for single or double-drawer dishwashers. This way, you will be able to reap several advantages. For example, it permits you to: do a small load and use less energy and water.

A lot of people buy a big dishwasher but it starts to smell after a while as they don’t use it often enough. Dishwashers are quite delicate and if you don’t run them often enough, they will start to stain and stink.

Whatever brand you choose, make sure the dishwasher in question is not very repair-prone. It will save you from a lot of encumbrances and save a great deal of money as well.

Disadvantages of these dishwashers:

These dishwashers can be harder to load as the door is smaller. Especially for older people, this can be a challenge.

If you organize a lot of parties or have big plates, these dishwashers might not be able to handle the volume.

They also might not be able to wash all your pots and pans as they are smaller and don’t have that much space inside of them. It is often better to have a dishwasher that is too big than too small. You can always let a big dishwasher rinse if it doesn’t get full fast enough. Having to run the dishwasher all the time because it is too small can be annoying as you have to empty it a lot.

You can get the same brands as you would for traditional dishwashers. A lot of brands have scaled their standard models down so that they fit under the sink as well.

These dishwashers might last less long as you might have to run them more often. This puts a lot of pressure on the different parts of the dishwasher and can lead to leaks and other issues. Given that these models are not that common, it can be expensive and difficult to find replacement parts. This has become easier in the past few years so hopefully the price of maintaining them will go down as well.

Alternative models: countertop dishwasher

There are countertop models as well but these can take up more space if you don’t have a lot of closets and can make a kitchen look cluttered. They are perfect for people that have a small kitchen but storage elsewhere. You can bring them out when needed and store them when they are not in use.

They are easy to install though as you just connect them to your faucet and let them drain into your sink. They are often quite cheap but not as durable as traditional models. For this reason, they are great for students or singles but they won’t work well for families as it will be full all the time.

To conclude, we can state that there are a lot of types of dishwashers. They vary in size from very small to huge industrial dishwashers. It is important that you have the right one for your situation. You might have to get a bigger one if your family expands. Once the kids are out of the house, you can always opt for a smaller model. Dishwashers can be sold on Craiglist or other marketplaces as people see their value of them if they are well maintained. Dishwashers can work for about 10 years so they can be a great investment.

How to install a dishwasher under the sink

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Here’s a list of everything you need to install a dishwasher:

  • Your brand-new dishwasher
  • Dishwasher connector kit
  • Electric appliance cord
  • Pipe joint compound
  • Wire connectors
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill and spade bit
  • Adjustable wrench or channel-lock pliers

Step 2: Understand Your Connections

Dishwashers rely on three main connections to do their job. Before removing the old dishwasher and putting in the new one, you have to turn off the power and water supply line that feeds into the dishwasher.

Take a look.

Water Supply

Connecting the water supply is as easy as attaching the supply tube on the dishwasher’s inlet to the shut-off valve on your home’s hot-water supply pipe. To attach these two ends, you need a 90-degree elbow fitting, also known as a dishwasher 90, that usually comes with the dishwasher connection kit.

Drain Hose

The drain hose goes into the drain trap underneath your sink. You’ll find the exact technique in your user manual, but the general intention for this hose is to prevent the dirty wastewater from flowing back into the dishwasher

Power Connection

This might seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t have electrical experience. Yet, it’s easy if you know what to do.

First off, dishwashers are generally ‘hard-wired’ with a non-metallic (NM) circuit cable, sometimes called a ‘Romex.’ This cable feeds right into the dishwasher’s wire connection box. The more common option is to just have an appliance cord that you plug into the wall outlet.

Starting in 2020, the NEC safety code specifies that dishwashers have GFCI protection. This safety regulation makes it easier to simply disconnect the dishwasher for any future maintenance and servicing.

Step 3: Attach the Electric Cord

All connections we mentioned above are found on the access panel found on the bottom of the dishwasher. Some people prefer to crouch down or lie on the floor to put everything in place.

