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Thread: I want to convert a built in dishwasher to be portable

  1. #1

    Default I want to convert a built in dishwasher to be portable

    I have a brand new built in dishwasher that I won't be able to install permanently in this house. (We're selling the house before the end of the year, my clothes washer is already hooked into the plumbing under the kitchen sink, I don't have room for a 220 line in my electric box.)
    I'd like to convert it to a portable one. I have a portable hose hookup from the clothes washer (I'm assumming that it's a pretty generic item and that I can use this same hose for the dishwasher?).
    What I really need to know about is the wiring. Can I just buy a cord and plug (similar to the way you do with a stove) and connect it? Will that work?
    Thanks for the help,
    BTW, I'm pretty handy around the house. I grew up fixing things with my grandpa.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    At least in the US, neither dishwashers nor washing machines are typically 220VAC. I suppose if you had a commercial unit, it could be. Code usually wants the DW on a separate circuit...same with the washing machine. The DWand the WM need a drain. Most sinks are set up with a 1.25 or 1.5" drain line...WM require a 2" and an air gap into the drain line. The DW would at least need to be anchored somehow, otherwise it would tip over when you slide the baskets out to put in or take out the contents. Yes it would work if you attached a cord, but it wouldn't be right. Please rethink what you are trying to do.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default Dw

    You will have to build an enclosure for the dishwasher. And if by portable you mean you want to roll it away between uses, then it will also need castors under it. Whatever you do, it will probably not be a pretty installation, but it is doable. Your "pigtail" for the electric would plug into the receptacle you use for the washing machine.

  4. #4
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vancouver, BC


    Sounds to me like you should return the dishwasher, and actually purchase a properly cased portable one. Way less dodgey.

    Your laundry is tied into your kitchen sink drainage?!? Alarm bells are currently sounding...

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    A DW normally just slides in under a counter. You could build a box with castors that would house the DW, plug it in to any 120 volt outlet, and drain it with a hose into the sink, but not tied into the sink drain. You would need to tap into a hot water line with a flexible hose, so your portability would be limited by the length of hose. This would be at best a Mickey Mouse arrangement, but it would work. I agree with a previous suggestion to sell this and get a real portable or wash the dishes by hand. It's still legal by most codes to do this When you move into your new home, buy a DW for that house. I also have serious concerns about your clothes washer drain for several reasons. A modern washer dumps a huge volume of water very quickly and requires a 2" drain (trapped). It also requires an air gap which is why it can not be connected solidly to a 1-1/2" sink drain as you describe. DWs and clothes washers are always 120 volt but on separate circuits. In reality, you can get by with the DW plugged into a 20 amp circuit as long as that circuit was not heavily used when the DW was operating. Electric clothes dryers are 220 volt, gas dryers require only 120 volt.


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