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Why Don’t Dishwashers Come with Power Cords?

If you’ve just bought a dishwasher, you may be wondering why its power cord is missing. Is it a packaging mishap? It’s not. Most dishwashers do not come with one and there is a good reason behind it as you will soon find out.

Forming the right questions is a crucial part of purchasing appliances but you shouldn’t beat yourself up for assuming that your dishwasher would come with a power cord just like other appliances. Here’s why it is like so.

Reasons Why Dishwashers Come Without Power Cords

The reason why your dishwasher doesn’t have a power cord is that most of them are hardwired. That means they directly connect to the circuit. You see, dishwashers are quite different from other appliances. They consume a lot of power and because of that, they can easily cause electrical faults. Hardwiring mitigates that.

Since the power cord is not detachable, it cannot be replaced if it breaks or becomes damaged. Therefore, if your dishwasher needs to be repaired or replaced, you will need to hire an electrician who has the proper tools and training to do so.

Do All Dishwashers Have to Be Hardwired?

No. Not all dishwashers are hardwired.

Dishwashers can be either hardwired or not. The main difference between the two lies in whether you have to run an electrical cord from the outlet to the dishwasher or if it has its own power source. If your dishwasher has its own power source and there is no need for an electrical cord, then it’s a cordless model. If your dishwasher does not have its own power source, then it is a hardwired model.

If you have an older dishwasher that was installed before current building codes came into effect, it may have been installed with a power cord and outlet. The good news is that most states do not even require these appliances to come with power cords.

However, in some states, your dishwasher needs to have a drain and supply hose outlet. These are typically found at the back of the appliance rather than inside it. That makes it hard to access them unless you detach the door.

What Happens when Dishwashers don’t have Power Cords?

When a dishwasher comes without a power cord, the circuit is completed by plugging into the outlet and turning on the power. This allows for quick and easy installation without any additional tools or hardware.

However, you will not be able to move the dishwasher further than its wires allow. This can be frustrating if you don’t like where your dishwasher is placed.

Dishwashers With Cord and Plug

The fact that most dishwashers do not come with a power cord does not mean that you do not have options. There are cord and plug dishwashers that operate just as their name suggests. You can use them anywhere even without a specific electrical outlet.

These models are not as powerful as their hardwired counterparts though because they have a low voltage capacity.

Can You Add a Cord to a Dishwasher?

Yes, it’s possible to add a cord to a dishwasher, and here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Start by switching off your power supply. Then, you want to locate the circuit breaker on your dishwasher and turn it off as well. 
  2. Look under your dishwasher to identify the appliance’s junction box. This is where you will need to enter electrical wires. Use the right tools to remove the cover of this box.
  3. Once the box is open, you should see a hole secured with a bolt and screw as well as white and black wires.
  4. Use the strain relief that comes with the cord to protect and insert the wires.
  5. Join the white wire from the dishwasher with the white wire from the power cord. Simply twist the ends together and do the same with the black wires.
  6. To ensure that the wires can conduct electricity, you need to put a wire cap on each pair of wires.
  7. Fasten the grounding wire that has a small metal loop to the hole in the junction box. 
  8. Place all wires in the junction box with the screws tightly secured.
  9. At this point, the power cord is ready so you can plug it in.

What Type of Power Cord to Use for a Dishwasher?

A power cord is a cable that connects the power outlet to a dishwasher. It’s usually about 3 feet long, but the exact length of your cord depends on the type of power outlet you have and where your dishwasher is located. If you have an extension cord, it will be about 10 feet long.

The most common type of power cord is a round cord with three prongs at one end and two prongs at the other end. This type of cord works with both 120V and 240V outlets, which can be found in most homes. The round cords are typically white or black in color, depending on their manufacturer.

You need 1200 watts and 60 amps to control the current flowing to your dishwasher since it is a large appliance. As for the wire gauge, a 12 gauge will work best.

What Power Supply to Use for a Dishwasher?

If you have a dishwasher, it’s important to be sure that you know what power supply you need to connect it to your home’s electrical system. If you don’t, then your dishwasher could be damaged or could cause an electrical fire in your house.

Most dishwashers will use 1,200 to 2,400 watts but you want to use newer models since they are more energy-efficient.

Is it Possible to Use an Extension Cord for Your Dishwasher?

Yes, you can but it is not recommended. Why? Dishwashers use a lot of power and this makes it easy for the cord to overheat. This then increases fire risks. There is also the risk of the extension cord coming into contact with water.

If you have to use an extension cord, ensure that its wattage matches that of your dishwasher.