The hose through which your dishwasher drains is obviously one of the most critical components of the unit, but it's also one of the more vulnerable. Fortunately, drain hose replacement is one of the easiest repair tasks out there!

How to Replace Your Dishwasher Drain Hose

The hose through which your dishwasher drains is obviously one of the most critical components of the unit, but it's also one of the more vulnerable. Why? Just look at one! Almost always made of corrugated plastic, these unimpressive tubes are no stranger to kinks, cracking, leaking and clogging. While you can sometimes clean out a clogged drain hose, a brittle or damaged one must be replaced. Fortunately, drain hose replacement is one of the easiest repair tasks out there!

Before you get started... Not every dishwasher is the same (though many do follow the same conventions regarding the drain hose), so be sure to consult your owner's manual or the manufacturer for specific instructions for replacing your dishwasher's drain hose; the following is intended as a general guide.

Tools & Supplies You'll Need:

  • Replacement Drain Hose
  • Channellock Pliers (aka Water Pump Pliers/Tongue & Groove Pliers - you may be able to use standard pliers)
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Nut Driver
  • Screw Driver
  • Drill (depending on sink cabinet material)
  • Bucket or Container (for dirty water)
  • Screw-On Pipe Strap (only needed if using "high loop" installation)
Step 1: You'll first need to cut off power to the dishwasher. Do this by either unplugging the unit, or cutting power at the relevant circuit breaker. If you're doing the latter, try turning on the machine afterward to guarantee the right breaker was flipped. Also cut off the water supply to the unit using either the stop valve on the line, or by shutting off water to the house entirely.
Step 2: Next, you'll want to disconnect the drain hose from the connection under the sink (this connection will be to either an air gap, or to the sink drain tailpiece). Here, you'll encounter either a stainless steel worm clamp, or a spring clip - to loosen the worm clamp, turn the screw or nut; to release a spring clip, pinch it with pliers (or fingers). A bucket or other container should be placed directly under the point of connection to collect any dirty water left in the drain hose.
Step 3: You'll then need to remove the kickplate or bottom access panel of the unit - these are usually secured by way of a couple of screws or bolts. Unless you're absolutely certain that the installer (or yourself) left enough slack in the power supply line to pull the machine all the way out from under the counter, your next move will be to disconnect the power supply by removing the twist-on wire connectors (“wire nuts”) found in the electrical junction box. This box is usually at the bottom front of the machine, accessible once the kickplate has been removed. Simply remove the cover of the junction box and twist the connectors to release the electrical wires.
Step 4: The water supply to the dishwasher should also be disconnected, unless you're certain there's enough slack to pull out the machine. Use your channellock pliers or a crescent wrench to turn the nut on the supply line.
Step 5: Your dishwasher is likely mounted to the underside of the counter, so you'll need to remove the brackets in order to pull the unit out and access the hose. The brackets are usually secured using a Phillips screw.
Step 6: Once you're able to pull the dishwasher out, it should be easy to locate the drain hose, which is connected to the dishwasher pump. They're usually secured with a worm clamp or spring clip - use a nut or screw driver to loosen worms; use pliers to open up a spring clip. Follow the hose to where it exits the dishwasher, and check for a nut or other mechanism securing the hose to the unit - not all dishwashers will have this, but if yours does you'll need to remove it in order to pull the hose out.
Step 7: After disconnecting the hose from the pump, you'll need to go under the sink to remove the hose from its connection there: either at the air gap, or on the sink drain piping. Pull the hose out from under the sink.
Step 8: You're now ready to install the new hose. Start at the pump connection on the dishwasher: be sure to fit the hose end completely over the outlet, and fully tighten the clamp or spring clip (usually included with the new hose) around it. If the hose is not well secured, you'll have a mess on your hands. Maneuver the hose through the exit hole in the dishwasher. If you had to remove a nut to release the hose from the side of the unit (as mentioned in step 6), now's the time to put it back on to secure the hose. Feed as much of the hose as you can through the hole leading to the sink, then push the dishwasher back under the counter.
Step 9: Gently pull the rest of the hose through the hole and into the sink cabinet. If you're required to use a “high loop” to prevent backflow, bring the hose up as high as you can go inside the cabinet (leaving no slack next to the dishwasher), and secure it at that point with a screw-on pipe strap. Chances are you'll be able to install the strap using a screwdriver and some elbow grease, but if the cabinet material proves too strong, you may want to use a drill.
Step 10: With the high loop secured, connect the hose to the air gap, garbage disposal, or sink tailpiece using your worm clamp or spring clip. Reconnect the wires in the electrical junction box on the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line if it was disconnected. Place the kickplate back onto the bottom of the unit. Turn the power and water back on to the machine, and you're ready to go!

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