How to Move a Dishwasher: Tips for Packing and Transportation
“Washing dishes is my all-time favorite chore!” Said no one ever.
Let’s be honest, tackling a pile of dirty dishes and scrubbing pots do not rank high on the list of favorite things to do for most people. Even for the few who don’t mind it, it’s hard to argue that investing in a dishwasher is not a bad idea at all.
Not just because it saves you time and chapped hands. There’s that, but this important kitchen appliance also helps keep your water and energy bills in check (it wasn’t just a convenient excuse!).
Thing is, though, when it’s time to move house, we need to figure out how to move the dishwasher. Because as with many of the other larger appliances in our homes, moving a dishwasher is not as easy as yanking the cords from the power outlet, stashing the thing inside a moving box, and loading it onto a waiting truck.
What are the Main Difficulties in Transporting a Dishwasher?
By its very nature, a dishwasher will always present a challenge for anyone looking to move a dishwasher since like other large appliances in your home, it is not designed for moving around like a toaster or iron box.
In fact, a good deal of dishwashers in kitchens across the country are built-in.
Even for those that are stand-alone, a fair few come as part of the offerings in rental homes. This is why you’re probably wondering how to move a dishwasher as it’s not a very common appliance that people take with them when relocating – unless you either own the same or for one reason or the other, have decided that you don’t want to leave your dishwasher behind.
Moving a dishwasher takes some bit of skill as you need to have an idea of how to remove the drain pipe and water supply line, in addition to other stuff involved in the process such as how to pull out a dishwasher.
And then there is the muscle. A standard built-in dishwasher weighs between 150-180 pounds, so you will definitely need some help, professional or otherwise.
For these reasons, you find that the best way for moving a dishwasher is to hire professional residential movers who know a thing or two about these appliances.
But it’s not the only way.
You can still move the dishwasher by yourself if you so decide, but for that, you will need the necessary tools and equipment to do so, some packing materials, a few helpers, and of course, acquainting yourself with the necessary steps to follow when moving a dishwasher.
This is what this post is all about: to show you how to pull out a dishwasher and move it successfully.
What Equipment is Needed to Move a Dishwasher?
Before we walk you through the process of how to move a dishwasher, it’s worth emphasizing on the need to evaluate the practicability of moving a dishwasher.
If the house you’re moving to has a dishwashing machine installed, it makes little sense to duplicate what is a large kitchen appliance that not only takes effort, time, and money to move, but also an appliance that will eat up space in your new home.
If the dishwasher belongs to you and not the landlord, it’s worth considering putting it up for sale, especially if the cost and hassle of transporting it outweigh that of purchasing a new one after relocating – assuming the new crib isn’t equipped with one.
After all, you can top up the proceeds from the sale and invest in a new dishwashing machine. Or even channel them towards your moving budget!
That out of the way, let’s proceed to outline the tools and supplies you need to move a dishwasher.
Here is a complete list of everything you need to gather for moving a dishwasher:
- adjustable wrench;
- cable ties for wrapping the cords;
- small plastic bag for holding the nuts and screws;
- packing tape;
- rope or twine;
- moving blankets;
- thick cardboard sheets to protect the flooring;
- appliance dolly;
- optional: packing paper and cardboard boxes for packing racks and trays, and loading ramp for pushing the dishwasher up the truck.
How to Move a Dishwasher to a New Home?
With your tools, materials, and helpers at the ready, it’s time to pack and transport your dishwasher to your new home.
Below are the steps involved in moving a dishwasher safely:
Remove all utensils from the dishwasher.
The very first step you need to take before moving a dishwasher is to ensure there are no utensils inside.
Your dishwasher should be completely empty before packing it as transporting it with kitchenware will likely end in tears.
Clean your dishwashing machine.
Cleaning is a prerequisite step when packing things for moving, and the dishwasher is not exempt. Cleaning helps avert mildew or bacteria growth which wet items such as the dishwasher are particularly a magnet for.
So, once you’ve emptied your dishwasher, run the machine through a regular clean-up using hot water to get rid of any food particles that might be lodged inside.
It’s important to transport a dishwasher dry, so if you have a day or two, let it sit for a few hours for the interior to dry completely. If not, you can make do with a soft cloth or kitchen towels to speed up the process.
Cut off the power and water supplies.
It is best practice to disconnect electrical appliances from their power source before you begin work on them, so turn off the power from the outlet before anything else. If the power cable goes into the wall instead of connecting to a socket directly, you need to turn off the power supply from the circuit breaker compartment.
As well, the water supply line should not be active when disconnecting your dishwasher, so go right ahead and shut off the tap that directly supplies your unit with water (most are often located beneath the kitchen sink).
Detach the appliance from the cabinet.
The majority of dishwashers are embedded into the kitchen countertop or cabinet, so you will need to unscrew the machine first before you can shift it.
If you’re not sure how to pull out a dishwasher, you might want to look for the screws holding the unit in place inside the appliance – right about where the machine adjoins the cabinet.
Proceed to remove the screws using a screwdriver and throw them inside a plastic baggie for safe keeping.
Loosen the dishwasher’s feet.
A lot of dishwashing machines are fitted with adjustable feet designed to keep the unit level with the floor and prevent it from shifting about during use. Therefore, before you pull out the dishwasher from its location, you need to first remove the front two feet so you don’t damage your floors.
