Hi, all!

I am redoing my kitchen. The previous dishwasher was - as I discovered - haphazardly spliced inside a loose-lying plastic wall-mount box with a line wire coming out of a random spot in floor. I want to have an outlet instead of butchering the wire like the previous owners did. This outlet will be under the sink, next to the dishwasher. My walls are all open. I will need to re-route the cable to come out where appropriate out of the wall instead of a random spot on the floor. My question is this: should I

  1. Leave a loose wire poking out of the wall, cut a hole in the base and install it, feed the wire through, and then install a handy box + outlet inside the base?
  2. Alternatively, install a stud-mount electric box and outlet, cut a hole in the back of the base cabinet, and plug into the wall?

Thank you

  • 1
    I used a plug as well, it is great to test for power etc. It also makes it obvious when servicing it that it that the power is disconnected. The GFCI breaker is located elsewhere so it can be easily accessible. Putting GFCI under the sink would solve that. Be sure to label the remote GFCI outlet.
    – Gil
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


A properly hardwired dishwasher is actually a good thing. That generally means either non-metallic cable (a.k.a., Romex) or a wire whip from the dishwasher to a junction box nearby. Note that in most areas now a dishwasher requires GFCI in most jurisdictions, based on (from a quick search) a [change in the NEC in 2014. That gives you a few possibilities:

  • GFCI breaker, cable straight to dishwasher
  • GFCI breaker, cable to junction box, wire whip or cable to dishwasher
  • Regular breaker, cable to junction box, deadfront GFCI like this one from Leviton @ Home Depot:


cable or wire whip to dishwasher

  • Regular breaker, cable to junction box, GFCI/receptacle, dishwasher hardwired to load terminals on GFCI/receptacle, cable or wire whip to dishwasher. Note that you can only do this if the dishwasher uses < 1/2 the capacity of the circuit (10A on a 20A) circuit.
  • Regular breaker, cable to junction box, GFCI/receptacle, plug/cord to dishwasher. I do not recommend this.

Why don't I recommend plug/cord connection? The real question is why would you want plug/cord connection when a dishwasher is never unplugged?

Whatever you do, use a metal box.

Update based on model # Samsung DW80R9950QN. There is a small installation manual (one page) which doesn't say much and indicates plug/cord connection. However, the full manual has a lot more details, including on page 14:

For cable direct connections.

  • Use flexible, armored or non-metallic sheathed, copper wire with a grounding wire that meets the wiring requirements for your local codes and ordinances.
  • Use the strain relief method provided with the wiring junction box or install a U.L.-listed/CSA-certified clamp connector to the wiring junction box. If using conduit, use a U.L.-listed/CSA-certified conduit connector.

so a hardwired connection is definitely allowed.

  • Interesting idea. My understanding was that it was for convenience. Aka, same reason most other appliances come with a plug: need servicing, replacement, whatever - just unplug it. The new dishwasher I got just comes with a regular plug out the box. What I had before was a non-GFCI receptacle to a junction box, that being a regular stud-mount box just lying on the floor, and then the original wire for the dishwasher, clearly butchered with loose insulation just kind of pulled apart, spliced into that box. They were joined via a basic light switch. Side-question: why a metal box?
    – Zoinks
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 2:11
  • I see no point in a cord/plug connection for an appliance that is permanently affixed to a cabinet/wall. Just makes no sense. Model # of new dishwasher? Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 2:13
  • Old one (with the butchered wire) was some Maytag iirc. New one is a Samsung DW80R9950QN
    – Zoinks
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 2:14
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact so does your JB in this situation need to be the surface-mount type?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 11:53

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