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Is it that hard to install a dishwasher and a OTR microwave ?

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  • Jul 17th, 2011 12:03 pm
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Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
30 upvotes

Is it that hard to install a dishwasher and a OTR microwave ?

I mean looked up a few videos online and it does not seem that complicated, but don't want to screw things up.

So here's the scenario ....

I bought a condo and the kitchen has white appliances. I want to swap them for stainless. The OTR and dishwasher is already installed. I just need to uninstall and install.

Seems like a standard unplug and plug new appliances in. Mind you I don't want to screw anything up .....

However, I was quoted $170 to install the OTR and $190 to install the dishwasher, which appears pretty outrages to me since the wire, pipes and brackets are already in place and its just a simple swap.

Anyone with experience doing this on their own ? Any feedback ?

Thanks :)
17 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2114 posts
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Dishwasher should be no problem, as the water and drain lines are pretty standard I believe (only have experience installing 3 myself, but all 3 used the same fittings).

Microwave may be an issue though, as it'll depend on whether the mount points are in the same place. But even in the worst case where you have to replace the wall and cabinet mounts, it's not a difficult job at all. Just have a spare set of hands around to help with the lifting/holding.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
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GSRee wrote:
Jul 12th, 2011 9:57 pm
Dishwasher should be no problem, as the water and drain lines are pretty standard I believe (only have experience installing 3 myself, but all 3 used the same fittings).

Microwave may be an issue though, as it'll depend on whether the mount points are in the same place. But even in the worst case where you have to replace the wall and cabinet mounts, it's not a difficult job at all. Just have a spare set of hands around to help with the lifting/holding.

Thanks buddy. That's what I was thinking ....

Dishwasher ... I just need to unplug the fuse in the fusebox, shut off the water valve, disconnect water and drain (which are both tapped off the sink) and reconnect to new dishwasher.

Worst case scenario for the microwave, I need to install the new brackets if the new microwave uses a different bracket system.

Just wanted some confirmation from those who have done it.

:D
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
5745 posts
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Dishwasher should be easy if the connections are the same and of course as long as the new machine fits OK into the existing opening. I had to install my dishwasher from scratch, running all the wiring and plumbing and then figuring everything out and that was a b*tch since I had never done a dishwasher before and the instructions that came with it left a lot to be desired :mad:

Don't forget to carefully check the condition of all the hoses.
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Aug 5, 2003
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R8247 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2011 10:04 pm
Thanks buddy. That's what I was thinking ....

Dishwasher ... I just need to unplug the fuse in the fusebox, shut off the water valve, disconnect water and drain (which are both tapped off the sink) and reconnect to new dishwasher.

Worst case scenario for the microwave, I need to install the new brackets if the new microwave uses a different bracket system.

Sounds just about right, I did the same last year - but was going from a range hood to an over the range microwave so it was a bit more work to shorten the cabinet (and replace the d/w shutoff - but in a newer installation you shouldn't have to).
Be careful shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart they repeatedly sell expired baby/food/health products.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
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cliff wrote:
Jul 13th, 2011 8:18 am
Sounds just about right, I did the same last year - but was going from a range hood to an over the range microwave so it was a bit more work to shorten the cabinet (and replace the d/w shutoff - but in a newer installation you shouldn't have to).

Ya it's a 4 year old building so I assume all is dandy. The original owner was probably too cheap to upgrade to stainless or the builder was charging a fortune. I just don't like the look of white appliances ... Makes kitchen look cheap.
Member
May 17, 2006
453 posts
24 upvotes
R8247 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2011 9:28 pm
...

However, I was quoted $170 to install the OTR and $190 to install the dishwasher, which appears pretty outrages to me since the wire, pipes and brackets are already in place and its just a simple swap.

Anyone with experience doing this on their own ? Any feedback ?

Thanks :)

Having done both of these several times, I'd probably jump on both of those quotes. Really only a couple hours quoted for each install. The OTR is the more labour intensive of the two...helpful to have two people lifting and one making sure the plug goes through the hole, vent lines up. I've done this 3 times, and never have I had the stupid template line up perfectly the mounting holes. I'm sure with lots of experience (I hope), the quoting installer knows all the tricks.

Dishwasher is a little easier, if it's just a straight swap, but getting the water line lined up correctly and connecting the electrical leads can be a little tricky.

In the end, both are fairly straight forward if you have some DIY experience. Patience is the key here. Good luck.
Jr. Member
Jan 26, 2006
184 posts
20 upvotes
Both are pretty straightforward and shouldn't present any issues, especially since it doesn't sound like any mods to existing water or wiring is needed.

