​Dishwasher Air Gap Leaking Why and How to Fix It?

Have you ever wondered why some dishwashers leak air? If you’ve had this problem, then you might want to read this article. In this post, I’ll explain why dishwashers leak air and how to fix it.

You probably don’t realize it, but your dishwasher has a built-in air gap. This means that it has a space between the door and the cabinet where water and food particles can get trapped. The air gap allows moisture to escape from the dishwasher without causing damage.

But sometimes, the air gap gets clogged or damaged, which causes leaks. When this happens, the dishwasher won’t dry properly and you’ll see wet spots on dishes.

How does the air gap work?

The air gap is installed through the sink or it can also be installed through the countertop. The base of this assembly has got two branches. They both have got different lengths of hose.

Dishwasher Air Gap Leaking? We've Got Answers

The first length is between the dishwasher and the air gap, the other length is between the air gap to the sink drain or in some cases the garbage disposal. These two are parted by the gap of air. Water from the dishwasher passes through the shaft to the air gap and falls through the second branch through the air gap, eventually drained.

On the other side, a high loop does not have any sort of gap between the drain and the dishwasher. It has a single length of hose which is there from the dishwasher. Secured underneath the sink and fell into the drain or drainage at the maximum possible level. This causes every backflow to drive a long way to reach the dishwasher. The absence of physical isolation between washing machines and drains is unlikely to contribute to pollution.

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Let’s have a look at the problem and the ways to fix them.

Check the garbage disposal

If you have recently fitted garbage disposal and after this, your dishwasher has all of a sudden started backing up everywhere the problem here most likely is the small hose that connects to the garbage disposal.

This insert is to be removed during the time of installation but sometimes it is not removed and as the water waste does not have any place to go it starts draining everywhere. All you need to do here is disconnect the hose first and then press a screwdriver against the insert. Now try tapping the end of your screwdriver using a hammer. You need to keep tapping until you see that the insert is pushed into the garbage disposal tank. Once you are done doing this the blockage is removed and your dishwasher will start working properly.


One of the most common reasons where the air gap in the dishwasher starts leaking is a clog. In most circumstances, you can repair your dishwasher yourself.

The first thing that you need to do is to remove the metal casing from the air gap and after that, you need to take off the plastic top. It depends on how your dishwasher is constructed. The plastic top might get unscrewed; it may lift off after pitching the sides. After you are done doing this you will have clear access to the air gap, you must check if there is any material that is clogging any part. You can remove these materials using tweezers.

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Blow the clogs away

If you cannot see any sort of clog with your eyes then you must try blowing it away.

All you need to do here is place a roll of paper towels on the air gaps and blow through the other end. Hopefully, a few effective blasts would break away any obstacle. Finally, fill the air gap with hot water to cure any gray particles. You can need to snake it out if you can’t get air circulation or if there’s already a blockage.

Snaking the clog out

It is a very simple step and it is similar to snaking other plumbing features. You can remove the clog from your air gap by simply putting a tool in the pipe.

You need to use something capable of going inside and it isn’t too big. A long bottle brush can work effectively here. You need to push the tool that you are using through the bigger hole which is at the base of the air gap outlet. You need to move it back and forth. Make sure that you do not put a lot of pressure as it will damage the tube. Keep an eye on the drain in the sink or your garbage disposal. If you are able to see the end of the tool there then you have removed all the clog.

Vacuum the clog

You can also try vacuuming the clog if any of the above-mentioned doesn’t work or if you do not want to do that.

Take your vacuum and put the hose end on the air gap outlet. You need to make sure that the switch here is turned to the suction. Now fill the sink or the disposal area using hot water. After you are done doing this you need to turn on the shop vac. The force that the vacuum will put during suction will help to remove or dislodge all the clog. It will only take around 30 to 40 seconds to do this.

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How To Repair Dishwasher Drain Pipe

A broken dishwasher drain line can cause flooding and even lead to mold growth. Fortunately, fixing a leaky dishwasher drainpipe is easy and inexpensive. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2″ flexible tubing (available at home improvement stores)
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Waterproof glue such as silicone caulk
  • A small paintbrush
  • A container for holding the water used to clean the drainline

Steps to fix a leaking dishwasher drainpipe:

1. Turn off the power to the dishwasher. This will prevent any electrical shock.

2. Remove the front panel of the dishwasher.

3. Unscrew the screws that hold the rubber gasket in place.

4. Pull the old gasket out of the opening.

5. Clean the area where the gasket was installed. Use soap and warm water.

6. Replace the new gasket with the old one.

7. Screw the screws back into place.

8. Replace the front panel.

9. Turn the power back on.

10. Test the dishwasher to ensure that no leaks exist.


In conclusion, we hope that our guide has been helpful. We have tried to cover everything about repairing dishwashers. If you ever face any problem while trying to repair your dishwasher, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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