How to Make Dishwasher Drain Hose Connections

Connecting a dishwasher’s drain hose is an essential part of installing or replacing this popular appliance. Properly securing the drain hose ensures water will flow out of the dishwasher and into the home’s drainage system without leaking or clogging. With some basic tools and supplies, these drain hose connections can be made securely by homeowners.

Selecting the Dishwasher Drain Hose

Most dishwashers come with a plastic drain hose already attached. For installation in a new home or full kitchen remodel, choose a durable, kink-free drain hose made of vinyl, rubber, or braided stainless steel. Select a length that will easily reach from the dishwasher to the sink drain or garbage disposal. Standard sizes are 5/8-inch diameter and 6 or 7 feet long.

If replacing a hose on an existing dishwasher, bring the old hose to the hardware store to ensure an identical replacement, or measure the diameter and length needed. Purchase a dishwasher connector kit for a complete drain solution.

Planning the Drain Hose Route

Before connecting the hose, plan the route it will follow from the dishwasher to the drainage system. The hose should:

  • Have no sharp bends or kinks that restrict water flow. Keep bends and turns to a minimum.
  • Maintain a downward slope from dishwasher to drain so water does not collect.
  • Avoid sitting on hot pipes or touching moving parts under the sink.
  • Be secured properly with clamps/fasteners to prevent sagging and excess movement.
  • Extend into a disposal, standpipe, or drain tailpiece at least 18-24 inches to prevent backflow. Never seal the end.

Considering these factors will optimize drainage and prevent unwanted leaks.

Dishwasher Drain Hose Connections

There are two common ways to connect the dishwasher drain hose:

To the Garbage Disposal

This direct connection is the most popular option in homes with garbage disposals.

Step 1: Remove the drain plug inside the disposal by twisting counter-clockwise with pliers. This exposes the disposal’s drain port.

Step 2: Dry fit the drain hose into the disposal port, marking the insertion depth on the hose. Remove hose.

Step 3: Cut the drain hose at the marked spot using a utility knife or hose cutter. This tailors it to the proper length.

Step 4: Re-insert the cut drain hose into the disposal port and tighten the hose clamp using a screwdriver. This secures the connection.

Step 5: Use additional clamps to fasten the hose to the dishwasher drain line port and the disposal. This prevents kinks and excessive movement.

Step 6: Run water through the disposal and check for leaks before sliding the dishwasher into place.

To the Drain Tailpiece

If no garbage disposal is present, connect to the sink’s drain tailpiece above the trap:

Step 1: Remove the drain tailpiece from the sink trap and any washers/nuts.

Step 2: Slide the rubber washer over the tailpiece with the tapered end facing away from the sink.

Step 3: Next slide the drain hose over the tailpiece at least 1 1/2 inches.

Step 4: Attach the rubber washer and metal retaining nut over the tailpiece’s end. Tighten the nut securely with pliers. This compresses the washer to form a watertight seal.

Step 5: Use clamps to secure the hose to the dishwasher’s drain port and tailpiece to prevent kinks and excess movement.

Step 6: Reinstall the tailpiece on the sink trap, ensuring a downward slope for proper drainage.

Step 7: Check for leaks before sliding dishwasher into place.

Securing and Concealing the Hose

Once connected, the drain hose should be properly supported and concealed:

  • Use hose clamps wherever the hose connects and rout it to prevent sagging or movement.
  • Fasten the hose to the underside of countertops or cabinets with clamps, strapping, or wire hangers.
  • Avoid low foot-traffic areas so no one trips on the hose.
  • Place insulation around any exposed hose to reduce heat transfer and condensation.
  • For an extra clean look, install an air gap beside the sink, then route the hose through cabinets to the tailpiece.

Troubleshooting Problems

Clogged hoses: Regularly inspect and clean out debris that may clog washers or block drainage. Avoid sealing the end.

Leaky connections: Tighten clamps, replace cracked washers, cut hose to proper length, and ensure adequate slope and minimal bending.

Kinked hoses: Reposition hose and secure properly to prevent sharp bends. Replace damaged hoses.

Standing water: Check slope, shorten hose, and straighten kinks or bends that trap water.

Noisy hoses: Reroute away from pipes, add insulation around hose, and avoid tight bends.

Damaged hoses: Replace punctured, cracked, or worn drain hoses promptly to prevent leaks.

Dishwasher Drain Hose Tips

  • During installation, confirm drain hose length is sufficient to avoid stretching or straining.
  • Ensure disposal and plumbing are in good working order before connecting hose.
  • Consider hiring a plumber if dishwasher location presents challenges for proper drainage.
  • DIRECTION OF DRAIN HOSE FLOW MATTERS – Do not reverse sink trap connections.
  • Drain hoses are not designed for permanent sealing – Avoid plugs.
  • Protect hose from sharp objects that could perforate or slit the material.
  • Avoid detergent residue buildup – Flush hoses periodically with hot vinegar water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dishwasher Drain Hose Connections

What are dishwasher drain hoses made of?

Dishwasher drain hoses are typically made of flexible vinyl, corrugated rubber, or stainless steel braided material. Vinyl is the most common.

What size should my dishwasher drain hose be?

Standard dishwasher drain hose diameter is 5/8 inches. Length is usually 6 or 7 feet to allow routing from the dishwasher to sink drain access.

How do I know if my drain hose needs replacement?

Look for cracks, splits, perforations, extreme kinking, or other damage. Also replace if the hose has become stiff or brittle with age. Regularly inspect hoses.

Can I connect the drain hose to my kitchen sink pipe?

No, dishwashers must be plumbed separately from the sink drain pipes. The hose must connect to the disposal or drain tailpiece above the trap.

Should the drain hose be straight or have slack?

The hose should have a downward slope without sharp bends. Allow just enough slack to prevent kinking or straining the connections. Secure it properly.

Does the drain hose need to be clamped?

Yes, hose clamps are required at the dishwasher connection, the disposal or tailpiece, and any other junctions in between to prevent leaks.

Can I extend or shorten my dishwasher drain hose?

Yes, you can cut the factory hose to a custom length during installation if needed. Use couplings to extend short hoses, avoiding sharp bends.

Should the drain hose connect to my garbage disposal or sink pipe?

The disposal is preferred if one is present, for more direct drainage. Otherwise, connect to the sink tailpiece above the trap using proper fittings.

How can I quiet or insulate a noisy dishwasher hose?

Wrapping foam pipe insulation around the hose dampens vibration noise. Proper fastening also prevents hose contact with other pipes.


Connecting the dishwasher drain hose is a crucial part of installation that protects against leaks and clogs. Following the drain hose manufacturer’s instructions for optimal routing, slope, securing, and drainage method will ensure this system functions smoothly for years of service. Paying attention to details like hose length, avoiding kinks, confirming water flows in the right direction, and proper fastening at connection points will prevent headaches down the road. With the right materials and careful planning, homeowners can tackle dishwasher drain hose connections and avoid the hassle of water backups or puddles on the kitchen floor.