man inserting tube spring in water supply
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 1: Set up the water supply

For flush-front (fully integrated) dishwashers: Using a drill/driver fitted with a 2-inch hole saw, make a hole through the side of the sink cabinet facing the dishwasher bay, 3 inches up from the floor and 2 inches in from the back wall. If this hole falls below the cabinet floor, make two 11⁄4-inch holes at the back of the cabinet floor. (For semi-integrated models, reuse the existing holes.)

Carefully uncoil the copper tubing and loosely thread it from the dishwasher bay through the cabinet side and up into the cabinet via one of the floor holes. Uncoil enough copper to get past the front of the bay. Using a tubing cutter, cut the line. Insert a narrow tube-bending spring inside the end of the copper nearest the hot-water valve. Use the spring to shape the tubing toward the valve then down to the hole in the cabinet. Be careful not to kink it.

Slide a compression nut, then a ferrule over the end of the tubing at the valve. Hand-tighten the nut over the ferrule and onto the valve. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten it another quarter turn.

Tip: Tube-bending springs can fit either inside or outside a pipe. The inside springs can only be used on a pipe's ends, but they make tighter turns. Use outside springs to gently curve the middle of a pipe.
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    Tools List

    • flathead screwdriver
    • drill
      fitted with 1 1/4-inch and 2-inch hole saws
    • spade bit
      1-inch spade bit
    • needlenose pliers
    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable wrench
    • Tube Bending Springs
      Tube Bending Springs
    • close quarter tubing cutter
      Close-quarter tubing cutter
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • wire strippers
      Wire Strippers

    Shopping List

    The majority of built-in dishwashers come in only two sizes: 24 inches wide and 18 inches wide, both sized to fit under a standard 25-inch-deep and 36-inch-high counter. (Be sure to get a built-in dishwasher, not a portable one, which uses temporary connections at a sink tap and outlet.) Look for the Energy Star label on any model you buy—the criteria for dishwashers became more stringent in January 2007.

    2. 3/8-TO-½-INCH BRASS ELBOW
    to make the turn from the dishwasher's inlet to the copper supply line. This is a standard part for dishwashers and may be included in a dishwasher installation kit.


    to bring water to the dishwasher. (The measurement refers to the pipe's outside diameter.) A 10-foot coil should be plenty.

    The number also refers to outside diameter. Each includes a brass ferrule (or compression sleeve) and a compression nut.

    6. ELECTRICAL WIRE NUTS to connect wire ends.
    Get ones that will fit two 12-gauge wires—either yellow or red.

    to secure the electrical cable to the junction box on the dishwasher.

    8. NO. 6 HOSE CLAMP
    to attach the dishwasher's 5⁄8-inch drain hose to the sink's drain tailpiece.

    to hang the drain hose on the cabinet wall.