How to Move a Dishwasher

We get it.

Moving standard household items like dressers, desks, and sofas is hard enough.

Now throw in kitchen appliances like a dishwasher or refrigerator, and things get even more tricky.

Moving them to your new home is rarely as easy as unplugging the power cord and water lines and carrying them onto the moving truck.

In short, winging it and hoping for the best on move day can lead to delays, injuries, added expenses, and damage to your home and dishwasher.Before we get started, let’s go over the options:

  • Hire professionals: Overwhelmed by the idea of moving your dishwasher? Check out one of the movers on our best interstate movers list to hire professionals to handle it for you.
  • Get a free quote: Want to find out if you can afford to hire a moving company in the first place? Our moving cost calculator can help.
  • Moving it yourself: If you’ve decided to move the dishwasher yourself, follow these steps before tackling that intimidating silverware eating monster.

Consider Your Options

Take Your Dishwasher With You (or Leave it Behind)

In the past, homeowners usually left dishwashers in their old homes when moving.

These days many families opt for high-dollar appliances like washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers, and they often move them to their new homes.

Just remember, if you choose to take some or all of your appliances, you’ll need to note it on the sales contract.

Work With Professionals

From power cords and fuse boxes to water lines and hardware brackets, preparing a dishwasher for a move can be a daunting and dangerous task.

For homeowners who aren’t particularly handy, leave this job to professionals like plumbers, electricians, and service technicians like the Maytag repairman.

For these reasons, if you’re hiring a professional moving company, it’s a good idea to let them schedule these services for you, both at your old and new homes.

Just remember, though they’ll gladly move appliances, they won’t disconnect or reconnect them, so they’ll contract these services out to a 3rd party company.

You can also –

  • Have technicians from the store where you purchased the dishwasher do it
  • Contract a local plumber or electrician
  • Ask your local utility company if they’ll do it for you
  • Hire a professional moving company and ask if they move appliances

Did You Know?

Check your policy carefully if you have a relatively new dishwasher that’s still under warranty – some manufacturers and retailers require dishwashers to be serviced by certified professional technicians.

Prepare and Move Your Dishwasher Yourself (DIY)

1. Measure Access in Your New Home

Nothing is more of a hassle than going through the trouble of disconnecting and moving a dishwasher only to find that it won’t fit in your new home.

Before lifting a finger, measure the hallways, doors, stairs, and kitchen counter space in your new home to make sure it’ll fit.

Access usually isn’t an issue, but if you’re moving an oversized machine into an older house built when kitchens, hallways, and stairways were much smaller, it may be.

2. Shut Off the Power Supply

When dealing with large appliances, the first thing you should do is shut off the primary power source at the fuse box or circuit breaker.

It may seem like overkill, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 20% of in-home electrocutions happen when homeowners disconnect and reconnect appliances.

If you have a plug-in unit and easy access to the power cord, this may not be necessary, but turning off the power is vital if your dishwasher is hardwired into your home.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

3. Disconnect Hardware and Unplug the Power Cable

Many dishwashers are fastened to floors, kitchen cabinets, and walls to ensure they don’t move while in use.

To disconnect the power cord, water, and drain line (drain pipe), you’ll need to tip the dishwasher forward or slide it away from the wall, both of which require it to move freely.

You’ll be able to access screws and brackets from the inside of the unit itself. You can also find them in adjacent cabinets and behind the kickplate at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Removing this hardware usually only requires a standard or Phillips head screwdriver.

Once the hardware is free, put it in a sandwich bag, label it clearly, and put it somewhere (like in your pocket) where it won’t get lost – you’ll need it at your new home.

Now, tip the dishwasher forward and have a helper unplug the power cord.

If it’s still unreachable, you’ll need to slide the dishwasher away from the wall, but first put a moving blanket or an old towel under the front legs to avoid scraping or gouging the floor.

If the unit is hardwired into the wall, locate the junction box and either remove it or unscrew and remove the individual wires connected to it.

Again, make sure the appropriate circuit breaker is in the OFF position first.

Did You Know?

Disconnecting your dishwasher a few days before your move date and leaving it in a well-ventilated area will help excess water evaporate.

