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We just bought a house in California. Can a built in dishwasher be plugged into an outlet or must it be hard wired?

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plugged in is fine – Some Free Mason Jun 27 '13 at 17:05
Is the unit going to be enclosed or free standing? – bib Jun 27 '13 at 17:24

It can definitely be plugged into a receptacle. Some new dish washers come with the cord already attached and some give you directions. Almost all require a GFCI outlet and you need to read what size circuit you need.

My experience in the past 3-4 years. Installed 6 dishwashers. 1 had cord already on it - which is kind of a pain because often there is no outlet. The other 5 all had instructions that said it allowed for wiring to be turned into cord. 1 we did that because it made sense - used outlet behind fridge (not the same outlet as fridge). Just look up manufacturer's instructions online if you have any questions but the short answer is YES.

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When there is no outlet, how would it be less of a pain if there was also no cord on the unit? – Kaz Jun 28 '13 at 22:16
Because it is easy to to run an electrical line and cap it off under the dishwasher. Basically you have to usually drill one hole through floor and run line vs. trying to get electrical line into wall, cutting out outlet, putting in old work box, putting in outlet, possible drywall repair, putting on plate... – DMoore Jun 29 '13 at 3:18

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