Drawer Dishwasher

Shortly after returning from Germany we went out to see our son’s family and meet his new baby girl. I decided to order a Fisher and Paykel tall tub single drawer dishwasher to install in their apartment. This will be a great help to the new parents and also has a sterilization feature for items like baby bottles and toddler lunch kits.
We decided against an actual portable because the kitchen is very small. The drawer units are also Energy Star rated and efficient. We knew how much space we had to work with in the cabinet. We tested the water flow from the faucet and it was over the dishwasher’s requirement. So we decided to hook it up like a portable because there was no under sink access to the hot water.

Kitchen cabinet

Kitchen cabinet

Inside dimensions were wide enough but not quite deep enough.

Existing cabinet

Existing cabinet


But it turned out the back of the sink cabinet had been removed and replaced with a piece of screwed in plywood and the back of the side cabinet also had a rear piece that came off easily.
Cabinet without back

Cabinet without back


Behind the cabinets was a chase in front of the outside wall. Through this we ran the supply and drain pipes and the exhaust pipe. These drawer dishwashers have an exhaust vent to allow for excess moisture to escape.
Pipes behind cabinets

Pipes behind cabinets


With the rear of the cabinet removed there was plenty of room to fit the depth of the dishwasher too. We intend for the dishwasher to be removed when they move so the frame inside does not alter the cabinet in any way. It is built from 1 x 2’s tacked to the cabinet bottom and under the drawers. We were fortunate to find just the laminated boards we needed for the side and front at the clearance room in the local Ikea. A side panel was cut and tacked to the frame that created the exact width called for in the installation guide.
Frame from 1 x 2's and ikea panel

Frame from 1 x 2’s and ikea panel


We removed the bracket to attach the panel to the front of the dishwasher so we wouldn’t damage it.
Dishwasher without panel bracket

Dishwasher without panel bracket


Then we figured out the side brackets for the dishwasher. At first they were confusing as the markings were very faint and I got one in backwards that my son had the patience to extract to try again. But the dishwasher slid easily into the space after they were successfully attached.
Dishwasher in cabinet

Dishwasher in cabinet


Next we had to figure out how to make the hook up easy for them to switch between dishwasher and kitchen sink. I thought a diverter would be ideal. But I could only find a shower diverter with a 1/2 inch shower connection.
SmarterFresh Diverter

SmarterFresh Diverter


The dishwasher had a 3/8 inch compression fitting meant to go on a typical water valve. I had sent a dishwasher installation hose that wasn’t needed because unlike the installation instructions I downloaded for the model, this one had an attached pex supply hose. I had purchased a 3/8 inch compression to 1/2 inch NPT female fitting. I didn’t find 1/2″ quick connects at the time but I was looking for the wrong thing. Nevertheless the supplies I bought didn’t work. The shower threads are not typical NPT but they are straight threads instead, known as NPS. So my connector would not fit the diverter.
I had ordered an adapter to fit his faucet but the one I bought was mislabeled and we had to go on a hardware search looking for the right sized adapter. We thought about moving up to a 3/4″ fitting to use a regular hose quick connect but the adapter we ordered for that was also mislabeled and huge. Then we looked up shower quick connects and found them. We ordered a chrome set.
Shower head quick connects

Shower head quick connects


So using a shower hose and the original NPT connector we were able to put together the connection to the kitchen sink faucet.
Diverter at faucet with quick connect.

Diverter at faucet with quick connect.


Then we hooked up the drain. We had to replace the chrome tailpiece with a shorter plastic one. But attaching the drain pipe was easy with the included clamps.
Drain connection

Drain connection


The brackets at the dishwasher sides were then screwed into the cabinet sides and my son did all the measurements to fit the perfect Ikea cabinet front onto the drawer bracket. I cleaned up one of the cabinet door handles and the installation was finished.
Door installed

Door installed


We put in a hook to hold the shower hose under the sink.
Shower hose on hook

Shower hose on hook


And after the rinse test was successful, we loaded the drawer for a first wash. They are using the side area to store the dishwasher detergent.
Drawer loaded with a small wash

Drawer loaded with a small wash


I also ordered an electrical cord because I thought the dishwasher didn’t come with one but it did. Instead of replacing the cord, we used a heavy duty appliance extension cord. It extends from a small gap in the cabinet front to a nearby electrical outlet.
First Run

First Run


They are very happy with the convenience of having a good dishwasher. It is so quiet it is difficult to know that it is running. Because it is fully integrated, it is started with a remote. But if you miss the six beeps that say the cycle is ended, you have to guess whether it is finished or not. But that does not seem to be a big impediment for the kids.
Happy to have made the newly enlarged family’s life a bit easier.

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