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Old 08-13-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
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Air gap issues

So we recently purchased a new faucet, which necessitated buying all new sink fixtures (including a new air gap for the dishwasher). And now, it seems that water is draining from the air gap. I find this very strange as I don't think it was happening before and I don't see how changing out the air gap could lead to this issue.

Anyway, when I put in the new air gap I immediately noticed that one of the connections was considerably narrower than the previous air gap. It took a bit to get a tight fit but I did (I think).

Upon seeing the water coming out of the new air gap, I examined the most obvious possibility, which is an obstruction in the hose leading to the garbage disposal. I removed it and checked it out but saw nothing.

Second, I took off the connection of that hose on the disposal side and ran the dishwasher. Obviously, I put a bucket under the hose to see if it drained. There was good flow of water yet, even with the hose disconnected, water was still going out of the air gap?

Anyone have any ideas. Is it even possible that changing the air gap could have led to this issue? Or is it more likely that this issue was their all along and I didn't notice it?

Just to make sure, I also switched the hoses on the air gap but it didn't work.

Any insight into this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Old 08-13-2011, 06:36 AM   #2
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If there are no kinks from the air gap, there is likely a partial clog in the drain. The usual place for that is at the wall elbow where the trap goes into the wall.

Dishwashers, like washing machines, dump a lot of water quickly. If there is any restriction after the air gap, the water has to go somewhere, thus out the air gap. If it dumps into a disposal, why not skip the air gap and run directly to the disposal from the dishwasher. Make sure the DW line is above the drain connection, so dirty water does not drain back into the DW.


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Old 08-13-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by droopdog7 View Post
Anyway, when I put in the new air gap I immediately noticed that one of the connections was considerably narrower than the previous air gap. It took a bit to get a tight fit but I did (I think).
The typical air-gap has two different diameter hose connections. The hose from the dishwasher goes on the smaller diameter connection and the hose to the drain goes on the larger diameter connection. Is that how your air-gap is connected?

When you remove the "stainless steel" cap, do you see just a plastic housing or do you see the inlet and outlet as shown by the blue arrows in the picture above? If you see the inlet and outlet, then the "plastic" cap that redirects the water from the dishwasher is missing. The plastic cap is very difficult to see in the picture above but if you look closely, it is there below the stainless steel cap.

To test for clogs, remove the "plastic" cap to expose the inlet and outlet orifices. (On our air-gap I have to pinch two plastic prongs with hooked ends and then lift the plastic cap upward.) Then do what Ramonasplumber shows in this youtube video:

I personally believe that an air-gap is mandatory for any dishwasher installation regardless of the specific code for the area. Just routing the drain hose higher without an air-gap can still allow back siphoning of waste water if the dishwater's check valve fails.

Anyway, hope this helps you find your problem,

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 08-13-2011 at 02:50 PM.
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