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How to Remove the Air Gap on a Dishwasher

An air gap in a dishwasher helps prevent dirty dish water from being siphoned back into the municipal water supply. After a dishwasher finishes, it pumps the dirty water out of the dishwasher and into your home's sewage system. An air gap, created by having a space of air between two drain pipes, keeps the water flowing in one way only. The top of the air gap, known as the tower, is visible on the countertop, usually located next to the sink. If your municipality has changed some of its water codes, you may be able to remove the air gap on a dishwasher as it is no longer needed.

A dishwasher with or without an air gap can keep your dirty dishes in check.
  1. Turn off the electricity for the dishwasher. In most cases, this means you will have to shut off the power for the circuit where the dishwasher is located.

  2. Turn off the water supply for the dishwasher. In most installations, the dishwasher will be attached to the hot water supply valve located beneath the kitchen sink. Rotate this knob clockwise to turn off the water.

  3. Open the dishwasher door to gain access to the mounting screws holding it in place. Unscrew these and set them aside.

  4. Pull the dishwasher out of the space where it is located to gain access to the drain hose.

  5. Use the screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps on the air gap. There will be one for the intake side and one for the outlet.

  6. Remove the air gap cap located on the countertop. Usually, this will be next to the sink. Use a pair of pliers to unscrew the retaining nut that holds the air gap tower in place. Pull the air gap tower from underneath the counter.

Warning

  • Be sure to check local codes before removing the air gap. In many municipalities, these are required by law.

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.