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I’ve been running into more and more smart appliances lately. I bought a smart coffee machine for my kitchen. I have a whole suite of smart devices that run my living room. I even have a smart refrigerator. But with my dishwasher, I’ve been a little stuck. I didn’t know if a smart dishwasher could be hardwired. So I did some research. Here’s what I found out.
A smart dishwasher needs to be hardwired. Since there is frequently no receptacle under the sink, you cannot utilize the plug-in approach. According to the National Electrical Code, all dishwashers’ outlets need to be accessible for the dishwasher to be hardwired.
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A dishwasher does not function the same way as plug-in appliances such as television, sound systems, and more. It requires one to hardwire it by linking it to the home’s plumbing system. The process is pretty easy, and you can even do the installation yourself.
Usually, when installing the dishwasher, it requires one to carry out a couple steps to be successful and enable the dishwasher to function well.
The first step will be connecting it to a hot water outlet from an outlet at the kitchen sink. The second step should be securing it to the drain that helps in emptying the dishwasher to a sink drain tailpiece, and one needs an electrical connection which in this case can either be a plug-in connection or a hardwired connection.
If you connect the dishwasher using the hardwired method, you will be making a permanent connection on the terminals of the dishwasher to the wires on the wall. The dishwasher’s circuit wires which will be connecting are usually in the space where the dishwasher will fit.
For most of these dishwashers, the installation process occurs maybe while building the home by using the house’s electrical framework, or it may also be possible afterward as long as there are wires left for this process.
A hardwired dishwasher may also mean that it comes with an electrical cable embedded in it, requiring some physical connection to the household wiring. The electrical cord is usually inside a metal sheath, and it is the one that links the electrical boxes on the wall.
Once there is the proper connection of the wires, one should clamp each of the links so that the cables remain intact if you want to move the dishwasher.
Most times, the clamps make it impossible to alter the space or the position that the dishwasher occupies, and if you do, there will be up to a certain distance that the wires will allow you to cover.
This connection method works well, just like the plug-in method, and it eliminates the need to have another receptacle, especially if the space you need is small. Remember, by hardwiring a dishwasher, you will be making a permanent fixture, and unplugging it may never be an option after installation.
Most household items will require you to plug them into sockets for connection, while others need to be hardwired.
In most homes, during the building process, they will build in some of these appliances to their respective link through the hardwiring process where you connect the cables of the dishwasher to the household cables. However, some dishwashers that are not in-built will also come with wires that will accommodate such a connection.
To identify a hardwired dishwasher, then one needs to check the wires and the option of connection that comes with it. If your dishwasher lacks the plug-in option, then it must be hardwired. Usually, the space where the removal of the dishwasher should take place will have a receptacle that can either be code compliant or not.
If the receptacle is not code-compliant, then the dishwasher is most likely hardwired. Typically, a hardwired dishwasher will have circuit cables in the space where you need to put it.
Most dishwashers also come with a manual that should show you the type of connection that it requires, but in most cases, the decision to use the hardwired method or cord-and-plug link lies on the installer or basically what you feel like doing.
Also, the National Electrical Code requires that all openings be accessible, so it is easy for you to know when to use the hardwired method. If wiring is a problem for you, you can opt to get an electrical appliance installer to do it for you. But it can also be accessible by checking the wiring disposal of your household to know what to connect where.
Having a dishwasher leaves you with two options for connecting it, either using a plug or making a permanent connection with the circuit wires on the wall. Both methods are viable, and each comes with advantages and disadvantages.
The hardwiring process is more common in built-in dishwashers, and most dishwashers nowadays require to be hardwired.
There is no issue in hardwiring the dishwasher. This process is safer than using plugs and cords for connecting. When using the hardwiring method, you will find that the power box is below and above the space in which you will keep the dishwasher.
So, the safety part comes in when you make a permanent connection between the dishwasher and the ground terminal of the power line. When using the plug, the resistance of the electrical connection increases. Moreover, the power connections tend to wear out quickly, which may not be safe for use.
Hardwiring the dishwasher is great, and the main advantage of having it is that you need not have an extra receptacle. But still, the main challenge comes when you need to move the dishwasher or fix an issue. You may only be able to move it just a little bit further or not move it at all since the wires may not allow it.
A plug is a bit more flexible and easy to disconnect the dishwasher from if it needs repairs. Also, moving the dishwasher is pretty easy when using a cord. However, it may require you to disconnect the wires with the hardwired connection, which is not easy and may require an expert in case the dishwasher malfunctions.
Still, generally, the hardwiring link will give you a more long-term solution to your dishwasher connection.
If the dishwasher you have has a wall plug, but according to your house cables, it requires a hardwired connection, you can modify it to fit the codes. Usually, dishwashers have a high voltage of close to 120 volts; therefore, connecting it directly to the circuits is safer.
However, depending on the type of house, it may not have codes that allow you to hardwire the machine, so it is vital to check the place before converting it.
When converting, start by shutting off the power from the main switch, then open the junction box that contains the spliced connection, which directs to the house wiring. The junction box is usually on the lower console of the dishwasher, and to open it, you need to swing the door to one side. Once it is open, you can remove the wire nuts so that you expose the wires.
Then cut the bare copper ground wire and cover it with a wire nut. If you do not cut it, attach it to the screw terminal in the box, then twist the nut so that the end opens to remove the copper wire. Once you do this, cut the ends of the cables.
You should then peel the cover of half an inch of the insulation of the black and white wires. Then attach the ends of these wires to the matching colors on the cord by twisting them together, then cover the wires with nuts. Next, connect the copper wire with the green wire on the power plug and protect the connection with a wire nut.
Finally, you should wrap electrical tape on the wires connection and make another wrap all around the three wires together. Ensure that you wrap up to an inch of the cable from the dishwasher and the plug cable. By doing this, the conversion is complete, and you can now use your dishwasher.
A dishwasher can be hardwired, and it is easy to convert it to hardwired if it is not. However, you need to ensure that the codes in the house support the process. The hardwiring process is better than using the plug-in method and guarantees you more safety.