Dishwasher Air Gaps: Why Are They Important?

Dishwashers are a fantastic invention! Eliminating the need to scrub all of your dishes after a meal saves an incredible amount of time that can be spent doing fun things—not chores.

However, it’s obviously useless if the dishes in your dishwasher is actually making your dishes dirtier after use. Luckily, the smart folks who created the dishwasher invented a contraption called an air gap to prevent this from happening.

What is an air gap?

If you take a look at your kitchen counter top, you’ll notice a small cylinder mounted next to the faucet. While it may just look like a regular appliance, the real magic happens under the cylinder. Under the cover, there are two hoses. One hose goes to the dishwater and the other goes to the sink trap. The hose to the dishwater looks like the top of a candy cane and sits above the hose to the sink trap. The air gap is a piece of equipment that creates a small space in between the two hoses.

How does it work?

After dishes are clean the dishwater expels the dirty water from the hose leading to the air gap. The water loops through the “candy cane” and comes out the other end eventually flowing to the other hose. But of course, before the dirty water gets to the other hose it has to pass the air gap. The air gap ensures the old water doesn’t get caught in the dishwasher drain hose and flow back into the washer.

Why do I need an air gap?

A plumber in Grand Rapids, MN will always recommend ensuring you have an air gap. As aforementioned, without an air gap, there is a very good chance that the expelled water from the dishwasher will flow right back into the washer and contaminate the dishes that were just cleaned with old, dirty water.

How do I know if the air gap isn’t working?

Your first clue that there may be a problem with your air gap is if you notice water seeping out under the cover onto your kitchen counter top. This could mean that the air gap is clogged by something and not allowing the old water to flow into the other hose. The only problem is that there may not be a lot of water coming out of the air gap so it may be hard to notice. However, over time you’ll see a buildup of white crusty stuff around the air gap which indicates you’ll need to call a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN.

Another clue that you may have a problem with your air gap, or the hose that leads from the dishwasher, is that your dishes aren’t coming out clean or there is a pool of dirty water in your dishwasher.

A great way to ensure your dishwasher and air gap is working properly is to clean out your air gap on a regular basis. Our trained plumbers are happy to come to your home and do this for you. Call us at 218-326-0073 today to schedule an appointment!

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