Do Freestanding Dishwashers Need To Be Plumbed In?

Do you desperately want a dishwasher but don't have room to install a built-in? Perhaps a freestanding option would be the perfect solution for you. If you have questions about freestanding dishwashers, you've come to the right place. We did the research to provide you with all the answers you need in one place.

No, freestanding dishwashers do not require any complex plumbing, unlike built-in options. They have an easy-to-use plug-and-play interface that doesn't typically require any modifications.

Freestanding dishwashers are made to be easily moved out of the way. This means that they need to be able to be disconnected from water and drainage easily. Keep reading to learn more about how to install a freestanding dishwasher and how they work.

An opened dishwasher with lots of cups and other kitchen utensils, Do Freestanding Dishwashers Need To Be Plumbed In?

How do you Plumb a Freestanding Dishwasher?

Always follow the installation instructions from the dishwasher's manufacturer, which you can view before you purchase the machine. Freestanding dishwashers typically connect to your sink's tap through a hose; the wastewater comes out of a separate hose and runs into your sink's drain. They can also be plumbed in permanently if desired.

Does a Dishwasher Need to be Installed by a Plumber?

Professionals must always install built-in dishwashers since they will need electrical and plumbing run to them. Freestanding and compact dishwashers can be installed by average homeowners with no plumbing experience, easily.

If you are just replacing your old built-in, you may be able to install it yourself, but if you are uncomfortable about it at all, call a professional.

What is the Difference Between Freestanding and Underbench Dishwasher?

Underbench or built-in dishwashers are installed in a designated space underneath your counter. They are not meant to be moved and have permanent plumbing.

Freestanding or portable dishwashers are meant to be easily moved and can usually be hooked up to any tap fixture with a drain. Many freestanding models even have casters underneath to increase mobility.

Energy Star Portable Dishwasher

This portable freestanding dishwasher comes on casters, making it super easy to move. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Can a Freestanding Dishwasher be Integrated?

A freestanding dishwasher can be provided with permanent plumbing hookups so it can integrate into your cabinet space like under-bench models. This is a good option for smaller kitchens that may not have room for a larger built-in model. If you don't have room under your counter space, there are other creative solutions, like placing it under an island.

What is a Compact Dishwasher?

Compact dishwashers are an even smaller version of freestanding dishwashers. These compact models are available in countertop versions or on casters. They usually have fewer functions and hold fewer dishes than freestanding models, but they are great for small households.

Comfee Mini Portable Dishwasher

This compact dishwasher is so small it can sit right on your countertop. Click here to see it on Amazon.

How do Compact Dishwashers Hook up?

Compact dishwashers hook up much the same way freestanding dishwashers do. They also have a hose that screws into your tap, and a drain hose that gets placed in the sink basin.

Compact models do not require professional installation; they offer a simple installation with very little work involved. Some models have a holding tank that you can pour water into, relinquishing the need for a hose to the tap.

G-Sunny Dishwasher Adapter Coupling

Not all compact or portable dishwashers include the coupling needed to attach the hose to the sink. Click here to see this adapter on Amazon. 

Can Compact Dishwashers Be Integrated?

Compact dishwashers can be integrated into your cabinet setup fairly easily. Any plumbing or electrical work needs to be performed by a professional for your and your family's safety.

If you want a permanently integrated compact dishwasher, check with the manufacturer to make sure it is capable of this installation method before committing.

Why Choose a Compact Dishwasher?

Compact dishwashers are great solutions for small spaces and small families. They are also popular in apartments, tiny homes, dorms, and with seniors.

If you live alone or have a family of three or less, a compact dishwasher might be a perfect choice. These models are also popular with parents of young children still using a bottle, as they can sanitize the baby's bottles, teethers, pacifiers, and toys effortlessly and effectively.

Can you Install a Built-In Dishwasher Yourself?

Do not attempt to install a built-in dishwasher yourself. Built-in models require plumbing and electricity, and these can be very dangerous to attempt without professional training. One small error in either of these tasks could cause extreme damage to your home or yourself.

How To Replace A Built-In Dishwasher?

If you are just replacing an older dishwasher, it is very simple to just swap the machines. If you are installing a new dishwasher and need plumbing and electricity run to the appliance, it gets much more complex and will require a licensed electrician and a plumber.

Here's a quick step-by-step instruction guide and a video to help:

  1. Turn off the water, unplug the old machine, and remove any hoses.
  2. Remove any fasteners holding the dishwasher in place.
  3. Pull the old machine out and cart it off.
  4. Get the new machine's hoses and wires in place and connected according to the installation instructions.
  5. Push the new dishwasher into the opening carefully to avoid damaging the cord and hoses.
  6. Test the machine to be sure it is working properly with no leaks.
  7. If everything seems correct, anchor the new machine into the space.

How To Install a Freestanding or Compact Dishwasher?

These dishwashers are usually a cinch to install in just a few minutes' time.  Make sure you have all the adapters and hoses you need before you start. Here's an easy-to-follow step-by-step and a video to help you along.

  1. Get your dishwasher in place near the sink.
  2. If required, install the sink-to-hose adapter on your faucet.
  3. Screw the hoses onto the back of the machine according to the instructions.
  4. Screw the water intake hose into the faucet adapter and place the drainage hose into the sink.
  5. Plug the machine in and test it.

How Many Dishes Can Each Model Hold?

Built-in dishwashers are capable of holding 12-14 place settings per load but can be slightly bigger or smaller. Freestanding dishwashers can hold 8-10 place settings depending on the overall size.

Compact dishwashers can only hold about six place settings, and most of them have limits on the size of the dishes that are able to fit.

What are the Capabilities of Each Size?

Full-size, built-in dishwashers tend to offer the most bells and whistles. They often have functions and extras that smaller versions can't offer.

Compact washers tend to have the least amount of extra features; not all of them can heat their own water or dry the dishes. Make sure to look into each model and the features they offer to find an option that checks all of your boxes.

Should You Get a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers are a great way to make short work out of a menial task. They conserve water and tend to be more eco-friendly than handwashing.

Dishwashers are capable of using hotter water than used for handwashing dishes, which also makes them a more sanitary option. There are many benefits to owning a dishwasher, but ultimately you should do whatever is best for you and your family.

What Kind of Dishwasher Should You Get?

This depends on the size of your house and family, how many dishes you use daily, and how large your dishes are. Medium and large families will do well with a larger freestanding model or a built-in dishwasher.

Compact models are great for singles, couples, and small families. Keep in mind that compact models may not accommodate large pots and pans, and even some plates may be too large for these machines.

Coming Clean

Now that you know everything you need about the different types of dishwashers, you are ready to make an informed decision. Also, remember to consider how many dishes you will be washing per day, and how much you are willing to spend toward installation. Have fun shopping for your new kitchen appliance!

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If you are still researching dishwashers, you may want to take a look at our article "How Big Are Bosch Dishwashers?"

Wondering what dishwashers are capable of? Check out this great article "Do Dishwashers Have Garbage Disposals?"

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