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06 March 2007

Wiring a Dishwasher

The first step in the installation of my new Frigidaire Dishwasher was to run the wiring for it. Most dishwashers should be on a 20 amp circuit. Most all modern dishwashers including mine have a sanitize cycle in which they need to really heat up, this draws a lot of power.

How you run the wire will be determined by the layout of your particular house. I have a small two-story house near the water so it has no basement. I couldn’t run the wire through the attic either because the kitchen is on the first level. My best bet was to run the dishwasher wire through the crawlspace underneath the house.

This was a feat in itself. There is about 18 inches of space under my house. I am 210 pounds. I had two choices, crawl in on my back or crawl in on my stomach because there was no rolling over once I was under there. Oh yeah, and I am claustrophobic. Needless to say I did this job while my wife was away so she didn’t hear me screaming like a girl when I hit a spider web.

I started by clicking in a new 20 amp breaker in my electrical panel. To this I ran a 12/2 with ground wire down through the wall and out a hole I drilled in the floor. I filled the rest of this hole with expandable foam to seal it. From there the wire was run along and stapled to each joist to the bottom of the dishwasher cabinet. A hole drilled in a joist could significantly weaken its structural capabilities so it is important to be weary of that. If you are not experienced with electricity this could be a job for a qualified electrician.

Underneath the house I installed a waterproof junction box to relieve strain on the wire and then ran it up though another hole I drilled in the bottom of the dishwasher cabinet. Here I installed another waterproof junction box so that I could split the power to the dishwasher and to the new garbage disposal I was putting in at the same time.

Remember: Turn off the power, white to white, black to black, and copper ground to the green grounding screw. 20 amp circuit requires 12/2 and a 20 amp switch, 15 amp circuit can use 14/2 and a 15 amp switch.

Next Up: Cutting a hole in the cabinet for the new dishwasher.


Anonymous said...

If not for the new dipsoal, would you have skipped the second waterproof box and run the cable from the breaker box directly to the DW? Tackling this problem for the first time and researching the how to's. Thanks for posting this blog.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure you're allowed to install a junction box in an 18" crawlspace? Typically, you need 39" (1m) of space to access a JB according to code. Check your local code. Junction boxes go in accessible locations.

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