Replacing a Dishwasher – Part 2

So now we’re continuing on from the first part of this adventure of replacing our dishwasher (part 1 is here).

dishwasher fitting to our supply lineThe next thing we are going to do is we are going to connect our dishwasher fitting to our supply line. Dishwashers come with two different styles of a fitting. One is 3/8ths IPS by 3/8ths compression, the other one is three quarter hose thread by three eights compression. And this is becoming more and more popular – the three quarter hose, in fact this dishwasher takes it and it did not come with it.

So make sure you check the instructions or ask where you purchase your dishwasher, if you need a fitting, because in some cases you are going to have to pick one up. So what I am going to do is I am just going to take this fitting, I am going to use a pair of pliers and a channel lock to hold the fitting and I am just going to snug this down first and then I am going to, actually, a little tip, take a little tape and tape down your supply line, your discharge hose and your electrical supply and then you’ll be able to slide the dishwasher right over the top of all three.

I just pushed the dishwasher back in place and we are going to connect all of the replacement parts. Now we are going to take a level, so we are going to adjust our front legs. And I like these just inexpensive plastic levels with a magnet on it and it just makes it very easy to do jobs like this. So now we’ll just take our feet and we’ll bring it up to its plumb, just like that and then we’ll set the level on the top.

dishwasher installNow I am going to take the water supply, I am going to take this three quarter inch hose thread and I am going to connect this to the water inlet on the bottom. You want to hand tighten this and snug it down and then you are going to use a pliers and do a quarter inch a time until it snugs up. You definitely don’t want to over tighten this and make sure you hand thread it first, so you don’t cross thread it.

Next step, you are going to connect your hose and our just has a push fit fitting, so depending on the manufacturer, it’s going to be a little different. But this one just snaps into our rubber gasket. For this dishwasher, it uses a hose clamp to hold that hose in place and i really like this channel lock hose clamp pliers and you can see this little indentations are designed to snap into this and grab it and hold it in place. So if you want a specialty tool, this channel lock do a nice job for this type of repair.

In the Tucson area we have flexible metal conduit and we don’t have a ground that metal conduit is going to be grounded all the way back.We are going to twist our black wire to the black wire, the white to the white and then put our cover back on. If you are using non metallic cable, you are going to want to make sure you are going to put the ground bare wire to the grounding screw inside the box.

Everything is connected underneath, I am just going to drill a couple of pilot holes and connect these brackets to the bottom of the counter top. The last thing, you’ll just put your access panel on the bottom, you’ll turn on the water and then turn on the electric. And those are the steps to replace a dishwasher.

Replacing a Dishwasher

Replacing a Dishwasher 3We’ll go through the steps on how to replace a dishwasher. So if you have an old existing one, the first thing you want to do is look at the water supply and in this case we have solid copper and I am just going to change that to a flexible stainless steel supply line. It’s going to make it much easier to move back and forth. And take a look at your discharge pipe and the hose, see how it is connected, in case you need any of the parts at the hardware store.

The first thing we are going to do is remove the bottom panel of your old dishwasher and we are going to test it with a tester, just to make sure we have the electric off. I like these non contact testers because you don’t have to open the box and take a chance in touching live wires. So we’ll go down, we’ll turn off the breaker, we’ll find which one operates that and then we’ll go to the next step.

I found the breaker that operates the electric for this and I doubled checked it, there’s no electric on, so I removed the cover to the box on the old dishwasher and it exposes the hot, the black wire and the neutral wire. We are using flexible metal conduit, which is grounded, and highly recommended by the expert appliance guys at

So you’re either going to have no ground, if you are using BX like this and it goes all the way back to the service panel and it is grounded or you will have ground wire that’s going to be tied to this metal box. Inside, what I am going to do, there is a nut that holds this strain relief and that flexible metal conduit to this electrical box. So I am just using a regular screwdriver and I am going to hit that nut and unscrew this.

