How High Should the Dishwasher Outlet Be?

Each location has its local codes when installing appliances like a dishwasher. Not following these codes might result in unforeseen damages and complications. To help you prevent this from happening to you, we will look at the National Electric codes that you should be aware of when installing a dishwasher into your kitchen.

You should first consider how high a dishwasher outlet should be, whether a dishwasher requires its circuit, and what happens if you wrongly install a dishwasher outlet. Stick around to fit out more. 

Where Should the Outlet Be for a Dishwasher?

Where you place the dishwasher outlet can be determined by your local electrical codes. However, for the sake of this article, we will look into the regulations laid out by NEC about dishwasher installation. 

Dishwasher installations require basic plumbing, mechanical and electrical knowledge. If you lack these skills, hiring an installer would be better. However, you should know that most dishwashers’ brands do not offer a warranty for damages resulting from wrong installations.

When installing a dishwasher into your kitchen, the installer should have the NEC installation codes. He should also leave a copy of the regulations with you for future reference. Let’s get started.

Since a dishwasher is a heavy-duty appliance, it should have its circuit separate from the two courses installed on top of the kitchen counter. 

You should read the manufacturer’s specifications to know the type of outlet you will install for your dishwasher. If your dishwasher is rated as 110V, your outlet should be 120V. Most dishwashers require 20amps to run. So, your receptacle should be 120V 20amps.

A dishwasher outlet should not be placed behind the dishwasher. You will need to access the outlet to switch it off and on. For that reason, the dishwasher should be plugged into the power outlet that is fixed below the kitchen cabinet. How high the outlet should be installed will be discussed in detail.

The outlet should also have a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI). Interrupters detect when the flow of current changes in case of faults in the system. These safety devices have internal switches that stop current flow when they see an abnormality.

How High Off the Floor Should a Dishwasher Outlet Be?

NEC regulations require the dishwasher outlet to be not more than 20 inches above the counter and 6”-18 inches below the kitchen sink. 

I have seen some dishwasher outlets passing through the kitchen cabinets in the garage. No rule prohibits the outlet from being in another room. You should, however, ensure this outlet is connected to GFI for safety purposes. 

Check how long the cord is before choosing to install the outlet. According to NEC, local codes, and ordinances, the power cord should be a minimum of 54” and 61” maximum.

Can a Dishwasher Be Plugged into a Standard Outlet?

You can install a dishwasher into a standard outlet if it has a voltage that can power your dishwasher. Most normal outlets have 120V and 15-20amps. If your dishwasher is 110, you can plug it directly into the standard outlet. 

For 220V dishwashers, install a GFCI receptacle and use extensions. 

What Outlet Does a Dishwasher Need?

Many people think you can connect any appliance so long as your home has an outlet. This is further from the truth as most home appliances require a different amount of current to power the device. Home outlets also have their current rating that they can handle. 

Most dishwashers are rated 110V. You can therefore connect them to an outlet with a 120V. To ensure safety when using this large appliance, install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

Can You have a Junction Box Behind a Dishwasher?

Yes. You can install a junction box anywhere so long as it is accessible at all times.

However, putting a significant appliance like a dishwasher in front of the junction box. You cannot also put a wall hiding your junction box. For safety and aesthetics, hide the junction box using a white sheet or any sheet that your kitchen color. 

What is the Code for Wiring a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers can either be 110 or 220. So, depending on the dishwasher you have, match with wires and outlets that can accommodate your appliance. 

Most dishwashers require a 120 volt and 15-20amps circuit. The circuit is fed using a 14/2NM for 15amps and 12/2amps for 20amps. Regarding the NEC revised rules, all kitchen appliances should have a ground. 


Before connecting your dishwasher to an outlet, check if the outlet has the proper standards following the National Electrical Code. Check the manufacturer’s dishwasher specifications to know what type of outlet you need.

Install the outlets preferably 6-18” inches above the ground for under sink dishwashers. You can also install the outlet in the garage if the cord is long enough. 

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