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NCBW 08-13-2013 03:48 PM

unglue cabinets from countertop
Whoever installed my dishwasher put it in before installing the cabinets. The opening is narrower than the appliance. My dishwasher repairman has to pull the dishwasher all the way out to install the new part - but the opening isn't wide enough between the cabinets.
I looked - there is space past the far edge of the drawer unit, so I could shift that cabinet over far enough. BUT - the cabinet is glued to the countertop with hefty amounts of what I think is Liquid Nails. These cabinets were installed more than 10 years ago.
I can remove the mounting screws holding the cabinet to the walls behind and to the side, but how do I dissolve/cut thru the Liquid Nails to free it from the countertop - without destroying either the cabinet or the counter?
Of course, it's a pretty tight space in there to work in - no clearance for a large tool.

gregzoll 08-13-2013 05:46 PM

How wide is the opening to begin with, before you start doing anything, and what is the dimension width of the dishwasher. As for pulling the dishwasher out, you do not need a wide opening, due to if they got it in there with the cabinets assembled, you should be able to pull it back out with no problem.

Sounds like your repair person is not thinking things through all the way, when they attempted to pull the unit out of the hole for it.

There is nothing out there, that will cut through that Liquid Nails, without causing some kind of damage. You could try and use a "Hot" knife, which is used for cutting Styrofoam, and maybe that may cut through the glue, without damaging the cabinets, as long as they are wood, not some type of plastic laminate.

The other way, is if they placed vertical members on the edge that is against the left & right side of the dishwasher, you could just cut that back, to allow a little more room.

joecaption 08-13-2013 06:54 PM

Posting a picture would be a great idea.
Look and see if someone just added spacers to the sides of cabinet to fill in the gap.
If so look for the screws that hold them in place. They could even be inside the cabinets, or under the hinges.

BigJim 08-13-2013 07:23 PM

Also check to see if the top is screwed down to the cabinets, sometimes an installer will use screws to screw from the cabinets up into the counter top to secure it.

joecaption 08-13-2013 07:28 PM

The screws holding the top down are most often in the inside corners of the cabinets.
An oscillating can cut right through that top to cabinet seam without damage to the cabinet.

NCBW 08-16-2013 11:49 PM

dishwasher won't come out from under the countertop.
Thanks for replying to my dishwasher question!
I pulled out the installation manual, left by previous owners of our home. It lists the width of the DW as being 23 9/16". I measured the opening at its narrowest - it's 24". So it ought to come out.
But when the (experienced) repair guy was here, he took off the kick plate and then couldn't get the DW to move. He seemed to see something back in there, wider than the opening.
I found it hard to imagine anyone would install cabinets around an appliance, but I couldn't figure out either, how to get it out.
I called back & told him what the manual says, and he's coming Tuesday to try again.
Meantime, it is my challenge to figure out how to get the thing to come out - he doesn't think it will.
I can remove the kick-plate and DW door, but it's hard to see what's obstructing it from just sliding out.

BigJim 08-17-2013 07:23 AM

Usually there are two screws into the tabs on top front into counter top to hold the dishwasher in. Another thought, you may need to adjust the legs down, they could be jaming the unit tight to the top.

SPS-1 08-17-2013 07:38 AM

Problem could be the height, rather than the width. Do you have tile in your kitchen? If they tiled only up to the front of the cabinets, then your dishwasher is sitting in a pocket half an inch deep.

wkearney99 08-17-2013 08:55 AM

There's only a couple of things that would hold a properly installed dishwasher in place. There's usually a few screws into flanges at the top. There's often an adjustable (or removable) toe kick at the bottom. Then there's the water inlet hose, the electrical line and the waste drain hose. You'd need to make sure hose have enough slack to allow removing the dishwasher.

As SPS points out if the floor doesn't run all the way under the dishwasher then there's probably going to a lip of tile in front of it. That's where the removable toe kick panel comes into play. You'd definitely have to remove it, if one is present. If the flooring was done more than once it's entirely possible there's too much of it to allow clearance to get the dishwasher out. This is unlikely, but certainly possible.

If there's room in the cabinets alongside then perhaps cutting an access hole might help in getting a better look at what might be holding the dishwasher in place. I'd use something line a round hole saw, so at least the hole wouldn't look ugly and could be patched with just a plug in that size. Electrical boxes have plugs up to 2 or 3" in size, one of those would plug a matching hole nicely.

I'd make sure to understand just what is actually keeping it from being removed before I ever thought of screwing around with the countertop.

NCBW 08-18-2013 08:00 PM

Dishwasher back support too tall?
Thanks for your ideas!
I removed the 2 screws at the top, and wiggled the appliance like a loose tooth - but it won't move forward.
The floor continues under the cabinets, tho I can't see how far.
I peered with my flashlight along both sides, and there is clearance.
I don't have a hex star tool (allen wrenches can't grip the front plate screws to loosen them) so I can't see along the floor - but the way it wiggles, the pivot point is the center back, which according to the diagram in the installation manual, is where the back support foot is located. So I think that's the cause of the dishwasher not coming forward.
The repair guy should have the right wrench to get those screws out -
Tuesday morning we'll find out!

wkearney99 08-19-2013 08:48 AM

The hex star screws are likely Torx heads.

I'd guess the support foot is catching on either the electrical line, water or drain hose. There's not really anything else that's "supposed to be" back there in a typical installation.

While the floor might go under the front, are you sure it goes ALL the way back? Could be they only ran a single row of tile back under there and then it drops down to subfloor behind it.

NCBW 08-20-2013 03:18 PM

Dishwasher issue solved
Thanks for your suggestions - the repair guy came back today, the dishwasher came out of its slot under the cabinet, and now it's back where it goes, all fixed.

SPS-1 08-20-2013 03:43 PM

But what was holding it in ????

NCBW 08-21-2013 10:44 PM

Dishwasher fixed
The repair guy didn't take out the 2 upper screws holding it to the cabinets on either side.
I think the flexible strips mounted on either side of the appliance made it seem bigger than it actually was. He expected it to just slide out, and when it didn't, he convinced himself it was wider than the opening.

The rear foot was raised to where the DW was jammed up against the underside of the counter - when I removed those 2 screws, I was able to wiggle it side to side but couldn't pull it out because of the resistance from the back foot.

Gregzoll put me on the right track, doubting that the cabinets were installed after the appliance. I mean, who does that? Why would they?
That took me to the installation manual, which listed the minimum width of the opening. Once I measured it and looked alongside the DW on both sides and saw the clearance between it and the cabinets, it was clear to me it would come out - I just didn't have the right tool to get at the foot-adjusting screw.
Anyway, I'm sure glad I didn't damage my cabinets or countertop!

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