This seems to be a common problem without a common solution, so here’s how I did it. The list of adapters I needed is at the bottom of this post. Props to this guy for providing an almost solution that was the basis of what worked for me.
I recently moved between apartments, and had to give up the built-in dishwasher I loved. Unable to quit dishwashers cold turkey, I opted to buy a Danby portable dishwasher.
Portable dishwashers work by hooking up to your sink faucet. They generally come with a replacement aerator that lets the dishwasher hose snap on. They look something like this:
The problem arises when you want to use a portable dishwasher with a pull-down faucet, like this:
Above is not the exact model I have, but it’s close. Unlike a normal faucet, pull-downs generally use an aerator that is built into the handle, and is not easily removed. If your aerator comes out of the handle easily, you can simply swap that for the adapter and be done. In my case I could not do that.
On my model, as above, the entire handle unscrews from the pull-down hose. However, the hose connection is NOT the same size as a standard sink aerator. Hence you need to find a way to adapt from one size to the other.
Before I explain how to do this, a few caveats. First off, some say connecting a dishwasher to a pull-down faucet hose is a bad idea; the hose was not built to withstand the pressure the dishwasher puts on it, and eventually could burst. I’ve never heard of this actually happening to someone, and I’ve used my portable dishwasher this way for 2 years without any problems, but you’ve been warned, and you are responsible for any and all damage.
Second, all thread sizes below are NPT (National Pipe Thread). There are some other thread size standards, like SAE, so make sure the adapters you get are NPT.
Okay, let’s get this dishwasher hooked up!
A standard sink aerator is 55/64″ thread. That is the “target size” we need to reach with various adapters.
The first step is to measure your pull-down hose thread size. Unscrew the pull-down handle, and measure the hose. I used this guide to figure out what NPT size corresponded to the size of my hose. Note that the table there uses the thread diameter; I found it easier to wrap a string around the threads and measure the circumference and then convert that to diameter, but whatever works for you.
My hose used 3/8″ NPT thread. My research indicates this is a fairly standard size, but it is definitely not used by all pull-downs. That’s why you need to measure your particular hose before ordering adapters that might not fit.
If you also have 3/8″, you can buy the exact adapters I used. If not, you need to find your own combination of adapters that will get you something that starts with 55/64″ male on one end (where the aerator will screw on) to whatever male hose size on the other end. In most cases you’ll start out with an aerator-to-garden-hose adapter, and go from there.
For 3/8″, I accomplished this with the following products (Amazon links included):
Your particular case may require more or fewer adapters. Be sure you’re matching up male/female ends correctly; if you need to, you can include male/male or female/female adapters as well.
You will also need to buy some thread sealant tape. When I first tried connecting my franken-adapter, it sprayed water all over the place. Any of the adapters that don’t have built-in o-rings (and even sometimes when they do) should be taped so they don’t leak. The tape is not sticky and is easy to remove, it simply fills the gaps between threads so you don’t have water going everywhere.
That’s it! Once you’ve cobbled together your particular series of adapters, your portable dishwasher should hook up without problems.