Renovation Realities

Has anyone seen that show? Where nothing goes right? And the simplest task seems to open a can of worms?


Remember how I said the remaining items on our list to have the floor “completely done” included installing the new dishwasher? And remember why we bought a new dishwasher to begin with? (Because the old one required a bowl underneath)


Here we go… (Tutorial on plumbing coming up! Learn from us Peeps!)

In a nutshell, we cheaped out and decided to install the dishwasher ourselves and save some money. We bought the special $20 GE installation kit (with the new connectors and water intake hose).

IMG_1731Apparently there are two ways to install the drain hose from your dishwasher to the actual plumbing under the sink. One way (the one that makes the most sense to me) is to attach the hose to a special place on the garbage disposal so that your dishwasher water actually drains through the disposal. This makes sense…..right? Because then any food particles will be subject to the disposal rather than going straight into your pipes.

Here’s a grody picture to show you what I mean 🙂

See the top input? That’s where the hose from the dishwasher is supposed to connect. Then the stuff flows back out (and into your plumbing) through the bottom connection.

IMG_1739 Our strategy was to install the new dishwasher exactly the same way as the old dishwasher had been installed (you know, since we didn’t know what we were doing). Except our old dishwasher used the ….ahem….OTHER way of connecting to the plumbing. Like this:



Yes, that’s right. The output hose of the old dishwasher was connected to the bottom of that copper pipe. The copper pipe was then literally set into (note: not “connected to”!) the black pipe. Any bump of the hose could’ve knocked that copper pipe out of the black one and then we could have had a flood of dishwasher wastewater in our undersink cabinet. Joy!

We decided to install the new dishwasher so that it connected to the disposal. We felt this was probably the “right” way which should’ve been done since the beginning.

The problem now? The connection INTO the disposal has a plug in it, since it’s never been used. The disposal needed to come off and the plug pushed out with a screwdriver.

Taking off a disposal should be easy right? Everything we saw online indicated it was a piece of cake. RIGHT…

Here’s what we ended up with:

IMG_1735 IMG_1738

IMG_1740 IMG_1732

Oh! You mean….taking off a disposal shouldn’t result in removing the entire drain!? Oops!

In trying to “unscrew” (yeah right) the disposal after we loosened the appropriate screws, we realized we were turning the entire drain basket as well. All the plumber’s putty was squishing out around the sides or flaking off completely. At this point, clearly we would have to completely remove the drain and reinstall it with a new seal. (I actually didn’t mind because the plumber’s putty was REALLY brittle and so were the rubber gaskets, so I felt like we were probably fixing a future leak before it became a leak.)

See that funny looking metal ring sitting next to the tape measure? That, ladies (and gents), is the MOUNTING RING. Took us forever to figure that one out. Ok, so now see the silver ring around the neck of the disposal? That ring connects to the mounting ring to suspend your disposal under your drain. We struggled and struggled to figure out how these two pieces came apart. Finally I took a hammer to the piece stuck to the disposal and knocked it sideways far enough that it would let go of the mounting ring and the disposal basically fell into my lap. (I just have to note that Hubs had been working on this for a while….I sat down with a hammer and was immediately successful! Yeah!)

Now we were left with a drain (which clearly needed to come UP out of the sink to be removed). But under the sink, the mounting ring was still attached to the drain. I twisted and spun that sucker trying to figure out how it came off. Turns out the mounting ring is held onto your drain by what’s called a SNAP RING. This snap ring doesn’t screw on or anything like that….it snaps on. (duh) Well, you have to figure out how to get it off in order for the mounting ring and the gaskets etc to come off so that you can then lift the drain up out of your sink.

Apparently, you use a screwdriver to PRY the snap ring off. Then it is ruined of course. Also something we spent FOREVER trying to figure out (and Hubby wanted to call a plumber at this point). Now we were drain-less, with a bunch of ruined parts.

BUT….never fear.

Your local home improvement store sells kits with the gaskets, snap ring etc that you need when you uninstall a drain like this.

We ended up using major force to get the plug out of the hole on the disposal. Hubs picked up the kit to put our drain back together (and reinstall the disposal), and he took some time off work yesterday afternoon to put it back together.


One thing you have to do with the hose into the disposal is suspend it from the top of your cabinet, like this:


And here’s our newly installed dishwasher!


You may be asking why the bottom panel is missing.

That’s an easy one.

The new dishwasher leaks.

We’re on it.

I’m linking to:

Ok, so DIY dishwasher plumbing isn’t exactly “chic”. But it’s cheaper than hiring a plumber and not that tough after you screw it up a few times – or learn from us screwing up 😉


  1. It looks awesome! I would never have been brave enough to tackle the installation but you did very well! Live and learn as they say. Hopefully the leak isn't hard to fix. Think of the money you saved installing it yourself! Way to go!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s