How Dishwasher Air Gap Works

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Written By Elizabeth Anderson

Passionate and experienced foodie, traveler, and lover of all things home-related. Currently writing for a variety of blogs on recipes, cooking hacks, food politics and more!

A dishwasher air gap is a small device that is installed between the dishwasher and the sink. It allows water to drain from the dishwasher without backsplashing into the sink. The air gap also prevents sewage gases from escaping back into the dishwasher.

Now You Know: The Dishwasher Air Gap

If you have a dishwasher, you probably have an air gap. But do you know how it works? An air gap is a device that is installed between your dishwasher and your sink.

It has two parts: an inlet and an outlet. The inlet connects to the dishwasher drain hose, and the outlet goes to the sewer line or disposal unit. The air gap prevents dirty water from flowing back into your dishwasher.

When the dishwasher cycle starts, water is pumped out of the tub and into the drain hose. The air gap allows this water to escape while preventing sewage gases and odors from coming back up into your dishwasher. If you notice water leaking from your air gap, it could be because the inlet or outlet is blocked.

Check both for any debris or buildup that could be causing the issue. You may need to clean or replace your air gap if it becomes clogged or damaged.

Dishwasher Air Gap Clogged

If your dishwasher air gap is clogged, it’s important to clean it out as soon as possible. Otherwise, dirty water can back up into your dishwasher and cause all sorts of problems. Fortunately, cleaning a clogged dishwasher air gap is relatively easy.

All you need is a small screwdriver and a can of compressed air. Here’s what you need to do: 1) Locate the dishwasher air gap.

It’s usually located on the countertop near the sink. 2) Use a small screwdriver to remove the cap from the air gap. 3) Insert the tip of the canned air into the opening and spray vigorously.

You may need to do this several times to completely clear out the clog. 4) Replace the cap on the air gap and that’s it! You’ve now successfully cleaned out your dishwasher air gap.

How Dishwasher Air Gap Works


Do Dishwashers Really Need an Air Gap?

Yes, dishwashers really need an air gap. This is because the dishwasher pumps water out of the tub during the drain cycle and an air gap allows this to happen without siphoning water back into the dishwasher. The air gap also prevents dirty water from backing up into the dishwasher.

Does Dishwasher Air Gap Release Water?

Dishwasher air gaps are designed to release water when there is a blockage in the dishwasher drain. This prevents dirty water from backing up into the dishwasher and contaminating the clean dishes. If your dishwasher air gap is releasing water, it is likely because there is a clog in the dishwasher drain.

You can try to clear the clog yourself by using a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If you cannot clear the clog, you will need to call a plumber.


If your dishwasher has an air gap, that means it’s properly draining. An air gap is a small hole in the countertop that connects to the sink’s drain line. The air gap allows water and air to escape as the dishwasher drains, which prevents dirty water from being siphoned back into the dishwasher.

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