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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

Moving a Dishwasher

Moving homes usually means deciding which items and appliances you want to take with you. However, moving appliances usually needs a lot more preparation as compared to moving household items. For whatever reason, if you’ve decided to move a dishwasher, you’re going to need the low-down on all the preparation you have to do, as well as tackling how to move it.

Before you get into all the details, ask the big question: Do you need to move your dishwasher?

Many homes have pre-installed dishwashers, and these are usually intact since people mostly choose to not move their dishwashers with them. Additionally, moving a dishwasher is no easy task; you are undertaking something that is rarely attempted, and when it is, it is left to the professionals. It will cost you time, money and a whole load of patience, not to mention you have to have the necessary tools handy and a spare set of hands to help you out.

How to move a dishwasher is much easier to answer if your move is local as compared to an interstate move. If you’re moving over a long distance, you may want to consider changing your mind. It is only fair to suspect the condition of the pre-installed dishwasher, but unless it is in non-workable condition, try to avoid moving yours. The longer the distance, the more this move is going to cost. You may just find that purchasing a new dishwasher from around your new home proves to be much cheaper than disassembling, moving and reassembling your old dishwasher.


If you’ve gone through all these questions and your need transcends them, by all means, read on. We’ve covered every detail you could possibly need to know on how to move a dishwasher. Though this is no easy task, you should manage just fine.

How To Disconnect A Dishwasher

Before moving it, you must properly disconnect your dishwasher. This involves disconnecting the power, water supply and drainage lines, as well as unscrewing parts of it to remove it. Make sure you follow these steps correctly to avoid accidentally damaging it or misplacing any of the parts.

1. Organize Assistance

You can’t just wake up one morning and decide to ready your dishwasher for the move; this kind of step needs prep! The first thing you need to do is contact a few family members or friends to come over and help you. Dishwashers are bulky appliances, weighing from 70 to 150 pounds, and you cannot dismantle and pack one up by yourself. A lot of the steps we’ve listed require two pairs of hands, and you’re sure to damage the dishwasher or risk personal injury if you go at it alone. If you’re stuck in a fix, get one of your neighbours to help you out, but ensure you have help.

2. Grab A Hold Of The Right Tools

An appliance like the dishwasher has a fair bit of unscrewing and shifting around to do. Make sure you have these tools handy before you try to dismantle it.

  • Standard screwdrivers (This may change depending on the type of screws, however, most appliances use standard or Phillips screws.)
  • An adjustable wrench
  • Ziploc bags of small and medium sizes
  • A pair of pliers
  • A large sheet of cardboard
  • Sheets or furniture blankets
  • Saran wrap, bubble wrap
  • An appliance dolly
  • Packing tape

3. Empty And Clean The Dishwasher

Of course this step goes without saying, but it is better to be cautious than overconfident. Open the dishwasher and thoroughly check for any stray forks, knives or other utensils that may have slipped your sight. These can bend or break while trying to dismantle your dishwasher, not to mention damage the appliance itself.

It is important to clean and dry your dishwasher thoroughly before your move. A lot of time will pass between packing it up securely, keeping it in transit while moving it and actually opening, setting it up and using it again. Any dirt or damp can cause mold or fungus to form, and worse, it could damage the electrical parts of the dishwasher. Simply empty it out and run it through a cycle, and air it out. Wipe it down to dry out all the damp parts, and you’re all set.

4. Shut Off The Power

Most dishwashers are in-built, and as a result, the switch board is likely to be against the wall, behind the dishwasher. This is far from easily accessible, and you will have to shift it out of the way before you can reach the switch. However, electrical appliances are dicey when moved around too much, and you should never take your safety for granted.

Head to the electrical circuit of your home and switch off the power supply that connects to your kitchen. It is crucial that you do this before trying to shift the dishwasher around. Do remember: every other electrical appliance in the kitchen that is plugged in will also lose power. Make sure things like the oven and washing machine aren’t in use when you go to do this.

5. Shut Off The Water Supply

To turn off the water supply to the dishwasher, you’ll have to take a look under your sink to find the pipe that directly supplies water to it. You may need a wrench to turn the valve so it stops the supply.

Note: In some cases, the water supply is not under the sink but at the back of the dishwasher, making it pretty inaccessible. You’ll have to carefully disassemble more of it until you can partially pull it out to reach the water supply valve. That process is listed below, so keep reading and decide accordingly.

