Dishwasher Air Gap Alternatives For Smooth & Hygenic Operation

Nobody wants to wash the dishes again with their hands after washing them in the dishwasher, right? But this can happen if your dishwasher has a faulty air gap or if you have not installed your dishwasher properly. The pipe that runs from your sink to the wall or the floor is known as the air gap.

The air gap is necessary because it extends the space between your drainage pipe and any other contaminating factors. You can also use different dishwasher air gap alternatives that are helpful for proper air circulation. These alternatives include a high loop, a standpipe, and a check valve.

Let’s discuss the dishwasher air gaps and their alternatives in detail. Are you ready? Let’s fly!

What is an Air Gap?

Dishwasher air gap

An air gap is a drainage system that assists in preventing water from backing up into the kitchen’s source of water from a dishwasher. It works as a vacuum barrier to stop the flow of sewage backing up into the water pipelines.

A space in between two pipelines is called an “air gap” and is put in the sink or countertops next to the dishwasher. This allows air to enter and prevents polluted water from getting into freshwater resources.

An air gap must be linked to a sewage pipe or to a drain pipe that is located there when it is installed. This guarantees that all garbage will exit the house immediately. This will prevent other drainage components from contamination.

Why is dishwasher air gap important?

Sometimes your kitchen’s drainage system takes the overflow from your dishwasher due to some reasons. Even though the sewage system works accurately or runs smoothly, there is a small possibility that some of the contaminated water will go back into the dishwasher and re-dirty the plates that have just been cleaned.

Additionally, some of that contaminated liquid can make its way into the clean water flow that is pouring from your faucet. You must make sure that the dishwasher’s drain pipe has air space in it to avoid this form of contaminant.

The component that is easily seen usually looks like a tiny cylinder and is frequently silver chrome in color. It can be found near the back border of a common kitchen counter.

Also read this article if your dishwasher smells like eggs (one possible reason for smell is wrong drainage of dishwasher)

What are the different dishwasher air gap alternatives?

different dishwasher air gap alternatives

There are some most effective options to get an air gap for your dishwasher and you don’t need to spend a lot on it. You can substitute the requirement for an air gap for your dishwasher with a variety of other options.

So, just get ready to know about different dishwasher air gap alternatives.

A High Loop

dishwasher high loop

The most preferred replacement for a dishwasher air gap and the best technique to manage water splash-back is a high loop. In a high loop, the drainage pipe is placed below the basin line and extends above the water’s surface in a special design. It can be connected to waste disposal or drainage.

By including this substitute, the water backflow into the dishwasher can be reduced. The high loop’s best aspect is that it doesn’t need any specialized tools or components. The only thing you’ll need to keep the drainage pipe in position is several clamps or a set of clips.

While installing various items of equipment along with the standpipe makes utilizing a standpipe pricier than using a high looping. It is still less costly than connecting many drainage pipes throughout your house only to handle your dishwasher.

A Standpipe

Standpipe under sink demonstration

When there isn’t an air gap, a standpipe is another alternative for reducing backflow contaminants. A vertical line called a standpipe is utilized to allow water to drain from a structure.

Standpipes can be utilized to rapidly remove water from dishwashers and are normally positioned in the drainage system above the P-trap. They also offer a simple method for draining dishwashers.

Thus, it is not the optimal solution for avoiding backflow pollution. It is crucial to remember that standpipes are not always necessary and cannot be appropriate depending on the circumstances.

The best thing to do is to contact a plumber before selecting this choice. It is because they are more difficult to install than an air gap or large loop drainpipe.

Check Valve

The non-return valve is used in dishwashers very commonly. It is an easy valve that saves the user’s expense by reducing the requirement for over-the-counter hardware and enhancing kitchen aesthetics without compromising efficiency. Although this is not always allowed, it is a suitable option for many users.

On the majority of modern dishwashers, the drainpipe links to the recirculating pump and has a non-return regulator.

A one-way lock, also known as a non-return valve, guarantees that liquids only move in one direction. When water flows into the valve, the valve is opened. On the other hand, when the circulation pauses, the valve closes.

Is a Sanitary Tee Connector a good air gap alternative?

Yes, the sanitary tee connector is an excellent substitute for the dishwasher air gap. This component functions effectively as an air gap and is inexpensive and simple to install.

There are two intake valves, one output port, and a venting to the environment on the tee connection. The dishwasher’s source and drainage lines are simply linked to the input ports, while the output port enters the drain system.

The vent enables air to pass through between these pipelines. It also allows water to flow without obstruction or plugging problems. The ease of its design and setup is what people find so appealing about this alternative.

All you need for this alternative are a few simple components and tools, such as pipe sealer, a spanner or pair of pliers, and some fundamental plumbing skills.

Interesting Read: Should You Fill The Gap Between Dishwasher and Countertop?

Pros and Cons of Dishwasher Air Gap Alternatives

Dishwasher air gap alternatives are getting more and more common. Due to advanced technologies, householders now have a variety of alternatives for resolving this problem. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of these air gap options?

A high-loop hose assembly is a fine alternative. This is an excellent way to save money because it doesn’t need any extra parts and is less costly than buying an air gap. This method prevents water from being pumped back up into the dishwasher during the draining process.

As there must be sufficient area to construct a suitably high loop outside of the basin cabinet, it might not be appropriate for all setups. An option for adding an air gap is to use a check valve on the piping system.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

There are three widely utilized substitutes for the dishwashing air gap such as a high loop, a standpipe, and a check valve. However, the best one to utilize will rely on the applicable building regulations. Find out which of these is the greatest method by asking your plumbing company.

First of all, you must consult with your professional plumber to know which one is the finest technique to follow. In my opinion, the high loop is the greatest alternative of these three because it doesn’t require any additional parts or cost.

Yes, you can do this as installing a dishwasher drain line is not very complicated. But if you have never performed this kind of job before, it is advisable to consult a qualified plumber who can assist you.


I have provided all the essential information in this article to let you know about the importance of dishwasher air gap alternatives. By being aware of your choices for the dishwasher air gap, you can now avoid cross-contamination.

Additionally, these substitutes will guarantee the highest level of efficiency and longevity. They will keep your plates clean and free of debris. So, just select your option according to your requirements and needs.

What else you are looking for? Let me know in the feedback!

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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