4. Disconnect Water and Drain Lines

The line that sends water from your home’s plumbing to the dishwasher may be under your kitchen sink or behind the dishwasher itself.

Start by getting a small bucket and a few old rags (or paper towels) ready to mop up any water that spills out.

Next, find the main water supply valve and turn the handle to the OFF position.

Place the bucket and rags under your work area, then unscrew the fitting connected to the back of the dishwasher.

They contain either heavy-duty plastic or metal – if it’s the latter, you may need pliers or an adjustable wrench to get it loose.

Now disconnect the drain line (drain hose) that carries dirty wastewater away after it has run through a cleaning cycle.

Like the inbound water supply line, you can usually find this hose under your kitchen sink, but it may empty into an open plumbing receptacle in the wall.

Insider’s Tip

Cleaning your dishwasher’s filter is a great way to make sure it’s in tip-top shape when you get to your new home, and it’ll prevent odors and insect infestation if you’re moving long-distance.

5. Pull the Dishwasher All the Way Out

Though you may have already slid your dishwasher partially away from the wall to disconnect the power and water lines, now you’ll need to move it the rest of the way out.

But don’t rush – it’s this stage where kitchen countertop, cabinet, and floor damage are most likely to occur if you don’t take proper precautions.

Again, tip the dishwasher backward as far as it’ll safely go and push an unfolded moving pad underneath, spreading it out as much as possible.

Then tip the dishwasher forward and pull the excess out the back end (you may need to use a broom handle) until the unit is resting entirely on the pad.

Now, gently pull the pad forward until the dishwasher is in an accessible location in the middle of the kitchen, lifting gently if you encounter uneven areas between flooring and subflooring along the way.

6. Pad and Protect Your Dishwasher for Transport

Pad the walls and doorways to prevent damage to the dishwasher. It’s best to pad it before carrying or dollying it onto the truck.

However, if you’ll be carrying it, pads can make it hard to get a good grip which is especially dangerous when going up and down stairs and on walk boards.

If so, you’re better off padding it once it’s on the truck.

If you’re using an appliance dolly or hand truck, secure loose hoses or wires with tape or plastic zip ties, then cover the dishwasher with pads and secure them in place with mover’s rubber bands or packing tape.

7. Get the Dishwasher onto the Truck

Now that the dishwasher has adequately padding, slip the dolly’s metal lip under the right or left side (never the front or back), and cinch it against the frame snugly with the nylon strap and built-in ratchet.

If it doesn’t have one, you can secure it to the dolly with a few layers of stretch wrap, twine, or rope.

Even with a dolly, it’s always wise to have a helper to guide you around corners, up and downstairs, and walk boards, and to make sure there are no obstructions in your path.

Remember, dollies go up and downstairs – don’t get cute and build a ramp out of scrap wood.

Insider’s Tip

When moving a large appliance up and down stairs or a walk board, the person holding the dolly’s handles should always be on the high side above the helper.

8. Transport it Safely

If you’re relocating the contents of an entire home or apartment, build a wide tier with other appliances like your washer, dryer, and refrigerator since they’re all about the same width.

Excess water may leak out during transit, so place a few old towels behind the dishwasher. Don’t load them next to items that could sustain permanent water damage like upholstered furniture, boxes of important documents, photo albums, and electronics.

Strap your appliance tier off with at least two logistics straps, or if you’re moving the dishwasher, keep it on the dolly and strap them both against the truck’s wall or bulkhead.

Did You Know?

Never lay an appliance like a dishwasher on its back or side in the truck – always keep them in the upright position.

9. Move In and Set up

Moving in and reconnecting your dishwasher in your new home is just a matter of following the previous steps in reverse.

Again, be extra careful with flooring, cabinetry, and countertops when sliding your dishwasher into place, and turn off the power before plugging it in or connecting the wires.

If your items are going into storage, put a sock filled with clean kitty litter or coffee grounds inside to absorb odors, and leave the dishwasher door open to facilitate airflow.

If after reading this, you’re nervous about the idea of moving your dishwasher, we highly recommend choosing one of the moving companies on our list of the top interstate movers.

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