I just bought a new KitchenAid dishwasher and was wondering if I could use the existing power cord (not hardwire) from my old dishwasher (about 14 years old). It has a ground, white and black wire to match with new dishwasher wires.

Logically, I don't see why not, but after installing the new dishwasher the first time, the pump gave out after a week and a smelled a strong electrical wire. My wife is blaming the cord but I think it's a coincidence is all.

Should I be concerned or is there any way to check definitively? I don't want to have to send another back.

  • What are the service requirements for the dish washer? a dedicated 20-A circuit? Is there a receptacle that the dishwasher cord plugs into or is it hard wired? Dec 6, 2016 at 16:58
  • This is a 10 year old house, so nothing odd. Per the installation guide (pdf.lowes.com/installationguides/883049363523_install.pdf), it says it can be installed either way, but I have a dedicated plug which I can wire up with the Dishwasher. More specific requirements: ■ 120-volt, 60 Hz, AC-only, 15- or 20-amp, fused electrical supply. ■ Copper wire only. ■ A maximum of two field wiring supply conductors (12 AWG largest size) plus one grounding conductor are permitted in the terminal box.
    – occasl
    Dec 6, 2016 at 18:06
  • So how is it wired up right now? a plug into a 120 V receptacle? or hard wired in which a stranded cord is connected to the terminal block of the dishwasher and the stranded cord connected to the solid 14 or 12 AWG in a box in the wall? or something else? The reason I am asking is that if there is a receptacle then it is convenient to test the supply coming out of the receptacle to measure the voltage drop under load. If there isn't a receptacle, then it is more trouble. Almost certainly the power is OK so it's not worth testing it if it's too much trouble. Dec 6, 2016 at 18:29
  • 2
    I see that you don't want to get a new cord if the old one is OK--I hate to make waste if it's not necessary. The only way the cord could be bad it seems to me would be if the plug were damaged or conductor is damaged or undersized so the dishwasher is not getting sufficient voltage under load. You could test resistance of the hot and neutral wires with the plug out, but this would not be under load. I test the resistance of my aluminum branch circuits by plugging in a short extension cord with multiple receptacles on it. I plug a 1600 W hairdryer into one and a voltmeter into another. Dec 6, 2016 at 19:07
  • 1
    On a good circuit the voltage will drop 3 V with the hair dryer on, say from 121 V to 117 V. Dec 6, 2016 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


Usually you can use a cord/plug with a dishwasher.

What was the cord that you used from originally? Some people have used cords that have been cut off of old appliances and electronics, which may not be up to the task. For example, if you cut the cord of a kettle (resistive wire) or a DVD player (low current) you may end up with problems.

You can buy kits: https://www.whirlpool.com/-[4317824]-1001038/4317824/

Or you can reuse a beefy 3-prong cord from another appliance. The only way I can think that the cord might cause the pump to fail is if it was resistance wire, or limiting the current. A big percentage of appliance failures are in the first 30 days, so the pump failing and the cord are probably unrelated.

  • The cord was from the original dishwasher. It's very thick and grounded.
    – occasl
    Dec 6, 2016 at 20:38

Yes you can use the same cord if still in good condition

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