How to Install a Portable Dishwasher

PDW-66EW Image3There's no denying how convenient it is to have a dishwasher in your kitchen. Goodbye dishpan hands and racks of dishes drying by the sink! Hello to all the free time you'll have to pursue more enjoyable activities and entertainment.

Unfortunately, not every kitchen is built to accommodate a full-sized, built-in dishwasher. Apartment and studio dwellers, or owners of older houses built before dishwashers were common don't always have the option of installing one in their home. But that doesn't have to mean you're stuck washing dishes by hand day after day, meal after meal.

Portable dishwashers are a great, affordable option for people whose kitchens just don't have room for a full-sized dishwasher. Compact and easy to use, a portable dishwasher can free you from the onerous chore of washing dishes by hand. Find out how easy it is to install and use a portable dishwasher in your own home.

Portable Dishwasher Types

There are two types of portable compact dishwashers - countertop dishwashers and freestanding dishwashers that sit on the floor. A freestanding model typically holds more dishes than a countertop dishwasher - usually eight place settings compared to six. They also sit on casters that make it convenient to move in and out of storage when you're not using it. Freestanding portable dishwashers frequently have finished sides and tops that can function as an additional work surface in your kitchen.

A countertop dishwasher is generally much smaller than freestanding units and is designed are sit on the counter next to your sink. Countertop dishwashers have just as much cleaning power as the larger models, but use less water and less detergent, and frequently have shorter wash cycle times, which can add up to substantial savings on your utility bills.

Portable Dishwasher Set Up

DDW1899WP Image3When you're ready to install a portable dishwasher, you must first set it next to a suitable water supply and drain. In most cases, this is going to be your kitchen sink. With a freestanding dishwasher, simply roll it as close to the sink as possible.

Countertop dishwashers should be positioned on the counter with the back resting against the wall behind it. Don't let any part of the dishwasher hang over the edge of the counter. Be sure to remove any packing materials and printed matter from inside the dishwasher before continuing!

Connect the power plug to an appropriately grounded outlet. Avoid using an extension cord, if at all possible, as this will increase the chance of electrical problems with the unit.


Installing Your Portable Dishwasher for Use

Next, it's time to connect the water supply and drainage hose for your compact dishwasher.

  1. Remove the aerator from the faucet by turning it counterclockwise. (You might need pliers to do this.)
  2. Screw the faucet adapter that comes with the dishwasher onto the faucet tap. It should come with the necessary adaptors to attach either inside or outside the spout, depending on the threading on your faucet.
  3. Connect the water supply hose to the inlet port on the back of the dishwasher.
  4. Connect the water supply hose t to the faucet adapter and snap into place.
  5. Connect the drain hose to the drain port on the back of the dishwasher. The other end will empty into the sink.
  6. Slowly turn on the hot water from the tap, checking to be sure here are no leaks in any of the hose connections.

Many portable dishwashers come with a "quick connect" adaptor that makes it even easier for you to get set up and running. In either case, make sure that all connections are tight to prevent leaking.

Always make sure you read the manual that comes with your dishwasher thoroughly before use, and follow manufacturer's instructions to avoid problems.

Permanent Installation of Portable Dishwashers

Did you know that it's possible to permanently install a portable dishwasher? Because of their small sizes, many people prefer to use portable dishwashers as a permanent solution, but don't want the inconvenience of having the kitchen sink tied up with hoses all the time. Fortunately, it's not difficult to connect a portable dishwasher to the plumbing lines. Here's how:

  1. Turn off the hot water under the sink.
  2. Attach a self-piercing tap valve to the water line above the shut-off valve.
  3. Once the self-piercing valve is secure, turn the handle to pierce the hot water line.
  4. Connect one end of the dishwasher's water supply hose to the valve you've just installed, and connect the other end to the dishwasher.
  5. Using a hacksaw, cut a small section of PVC pipe from the sink's drain and insert a PVC coupler into the space.
  6. Attach the dishwasher's drain hose to a pipe adaptor and connect the pipe adaptor to the PVC coupler.
  7. Turn the hot water back on, plug the dishwasher into a power outlet, and run it to make sure everything is working properly.

Extra Tips For Using Portable Dishwashers

  • SD-2201S Image1Before connecting the portable dishwasher hoses to the faucet, run the tap until the water is hot. This will ensure the water temperature inside the dishwasher will be hot enough to clean your dishes as soon as you start the cycle.
  • When the dishwasher has finished running, be sure to push the water accumulation button on the faucet adapter to release water that is still in the hose. This will save you from any accidental spills.
  • Be careful not to use the wrong kind of dishwashing detergent, and do not use too much. Follow your instruction manual for guidelines. Never use hand dish detergent in your compact dishwasher!
  • If you are draining your countertop dishwasher into the kitchen sink, it's a good idea to keep a filter in the sink's drain opening, to trap any food particles that might clog pipes.

A portable dishwasher can be a practical, time-saving investment for your kitchen. Now that you see how they are to set up and use, visit our selection to find the one that best suits your needs, and say goodbye to dish pan hands forever!

10 Ways to Green Your Home