Danny Sutcliffe's second half brace steered Dublin to Division 1A safety against 14-man Waterford by 4-13 to 1-17 at Walsh Park.
The hosts scored the first five points but had Shane O'Sullivan dismissed in the 27th minute, and goals from Paul Ryan (free) and Colm Cronin gave Dublin a 2-06 to 1-08 interval advantage.
Sutcliffe's two goals after 42 minutes and 44 minutes made it an unassailable lead. Pauric Mahony kept plugging away with 0-11, but Anthony Daly's men were never in real danger.
The Dubs had eight different scorers on the day as they reacted in positive fashion to their numerical advantage, pulling clear of the Déise in front of 3,835 spectators.
Injury-hit Waterford, who were without several regulars, had sprung out of the traps. Ray Barry and Brian O'Sullivan scored within the opening minute. Mahony tagged on three more - two from frees - to put them five up after merely seven minutes of action.
Against the grain, Sutcliffe earned a 21-metre free in the 10th minute, which Ryan buried to the roof of the net. Alan McCrabbe narrowed the margin to one from a free, and Mahony and McCrabbe swapped frees shortly afterwards.
Stephen Molumphy was forced off through injury but his replacement Darragh Fives made an immediate impression on 21 minutes. He collected a pass from Seamus Prendergast on the left wing to smash low past goalkeeper Gary Maguire for a 1-06 to 1-03 buffer.
Mahony extended the lead to four before disaster struck for the Déise - Shane O'Sullivan received a straight red card after connecting high on Michael Carton, and the Dubs duly cashed in.
McCrabbe converted a free before Cronin gathered a pass from Mark Schutte to place a bullet of a shot into the corner beyond the dive of Ian O'Regan.
Mahony nudged the hosts back in front with his fourth free but Schutte and Ryan O'Dwyer sent Dublin into the lead for the first time at the break by the bare minimum.
Mahony levelled for the third time on the restart. Dublin began to find holes at the other end, however.
After a muted opening half, Sutcliffe netted two goals in the space of two minutes. Ryan teed up the first in the 42nd minute and just two minutes later he fielded a Michael Carton delivery to rattle the top corner.
Seven points to the good, Dublin eased up and spent ten minutes without a score. Mahony land a booming score from inside his own half followed by another from substitute Shane Walsh.
Conor McCormack, Ryan and McCrabbe moved the Dubs out to an eight-point margin. Battling Waterford closed with consolation points from Ryan Donnelly (0-02) and Mahony's eleventh of the afternoon.
Waterford: S O'Keeffe; T Bourke, S Fives, N Connors; J Nagle (0-01), M Walsh, K Moran; S O'Sullivan, S Molumphy; G O'Brien, Pauric Mahony (0-11, 0-08f), A Gleeson; R Barry (0-01), S Prendergast, B O'Sullivan (0-01).
Substitutes: D Fives (1-00) for Molumphy (20 mins), S Walsh (0-01) for Prendergast (43), E Barrett for D Fives (47), R Donnelly (0-02) for Gleeson (58), S Roche for Barry (65).
Dublin: G Maguire; S Durkin, P Kelly, P Schutte; J Boland, L Rushe, M Carton; C Cronin (1-00), J McCaffrey; R O'Dwyer (0-02), A McCrabbe (0-06, 0-03f), C Keaney (0-01); P Ryan (1-02, 1-00f), D Sutcliffe (2-00), M Schutte (0-01).
Substitutes: D O'Callaghan (0-01) for Cronin (49 mins), C McCormack for McCaffrey (53), N McMorrow for Keaney (59), C O'Callaghan for P Schutte (66).
Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).