Can You Put An Electrical Outlet Behind A Dishwasher?

A dishwasher is among the many appliances that use water and electricity to serve their purpose effectively.

When water gets in contact with electricity, it becomes hazardous.

Therefore, there is a need to ensure everything gets in the right place to prevent accidents whenever the dishwasher goes berserk.

But, Can You Put An Electrical Outlet Behind A Dishwasher?

The simple answer is NO! Building and electrical codes do not allow you to put an outlet behind the dishwasher. Instead, it should be positioned in the space adjacent to the dishwasher. If you put the receptacle behind a dishwasher, you will have to move the dishwasher before accessing the outlet.

Well, it can be very dangerous to move a dishwasher when it is still connected. Consider putting everything in the right space for safety matters in your kitchen.

This post will cover more dishwasher positioning and the electrical codes in regard to heights and position.

The Right Place To Install A Dishwasher Outlet

It is a common principle that electricity should be handled with care.

While keeping this in mind, remember that electrical safety is determined by many aspects, especially when water is mentioned in the same sentence as electricity.

Dishwasher outlets should be accessible. When you are able to see and access them, the chances of causing electrical accidents are limited.

Put it behind the sink or slightly above the cabinet space. Literally, the best place to put a dishwasher outlet is just adjacent to the equipment.

This makes it easy when the need for replacements arises in the future.

When you put the outlet behind the dishwasher, it means you will have the additional task of moving the dishwasher every time you want to use it.

After use, you will also have to move it so that you disconnect or switch off the socket. Moving a powered dishwasher is risky.

A dishwasher runs on 120-volt electricity. To hook up the dishwasher, first, hook the cold and hot water supply lines and connect them to the dishwasher.

The brass screw is usually for the hot water wire, while the silver screw is for the cold water wire. These wires are typically colored black and white.

The remaining green screw is usually for grounding. Connect all the wires to the outlet with a pigtail or permanently connect to the circuit wires.

If there is no extra outlet in your kitchen, you can plug the dishwasher directly into the garbage disposal outlet.

However, some codes dictate you have a dedicated outlet for your dishwasher.

This outlet should have a 15amp circuit breaker and be of about 120 to 125 volts.

For effectiveness and efficiency, always ensure the dishwasher is installed conveniently and its outlet is safe and accessible.

What Is The Best Dishwasher Outlet Height?

The perfect distance from the ground is suitable for putting a dishwasher outlet.

If you have countertops installed at a standard 36-inch height, you can set the outlets 2 to 3 inches above the countertop.

While most dishwashers are designed to be installed at the height of 36 above the floor, other taller dishwashers might not be suited for this height.

In such a scenario, you can adjust the height to avoid overstretching the power lines. Another reason to violate the 36-inch height is if your kitchen is small.

A dishwasher outlet height matters most, especially if you love having things placed just right where they are supposed to be and in the state, they should be in.

The height is all about symmetry and orderliness in your kitchen.

Another important reason for this height is for the efficiency and effective use of the dishwasher.

You don’t want to stretch up or bend too low when loading and unloading the dishwasher.

Make sure the dishwasher outlet is around your waist level so you can use it without straining your back by bending or stretching.

How To Add A Plug To A Dishwasher Outlet

Most modern dishwashers use a direct wire connection that connects directly to the terminal block on the dishwasher to the breaker box.

However, you can use the power outlets in your kitchen and forego the direct connection installation.

All you need is a pigtail electrical wire and a screwdriver.

Consider the following steps to add a plug to a dishwasher outlet.

1. Locate The Terminal Block

Find the terminal block cover at the back of the dishwasher.

This is easy to identify because you will see a warning sticker beside or on the block’s cover.

Use a screwdriver to remove all screws holding the cover in place and flip it to one side.

2. Slide The Cord

Slide the cord with wires protruding through a hole in the terminal block.

Afterwards, tighten the retaining screws on the clamp that is already secured on top of the hole.

This is very important as it helps hold the removed cord in the right place.

3. Loosen The Ground Screw

In most cases, this screw is green. If you can’t see a green screw, you can go for one that is not connected to any terminal.

It will obviously be the ground screw. This one is used mainly to secure the metallic housing of the terminal block in place.

4. Wrap All The Bare Ends

Start with the green wire, then the bare wire, and wrap it around with a screw. Ensure you completely tighten the screw in its right place.

5. Secure The Black Wires

The black cables are then secured together using a wire nut, and then tape the nut with electrical or regular tape.

If you find that the terminal block has some terminal screws, you can wrap the wires from their cord around the terminal screw labelled for power before you tighten the screw.

6. Secure The White Wires

Put all the white cables together and secure them with a wire nut before you tape them with electrical tape.

If your terminal block has terminal screws, wrap them from the cord to the terminal screws that are labelled neutral before you tighten its screws.

7. Return The Block Cover

Put the cover back on the terminal block and secure it with screws.

This way, you will have prepared your dishwasher for connecting to an outlet plug without necessarily putting it up permanently.

Three Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Dishwasher

These tips will help you use your dishwasher maximumly without straining the machine or yourself.

  1. If the dishwasher is low, use the simple hacks to raise it to the best height. For instance, putting a few pieces of wood under the legs will help raise the dishwasher.
  2. Put dishes in the dishwasher properly so that it cleans all of them effectively. For example, put the heavy items at the bottom and the lighter ones at the top racks.
  3. Regularly maintain your dishwasher to identify any arising problems before they get worse and more hazardous. Maintenance also helps ensure the dishwasher is clean and operating smoothly for several years.


Putting an outlet behind kitchen equipment and other items that use electricity is not always a good idea.

If you have just bought a dishwasher and are wondering where to install it, ensure you are not leaving the outlet behind this equipment.

The outlet should be at a point where it can be easily accessed without having to move the dishwasher.

Always ensure you install it correctly to avoid an electric shock and related accidents.