6. Remove The Water Supply Tube

Next up, you’ll have to disconnect the pipes leading out of the dishwasher before you attempt to move it. The water supply tube is mostly a narrow tube made of plastic or copper, that supplies the dishwasher with clean water. The pipe will have a screw, coupling nut or a ring at the end that holds it in place. Unscrew this, using a pair of pliers if necessary.

Pro tip: Place a towel beneath the opening of the pipe before you unscrew it. There’s bound to be minor water spillage once the tube is loosened, and the towel will help you avoid a damp mess.

7. Disconnecting The Drainage Pipe

The drainage pipe is what drains the dirty water out of the dishwasher after every cycle. The drainage pipe is mostly fastened to the main kitchen sink pipe that drains out the water. Remove the pipe, and use a wrench to loosen the ring or valve keeping it in place if you have to. Again, keep a towel or bucket handy to collect any residual water that may spill out.

Note: As soon as you remove a screw, ring or coupling nut, place it aside where it won’t get lost or misplaced. Label small ziploc baggies beforehand and immediately put them into these to make sure you have everything in place for when you have to reassemble it.

8. Disconnect The Dishwasher From The Cabinet

Due to being in-built, the dishwashers are usually secured to the underneath of the cabinet top. Open the dishwasher door and look for the bracket screws that are holding it in place. Grab your screwdriver to unscrew them and again, make sure you safely keep the screws aside.

9. Disconnect The Adjustable Feet

Most dishwashers are equipped with adjustable legs. These help to keep the dishwasher fixed at the ideal height, ensuring it fits just right into its cabinet. Lift up the front legs of the dishwasher with the help of a wrench. Wind the legs upwards. Now that the front is loose, have your moving assistant tilt the dishwasher forward. This is to ensure that its back end is raised slightly in the air. Now that you have the space, slide your arm in towards the back and loosen the back legs as well. You may have to lay down flat on the floor for best reach; another reason why having someone to help is a necessity.

10. Disconnecting The Water Supply Behind The Dishwasher

As earlier mentioned, some of you may find that the water supply valve is located behind the dishwasher, in a rather inaccessible way. This is the step where you can reach behind to turn it off. Grab your large cardboard sheet - an easy way to procure one is to just cut up an old box lying around. Any other material will do as long as it is stiff enough. The idea is to lay it on the floor and partially pull out the dishwasher.

The cardboard prevents the legs from damaging the floor or accidentally slipping. Remember not to pull it out too far or to yank it out too fast as it is still connected to the power socket and the water supply in the back! Reach behind and turn off the valve that supplies water.

11. Unplug Your Dishwasher

Feel around for the power socket once you’ve turned off the water supply. Unplug your dishwasher, and once this is done, you can head to the circuit board to turn on the circuit to the kitchen once more.

Patiently and carefully following these steps is the key to getting your dishwasher ready for the move.


How To Move A Dishwasher

Free of all the screws, plugs and pipes, your dishwasher can now be moved out of its space. Once again, you’re going to need someone’s assistance as this is not something that can be attempted alone. Read on to know just what goes into shimmying a dishwasher out of its comfy cabinet and readying it for a move.

1. Pull Out The Dishwasher Completely

Just like before, ready some cardboard sheets on the floor. Slowly pull the dishwasher out of the cabinet completely and onto the sheets. Your dishwasher should come out smoothly. If you feel resistance, immediately stop and check to see if one of the tubes is stuck or if you’ve missed unscrewing a set of bracket screws. Tugging on it will only damage your appliance. Watch out for any water that might have dripped out, and make sure those parts are completely dried once you’ve moved the dishwasher out.

2. Securing The Loose Parts

Great! Your dishwasher is out… and it has wires and tubes sticking out of it. It is important to firmly secure all of these to the dishwasher so that they aren’t in the way, or worse, get damaged in transit. An easy way to secure them is to bundle them up lightly and fasten it with a big enough length of bendy wire or twistees, or a firm rubber band. Tape the bundle up to the dishwasher. Do this with the water supply and drainage pipes, and the power cable.

Additionally, you need to remove any and all loose items from within the dishwasher. Take out all the trays and racks, check them once over for dirt or wear, and pack them up separately. Make sure you label the box in which they are packed, and ensure it is a box marked to go into the kitchen in your new house.

