Moving a Dishwasher

Moving a dishwasher just makes sense sometimes. After all, you’ve invested a lot in your appliances and it would be a shame not to bring them with you to your new home. When you’re moving, you can take appliances with you, provided they’re not part of ‘the deal’ for the new homeowners. Or, you can replace them with cheaper models, but bring your more expensive ones to your new home. This can sometimes be cheaper than buying them new (of course, that depends on the case). In this article, we’ll focus on how to move a dishwasher.

Step 1: Start with unplugging it

To start this step, you’ll need to be able to move your dishwasher out of its spot in your cabinetry. Even if it looks ‘built in,’ it is likely sitting in a ‘gap’ of space between cabinets underneath your counter.

The hard parts will be:

  • Unscrewing it from your countertop, if it is attached.
  • Figuring out how to draw it out without a lot of room on the edges to grasp it. The use of a dolly may really help.
  • Finding the breaker connection that gives the dishwasher power (if it’s not labelled), and turning it off (you must do this for safety before you proceed!)

If you can drain the dishwasher before moving it out of it’s spot, that will be your best bet. If your dishwasher doesn’t drain completely, it may be clogged. Follow these steps from Wikihow to clean it out, or solve the problem otherwise.

Now it’s time to drag out the dishwasher. You’ll want to prepare the floor underneath. You don’t want to damage flooring from dragging the heavy dishwasher.

These videos are great tutorials on the steps below (even though it’s about replacing legs):

Dishwasher legs look like screws, which are levellers for the dishwasher. You may have to ‘unscrew’ these to get the dishwasher out.

Once the dishwasher is out and no longer so close to the wall where its plumbing and electricity are connected, you should have an easier time with the unplugging part.

You will need to know a little bit about plumbing to move forward with the next steps. Start by turning off the water flow with the water valve.

If your dishwasher was connected with wires, and not a standard plug, you also want to ask an electrician for help. Do not pull at exposed wires or try to untwist them yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing! And very importantly we’ll repeat: turn off the power supply to the dishwasher first!

With plumbing, there is going to be the ‘in’ (which can have both hot and cold water connections) and the ‘out’ (where the gray water drains). The drain tube may be connected to the sink or garburator. You’ll want to close up those connections, if you don’t put in a replacement dishwasher.

Unplugging appliances from drains can cause a stink to emanate from the pipes. So get ready to plug them back up with something temporary (like an old rag, for instance). You may also have some water leakage when you do unplug them. So have a mop or rags ready.

Try to remember which hose was attached to which connection with your plumbing. In fact, go ahead and take a photo of the connections with your phone before you unhook anything. You can use that as a reference later, when you re-install the dishwasher after moving.

You can also unscrew or detach the tubes from the main body of the dishwasher in this step, to make it easier to get to the truck, or for cleaning.

Tape your hoses and connections to the dishwasher, or otherwise keep them in a labelled plastic bag or box.

Step 2: Carefully transport the dishwasher to the moving truck

For this step, you will need an appliance dolly, or a type of dolly that can handle the weight and size of the dishwasher, preferably with straps or enough of a base area on the wheels. A moving blanket or some padding would not be a bad idea for this phase either.

Check the bottom toekick of your dishwasher. It may contain a removable plate-like sheet, which won’t be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the machine if you try to rest it on a dolly. Here is an example of what we’re talking about.

You may also want to lay down mats on the pathway you’ll be rolling the dishwasher along in the home. If you have to cut across grass to move the dishwasher to the moving truck, plywood planks may also make your job easier for this step.

Remember that any lifting you do should follow safety protocols. Don’t injure yourself!

When the dishwasher is in the moving truck, find a way to secure it in place so it doesn’t tip over or slip during the ride to your new home. It may be enough to stack weighty items around it (provided they won’t dent or scratch the appliance). But you may also want to use wood blocks or weights at its base to help with this task (again, being careful about denting).

Step 3: Unload and re-install the dishwasher after your move

When you begin to re-install the dishwasher after moving, you’re going to want to do a bit of research on your connection options. For example, this article explains that you may want to look up building codes for your area, to see which ones you can use for plumbing connections. This article also explains how to install a new dishwasher, which you’ll find isn’t for the faint of heart (unless you like a DIY challenge!).

Now if your new home did not have a place for a dishwasher, or the width and height were not to the same specifications as your old home, you may have extra work on your hands.

This article explains how to make room for a dishwasher, if you don’t have a place in your kitchen cabinetry for it. And, as this article explains, you’re also going to have to consider connection lines when finding a new place for a dishwasher you want to install. You may also need to create new holes in the cabinetry, and do some electrical work.

To conclude, moving a great dishwasher to a new home can be a good idea, but it can also be a bad one. If your dishwasher is not worth the cost, time and hassle to move it, you may want to leave it where it is, and let the new home dwellers enjoy it. Moving a dishwasher would be worth it, though, if there is something about you existing dishwasher that isn’t standard in most homes, and the price point justifies it.

When you hire professional movers to move a dishwasher, ask them about the deinstalling and reinstalling. They may include that in their service, and may recommend you hire professional plumbers and electricians to do the job.

See related on our blog:

Moving Tips

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