The easier alternative is to flip the dishwasher on its back, remove the access panel, then make the connections using twist-on wire connectors.

These are the basic wire connections:

  • Green wire from the dishwasher to the green grounding screw
  • White neutral wire to dishwasher white lead wire
  • Black hot wire to dishwasher black lead wire

Connecting the wiring should be done with care, so you need to make sure that you have a dedicated 60Hz circuit with a 20-amp breaker and make sure that the ground wire is properly installed. 

Step 4: Hook Up the Water Supply

This is where the 90-degree elbow we talked about above comes into play. First, find the water inlet fitting on the valve. Apply pipe joint compound to the fitting, then twist onto the solenoid valve.

Start by tightening the valve by hand. Then, for added security, give it an extra turn with an adjustable wrench or channel-lock pliers.

Step 5: Connect the Water Supply Line

In addition to the dishwasher 90, the connector kit also contains a braided steel water supply tube. Attach the coupling nut of this tube onto the dishwasher 90 fitting. Tighten with the adjustable wrench or pliers.

You won’t need any pipe joint compound because this is a compression fitting. However, you have to work carefully to avoid over-tightening the nut and risk stripping the threads.

Step 6: Position Your Dishwasher under the sink

Now, it’s time to slide the dishwasher into place underneath the kitchen counter. Make sure you slip the water supply tube, drain hose, and power cord through the holes located in the cabinet sidewall.

If you need to raise the dishwasher, use the adjustable legs that come with the appliance. Then, after lining it up with the opening, push it into place.

Step 7: Anchor the Dishwasher in Place

Once the dishwasher’s in place, you can anchor it in place with fasteners. Prop open the dishwasher door to gain access to the mounting brackets.

Next, position the brackets correctly to the cabinet frame underneath the rim of the counter. Finally, fasten the brackets using the screws provided.

Adding rubber feet can be a great idea as it protects the floor and dishwasher.

Step 8: Hook Up the Water Supply Tube

Find the water supply shut-off valve underneath the sink, and attach it to the dishwasher’s water supply tube. Carefully, turn on the valve and keep an eye out for leaks from the valve.

Also, check for leaks on the other end of the tube at the dishwasher 90 fitting as well. If you notice any leaks, give the fittings another turn with your pliers or wrench.

Step 9: Attach the Drain Hose to the sink or install a dishwasher not next to sink

The drain hose should come already attached to the back of the dishwasher. If it’s not, you can easily connect it using a hose clamp.

The next step is connecting the hose to the kitchen drain pipes, which can be done in two ways: direct and disposal drains. The former goes straight into the kitchen drain pipe. The latter, however, passes by the disposal drain first before draining into the kitchen drain pipe.

In both cases, you’ll need a ‘riser loop’ to ensure that wastewater runs away from the dishwasher and into the pipes without siphoning back.

Make sure you read the user manual to figure out which configuration for the drain hose applies to your dishwasher. The placement should also be in compliance with local safety code requirements.

Below we also explain how to connect the dishwasher to your garbage disposal.

If there is no sink nearby, you will have to install a new PVC drain. We have outlined how you can glue PVC here. You will have to connect this drain to another drain in your house. Make sure that you use a drain that uses grey water as this is used for dishwashers (check your local code to confirm this!). It can be quite difficult to install this in a house if this drain is quite far away. You might have to consult with a plumber to find a solution. In some instances, you can connect the drain to the drain of the washing machine.

Step 10: Test Out Your New under the sink Dishwasher

The final step is to run the dishwasher through a full cycle. Make sure the dishwasher is taking in fresh, clean water. During the rinse cycle, take a look at the drain hose and make sure none of the connections are leaking.

Under the sink, dishwashers are great for smaller kitchens and people that don’t have a ton of dishes. It can be hidden beautifully by adding a door. For this reason, they are becoming more popular and more models are being released. This is lowering their price and making them more accessible. A lot of apartments have smaller kitchens and this type of dishwasher can work really well.