Setting Up the New Machine With the new dishwasher uncrated and lying on its back, attach a new elbow for the water-supply line. These are called, conveniently enough, dishwasher elbows. One side has a standard 3/8-in. plumbing thread; the other side accommodates the nut of a 3/8-in. compression fitting. When the elbow is installed, it should face backward so it can be reattached to the supply line. This orientation is crucial, and it sometimes means you can't tighten the elbow as much as you would like. To lessen the chance of a leak at the fitting, Schlott recommends giving the elbow a couple of extra wraps of Teflon tape before inserting it (four wraps in all). Wrap the tape firmly in a clockwise direction. In this installation, Schlott did not change the 3/8-in. flexible copper supply line because it was in excellent shape. But inspect your line carefully and replace it if it looks kinked or worn or shows signs of leaking. You can replace the copper line with an easy-to-work-with braided-metal supply line, available at home centers and plumbing-supply houses. With the new discharge hose threaded into the hole in the side of the cabinet, carefully move the new machine into the opening. To avoid denting the front panel, don't push with your knee. As you ease the machine in place, work the discharge line through the cabinet side. If the line gets kinked the new machine will not work properly. Hook up the plumbing first. If there's a leak, it's easier to pull the dishwasher back out without worrying about the electrical connections. The old compression fittings will still be attached to the supply line (if you didn't replace it), and you won't be able to remove them. If there's any excess supply line, Schlott often cuts it back an inch or two and replaces the ferrule and nut of the compression fitting with new parts. Tightening this compression fitting is not the place to prove how strong you are; overtightening can make it leak. "It's a feel thing," Schlott says. In this installation, for example, the fitting dripped slightly when the water was turned back on. Schlott reapplied his pliers and tightened it slightly—a quarter turn or so. The drip stopped. "Once a drip is down to a minimal thing," he says, "I just creep up on it." After you make the plumbing connection and test it by turning on the water, reconnect the wiring and reattach the discharge line under the sink. To protect the dishwasher from sink backwash, loop the drain line to the highest point in the sink cabinet and attach it with a clamp or plumber's strap. Local codes in some areas require the use of an air gap, a device that prevents backflow into the dishwasher. If this is required in your area, mount the air gap on the back edge of the sink to the right of the faucet. Use the adjustable feet on your machine to help you level it in the opening. You can also use them to adjust the height of the dishwasher, minimizing the gap between the top of the machine and the bottom of the counter. The face of the dishwasher should be plumb, and the appliance should not interfere with any drawers or doors in adjacent cabinets. Once the dishwasher fits properly, screw the metal clips at the top of the machine to the underside of the counter to complete the installation. One last step: Run the machine through a cycle or two before reattaching the front access panel just to make sure there are no leaks.
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