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I am looking for any information that could help with removing a KitchenAid KDC-37 SST dishwasher. It appears to be part of an integrated sink-dishwasher-drainboard unit. The KitchenAid support site is not able to find any information or manuals for this appliance; it's probably too old (perhaps up to 40 years).

You can find a photo (not mine, but it looks almost identical) here.

enter image description here

Ideally, I would like to be able to separate the old dishwasher from this unit cleanly so a new dishwasher can be installed in its place. If that's not possible, I would still be very grateful for any tips about how to remove the entire unit.

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You realize that the answer to your question is in the link that you posted to the photo, right? It specifically says in there -- "The dishwasher is secured to the cabinet with screws from the back, front, and through the side from underneath the sink. So if doing this properly, one would need to disconnect the unit from the water supply, drain and electrical service. Then pull the unit out of it's current position... Once the old dishwasher is removed, a new/modern dishwasher should just slide in underneath" Read through that thread closely and I believe your questions will be answered! –  Karl Katzke Jan 16 '12 at 1:23
    
Thank you for pointing that out. Of course I read that answer, but I found it so vague as to be of little help. There are dozens of screws visible in all those positions. Some of them clearly are not involved in securing the unit to the frame. Others might or might not be, but they are extremely difficult to access. A few of them are so completely out of reach, especially those in the back, that if they indeed need to be removed, then the procedure necessarily involves removing the entire unit, which raises its own set of (similar) questions. –  whuber Jan 16 '12 at 14:51
    
I think that they point out that you have to remove the entire unit before you can access the screws that hold the dishwasher in from the back. No one's going to be able to tell you exactly which screws need to be removed, you'll have to figure it out by trial and error. –  Karl Katzke Jan 16 '12 at 15:18
    
Thanks, @Karl. I was hoping to obtain an old manual or exploded diagram or the verbal equivalent thereof (e.g., "I removed one of these once and here is what I had to do:..."). T&E is extremely painful because, as you might imagine, dealing with frozen (rusted) screws in tight places is a long, arduous, and uncertain task. –  whuber Jan 16 '12 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

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For the record--in case there are any more of these models out there!--here's how it worked out.

The KitchenAid people were very helpful, but all they had were installation instructions for a comparable model. From that I learned that the sink, sink cabinet, and dishwasher were originally installed as a "unit."

Start of separation

So, I gave up, figuring there were loads of attachment points that I just wouldn't be able to get to: the objective changed from replacing the dishwasher to rescuing the stainless steel sink and top.

It turns out, though, despite the claim on another Web site that "the dishwasher is secured to the cabinet with screws from the back, front, and through the side from underneath the sink,* that nothing could be further from the truth:

  • The counter and sink were held with screws beneath the front two corners and, in the back, with metal pegs designed to slide forward and up:

    Edge of counter

    In this picture the counter has been turned sideways: you're looking at the original back right corner. The installer reinforced it with wood. I don't know whether the steel bar-and-peg assembly screwed to it is original or not.

    • The diswasher itself was attached only with four screws to the cabinet at its left:

    Open cabinet

    In the photo, looking down into the now-open sink cabinet, you can see the one remaining screw (upper left) and a hole for another (upper right). Two more screws were set in the bottom corners. That's all! In principle, you could remove this dishwasher by removing (or drilling out) these screws, cutting the water supply (sweated in place, of course), and pulling it forward. No part of this unit was attached to the floor or walls, either: it was free-standing.

By the way, to bring this story to a happy close, here is a photo of the new sink cabinet (partially constructed) with the old counter and sink restored, ready for the new dishwasher:

Replacement unit

Because the counter is completely hollow--it is reinforced with two narrow longitudinal ribs underneath, but that's all--it was necessary to reinforce the front lip for strength and to have a mounting point for the new dishwasher. A 1.5" by 1.5" piece of poplar fit just fine.

(For those with sharp eyes and a knowledge of the electrical code: that little jury-rigged pigtail at the bottom was just a temporary setup to test the dishwasher before pushing it into place. It was well worth the peace of mind to see that everything worked without any leaks: I lost a joist in a previous house to a slow undetected dishwasher leak.)

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I don't know that particular model, but several dishwashers that I've encountered have all been the same: open the door, and there are screws into the countertop (or possibly adjoining cabinets)at the front edge of the dishwasher cabinet. Remove the trim at the bottom, and you should be able to adjust the front legs of the dishwasher to lower it slightly to get clearance to slide it out. In most installations, the water supply, drain, and power connections are under the sink next to the DW and will need to be disconnected before you can slide it completely out.

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Thank you: I value your experience. You describe exactly what I expected when starting this project. The first sign of trouble is that there are no screws to the countertop at all. The electrical and plumbing connections will be easy to take care of: they are visible and as accessible as one could hope for. The real issue is the mechanical one: how to separate this dishwasher from the rest of the unit. –  whuber Jan 16 '12 at 14:54
    
Hmmm, they must be somewhere. If there is no trim hiding screws in the expected place, you might check under the sink and under trim on the right side. There has to be some way to remove it for service; hopefully, the opening will be compatible with today's standard dishwasher sizes. –  TomG Jan 17 '12 at 4:06
    
Thanks, Tom. Yes, the first thing I checked before ordering a new dishwasher was the opening dimensions! The issue with this thing is that it was sold as an integrated unit with the sink and countertop (48" long altogether). Amazingly, it does not seem to have been designed for easy service. The countertop is secured at four corners, but the screws in the back two corners are inaccessible unless the whole unit is pulled out (entailing de-soldering the water supply lines to the sink and dishwasher, as well as the drain line). –  whuber Jan 17 '12 at 16:11

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