Residential Dishwasher

We recently installed a residential range, and to complete our RV kitchen renovations, decided to add a dishwasher. There was an existing counter near the entry door, with a pullout canned food cupboard below, and a pullout cupboard for the trash bin. The canned food storage was somewhat limited and inconvenient to access, so we relocated it to a floor-level cupboard previously used for storage of cleaners. The trash bin was relocated under the sink.

The installation area, after removal of the canned storage and trash door
The available space for the new dishwasher under the counter was not quite deep enough; we had only 20 inches from the cabinet face to the back wall. We wanted to use a full-size 24 inch-wide residential dishwasher, which is over 24 inches deep, so I decided to cut into the 1 1/2 inch back partition wall, which separated the kitchen from the bathroom and cargo bay. By removing the kitchen side of the double-sided partition, I was able to increase the available depth to 21 1/2 inches. I decided to fabricate a wood surround, using oak, which would project 3 inches from the cabinet face, and accommodate the extra couple of inches required for the dishwasher door. The height was fine, because the counter was designed with a standard 34 inches from the floor to the underside.

Hot water connection
We decided on a Maytag dishwasher in stainless steel finish to match the refrigerator and range. The model we purchased has a stainless steel tub, and a low noise rating of 50 DBA. It was on sale at Lowes for 40% off MSRP. While waiting for delivery, I prepared the plumbing and electrical services for the new unit. This was relatively easy, because the basement utility area is on the other side of the wall behind the dishwasher location. I installed a tee in the existing PEX hot water line, using Sharkbite fittings, and added a shutoff valve and 3/8 inch copper tubing through the wall. The wastewater hose was connected to a new 45 degree wye which I installed in the existing downpipe to the bathroom grey water tank. The electrical connection was wired directly to the distribution panel located in the end of the cabinet.

Sharkbite fitting - an easy way to connect to PEX water piping

The plumbing and electrical work was completed, and the following week the new dishwasher was delivered to our site by Lowes. The delivery personnel carried it inside and placed it on the kitchen floor. The rest was now up to me.

Connection to the grey tank
I pushed the new unit into position, and found that I needed to remove the plastic wheels from the rear, to gain an additional 1/2 inch to allow the dishwasher to fit under the counter. I secured the unit to the cabinet on each side using the alternative anchoring method described in the installation manual, through the sides of the dishwasher behind the door, by removing two plastic plugs. I fabricated two steel angle brackets to secure the base to the plywood floor, which will prevent any possibility of movement when under way.

I connected the hot water, wastewater, and electrical underneath the unit, and installed the recessed kick panel. I found that the existing mood lighting under the cabinet kick panel could be reinstalled, which was an added bonus.

The last part of the install was to fabricate the custom oak surround frame. I purchased an 8 foot length of 3/4 x 3 1/2 oak lumber, and made the cuts using my new compact power saw, which I purchased to facilitate these cabinet modifications. The saw was purchased from Amazon for less than $60, and with a 4 1/2 inch carbide blade, is ideally suited for this type of work.
I had to cut a 1/2 inch deep rabbet groove in the top piece, to accommodate the curved edge of the counter top. This new saw, and a wood chisel, made a good job of this. After sanding and staining to match the existing cabinetry, the custom surround looks like part of the rig.

The job completed, I powered on the new appliance, and ran a cycle to check for leaks and functionality. We were immediately impressed by how quiet the machine is. It is barely audible in the living room.

Finished installation
Hot water usage of the unit is about 4.5 gallons for a normal cycle. The newer dishwashers are extremely efficient with water and electricity consumption. Our 12 gallon water heater will easily handle it. For the few times we are not connected to a sewer, the 40 gallon bathroom grey holding tank will allow use of the dishwasher, because 4.5 gallons of hot water in = 4.5 gallons of wastewater out.

The weight of the dishwasher is 80 lbs. I removed 35 lbs of cabinetry during the install, resulting in a net weight gain of 45 lbs. As mentioned previously, I will weigh the rig during our eastbound journey in April, to ensure that the GVWR of 16,000 lbs is not exceeded.

Dishwashing, by mutual agreement, has traditionally been a chore carried out by the talented Navigator. Now that we have an ingenious electromechanical contraption to perform this menial work, she will be able to concentrate on more cerebral pursuits, such as listening to her extensive music collection.


  1. Such a great job David. I love all my new appliances...makes such a difference now.

    1. If it makes The Navigator happy, then I'm happy!