Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fitting a Dishwasher Where None Exists


I came across your site, and while I'm very interested in a kitchen redesign, I have a quick question for the immediate time-frame...

I live in a 1939 home in Oakland, with shallow-depth counters, no d/w or garbage disposal. Plumbing and electrical are all original, so most if not all would need to be upgraded when it comes time to upgrade properly. I work FT, and have 3 kids under the age of 5. Needless to say, I could use a little convenience in my life.

Until that big dream kitchen project becomes a reality, I was wondering if you were aware of any shallow depth dishwashers that could be installed under my ~21.5" counters. I can happily sacrifice some existing cabinetry adjacent to the sink, but have not been able to find any suitable appliances via an online search thus far. Width is not a problem, but depth is, since I don't want to replace the counters and cabinets to accommodate the traditional depth appliance.

I would imagine this is not an unusual request with all the older homes in the Bay Area. Any words of wisdom to share?



Thanks for your question Natalie.

I don't know of any dishwasher that would fit flush in a 21.5" deep opening.

European dishwashers are all about 22-7/16 or 22-3/8" deep.

That shouldn't stop you though IF you can make a space 23-5/8" wide in your cabinets for a European dishwasher next to your sink.

I have seen lots of dishwashers installed over the years that were deeper than the cabinets. Usually with a bit of moulding at each side to make the installation look better (It won't look great, but we're after function here).

You'll also need electrical behind the new dishwasher or under the sink (I always specify the outlet under the sink so it can easily be unplugged in an emergency.

And you'll have to install a dishwasher air gap on the sink or counter to prevent dirty water from a drain clog going into the dishwasher (this is code).

UPC 807.4:

No domestic dishwashing machine shall be connected directly to a drainage system or food waste disposer without the use of an approved dishwasher airgap fitting on the discharge side of the dishwashing machine. Listed airgaps shall be installed with the flood level marking at or above the flood level of the sink or drainboard, whichever is higher.

If you decide to buy a Miele (the best in my opinion), you'll be able to use it in your new kitchen too. Mine is going on 18 years old and still going strong and quiet as a mouse.

Good luck in getting your much-deserved dishwasher Natalie.