How To Plumb-in and Install a Table Top Dishwasher

As a reviewer of a selection of table top dishwashers, we often receive emails from visitors to our site asking how they can install (or get installed) a dishwasher that sits on their countertop?

It’s true that homeowners who don’t have space under their counter for a full-sized dishwasher might choose to get a countertop version. A compact dishwasher is also useful for people who rent a flat or house and don’t want to buy and get a full-size model installed. Full-size dishwashers are not portable and the plumbing is a pain to get done, making a countertop or table top dishwasher a better option.

But how are they installed on the counter or table top? This is what this article is all about. We hope you find it useful.

Not Every Model is Installed the Same Way

There are some consistencies in how a table top dishwasher is installed but also some exceptions or variations too.

For instance, some dishwashers for a counter will come with the inlet hose and drain hose complete with fittings to attach them the sink’s tap or nozzle. With some brands, it’ll be necessary to purchase some of those ¾-inch fittings separately.

The good news though is by being methodical and prepared, virtually anyone can install a table top dishwasher on their own.

That’s even truer if they only wish to set it up temporarily because they know they’ll be relocating to a new rental at a later date and don’t wish it to be semi-permanently plumbed in.

Installation Positions for a Table Top Dishwasher

As the name suggests, smaller dishwashers for the countertop or table top are expected to be installed on the kitchen counter. However, there are more options than just that.

Small Dishwashers For Small Homes And Spaces: Hero Image Countertop DishwasherMagic Chef
The Magic Chef table top dishwasher placed on the kitchen countertop.

Bear in mind that you want the dishwasher to be easily accessible. So it can be at or near foot level like with a full-sized model. That way, you can open its door and slide out the tray or trays easily to access them. Being at or near waist height makes that process much easier on the waist and back though!

From the requirements perspective, a table top dishwasher must be accessible to a power supply, a freshwater supply to deliver H2O as needed through the inlet hose and have a place to feed the waste hose out to. To run the machine, freshwater comes in and periodically some of it is expelled, so the setup must be suitable for this ongoing requirement for several hours (depending on the washer cycle time).

Can a Table Top Dishwasher Be Installed Inside a Kitchen Cabinet?

The short answer is yes.

Now, remember, you’ll still need a way to access the power socket and to feed water to the dishwasher through the inlet hose and to funnel dirty water out through the waste hose too.

Therefore, any installation inside a kitchen cabinet must factor in how the electrical cable and both hoses will enter/exit the cabinet itself.

Will the kitchen cabinet’s door be left permanently open (or removed) to facilitate access? Could you drill several holes into the side of the cabinet to let the hoses feed through?

Also, consider at what height the dishwasher’s door will open and the tray gets pulled out? If it’s installed in a cabinet that’s too high to be practical, then the kitchen cabinet installation might not be desirable! In which case, simply placing the dishwasher on the countertop or table top as it was designed to do is going to be best.

Semi-permanent Plumbing vs. Temporary Installation Setup?

Regardless of whether you choose to purchase a countertop dishwasher or a freestanding one to sit next to the washer/dryer, there’s the question of plumbing.

Should it be semi-permanent or a temporary setup?

Semi-permanent plumbing

When we refer to semi-permanent plumbing, it’s helpful to talk about a washer/dryer as a comparison.

With a washer/dryer, this needs water coming in and exiting as wastewater. Given that the unit is usually fixed in one place, semi-permanent plumbing is set up to provide a fixed water feed specifically to that unit in the home. And, also, somewhere for the wastewater to exit the washer/dryer and be transferred outside the property, eventually reaching to the drainage system.

A similar setup can be plumbed in to install a table top dishwasher too. This would mean not using a sink’s tap as a water supply area or using one side of a sink as a place for the waste hose to go either.

For homeowners wanting the convenience of a dishwasher but not feeling the need for a larger model, there’s still a good argument for getting one fully plumbed in. It means there’s no need to access the sink area at all (which temporary installations almost always do). They can just turn the machine on, set the cycle, add a detergent tablet inside and then leave it to do its thing.

With a temporary installation, it’s quite different. We cover this next…

Temporary plumbing installation

A temporary plumbing installation varies a little depending on the equipment.

Using the example of a popular model, the Klarstein Amazonia 6 Dishwasher, the safety supply hose is stored at the rear of the unit. This is removed and then one end is used via a ¾-inch connection to the sink’s tap. Sometimes, it’s necessary to remove the tap’s aerator (the bit at the end where the water comes out) and replace it with a compatible one that matches the ¾-inch connection.

If you don’t have something suitable already, taking the inlet hose down to a local DIY shop, they can help to select an aerator to replace the current one. Then the inlet hose can fit onto the sink’s tap whenever you like and disconnected just as quickly too.

Should water leaks occur, you can use a suitably sized rubber O-ring to seal everything up securely.

Once the water inlet hose can be connected/disconnected to the sink’s tap, then the other end is connected at the back of the dishwasher.

For the waste hose with temporary installations, this is usually positioned over the left sink (on a double or dual sink) let to let wastewater flow into the sink during operations. The hose can be removed from the sink once the dishwashing cycle has completed.

In terms of portability, there’s no special plumbing required to fit and use a table top dishwasher. Yes, the aerator on the sink’s tap may need to be changed to make it compatible with the usual ¾-inch connector to hook up the inlet hose to the water supply. However, these are easy to purchase online or at a local shop should that be needed. The dishwasher isn’t that heavy and both the inlet and waste hoses pack away when relocating.

There’s no need for a plumber to be called or to make the dishwasher a semi-permanent installation if you don’t wish. That’s the beauty of owning a table top dishwasher in the first place.

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