In many homes across the country, the dishwasher is hardwired into the home’s electrical system. But hardwiring a dishwasher comes with its fair share of pros and cons. So, are all dishwashers hardwired, or are there other options?
No, not all dishwashers are hardwired. Instead, you can purchase dishwashers that come prepared with an electrical cord and a three-prong plug. These units will easily connect to a regular wall socket that you’d have in your household kitchen. If necessary, you can convert a hardwired dishwasher to a plug-in unit by purchasing and installing a dishwasher power cord kit that’s easy to find.
Are Only Hardwired Dishwashers Available?
No, hardwired dishwashers are not the only kind that you can find available at your local appliance store. Some dishwashers are sold as-is to be hardwired, while others come attached with a cord and plug that goes into a wall socket.
Still, it’s also important to remember that dishwashers are flexible when it comes to their power supply. Regardless of how the dishwasher’s power supply might be when you first buy the appliance, you can also purchase accessory kits to suit your needs.
For example, you can purchase a kit that enables your dishwasher to plug directly into a wall socket, just like any other appliance in your kitchen.
Refer To Local And National Electrical Codes
When it comes to wiring your dishwasher, you must always refer to local and national electrical codes first. Some electrical codes will make it compulsory for you to hardwire your dishwasher to a dedicated circuit that runs directly to your household’s main electrical board. Others might give you the flexibility of using a plug-in set up with a wall socket.
You must comply with electrical codes, not only to avoid hefty fines but also to maximise your household safety. If you’re ever in doubt about these matters, don’t hesitate to call a qualified electrician. They’ll be able to advise you further, especially on how to wire your dishwasher in the best way possible.
What Is A Hardwired Dishwasher?
A hardwired dishwasher is one that’s connected directly to your household power supply without a plug. As a result, the appliance does not receive its power through a wall socket or any other electrical receptacle.
Instead, the electrical wiring goes directly from the back of the dishwasher to your household’s main electrical box, where it can be turned on and off with a dedicated circuit breaker.
This type of setup offers you and your dishwasher its fair share of pros and cons.
The Benefits Of A Hardwired Dishwasher
Here are the benefits of hardwiring your dishwasher to your household’s power supply:
- Clean And Neat: The entire setup of your dishwasher is much neater when it is hardwired. There are fewer wires necessary, and you will not be able to see any outlets or receptacles around the dishwasher. Instead, the power supply wires go straight into the wall, connecting to the main electrical box and the dedicated circuit breaker.
- No Electrical Outlet Needed: Hardwiring your dishwasher also makes things more straightforward, especially if you’re in a new home. That’s because you or your electrician will not have to install an electrical outlet explicitly for your dishwasher. As mentioned before, a hardwired dishwasher connects directly to your main electrical box, resulting in fewer wires and a neater setup overall.
The Drawbacks Of A Hardwired Dishwasher
Here are the drawbacks of hardwiring your dishwasher:
- Requires An Electrician: Hardwiring your dishwasher is not a plug-and-play task. The work required to wire it correctly is complex, so you will need to hire an electrician to do it for you. That could cost you additional time and money.
Of course, you could do the work yourself if you have the know-how. Still, it will be a labor-intensive task as the wiring you’ll work with is not exposed but in the walls with the rest of the household’s electrical wiring.
- Shut-off Is Away From The Appliance: If you ever need to shut off the power supply to your dishwasher, you must do it at the main electrical box. That could be quite a walk, depending on where it is since it won’t be next to your dishwasher.This can be pretty troublesome, especially if you’re repairing your dishwasher and need to turn it on and off repeatedly.
- Placement Is Permanent: A hardwired dishwasher is somewhat permanent. So, if you ever need to remove the appliance for repairs or replace it with a new model, you would need an electrician to help you. Doing so yourself is too complex as a DIY task.
What Is A Plug-in Dishwasher?
A plug-in dishwasher has a cord and a plug that goes into an electrical receptacle. The appliance receives all of its necessary power from that receptacle and can be plugged in or unplugged whenever necessary.
Of course, this option also comes with its share of pros and cons, which we will dive into below.
The Benefits Of A Plug-in Cord Dishwasher
Here are the benefits of using a plug-in cord dishwasher:
- Quick To Plug-in And Unplug: Plug-in dishwashers offer plenty of convenience. As soon as the appliance is delivered to your home, you can plug it into the kitchen wall socket and turn it on.
Shutting off the dishwasher by unplugging it is equally straightforward and quick to do.
That will come in handy when you’re removing or repairing your dishwasher, as you can shut it off without having to walk over to the main electrical box.
- Removing, Relocating, And Replacing Dishwasher: Another crucial benefit of a plug-in dishwasher is that you can remove, relocate, and replace the dishwasher all by yourself.
In addition, there will be no need to contact and pay an electrician since you can disconnect the appliance from the wall socket all by yourself.
Naturally, this flexibility will be beneficial if you ever want to replace your dishwasher with a new model. Then, all you’d have to do is plug the dishwasher into the socket and roll the appliance into place.
The Drawbacks Of A Plug-in Dishwasher
Here are some drawbacks of a plug-in dishwasher:
- Wall Socket / Receptacle Required: As the name suggests, a plug-in dishwasher needs something to plug into. That means your kitchen must have a dedicated wall socket or electrical receptacle to supply the dishwasher.
Many homes already have this wall socket prepared. However, if you’re in the process of building or renovating a home, you will have to ensure that the electrician prepares one specifically for your dishwasher.
- Wall Socket Must Be Up To Code: Remember: always comply with any applicable local and national electrical codes. Not only is that a necessity for the dishwasher itself, but there are codes that apply to the wall socket as well.
For example, electrical codes often specify the placement of the wall socket that serves the dishwasher. The socket is typically required to be placed next to the dishwasher in an adjacent cabinet and not directly behind it.
That will enable you to access the plug and shut it off without having to move the dishwasher or blindly reach behind it.
- Dishwasher Position is Restricted: The position of your plug-in dishwasher will be restricted to the length of the power cord. So, an ideal setup would be where the wall socket is next to the appliance, following local and national electrical codes.
Can I Convert My Hardwired Dishwasher To A Plug-in and Socket?
Yes, a hardwired dishwasher can be converted to use a plug and a wall socket.
Let’s suppose you have a dishwasher that was meant to be hardwired, but you’d like to use it in a kitchen with a wall socket.
If that’s the case, then there are three steps to this process, which are:
- Prepare An Appropriate Wall Socket: Some homes come standard with a kitchen wall socket explicitly prepared for use with a dishwasher. If there isn’t one, or if you’re still constructing a new kitchen, you will need to have one prepared.Remember: the positioning of that socket must be according to the relevant electrical codes, and it must be close enough for the dishwasher cord to reach.
- Prepare A Dedicated Circuit With Correct Wiring: Dishwashers are a heavy-duty electrical appliance that runs for extended periods. That’s why the socket they plug into should be on a dedicated circuit with the correct wiring that can sustain heavy usage.With that, there will be no concerns about overheating wires or tripped circuit breakers.
- Attach A Cord And Plug: You need to convert your dishwasher’s electric supply setup to a cord and plug. That involves accessing the electrical box in the dishwasher and wiring it to an extension cord with a plug.
You can easily find generic kits for this purpose consisting of a high-quality cord connected to a three-prong plug that goes into your socket. All you have to do is wire one of those kits to your dishwasher’s electrical box.
Once that’s done correctly, you’ve successfully converted your hardwired dishwasher to a plug-in unit.