How to Install a Dishwasher Air Gap, from Scratch, with a Garbage Disposal?

Are you wondering why you have to install a dishwasher air gap? Do you know how to do this? And do you really think dishwasher air gap keep your dishes safe from germs? To answer all your queries, we are here. 

This article helps you know what the dishwasher air gap is and how it can wash dishes safely without worrying about contamination. More, we will discuss how you can install a dishwasher air gap from scratch, a garbage disposal, and a mounting bracket. So, without further ado, let us get started!

What Does the Dishwasher Air Gap Mean?

The dishwasher air gap is not popular, but it is now getting attention. Fortunately, it plays a crucial role in operating the dishwasher easily and keeping your family’s health safe. By putting it in simple words, it is an essential element in the dishwasher that prevents contaminated water from backing up into the dishwasher. Thus, it provides you with clean, fresh, and healthy dishes to serve. 

For instance, when you are using a dishwasher and dishes go into the wash cycle, the last it throws out dirty water from the garbage disposal pipe. Thus, you expect a good result in having clean and fresh dishes, but it happens only when there is an air gap since it does not back up the dirty water into the dishwasher to clean dishes. Instead, it takes clean water all time to clean dishes.  

From a technical point of view, a dishwasher air gap is a perfect way to give the dishwasher a perfect understanding to throw out dirty water, and it won’t supply back. This little gap allows the water to flow without contamination. 

How Does Backflow Work?

Backflow is the contaminated unwanted water flow that contaminates back into the clean water supply. The dishwasher air gap is a small gap that prevents this backflow. Considering the kitchen’s sink example, while cleaning dishes, if sink drainage clogs, the water backs up in the sink, and that water can’t reach out faucet since the air gap is there that separates two nodes. 

This same applies to dishwashers. This simple device assists dishwasher while cleaning dishes. It will pump out the waste water from the dishwasher and give clean dishes. The more your dishes are clean with fresh water; they will be from contamination and your family’s health.  

How Does Dishwasher Air Gap work?

Dishwasher air gap splits the two hose outlets with a physical gap of air that promise cross-contamination between the dishwasher and drain is impossible. Its one outlet is connected with dishwasher to the air gap while other is connected from the air gap to the garbage disposals. The hose runs out dirt water via the air gap and flushes it out from garbage disposal; thus, dirt water won’t come back to dishwasher. 

These two outlets are connected beneath the dishwasher, which usually comes next to the faucet dispenser. If drainage is not working properly, there will be an issue of clogged that need to be cleaned out immediately. 

Should I Invest in a Dishwasher Air Gap?

Air gaps are the effective means that prevents the drainage system from flowing back the dirty water. Thus, you will clean your dishes with clean water. If you want to keep your family’s health safe and free from contamination diseases, then you need an air gap. 

An air gap is needed because of plumbing codes in several locations. However, air gaps are not only the best method to enjoy clean dishes; you have to be careful what you’re doing.  

We recommend everyone follow some basic tips and tricks to clean dishes more conveniently and safely. Air gaps are not automatic components, so they won’t damage quickly. Since they work on the simple principle, which is if the drainage system is not clogged, the dishes will be clean. However, if you see the air gap is not working due to blockage, then take the help of a plumber. 

So certainly, for a healthy lifestyle, most plumbers in the United States pressurize to install the air gap in the dishwasher. However, the Places like Washington, Hawaii, and more have made it mandatory for all homes to install air gap codes. If your house is not installed with air gap in the inspection, you may charge with a penalty.

We hope you understand why air gap installation is needed. Now, let us move how to install it.

How to Install a Dishwasher Air Gap?

However, installing a dishwasher air gap is an easy process that every homeowner should undertake. Even it can be done without the help of an expert plumber. Here’s how you can do this. 

Step 1: Find the air gap hole on your counter-Nowadays, many counters have a pre-cut hole that can be used for an air gap. However, if you cannot locate it, then take the help of a drill to make a hole. 

