electrical wires being connected
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 5: Make the electrical connection

Slide a cable clamp over the end of the exposed wires until it's around the plastic or metal sheathing bundling the wires together. Using a screwdriver, tighten down the clamping bracket over the sheathing to hold the wires in place.

Unscrew the star-shaped nut on the clamp, then push the wires and threaded end of the clamp through the hole in the side of the unit's junction box. Hand-tighten the nut back on the clamp from the inside of the box. Tighten the nut with pliers or a screwdriver.

Line up like colors of wire together—white to white and black to black—and tighten them together with wire nuts. If you have Romex (plastic-sheathed) cable, connect the green ground wire to the dishwasher's green or bare-copper wire with a wire nut.

If you're using BX cable, the armored jacket works as a ground when it's clamped to the junction box. Wrap the exposed tip of the dishwasher's ground wire around a mounting screw on the junction box and clamp it down with the screw.

Stuff the wires into the box and cover it with the metal cover plate. Screw the plate to the box.
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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.