Grab your wrench and go on and loosen the feet, starting with the front pair before moving to the back feet. To get to the rear feet, have one of your helpers incline the unit forward by grabbing it at the top.
Then lie on the floor such that you can access the rear feet, from which point you can then start unscrewing. As long as they are off the ground, you can easily unscrew the feet by hand without the need for a wrench.
Partially free your dishwasher from its fixed location.
For this step, you need to know how to pull out a dishwasher from the kitchen countertop or cabinet. It doesn’t take any magic to execute, but you want to be cautious to avoid any damage to the twin water supply lines or power cord.
Something else you don’t want suffering damage is your floor, so slide your cardboard sheets underneath before you start removing the unit.
You will need assistance here, so together with your helper, pull out the dishwasher from the cabinet slowly. At this point, you only need to pull out the appliance HALFWAY since you have to disconnect the three supply lines at the back first.
Disconnect the power supply.
Now that you have enough space between the back of the appliance and the wall for you to work with, go ahead and disconnect the power cable from the power source.
Once done, use cable ties to wrap the power cord neatly before taping it to the back of the unit.
Disconnect the two water lines.
All dishwashers are fitted with a pair of water lines: the water supply tube and the drain pipe. You need to disconnect both before you start packing your dishwashing machine.
To remove the water feed line, locate a nut that screws it in place first, then unscrew and detach. Have an empty container ready to hold any water that could be trapped inside the tube.
With the water feed tube out, it’s time to move to the drain line. This line is hooked to the sink’s main waste water drain pipe, so follow the line from the appliance to the sink and free it by undoing the clamp that’s holding it in place. There might be water trapped inside the pipe, so again, have your container on hand to avoid creating a mess.
Pull out the dishwasher in its entirety.
With the three lines now disconnected, continue to tug the dishwasher completely out of its nesting spot under the cabinet with the help of your assistant(s).
The cardboard sheets should still be underneath to protect the flooring.
Remove and pack the individual dishwasher components.
With your dishwasher now freed from its semi-permanent location, it’s time to remove its components. This step is necessary because transporting a dishwasher as-is can damage the interior since the inside components are bound to move around during transport.
Thus, detach the trays, racks, and baskets from your machine, and use packing paper to wrap them before placing them in the cardboard boxes you’ve set aside for holding these items.
This literally means extra boxes to move, but the risk of moving the unit in its entirety may not be worth it.
Use moving blankets to wrap your dishwasher.
The next step when moving a dishwasher is to wrap it in thick moving blankets. Blankets act as a cushion to protect the appliance during transport. If you don’t have spare moving blankets, grab plenty of bubble wrap when shopping for your packing supplies.
To prevent the blankets from unraveling, use a rope or twine to hold them in place.
Load your dishwasher onto the dolly.
With all the prep work now done, place the dishwashing machine on top of the moving dolly with the help of your assistant. To keep the appliance from toppling, use rope or straps to secure it on top of the dolly.
Then wheel the dishwashing machine to the waiting truck when it’s time to load your household possessions – or a smaller vehicle if you’re only moving a single item.
Load the appliance on the vehicle.
The final step is to load the dishwasher into the waiting vehicle. Unless you want to use pure brawn to lift the dishwasher into the vehicle, a loading ramp could prove handy at this point, although it works best if the vehicle in question is a van or truck.
Either way, you will need some help here as it’s not feasible to lift the dishwasher alone since the dishwasher in question here is the integrated kind which can weigh quite a bit.
And that’s the complete process of moving a dishwasher.
When loading the appliance onto the vehicle, place it in a standing position and make sure to secure it with rope or straps so it doesn’t move around during transit.
Once you arrive at your new place, confirm whether the dishwasher works properly after you are done unpacking. If you follow the above-prescribed packing steps, it should hum on without any hiccups.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does a dishwasher weigh?
A dishwasher is neither the smallest nor the heaviest appliance in the household, although the weight will often depend on the model and type.
Most countertop dishwashers weigh anywhere between 35 and 100 lbs., but standard built-in models tend to come in at 150-180 lbs. on average.
Can you transport a dishwasher on its side?
The best way to transport a dishwasher is in a vertical position. Unless you’re moving the appliance in your car (preferably on the backseat) and/or transporting a dishwasher only a short distance away, it’s always best to keep the dishwasher in a standing position.
Some dishwashing machines can be transported on their side without much risk of damage, but if your model comes with internal compressors or refrigerant, placing it on the side during transport can damage it.
If you still have the user manual with you, it can serve as a good guide on how best to move the dishwasher, but if in doubt, always have it in an upright position.
How to drain a dishwasher for moving?
Before moving a dishwasher, it’s good to drain all standing water inside the appliance. Start by cutting off the power supply. Next, place towels or rags on the floor around the front.
Take out the dishes from the machine if any, then empty the stagnant water manually using a container to transfer this water into a bucket.
Alternatively, for faster and more effective draining, use a wet or dry vacuum.
How to pull out a dishwasher?
Pulling out a dishwasher for moving needs at least two pairs of hands. Assuming you’ve switched off the power supply, start by unscrewing the dishwasher from where it’s connected to the kitchen cabinet.
Once that is done, the appliance should now be movable as it is these screws that hold it in place. Before you start pulling it out, though, loosen the feet first, starting with the front pair before moving to the rear feet.