Electrical service and new dishwasher installation

Question Icon
Posted by: from Calgary
11/23/2016 at 1:26:24 AM

I would like to install a built-in dishwasher in my 1950s bungalow, where there is no existing dishwasher. My house has only 70 amp electrical service. I am wondering if it is possible to install the dishwasher without having to upgrade the electrical service to my house?

I have a gas stove, which I understand reduces the draw on the electrical service, and a very small house (800 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, no air conditioning).

Also - could the dishwasher draw power from an existing electrical outlet that sits nearby (as in - could that electrical outlet be decommissioned, and the power supply for that outlet be pulled to the dishwasher?).

Any advice you might have to offer would be appreciated, I am not entirely sure of the correct question to ask or information to provide.

Thank you,

Alice in Calgary

User Icon
Luciano from Cana Systems Limited in Burnaby
Date/Time11/23/2016 at 11:59:38 AM

Good Morning Alice,

As per the Canadian Electrical Code you will need to provide a separate circuit from your existing Panel to your new dishwasher. From the information you have provided me I'm sure that your electrician can provide the separate circuit without changing your service.


Luciano De Marchi

Cana Systems Limited

User Icon
Date/Time11/23/2016 at 2:29:22 PM

Hi Alice,

It is highly unlikely that you would have to upgrade your electrical system for the sake of a dishwasher. Any competent electrical contractor should be able to help you out.

User Icon
Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/23/2016 at 5:16:54 PM

Hi Alice, how did you come to the conclusion you have a 70 amp service? Normally it would be either a 60 amp (from 1900 to 1950) or a 100 amp? A licensed electrical contractor in you area can help you determine which it is, but either way, providing you have enough space in your existing panel for one more fuse/breaker, you should be fine. If you have an old plug fuse panel that is full, you may have to upgrade for a new circuit to be installed. The dishwasher MUST be installed on it's own circuit to be compliant and safe. Some DIY or handymen will tell you it's fine to add it to a local outlet, but that is unsafe and will render your circuit faulty to carry the new load of the dishwasher, and if you have aluminum wiring, DO NOT add to any existing aluminum line. I've seen this happen before only to melt connections that are existing in other fittings in the home.

Call 3-4 contractors and ask for assistance in your area.

User Icon
Alice in Calgary
Date/Time11/23/2016 at 10:14:07 PM

Thanks everyone for your advice so far, I appreciate it. As for the 60 vs. 70 amp service, I am sure you are right and I have 60 amp service. I am just recollecting from when I bought the house more than ten years ago when the home inspection was done. At that time, the inspector indicated I would need to bring more power in from the street in order to upgrade to the more modern standard of 100 amps - and I had to search around for an insurance company willing to insure the house.

thanks again,


User Icon
John from Str8 Up Electric in Airdrie
Date/Time11/24/2016 at 3:58:07 PM

Hi Alice,

A dishwasher needs to be on its own breaker.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors