Converting a Portable Dishwasher into a Permenant Fixture
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Converting a Portable Dishwasher into a Permenant Fixture

Converting a portable dishwasher to permenant. Remodeling your older kitchen with a portable dishwasher.

So you have bought a cute, older home that has a huge kitchen with plenty of room for opportunity, but no dishwasher.  After a trip to your local hardware or appliance store you quickly discovered the nice brand new portable dishwashers that look just like the built-ins.  You purchase one and hook it up.  I'm sure you have been using it for months now and have discovered how even though it is nice and new it still looks a bit tacky because you can see the pipes that need to be hooked up every time you want to do the dishes and isn't a dishwasher supposed to be a convenience?  Well, you can install it under your counter and turn it into a real dishwasher.

When you purchase an in-counter dishwasher the shell is missing.  Your portable dishwasher is identical to an in-counter dishwasher except for its shell and a weight, usually a large brick, in the rear to balance it from falling forward when the door is opened.  It is as simple as hard wiring electrical, which should always be done by a licensed electrician, to hard line your water pipes.  If you don't have experience with plumbing you may want to hire a handy man to hook up your water under the sink.

To begin; choose a place in your kitchen close to the water supply, and fairly close to your sink.  There may be pre-existing cabinets that you may need to remove from under your counter top to make room.  In some cases you may be able to extend a portion of your existing counter top to prevent removing needed cabinet space. Make sure to measure before you begin the cabinet removal.  If the cabinets are smaller than the dishwasher width you will end up with no cabinets and an empty, ugly hole.  If the space you are removing the cabinets from is larger than the dishwasher you will be able to pick up some pieces of wood that match your cabinets that you can stain, down at the hardware store.  You can glue or use finishing nails to hold these trim boards in place. 

If you are lucky there will already be an electrical outlet under the sink to plug the dishwasher in, but if not, have Mr. Handyman put one in for you while he is visiting, and if you don't already have a garbage disposal you will be able to add one in the future without needing more electrical work.  Make sure he installs the outlet with the GFCI for protection around water.  Connect the water lines and if you have a garbage disposal; add a back flow filter to prevent dirty water from re-entering the clean dishes that is caused from the garbage disposal being plugged.  Once you have the dishwasher in place there is a built in bracket that you will be able to screw into the counter top to secure the unit.  To finish it off ad side and floor trim.  You can now make a test run and check for leaks.  If there are no leaks and it is draining properly you may load your dishwasher and stand back to admire your beautiful built-in dishwasher.

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