In my upcoming kitchen cabinet replacement, I'm getting a single dishwasher drawer to replace a full sized one and I want to install it at height of about 35" (that's its bottom, so the top will be at about 51" from the floor). It will most likely be hooked up to drain into the garbage disposal which is under the sink right next to it.

All installation instructions and all related questions I could find talk about draining assuming that the dishwasher is next to the sink, which this one is next to the sink, it will be higher than the sink.

What changes would need to be made to the draining set-up for the dishwasher drawer in this scenario? Given that the bottom of the drawer will be roughly at the same height as the very top edge of the sink, it seems unlikely that any blockage would cause backflow would end up in the dishwasher, so does this mean there's no point to air gaps or looping the drain hose under the counter?

  • Is there any way you could come back here and post a pic of this setup when you're done? I'd like to see that, sounds neat.
    – NPM
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 0:53
  • I have drawings and computer rendering of the setup but I'm guessing you're more curious about the finished setup in real life? :) Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 7:37
  • @NPM I've got a picture here: dropbox.com/s/ianfkth06s85uan/… this is a view of the kitchen wall - on the left is (from bottom) washer, dishwasher drawer and combo oven (plus storage). Here's a closer look with the drawer unit open: dropbox.com/s/689ulqnzamhta5n/IMG_0774.JPG?dl=0 Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


Wow, what an interesting question, and weird setup.

Personally, I agree with you. A clog or backup would have one heck of a treck to go uphill like that. Of course, depending on your locality, there may be a code requirement for the air gap, but I'd be willing to argue the necessity to any inspector that said otherwise.

  • I'm in NY which I don't believe requires an air gap though I lived in CA in the past which does or at least did when we did the kitchen back then. Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 7:39
  • Btw as far as it being a strange setup - I had a washer and on top of it I had a countertop portable dishwasher. So really all I'm doing is replacing countertop dishwasher with a single drawer which is the same size roughly but won't be hooked into sink faucet but instead be properly plumbed. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 18:26

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