If you’ve decided it’s time to remove or replace an integrated dishwasher, it’s one best left to the experts - especially as the dishwasher’s plumbing and electrical cables are hidden from view.
We’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide so you know who you’ll need to contact to help remove an integrated dishwasher and you’ll find how removing it can be done simply and safely.
What is an integrated dishwasher?
There are two types of integrated dishwasher: fully integrated and semi integrated.
Fully integrated or built in dishwashers are covered entirely by a door which matches that of your kitchen cupboards. The dishwasher’s control panel is located on the top of the door and is not visible when the dishwasher door is closed.
A semi integrated dishwasher also has a door matching the other kitchen cabinets, but these doors are shorter, with the control panel and handle exposed. This means the dishwasher can be operated without having to open the door.
Reasons for removing an integrated dishwasher
You may want to replace your dishwasher if you discover it’s not working properly. If your dishwasher is leaking, showing signs of rust or not draining or heating properly, replacement may be cheaper than a repair.
Then, of course, if you’ve had your dishwasher for quite some time, you may want to upgrade to a newer model, which will almost certainly be more energy efficient, and thus less costly to run.
What not to do when removing an integrated dishwasher
Before we explain what to do when you want to remove an integrated dishwasher, let’s start by explaining what you should definitely not do.
To make sure your dishwasher is uninstalled safely and successfully, don’t:
- Remove the dishwasher yourself, especially without disconnecting the water, drainage and power lines – contact a professional to complete this for you
- Try and speed up the draining process by tipping the dishwasher, which will be messy and may damage the machine
- Move the dishwasher without help if you’re unable to do it on your own, particularly as some larger integrated dishwashers can be extremely heavy
What you’ll need
It’s important that you entrust a qualified electrician and plumber to complete the removal of your dishwasher. They will have the correct tools and equipment to do the job safely with them but it might also be helpful to have to hand:
- Bucket or kitchen bowl
- Towel or a piece of cardboard
Your electrician will more than likely want to be extra safe and check your dishwasher is fully disconnected from mains electricity by using a voltage tester as well.
If the wiring in your machine’s electrical panel is not connected with small nuts, as most are, they may have to cut the wires with a small pair of snippers.
Our step-by-step guide
Step one: shut off the power
Just like any other electrical appliance, your dishwasher must be disconnected from the power supply before you begin work on it.
Your electrician will start by removing the dishwasher plug from its socket. However, as a lot of integrated dishwashers are wired directly into a house’s electric circuit, they’ll also need to turn off the switch that controls your dishwasher in your electrical panel.
Step two: cut the water supply
The water shut-off valve for the majority of integrated dishwashers is located in a cabinet under the kitchen sink, often in line with the dishwasher. Stopping the water supply is as simple as turning off the valve you’ll find there.
If you can’t find this supply valve, or it can’t be turned due to corrosion, your plumber can always turn off the main water connection to the property while you get the job done.
Step three: disconnect the drain hose
The main drain hose of most integrated dishwashers is connected directly to the machine’s pump. So your plumber will only have to loosen and remove the large flexible hose located under the kitchen sink.
It may be that a small amount of water has collected at the end of the drain hose, so have a bucket or large bowl ready to catch any residual water.
Step four: pull out the dishwasher
Before it comes to pulling out the dishwasher, your professionals will check to see if it’s attached to the kitchen unit with screws or mounting brackets. If so, they can remove the screws or brackets holding the dishwasher in place.
It’s a good idea to place a towel or a flat piece of thick cardboard on the floor to guard against scratches. Cardboard will also make it easier for them to slide the machine out of its space.
Step five: remove the wiring
There are several wire connections which your electrician will need to disconnect from your integrated dishwasher. These can be found in the junction box, which is usually located at the front of the dishwasher or back of the dishwasher. Have the appliance handbook to hand for them if you can’t find the box.
They will then remove the junction box cover to uncover a couple of nuts connecting wires from the dishwasher to the power source. These will need to be removed before going to the next step.
Step six: nearly there
The final step is for them to disconnect the drainage hose and water supply from the dishwasher itself. Again, have a bucket or bowl underneath the end of the hose in case there’s any water left in the machine.
How to remove an integrated dishwasher door
If you’re updating your kitchen and you need to remove the cabinet door attached to the front of the machine, it really is a simple job and can be done yourself with some simple tools you’ll likely have at home.
The door will be screwed on from the inside, so open the dishwasher door. Down each side there’ll be a number of screws, which may be obscured by a plastic cover.
Most of these screws will be part of the dishwasher, but two on each side will be what’s holding the door on, usually the second and fourth screws from the top. However, as this does vary by manufacturer, figuring out which screws are which is a matter of trial and error.
The screws holding the door will be longer. So undo one at a time and, if it's a short screw, retighten it and try another. Once you’ve removed all four of the longer screws, the door should lift off easily. There may also be an additional two fixing screws at the top of the dishwasher door.
When you remove a door from an integrated dishwasher, take off any fixing plates attached to the back of the door; you’ll need to fix these to the back of your new door.
We always advise you to ask an expert to help remove the door from your integrated dishwasher.
What to do with your old integrated dishwasher
Your first step when getting rid of any large appliance should be to contact your local authority.
If you’ve decided to upgrade to a new model, they’ll tell you the best way to dispose of your old dishwasher in a way that’s ethical and responsible. They may even run a disposal service themselves.
Alternatively, you may have to transport your dishwasher to the nearest registered disposal site or recycling plant. You could also use a waste disposal company, although they will charge a fee for their collection, transportation and recycling services.
You have all the information you need to remove an integrated dishwasher simply and safely, but we always advise that you get in touch with a reputable professional to complete the whole process for you.