Dishwasher Air Gap Installation (With A Garbage Disposal)

Are you experiencing drainage issues with your dishwasher, especially when connected to garbage disposal?

Dealing with drainage issues can be a frustrating experience for homeowners, especially regarding their kitchen appliances. Things can be even more complicated when your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal.

Fortunately, installing a dishwasher air gap can be an easy and effective solution to your drainage issues.

Why do you have to install a dishwasher air gap? Do you know how to use it? Do you think dishwasher air gaps keep your dishes safe from germs? How can it wash dishes safely without worrying about contamination? To answer all your queries, we are here. 

In this article, we’ll look at detailed information about the dishwasher air gap and provide step-by-step instructions on installing it with garbage disposal.

What Does the Dishwasher Air Gap Mean?

The dishwasher air gap is not famous but 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 clean, fresh, and healthy dishes to serve. 

For instance, when you use a dishwasher, and dishes go into the wash cycle, the last is throwing 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 wash dishes.  

From a technical point of view, a dishwasher air gap is a perfect way to give the dishwasher an ideal understanding to throw out dirty water, which 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 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 the dishwasher while cleaning dishes. It will pump out the wastewater from the dishwasher and give clean dishes. The more your dishes are washed with fresh water; they will be from contaminating your family’s health.  

How Does Dishwasher Air Gap Work?

The 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.

One outlet is connected with the dishwasher to the air gap, while the other is connected from the air gap to the garbage disposals.

The hose runs out dirt water via the air gap and flushes it from the garbage disposal; thus, dirt water won’t return to the dishwasher. 

These two outlets are connected beneath the dishwasher, usually next to the faucet dispenser. If drainage is not working correctly, a clogged issue will need to be cleaned out immediately. 

Should I Invest in a Dishwasher Air Gap?

Yes. You should invest in it. Install an air gap into your dishwasher to keep your family’s health safe and free from contamination diseases.

Air gaps are an effective means that prevent the drainage system from flowing back dirty water. Thus, you will clean your dishes with clean water.

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

We recommend everyone follow some essential tips and tricks to clean dishes conveniently and safely. Air gaps are no mechanical components so they won’t damage quickly.

Since they work on the simple principle, the dishes will be clean if the drainage system is not clogged. However, if you see the air gap is not working due to blockage, take a plumber’s help. 

So indeed, 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 an air gap in the inspection, you may charge a penalty.

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

How to Install a Dishwasher Air Gap?

However, installing a dishwasher air gap is an easy process 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, take a drill’s help to make a hole. 

Ensure to bore a 1-3/8″ hole in the countertop with a 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 it is made of marble since it makes it difficult to do 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. You can use airtight tubes with stainless steel hose clamps for the air gap. 

Step 3: Connects the Air Gap to the Garbage Disposal

Next, measure the tube length up to 7’8″ inches by connecting the air gap with the 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 the garbage disposal, find the tube protruding from the garbage disposal side. Remove the metal plug inside the tube if the air gap has not been installed. 

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

Step 4: Thrust the Air Gap Through the Hole Over the Counter

To keep things perfect, you must thoroughly fix the air gap. To do this, eliminate the vanity covering the air gap and insert it via a hole in the counter.

Ensure to tighten up the air gap by threading the nut along the air gap’s threads. If you cannot 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.

Locate the leakages or signs of leakages. Ensure water is not backing off and thrown out from the garbage disposal.

Watch this video to know 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. The hole will be covered with a round cap when you locate it. Pry the cap or remove the lock from the sink by holding it in its place. 
  2. Now tap all the area behind the sink, including the countertop, to avoid damage. 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 an air gap via a hole. If you have assisted threads, then keep things tight to prevent damage. 
  5. Use hose clamps to add security to the air gap. 
  6. Put 7/8 inches diameter drain hose to offer smooth flow to the 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?

A few complications are involved in installing a dishwasher air gap since you are new to this job; however, if you want to try it, 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 easily. Keep checking holes and other plumbing pipes needed to complete the task hassle-free.
  2. If you cannot find the air gap hole, call the plumber to make a hole or do it yourself using an electronic drill. 
  3. Next, you must fit all the pipes with an air gap and connect the air gap with the dishwasher and the garbage disposal. 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 a smooth workflow. 
  5. Once both pipes are connected with the air gap, you must ensure that everything works with the flow and you won’t find issues. 
  6. When everything is installed, check the air gap is working smoothly. In case not, take the help of a plumber that fir everything for you. 

The Bottom Line

Nobody wants to clog the 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. 

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