How To Install A Countertop Dishwasher Permanently

A tiny kitchen doesn't mean that you can't have the convenience of an automatic dishwasher. One alternative to scrubbing dishes by hand is a countertop or portable dishwasher. Installing a countertop dishwasher permanently does require some modifications and can seem like an overwhelming task. We have searched multiple sources to bring you a concise and easy-to-follow set of instructions to help make the task easier.

With a few minor modifications, you can permanently connect your countertop dishwasher to your plumbing. While permanent installation of a countertop dishwasher isn't as complicated as installing a built-in dishwasher, there are still some important steps to take to ensure optimal results. The steps to permanently installing your countertop dishwasher that we will discuss in further detail are as follows:

  1. Planning for your countertop dishwasher
  2. Unboxing countertop dishwasher
  3. Connecting hoses
  4. Testing connections
  5. Turning on the dishwasher

Figuring out how to permanently install your countertop dishwasher is only one of the many questions that you may encounter during your dishwasher project. Questions may arise about the placement, operation, and durability of countertop or portable dishwashers. We will answer all of these questions and discuss other closely related topics, just keep reading!

Fitter men manual worker installing new dishwasher appliance in kitchen, How To Install A Countertop Dishwasher Permanently

1. Planning for your countertop dishwasher

Finding the space that your countertop dishwasher will permanently occupy is an important part of planning for your countertop dishwasher. Most countertop dishwashers come in sizes of about 22 inches or 56 centimeters wide, 17 inches or 43 centimeters tall, and 20 inches or 51 centimeters deep but can be larger.

You should also keep in mind your countertop dishwasher's water source and noise level when deciding on your purchase. You will need to decide on two main placement options before choosing a location for your dishwasher on top of or under your counter.

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On top of the counter

If you choose to keep your countertop dishwasher on top of your counter, you can use existing electricity. Your dishwasher will be plugged into an existing outlet above your counter but will still be connected to plumbing below your counter.

The hoses that would normally hook up to the sink faucet when using your countertop dishwasher will need to tap into your sink's plumbing system. You will likely need to drill a hole in your countertop to run the hoses through.

Under counter

Placing your dishwasher under the counter will save some counter space, but you may need to add an additional electricity source under the counter to power your dishwasher. If you don't want the hassle of adding an electrical outlet under your sink, you can drill a hole in your counter to run the electrical cord to an outlet above your counter.

If you opt to add in a new outlet, hiring a professional is a choice that you will have to consider. This seemingly simple task can easily become complicated when deciding whether you should run this outlet to a new electrical breaker.

2. Unboxing countertop dishwasher

Most countertop dishwashers will come in a box, but if you have your dishwasher shipped, there may also be a shipping box. Cut the outer shipping box, and you will likely find the actual box still wrapped in foam and plastic straps that will be thrown away.

After setting your countertop dishwasher box in the space, it will occupy, lift the dishwasher box over the dishwasher to prevent having to roll the dishwasher or lift it out of the box. Remove hoses that will likely be inside the dishwasher.

3. Connecting hoses

Two hoses would normally connect from the back of the countertop dishwasher to the sink faucet, the drain hose, and the inlet hose. Because you will be connecting your dishwasher permanently, there will be some modifications needed.

The video below shows one option for permanently connecting your countertop dishwasher to your existing water and drainage systems.

Water source

To permanently connect your countertop dishwasher, you will need to tap into a water source. You can choose to apply a flexible water line via a water line adapter to your dishwasher's waterline, as shown below.

You will also need a hot water supply. To supply hot water to your dishwasher, you can connect straight to your water heater or into your sink's hot water line.

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Drainage source

Your countertop dishwasher will also need a drain pipe. Connecting the dishwasher drain hose to your sink's drain pipe is one option, and another option is connecting to the drain opening of your garbage disposal.

Hiring a professional plumber is one option for tapping into your sink's drainage pipe. If you have some basic plumbing skills and opt to tap into the drainage pipe yourself, you will want to use pipe cement to maintain a closed drain system free of leaks.

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4. Testing connections

Before connecting the dishwasher hoses to the dishwasher, place hoses over the sink and turn on the water to ensure that there are no leaks around any of the connections. Check all the connections between your sink's pipes, the flexible water line, and the dishwasher connections.

You are now ready to connect the hoses to the back of your countertop dishwasher. Tighten both hoses enough that there is no water leakage.

5. Turning on the dishwasher

After ensuring that there are no leaks in your new permanent dishwasher system, you are ready to run your dishwasher. One benefit of permanently installing a countertop dishwasher is the need for less energy and less water than standard dishwashers.

Although they are smaller than standard built-in dishwashers, countertop dishwashers still do a thorough cleaning of your dishes.

What's the difference between built-in and portable dishwashers?

An opened dishwasher with newly cleaned plates

Portable dishwashers can be the size of a built-in dishwasher or small enough to fit on top of your counters. They sometimes come on rollers to roll them out of the way when they are not in use.

Built-in dishwashers are usually surrounded on three sides with noise-blocking cabinets, while portable dishwashers can be louder because they stand alone. Although the size of portable dishwashers may be different than the built-in versions, they do a comparable job of sanitizing your dishes.

How do you hook up a portable dishwasher to water?

A portable dishwasher is usually hooked up to a water source via a quick-connect adapter. This adapter joins the inlet and drainage hoses from the dishwasher and has a pressure valve button to clear the water from the hoses.

The aerator or tip of the sink faucet should be removed to connect the exposed threading to the quick-connect adapter. A locking collar slides up and down to lock the quick-connect adapter to the sink faucet.

Does a dishwasher have to be next to the sink?

Portable dishwashers should be placed close enough to the sink for the inlet and drainage hoses to reach the sink without kinking or sharp bends in the hoses. Many experts in kitchen design recommend placing your dishwasher next to the sink for a couple of different reasons.

Placing your dishwasher next to the sink will make plumbing easier and less costly. Having your dishwasher near your sink is also functionally practical when rinsing dishes to place into your dishwasher.

Do portable dishwashers dry dishes?

Dry cycles are the cycles that dry dishes. Not all portable dishwashers have a dry cycle, and if they do, they may not have a heated dry cycle.

Portable dishwashers with a dry cycle can be more expensive. Read reviews on portable dishwashers before you purchase if heated dry cycles are important to you.

How long do portable dishwashers last?

Dishwashers have an average life span of about 8-15 years. Portable dishwashers usually last about 9-10 years. Regularly maintaining and caring for your dishwasher will increase the life span. The same is true for portable dishwashers.

Final thoughts

An opened dishwasher filled with spoons and forks with plates and bowl

Not all countertop dishwashers are made to be installed permanently. You may have to make some modifications to use your countertop dishwasher in a permanent capacity. You can save yourself money and space by permanently installing a countertop dishwasher. It only takes a few extra steps to make the necessary adjustments.

Before you go, here are some other articles that may be of interest to you:

How To Protect A Countertop From Dishwasher Steam

Should Dishwasher Be On The Left Or Right Of Sink?

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