Portable Dishwasher Faucet Adapter Doesn’t Fit? (Do This)

Portable dishwashers operate by hooking up to the kitchen faucet with a direct water line. But, what happens if one end of the hose doesn't fit the faucet? Whether it be replacing the adapter or having a custom one made, let's explore what you can do when your portable dishwasher isn't compatible with the faucet.

Portable Dishwasher Faucet Adapter Doesn’t Fit

A portable dishwasher is a great way to clean dishes in a space that won’t accommodate a built-in dishwasher. It can be rolled out when you need it and stored away when you don’t. 

Your portable dishwasher comes with a standard faucet adapter so you can attach it to your sink. If this faucet adapter doesn’t fit, you may need to purchase a new adapter. In some cases, you might even need a custom adapter made or purchase a new faucet. 

Before heading to the local hardware store, do some research about your portable dishwasher. This research should help you nail down what exact parts you need. 

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What is a Portable Dishwasher and How Does it Work?

If you have limited space in your kitchen, live in a rental, or simply don’t have a way to connect water to a new appliance, a portable dishwasher may be the solution. Portable dishwashers are an alternative to conventional built-in units. These appliances are situated on wheels, for easy rolling in and out when needed.

Instead of being connected to a dedicated water line, portable dishwashers can be easily hooked up to a faucet and drain into the sink underneath. The majority of models are roughly 18 inches wide, although, some come in a 24-inch size.

Aside from the minor differences related to hook up and construction, portable dishwashers function exactly like your standard built-in dishwasher. However, for the hose to fit your particular faucet perfectly, you may need an attachment.

Why Do You Need a Faucet Adapter for a Portable Dishwasher?

Portable dishwashers come with hook-ups that should directly attach to your kitchen faucet. However, standard hook-ups won’t always fit due to differences in the faucet threads.  In this instance, a faucet adapter is essential for connecting your portable dishwasher. Some portable dishwashers may come with several faucet adapter options to accommodate different faucets.

Your portable dishwasher faucet adapter has a hollowed-out center. It can be threaded/threaded, unthreaded/unthreaded, or threaded/unthreaded. Kitchen faucets are usually threaded, meaning the threads are on the outside.  You’ll need an unthreaded faucet adapter to attach your portable dishwasher to your sink.

Note: Many experts refer to threaded faucets as male and unthreaded as female. 

Some portable dishwasher faucet adapters even regulate water pressure. These adapters include a faucet aerator that ensures the portable dishwasher isn’t getting too much water. It is vital to use the correct type of faucet adapter to prevent damage to your portable dishwasher.

Finding a New Portable Dishwasher Faucet Adapter

Before searching for a new faucet adapter, be sure the one that came with your portable dishwasher doesn’t fit. Have you removed your sink’s faucet aerator? If not, this could be preventing your faucet adapter from attaching correctly. 

If you’ve removed your faucet aerator and the faucet adapter still doesn’t fit, it’s time to do some research. Unluckily for you, you most likely have a uniquely shaped faucet head on which standard adapters don’t work. Alternatively, your faucet adapter might be faulty.

Step 1: Determine Faucet Thread Size

Standard thread sizes for kitchen sinks are 15/16″-27 for male faucets and 55/64″-27 for female faucets. The easiest way to determine your sinks thread size is to remove your faucet aerator. Once removed, measure the diameter of the faucet aerator. Measure the outside if it is a male aerator and the interior if it is female. You can then better determine if you have a standard faucet size. 

You can do the same thing to the adapter that came with your portable dishwasher. Most faucet adapters also come in 15/16″-27 male and 55/64″-27 female. If both your faucet and faucet adapter are standard size, you may need a different thread. 

Note: Your faucet and faucet adapter threads should not be the same. A male faucet of standard size (15/16″-27) will need a female faucet adapter of standard size (55/64″-27). The same is true for a female faucet and a male faucet adapter. 

Step 2: Know Your Thread Type

As mentioned above, most kitchen faucets are male. Determine what type of thread your kitchen faucet has. If the threads are on the outside, you have a male faucet. On the contrary, if the threads are in the interior, this is a female faucet. 

If your faucet adapter and faucet are standard sizes but the same thread type, your faucet adapter won’t fit. Your male faucet will require a female adapter. Conversely, your female faucet will need a male adapter. 

