How to Wire a Dishwasher to a Power Switch


Sometimes dishwashers wire into an external power switch. The power switch, a single-throw single-pole switch, usually mounts in an electrical box under the kitchen sink. The switch cuts off the electricity to the dishwasher during emergency situations, like when the door's gasket fails and water floods the kitchen. Most dishwashers wire into a 20-amp circuit, and the switches should also have a 20-amp rating; standard wall switches have a 15-amp rating. The number stamped into the dishwasher's circuit breaker indicates the circuit's amperage rating.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire insulation strippers
  • Wire nut
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Turn off the dishwasher's circuit breaker. The appropriate circuit breaker often has a "Dishwasher" or "Kitchen Special" identification tag.

  • Remove 3/8-inch of the insulation on the wires in the dishwasher power switch's electrical box with a wire-insulation stripper. The power switch's electrical box contains six wires: four insulated and two without insulation.

  • Twist the ends of the two wires with white insulation together. Screw a wire nut over the wire's bare ends. Push the wires to the back of the power switch's electrical box.

  • Wrap both wires without insulation around the power switch's green screw. Snug the screw against the wires with a flat-head screwdriver. The green screw twists into the switch's mounting bracket.

  • Bend the stripped ends of the black wires into a hook with a pair of pliers. Make the center of the hook in the center of the stripped end. This ensures the wires' insulation will not interfere with the switch's terminal screws.

  • Slip one of the black wires' hooks around one of the switch's terminal screws, then tighten the screw with the flat-head screwdriver. In this situation the wires and the terminal screws are interchangeable.

  • Slide the other black wire's hook around the remaining switch's terminal screw. Tighten the screw with the flat-head screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Installing an exterior-grade switch cover can extend the switch's life expectancy.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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