3. Wrapping The Dishwasher

Like any other item getting ready for a move, a dishwasher needs an adequate amount of cushioning to prevent it from getting damaged and damaging other things. First, grab some bubble wrap and wrap it around the entire dishwasher, twice over. This gives it a nice, secure cushion. Secure the bubble wrap with packing tape and wrap it up in sheets. The sheets provide the adequate layer of protection, absorbing any shocks and jolts from the move.

Avoid making the tape come in contact with the surface of your dishwasher. Alternatively, you can also use saran wrap. Avoid making the tape come in contact with the surface of your dishwasher. Just ensure your dishwasher has a cushion of protection that is at least a few inches in width. Avoid bulking it up with too many sheets or blankets as this will weigh it down and make it harder for you to transport it to the truck.

4. Using The Appliance Dolly To Move The Dishwasher

An appliance dolly is just the thing to help you load the dishwasher onto the moving truck. This dolly is L-shaped and has 2 wheels and handlebars for easy navigation. Appliance dollies can easily take weights upto 700 pounds. The best part about them is that they come with strong straps that are used to secure your appliances to the dolly before wheeling them off. As the name suggests, they are built to move heavy, bulky appliances like a fridge, dishwasher, or washing machine. They aren’t cheap, so look into renting one for the day.

First, turn the dishwasher around so its back is facing you and the dolly. This is the proper way to load appliances onto a dolly. Your moving partner will have to hold the dishwasher at a slight tilt facing themselves so you can position the ledge of the dolly underneath it. This ledge will help lift the dishwasher up so make sure it is as evenly placed as possible, and not oddly on one side. Push the dolly underneath and fasten the dishwasher to the dolly with the straps. Tighten the belt handle to ensure it is firmly secured.

5. Clear A Path

Make sure you have a clear path from the dolly to the door. Move aside any pieces of furniture that can block your way, tie up curtains so they don’t bother you, and clear the floor of any obstacles. Be very careful when navigating sharp corners and get your kids and pets out of the way before you move the dolly. You may also want to lay floor sliders so the wheels of the dolly don’t damage your floor.

6. Load The Dishwasher Into The Truck

You’ll need to make use of the truck’s loading ramp to wheel the dolly up into the truck and secure it there. If you’re lucky, the truck will have a liftgate - an automatic loading platform. Enquire about this before you finalize on a moving truck if you think you could do with the automated assistance.

7. Unloading The Dishwasher

Once the truck reaches your new place, you have the challenge of unloading and reconnecting your dishwasher. While reconnecting may not be too much of a struggle, unloading it and wheeling it into the kitchen may be a different scene. There’s a good chance you’ll have to wheel the dolly down or up a few steps when wheeling it into the house. You’ll have to roll the dolly down the stairs slowly, while someone holds the appliance in place so it won’t fall. Tilt it as low as you need to to ensure you don’t accidentally lose grip and have it topple in front, away from you. Likewise, have someone lift up the other end of the dolly for when you need to climb up steps.

You’re sure to need help getting it off the dolly and repositioning it, and the people who helped you out in your new home may not be able to be around to help you reset. It’s a good idea to get to know the neighbors so you can ask for some assistance unloading it. Alternatively, just hire labor for the day, as you’re bound to have tons of other things to unload and you could certainly do with the help.


Additional Tips For Moving A Dishwasher

  • Figuring out how to disconnect and reconnect the dishwasher is not the easiest puzzle to crack. A good way to remember which tube went where or what the corresponding valves and screws looked like is to create a picture reference. Take plenty of photos while disconnecting the dishwasher and save them into a file. That way, you have something to refer to when you’re reconnecting it.
  • When you’ve completely removed your dishwasher from the cabinet, take a close look at it and its other parts. If it seems like it has signs of wear and tear, reconsider your decision to move it. There’s a high chance it may suffer damage when moving, and it could just be financially better for you to purchase a new one at your new house than to move this and hunt for someone to repair it.
  • If you’re renting an appliance dolly, you might as well make the most use of it. Appliance dollies are sturdy and perfect for moving stacked boxes and other furniture pieces. Just ensure everything is firmly strapped on with the help of the belts.

Make sure you get everything in place for this task as delays on moving day will just stress you out. Or, simply rent the appliance dolly for an extra day or two and do it the day before. Moving a dishwasher sure is daunting, and if you’re reconsidering the DIY decision, make sure you have a look at the types of movers you could rope in for help.


See also: How to Pack Your Kitchen for Moving