Step 3: Research Your Portable Dishwasher

Your faucet adapter may be the incorrect size or incorrect thread type. Once you have determined what’s preventing the faucet adapter from fitting, research your portable dishwasher.

Go to the manufacturer’s website and research your specific type of portable dishwasher. There will likely be several options available for faucet adapters. However, if there are limited options, there is usually a help link on manufacturer websites.

This will allow you to talk to a company representative. The rep can likely talk you through the problem and help you find what you’re looking for. If you’d rather talk to someone in person, go to your local hardware store, Lowe’s, or Home Depot. Make sure to bring your faucet adapter and information about your portable dishwasher and faucet. 

Be as specific as you can about the problem. Someone in the kitchen department should be able to help you. 

Once you know which adapter you need, they can be purchased from any hardware store or Amazon. Faucet adapters are inexpensive. They typically range in price from $5 to $10. 

Step 4: A New Faucet or Custom Fit Piece

If the manufacturer and local hardware store were both no help, it might be time for the last resorts. 

If your faucet is a unique size and shape, no adapter may exist to fit as perfectly as you need. Because of this, you may need to replace your faucet with a more standard option. A standard option practically guarantees that a faucet adapter will fit and allow you to use your portable dishwasher. 

If you don’t want to part with your unique faucet, you can possibly have a custom adapter made for your faucet. This will ensure the faucet adapter is made precisely for your faucet’s unique size and thread type. If both of these options are unappealing, it’s time to weigh the costs and benefits of a portable dishwasher. You can always keep hand washing your dishes instead!

Benefits of a Portable Dishwasher

Portable dishwashers have a lot more in common with conventional units that most realize. They also offer a number of unique benefits to those who decide to use them as an alternative to built-ins. These include:

  • More counter space. Installing a built-in dishwasher into a small kitchen can significantly cut down on your already limited counter space. The ability to wheel your portable unit in and out as needed is the perfect solution.
  • Perfect for virtually any home. In some cases, your kitchen (especially if it’s older) simply cannot accept a built-in unit without alterations to plumbing or cabinetry. A portable dishwasher can offer both a practical and cost-effective solution.
  • More efficient. For a small household, a portable unit may clean more efficiently than the conventional dishwasher. Although they are smaller in size and can only handle small loads, they are much more efficient than using a full-size built-in unit that is only half full.

Drawbacks of a Portable Dishwasher

Like anything, there are some drawbacks to opting for a portable dishwasher over a conventional unit.

  • Noise: Without the cabinetry surrounding the dishwasher to muffle the noise, portable units can be much louder.
  • Durability: Since portable units are moved around and must be connected and disconnected with each use, they are more susceptible to failure. To avoid damage, always handle the parts with care.
  • Fewer models to choose from. When compared to built-in dishwashers, there are much less portable models to choose from. You may only have one or two options per brand to choose from.
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Related Questions

Can you connect a portable dishwasher to a pull-down faucet hose?

You cannot attach a portable dishwasher to a pull-down faucet hose. Portable dishwashers only work with threaded faucets, and pull-down faucet hoses are not designed this way. 

It is possible to remove the aerator from your faucet that creates the spray. However, you will have to remove and return this aerator every time you use your portable dishwasher. 

Is a faucet adapter the same thing as a faucet aerator?

A faucet adapter and faucet aerator often get confused, but they are not the same. A faucet adapter is a piece of equipment that attaches your faucet to other parts of the equipment. It allows you to attach equipment with the same thread types that would typically be incompatible.

A faucet aerator adds air to the water stream coming from your faucet. This helps to conserve water by controlling water pressure out of the faucet. Some faucet adapters also contain a faucet aerator. This combination helps limit water pressure flowing from the faucet into the other appliance. 

Can you permanently install a portable dishwasher? 

You can permanently install a portable dishwasher as long as you have a water source, a drain, and space. You can install a portable dishwasher on your counter, under the sink, or other available space in your kitchen. 

No matter what, your dishwasher should be installed as close to your kitchen sink as possible. Taking on this project will require some plumbing skills, so avoid DIY unless you’re very comfortable with plumbing. 

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Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent’s former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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