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[personal profile] fyfer
Dear internets,

I have some questions about dishwasher installation. Have you installed one? We have a 20" space in the alcove off our kitchen that is just begging for a dishwasher. It is next to our washing machine, so there is pre-existing plumbing. I am certain I can make this work. (My favorite contractor is off on a backpacking trip that I missed due to poor planning, and I'm impatient, but probably the best answer is to wait til he's back...)

The options are an 18" portable dishwasher or an 18" "under-counter" dishwasher (we'd add a counter surface to the top, or something).

The existing plumbing comprises 1) hot and cold valves with braided steel hoses going to the washing machine and 2) a PVC standpipe, maybe 2" diameter and ~3-4' tall, with the washing machine's drain hose stuck into it (forming an upside-down J bend). The OD of the hose is significantly smaller than the ID of the pipe. There is no trap on the pipe.

I suspect one can buy a splitter to connect a single wall valve to two separate hoses, so I imagine that part will be easy. The portable dishwashers have things that screw onto a kitchen faucet. I don't know if the threading on the end of a faucet (where the aerator attaches) is the same as the threading on a standard wall valve or hose, but I am sure there's some way to connect the portable washer to the valve.

My bigger concern is the drain. I'm not sure if I set up the washing machine reasonably. The lack of trap hasn't been a problem and it matches diagrams I've seen for installing dishwashers (when they aren't right next to a sink drain pipe). The standpipe is too narrow to fit two drain hoses into it, though, so I'd have to change something. A bigger diameter pipe, with a reducing adapter, might work. I'm also not sure if PVC is sufficient for hot water drains, but it's working so far. Some portable dishwashers have drain hoses that you just hang into the sink, and some have a clever system that sends the waste water out the bottom of the connector on the faucet. That would be annoying for this use.

Portable small dishwashers seem to be more common than small built-ins on craigslist, but right now there's a good built-in on craigslist for quite a good price. Do built-in dishwashers require any clearance around them? Also, do they have electric plugs or are they hard-wired?

And after this, I'll maybe fix our shower plumbing. That would be nice.

Date: 2009-05-16 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gmpe.livejournal.com
You can probably find the manuals online for most dishwashers. That should give you info on installation, clearances, etc. I believe they are hardwired if they are builtin and plug in if not. My parents had a portable for a long time. The new dishwasher we just got had the problem that if went so low to the ground (nice for a big space inside) and had sharp metal edges underneath that my father-in-law got a good gash when trying to install it. really, there wasn't a good way for him not to because of the design.

Having watched him spend an hour or so (plus a trip to the hardware store for missing parts) installing a dishwasher that he said should take ten minutes tops, I am thinking you would be best served waiting for your favorite contractor to get back. :)

That said, I do think it is something you could do, but probably want the guidance on to make sure you aren't going to flood your place with hot water, etc. There seem to be lots of tricks in installing a dishwasher that aren't in the manual. If I remember, I will ask [livejournal.com profile] abce's dad tomorrow what some of the good ones are. :)

Date: 2009-05-16 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fyfer.livejournal.com
Good idea about the manual - I hadn't thought of that. I emailed the guy selling one on craigslist and it has a electric plug, so that's one less thing to do myself.

And what home improvement project happens without a few extra trips to the store? :)

Thanks for the info.

Date: 2009-05-16 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonvpm.livejournal.com
Any chance you can take a picture of how it's setup right now?

From what you described, I'd be inclined to get a hose threaded Y for the water and do some creative adapting to get it from a hose thread to whatever thread your dishwasher has.

The PVC in the drain won't be any issue for the dishwasher's outflow. The only time PVC and hot water can be issues is when they're under pressure which is not the case in a drain (if you were talking about plumbing hot and cold water you can simply switch to cpvc and you're good and it's many times simpler and faster than using copper pipe).

Keep in mind that portable dishashers are meant to be setup and removed regularly so you could probably just pull out the washing machine's drain pipe, stick in the dishwasher's, do your dishes and then put it back the way it was. If you wanted to setup something more permanent I have some ideas but it would help a lot to see exactly what you've got to work with there.

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