Are the new units that you want to swap in the same brand/manufacturer as the old ones? If not then you may have more to fiddle with than you think as nobody does things the same way it seems. I changed range hoods and the old one had the electrical connection on the left side of the hood and the new one on the right - had to find wire and fish it to the other side and add a couple of cutouts to the cabinets. No biggie, just not a straight swap as I had expected it to be. I expect the same is true of mounting of OTR or for DW connections - there is no standard so mounting for OTR or electrical and water locations will probably be different if you are using a different brand.

Only other comment is that I see you mentioned you are in a condo. My understanding is if something is done wrong and causes problems (say you don't tighten down on water supply to DW and it decides to let go one night after seeming OK when you push the unit back under the counter, or one of the electrical marrettes fall off and you arc to the OTR housing and get a little fire going) then it is on you for repairs to the building and units you flood out below etc. If you pay a properly insured tradesman to do it then you point the insurance and condo folks in their direction and wash your hands of it.

IMHO risk is low to really low, but nobody else has mentioned it yet. A private residence - it impacts you alone. A condo, it impacts the building and folks below and beside you.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
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Good point. The condo came with GE appliance. I might keep the OTR microwave the same to avoid fiddling around with different brackets and leveling.

Dishwasher I'm not too concerned about, as almost all the brands I saw in the store had the same configuration. Power on the right, water intake on the left and the drain I can cut reconfigure with ease.



FrostedGlass wrote:
Jul 13th, 2011 1:02 pm
Both are pretty straightforward and shouldn't present any issues, especially since it doesn't sound like any mods to existing water or wiring is needed.

Are the new units that you want to swap in the same brand/manufacturer as the old ones? If not then you may have more to fiddle with than you think as nobody does things the same way it seems. I changed range hoods and the old one had the electrical connection on the left side of the hood and the new one on the right - had to find wire and fish it to the other side and add a couple of cutouts to the cabinets. No biggie, just not a straight swap as I had expected it to be. I expect the same is true of mounting of OTR or for DW connections - there is no standard so mounting for OTR or electrical and water locations will probably be different if you are using a different brand.

Only other comment is that I see you mentioned you are in a condo. My understanding is if something is done wrong and causes problems (say you don't tighten down on water supply to DW and it decides to let go one night after seeming OK when you push the unit back under the counter, or one of the electrical marrettes fall off and you arc to the OTR housing and get a little fire going) then it is on you for repairs to the building and units you flood out below etc. If you pay a properly insured tradesman to do it then you point the insurance and condo folks in their direction and wash your hands of it.

IMHO risk is low to really low, but nobody else has mentioned it yet. A private residence - it impacts you alone. A condo, it impacts the building and folks below and beside you.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7158 posts
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make sure you put teflon tape on the water line, its not a compression fit.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2004
3470 posts
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Toronto
Dishwasher isn't hard, just follow the instructions, or watch a couple of youtube videos.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
30 upvotes
i loving it guys. keep the comments coming ...

I promise to post pictures of my hack job once its done. LOL
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Oct 12, 2007
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Not all dishwashers have the same installation - our Miele last year was very different than the 10 y.o. Bosch it replaced which, in itself, was pretty similar to the 10 y.o. GE that it replaced. As to whether the installation amounts you have been quoted are good value, well that depends on the price you put on your spare time - I value mine at $50 and consider $100 per (hard-wired or plumbed) appliance to be a bargain. Above that, it would depend on how eager I was to do the job.
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2006
618 posts
33 upvotes
FrostedGlass wrote:
Jul 13th, 2011 1:02 pm
Are the new units that you want to swap in the same brand/manufacturer as the old ones?
Definitely stick to the same brand on the OTR.

When you're getting quotes remember you're asking the person doing the job to take all the risk so they have to factor this into their price. If you want to take the risk then ask them for an hourly rate. Trades people need to make a living just like you, they have bills to pay etc etc. This quote sounds reasonable to me. They're going to need to take lots of precautions to avoid scratching your countertop or your floor etc etc.

Did you factor in removing and disposing of the old appliances (or can you sell them on craigslist perhaps?).
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2007
504 posts
30 upvotes
Ok guys so I went into the appliance shop that does repaires, installs and what not ....

and apparently it is mad easy to replace the OTR microwave in newer condos ...

the guys even gave me a demo since they use the exact same install method in their showroom as they would do for customers.

There are 2 bolts that hold the microwave in up in place to the top of the cabinate. Once the bolts are unfastened, the microwave will tilt downwards.

From there, you simply lift up and unhook from the bracket from behind the microwave, and unplug the power.

Since I'm sticking to the same brand, I don't even need to replace the bracket.

I'm going to stick to GE for the microwave and dishwasher to make things easier.

I just don't like the look of GE ranges and fridges.

In other somewhat un related news, I can't believe how cheap consumer appliances are these days :D I budgeted like $6 - $7k.

So far it looks like I'm going to come in at half my estimate taxes in.

Will post pics when complete in Sept .... unless something goes terribly wrong. LOL
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