Problem: When dishwasher drains it dumps water to the sink through the air gap. Problem started accuring 6 month after kitchen/sink/dishwasher was installed and used.

What I tried:

  • Opened the cover of the air gap and checked it was clean
  • disconnected the 7/8 ID hose coming from the sink to the garbage disposal made sure it was clean.
  • made sure garbage disposal is clean

Next thing I ran a new dishwasher cycle and the issue is not fixed. I took the cover off the air gap and observed it while water was dumping. The part of the air gap connected to the the dishwasher is shooting water in the air 5-6 inches.

Question: is that how dishwasher should be dumping water? There's no way this air gap design can work this way. Is my air gap assembly incomplete? When I take the cap off I see one 3/8in pipe inside the other (wider one). There's no cover of any sort to restrain water flow, so when dishwasher dumps the water it just spills out.

  • Sounds like there is a blockage in the line going into the disposal to me. Just to be clear, it did work for 6 months from the time of being installed before breaking? This will help rule out various installation errors.
    – BMitch
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 11:28
  • Yes, it did work fine for 6 months. There's no blockage, see bulle 2 in my original post.
    – Zepplock
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 13:40
  • If I understand your problem correctly, then you have water that is flowing maybe a foot above the drain. If there's no blockage somewhere in that drain path, than my physics teacher owes me a refund.
    – BMitch
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 13:55
  • No, physics is fine. The hose from the DW is connected to the air gap. The air gap has nothing to stop the water since the he water from the DW is under pressure. I assume it is supposed to drain really slowly in order to be contained in the air gap but in my case it is not.
    – Zepplock
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


I bought a new air gap. Upon a further inspection I found out that my air gap is missing a cover: a piece of plastic that routes the water coming from the DW into the drain.

Long story short, it somehow got popped out and my wife "saved" it by sticking into the kitchen drawer.

  • 2
    Wives do love to be helpful like that. :) Thanks for following up with the answer and sorry that the rest of us couldn't be more help.
    – BMitch
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 2:27

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