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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Dishwasher?

While the domestic dishwasher was invented in the 1920s, dishwashers did not start appearing in upper-class homes until 30 years later. By the time the 1970s came, dishwashers were in the majority of homes in the United States. Dishwashers now come in a variety of style options from almost every major home appliance brand. The major discrepancy in average costs of purchasing a dishwasher is ultimately determined by the quality and features found on the dishwasher.

The Costs

  • Minimum cost = $250
  • Maximum cost = $800

In addition to purchasing the actual dishwasher, there are going to be several small costs for installation and materials. Installing a dishwasher is not a major job, but it does require some knowledge of electricity and plumbing. If there is nobody in the home comfortable installing the dishwasher, then a handyman can complete the job in less than two hours. The average labor cost for a professional dishwasher installation is $150. Several small costs for materials will also be incurred during the installation process, but these costs should not exceed $50.


The main materials used to manufacture a dishwasher are:

  • Steel
  • Plastic
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Insulation

The front door and outer frame of most dishwashers are composed of steel. This makes the dishwasher visually appealing as well as durable. The front door of the dishwasher can be painted to match a kitchen's decor. Dishwashers are generally black or white, or the stainless steel is left bare. The inner components of a dishwasher are generally made of durable plastic. The plastic used can withstand blasts of hot water and chemicals during the cleaning process.

The other components of a dishwasher can be made using several different types of materials. Most motors found in dishwashers are made using copper, but they can also be made with aluminum or any other metal. Copper is also commonly used to manufacture the solenoids and transformers found in a dishwasher. Most dishwasher nozzles are made of brass to prevent clogging. In addition to the front door and outer frame, stainless steel is used to create the spray arm and heating element found in a dishwasher. An insulation blanket is used to muzzle the noise created by the dishwasher. Fiberglass is the most common material used in the insulation blanket, but it can also be made of cloth or foam. The exact materials used to construct a dishwasher are ultimately determined by the brand and type of dishwasher.


Built-in and portable are the two types of dishwashers that are currently available to purchase from most retailers. Built-in dishwashers are the most common and they need to be installed into the waterline next to the kitchen sink in every home. Because most built-in dishwashers are large and come with several high-end cleaning features, they can handle the cleaning needs of a family. Portable dishwashers are usually placed on the counter, and they have to be filled with water before each use. Portable dishwashers are much smaller and can only handle a few dishes, so they are not ideal for many households.


Because most homes in the United States have a dishwasher, several different manufacturers produce a variety of brands. Nearly every major home appliance company has its own line of dishwashers. Each brand of dishwasher comes with its own design and unique features, which are the main factors in determining the price of the item. Some of the most popular brands of dishwashers are:

  • Bosch
  • Maytag
  • KitchenAid
  • LG
  • Frigidaire
  • GE
  • Whirlpool
  • Samsung

Advantages of Dishwashers

The biggest advantage of using a dishwasher is the convenience. Using a dishwasher to clean the dishes takes far less time than washing each item by hand. The convenience and time-saving qualities of a dishwasher are the main reasons the machines became so popular. Scrubbing down each individual dish becomes an extreme chore compared to just placing it in a dishwasher.

While most people do not realize this, dishwashers are also much more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand. Individuals use too much water and soap when washing their dishes by hand. Dishwashers have been proven to save about 5,000 gallons of water each year and up to $40 on utility bills. This equates to a savings of over $400 during the average life of dishwasher. Because this easily falls within the average price range of purchasing a dishwasher, it is possible to break even on a dishwasher at the end of its life cycle.

Disadvantages of Dishwashers

The main disadvantage of dishwashers is the overall large size. If someone has a small kitchen, they may not be able to fit a built-in dishwasher. This is usually only a problem on older homes and small apartments. Because dishwashers have become so popular, any home built in the last 50 years should have ample space to install a dishwasher.

Because the perceived higher energy cost of dishwashers is not true, the only other major disadvantage is the possible damage to the dishes. If the dishwasher is not properly used, then some of the dishes inside can potentially become damaged. Taking the time to properly read the dishwasher manual should eliminate any chance of ruining the utensils, plates and glassware. Using the right type and amount of cleaning solution is important for reducing the risk of damage and maximizing cleanliness.

The potential risk of having the dishwasher fail may also be conceived as a disadvantage. A high repair bill may be incurred if the dishwasher happens to malfunction during its life cycle, and this potentially high cost is nonexistent when washing dishes by hand.

Last updated on May 24, 2016

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