Replacing a Dishwasher 2This will pull our electric away and I am going to use a small pan, put it inside here and using a small adjustable wrench, I shut off the water going to the dishwasher, then I am going to loosen the nut on that supply. So I disconnected the water supply and now I am going to disconnect the hose. Under the dishwasher, I just raised these feet a little bit, if you have a different height in your tile or wood, it’s nice to pull this up a little bit because the next step we’re going to loosen the screws or any brackets that hold the top of the dishwasher in place.

So now on this one, it just has two screws, so we’ll just unscrew them and that will allow us to bring the whole unit out. Once you have the top bracket or screws loose, you can just pull the whole unit out. I have the new supply line connected and I connected it to the valve. What you are going to want to do is take a bucket, open that valve and bleed out in case there is any debris or anything built up and let that run for a few seconds, until it runs clear, shut it back off and then you will be able to connect this to the new dishwasher.

The next thing we want to do is connect the discharge hose to either a garbage disposal, if you have one, or we are connecting it this time to a slip joint with a hose barrel by it. So we are going to connect it to this and then we are going to use a clamp to clamp it in place and make sure you are read your instructions. Different models are different, this one wants to be about 20 inches high with this loop.

So we have a cold cut into the top of the cabinet, which will set it at the correct height. Now that we have the new dishwasher, we pull off the bottom panel, so it exposes everything to us and now they have a chart for the back legs. Before we slide this into the opening, we are going to measure the distance between the floor and the bottom of the counter top and we are going to adjust this.

There’re going to have a few different settings for the back legs. We want to set that first because when we slide it in, we are going to level it by adjusting the front legs. Every dishwasher is going to be a little bit different. This one has a bracket that we are going to insert into a little slot here and then we are going to use a pair of pliers and we are going to bend these tabs up and we are going to lock it in place. This is going to allow us to screw it up into the bottom of the counter top.

This was getting a bit long for a single post, so we’ll continue on with more here in the second half… here.

Painting Trim Around Windows – Tips

painting trim around windowsPainting trim around windows and floor mouldings can be challenging, but not if you have a trim guard (which is also called an edger). This is a must-have tool to make the job easy.

To use a trim guard hold on to the handle and press the metal blade of the gard against the surface you want to shield from the fresh paint.  For example, when painting a window, you can prevent paint from getting on the glass by holding the trim guard against the vertical and horizontal dividers.

To paint the dividers, use a one and a half inch sash brush and begin at the center the window working your way out toward an edge. Don’t drag your brush back across the edge because the corner will scrape off some paint and cause a drip or run.

When you’re painting the molding, press the train guard against the carpeting or the floor surface. One trick to help use this tool effectively is too frequently wipe both its edges to clean of any paint, otherwise you leave telltale paint smears as you go.

Designing a Kitchen Island

As I design the island for our kitchen the first step that I’m going to do is lay out our cabinet boxes, insert the fixtures and appliances, and then I’m going to move on and create this specialty shape countertop that’s raised above the cabinet by 6”.

Let’s close this rendering that I’ve completed already. In our floor plan view I want to select our base cabinet and I’m going to place a base cabinet that will begin as our sink, I’m going to rotate that front around and if I double click on this cabinet I actually want to set the width to be 39” for the sink base, then on the front let’s go ahead and remove that drawer by clicking delete. Now I’ve got a 39” cabinet that we can use for the sink base.

Chief Architect stovetopWith this cabinet I want that centered on the cook range that we got from our friends at Appliance Masters ( so again use the center tool in the lower left hand corner, select our cook range and now that’s centered. I also want that to be approximately 74” from that cook range, so I’ll go ahead and enter that dimension right in there.

Another base cabinet that we’ll use for a dishwasher we’ll place here, and finally let’s go in to our library here and I’ve already got a microwave cabinet that I’ve added in to my library. Let’s go ahead and place that, again you can group select these items and add them in to your library.