Ensure to bore a 1-3/8” hole in the countertop with drill and hole saw. While doing this, make sure you’re making a hole near the sink, so the air gap works smoothly and it gets ample room to drain out water. 

Remember to tape the countertop if the counter is made of marble since it gives difficulty in doing this. 

Step 2: Connect the air gap with the dishwasher drain hose– Next, connects the dishwasher hose with the smaller legs of the air gap. Attach the hose up to 5’8” inches to the leg of the air gap. With the use of stainless steel hose clamps, you can use airtight tubes of the air gap. 

Step 3: Connects the air gap to the garbage disposal- Next, measure the tube length up to 7’8” inches of connecting the air gap with drainage/garbage disposal. For security, fix it with a hose clamp. If your air gap runs directly with the drain, join the tube with its Y-Branch tailpiece that connects the sink with the drain and secures it with a hose clamp. 

Besides, if you are connecting the air gap with garbage disposal, find the tube protruding from the garbage disposal side. If the air gap has not been installed, remove the metal plug inside the tube. 

This allows the air or non-air gaps to be compatible with the garbage disposal. Also, ensures there will be leakages in the tube. Thus, securing the tubes with a hose clamp is necessary.

Step 4: Thrust the air gap through the hole over the counter –To keep things perfect, you will need to fix the air gap thoroughly. To do this, eliminate the vanity covering the air gap and insert it via a hole from the counter.

Ensure to tighten up the air gap by threading the nut along the air gap’s threads. If you’re unable to do it personally, taking assistance from a professional can work. Also, it works to prevent it from snipping.

Step 5: Run the dishwasher on a water cycle- Finally, you have to check whether the air gap is working or not. Locate the leakages or signs of leakages. Ensure, that water is not backing off and thrown out from the disposable garbage.

Watch this video to know it more in clarity.

How to Install Dishwasher Air Gap from Scratch?

Here’s how you can install the dishwasher air gap from scratch.

  1. Check the hole in your sink, which is next to the faucet. When you locate the hole, it will be covered with a round cap. Pry the cap or remove the lock from the sink by holding the cap in its place. 
  2. Now tap all the area behind the sink, including countertop, to avoid damages. If you have two sinks, tape the side of the sink near the dishwasher. 
  3. Now attach the hole with an air gap. If you see it is small, drill it to keep things fixed. 
  4. Now move beneath the sink and insert air gap via hole. If you have assisted threads, then keep things tight to prevent damages. 
  5. Use hose clamps to add security to air gap. 
  6. Put 7/8 inches diameter drain hose to offer smooth flow to air gap. Now attach both legs with their convenient disposal ends. 
  7. Now check air gap is working smoothly. If the issue persists, find the cause and fix it.  

How to Install Dishwasher Air Gap to Garbage Disposal?

There are certainly a few complications involved in installing a dishwasher air gap since you are new to this job; however, if you want to give it a try, here’s how you can do this. 

  1. Before installing, make sure every plumbing work is done in your kitchen. So, you can install a dishwasher air gap easy. Keep checking holes and other plumbing pipes needed to complete the task hassle-free. 
  2. If you’re unable to find the air gap hole, call the plumber to make a hole or do it yourself using an electronic drill. 
  3. Next, you will need to fit all the pipes with an air gap and connect the air gap with dishwasher disposal garbage. Ensure you have fitted the pipes significantly and do not leave any leakage, cut, etc. 
  4. Once done, connect the air gap with the drain hose on the other side. Ensure to check the tight-fitting of pipes to release the easy pressure, and you will enjoy the smooth workflow. 
  5. Once both pipes are connected with the air gap, you will need to ensure that everything is working with the flow, and you won’t find issues. 
  6. When everything is installed, check the air gap is working smoothly. In case if not, take the help of a plumber that fir everything for you. 

The Bottom Line

Nobody wants clog kitchen sink or dirty wash in the dishwasher. Thus, the gap has become necessary for every household in the USA. However, installing it is an easy process, but sometimes it requires expert help. Thus, if you know plumbing, you can do it yourself; otherwise, calling an expert will be a good choice.