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

  • plugged in is fine Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 17:05
  • Is the unit going to be enclosed or free standing?
    – bib
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


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.

  • When there is no outlet, how would it be less of a pain if there was also no cord on the unit?
    – Kaz
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 3:18
  • PLus having the ability to unplug it makes repair work a lot easier than if you had to hit the breaker, drop the wiring, etc. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:56

Some local codes require the dishwasher to be plugged in with the receptacle accessible, like in the sink cabinet. A dedicated 15A 110V GFCI-protected circuit is also required for most residential machines. A GFCI duplex receptacle is not acceptable since another device may be able to be plugged in, thus rendering the circuit non-dedicated.


I agree with most already said. Dedicated 15 A circuit. However, one can use a gfci outlet provided the non used half is rendered non usable (silicon caulking). If hardwiring a gfci outlet inline with it then both outlets must be rendered non usable.

  • 1
    Ehh...I'd simply use a deadfront GFCI in that case... Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 22:29
  • Three phase this is inline with current code post as an answer and I will up vote. I don't think my inspectors would allow a duplex to be used at all no matter how it was disabled because that is no longer a UL listed device.+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 23:17

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