If you’ve added a specialty cabinet or group selected a cabinet with a fixture or lighting you can add that in. In the library let’s also open up our dishwasher, let’s click on this cabinet and insert that in to the cabinet and a sink. Scroll down and find our sink and these are just my favorites again that I’ve added in to my folder, you can easily add these or you can go out and search for another custom sink, appliance or use manufacturer specific elements.

Another base cabinet that we’ll put off to the side I want to make this a 21” and I also want to make this a pullout for a recycling center. I’m going to select this drawer here and press delete, I may even convert that, you can see the opening indicator and I want that to be a pullout so let’s set that to be a pullout drawer.

One more cabinet that will actually make a corner cabinet, stretch that out to be 36” and to convert that in to a corner cabinet I’m going to double click on it. First thing is I’m going to delete the drawer out of it and then for specialty type choose corner. With this corner cabinet I want to create a slight curvature to it, so I’m going to set a concave dimension of -3”. You see the preview updated, select okay and it looks like I’m going to have to rotate that around now.

One more cabinet off to the side, let’s go ahead and bump that in to place. On this cabinet I want it to be a bank of drawers so let’s go in add new, choose a drawer, give it a dimension and this bottom door we’ll convert in to a drawer. Now I have my bank of cabinets and the appliances and fixtures in for the island, the next step will be to create the stand off island.

Completing a Kitchen Design Plan Using Computer Software

Today we’re happy to continue on our series of articles chronicling our our journey through the wonderful world of computer aided design as we put together our new kitchen. We’ve been living in the same home for many years now, and while we love it, after visiting a few friends who had much newer, more modern homes, the kitchens in particular, really made us start dreaming of doing some serious upgrades. The problem was, at first we didn’t know where to start. And then, once we were shown a few options by some of our friends and professional acquaintances, we were overwhelmed with the options, and were scared into non-action for fear of ending up with something we didn’t really like. That’s why we were so happy when they introduced us to the option of using CAD like Cheif Architect to try out a variety of options before committing to any permanent changes. And the beauty o fit is, it didn’t take us very long to get comfortable with the process and really start having fun with it.

Chief Architect softwareFor example, you can also open up individual arch’s and specify the radius if you’d like as well. You can move these elements like this, and again if you want to create the different shapes just simply come in here and you can create that shape that you’re after. Smooth that out just a little bit and while it may not be exact, let’s go ahead and convert this using the convert tool down here in the lower left.

Chief Architect softwareConvert it to a countertop and again we’ll specify the height at 42” and the thickness at 3”, take a 3D overview and then we’ll change the material to the same orange material that we have. Let’s go ahead and use our material eyedropper, select that and apply that color. That’s how you go through and create that style of cabinet countertop, let me close this 3D view down.

The next step is I’m going to go ahead and delete that countertop that isn’t quite perfect, and we’ll move in the other countertop that has the exact dimensions and I’m just going to use a point to point move, and we’ll just snap that over here.

The next step to support this countertop is to use standoffs. A standoff is another CAD tool that we’ll use, and I’m just going to create a cylinder. Let’s go ahead and open up this cylinder and I want the radius to be 1.5 or 3” in diameter, and also to have a height of 3”, and finally the Z value which is floor to bottom we’ll set that to 36”.

Let’s go ahead and position that approximately where we want, and finally I’m going to use a multiple copy. I’m going to set that to be every 16” and we’ll create a copy of that standoff, and one more set the other way using the multiple copy tool and I’ve got my standoffs.

Let’s go back to our 3D view here and see if we can zoom in, with the remove surface tool we can simply remove the surface on that and you can see those standoffs. If I want to use our material eyedropper we’ll grab the stainless off of the faucet, make sure that it’s in room mode and I’ll apply that to all of our standoffs so they’re all now a stainless material. Add the countertop surface back and now we have our supported custom countertop.