Dishwasher Air Gap Alternatives

The dishwasher air gap is essential for the proper drainage of water, but it can be an eyesore in a kitchen. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the traditional air gap that can provide the same level of protection while looking much more sleek and modern. Today we will discuss several options for stylish dishwasher air gap alternatives that you can use to enhance the look of your kitchen without sacrificing safety or function.

What is an Air Gap?

An air gap is a plumbing device that helps prevent the backflow of water from a dishwasher into the home’s drinking water supply. It acts as a siphon break, which prevents wastewater from being drawn back up into the freshwater pipes. Air gaps are typically installed in the sink or countertop near where the dishwasher is located and create an open space between two pipes, allowing air to enter and stopping the contaminated fluid from entering clean water sources.

When installing an air gap, it must be connected to a drainpipe that leads outside of the house or down to a floor drain inside the house. This ensures all waste will go straight out of the home so it can’t contaminate any other parts of the plumbing system.

What are Common Air Gap Alternatives?

Air gaps, also known as anti-siphon valves, are a common feature of dishwashers. They allow water to flow out of the sink while preventing contaminated water from flowing back in. However, air gaps can be bulky and unsightly. Fortunately, there are several alternatives that offer the same protection without cluttering up your sink area.

The first option is an air gap alternative known as a high loop drain line or “air break”. This device uses a loop in the drain line to create an air pocket between the dishwasher and the sink, allowing dirty water to escape without backing up into your dishes. Another popular alternative is an inline sewer vent valve (ISVV). This device creates a barrier between the dishwasher and the sewer by using pressure differences to prevent contaminated water from entering your home’s plumbing system.

Pros and Cons of Dishwasher Air Gap Alternatives

Alternatives to traditional dishwasher air gaps are becoming increasingly popular. With the aid of modern technology, homeowners now have multiple options for dealing with this issue. So what are the pros and cons of these alternatives?

One alternative is a high-loop hose installation. This requires no additional parts and is generally less expensive than purchasing an air gap, making it a great money-saving option. As well as being cost-effective, this setup also ensures that water can’t be siphoned back up into the dishwasher during drainage cycles. However, it may not be suitable for all installations as there must be enough space to create an adequately high loop outside of the sink cabinet.

Another alternative involves using a check valve on the drain line itself instead of installing an air gap.

Re-routing Drain Line

Re-routing a drain line is a common solution to many plumbing problems. It’s also an important step in installing dishwashers since a properly connected drain line will ensure that water flows away from the appliance and out of the home. But what if there isn’t room for a standard air gap? Fortunately, there are some alternatives that can provide effective drainage without all the hassle.

One viable option is to use a high-loop configuration. This route requires that the drain lines be arranged in such a way as to create an elevated separation between them, which prevents dirty water from seeping back into the dishwasher or other parts of the kitchen sink system. It may also require additional piping and connections, but it’s still much easier than trying to fit in an air gap installation.

Overflow Prevention Valves

Overflow Prevention Valves are an important component of a dishwasher system. They help prevent dishwater from overflowing and causing costly damage to property. An Overflow Prevention Valve is installed between the water supply line and the dishwasher, which acts as a safety measure to halt water flow if too much pressure builds up in the pipes.

When it comes to alternatives, Air Gaps are one of the most popular options on the market. Air Gaps are typically used in conjunction with an Overflow Prevention Valve, although they can be used alone as a preventative measure against flooding. Air Gaps create an air pocket for water to escape through if there is excessive pressure or clogging in the pipes, ensuring that no matter what happens, your dishwasher won’t overflow and cause damage. While these devices do require some installation work, their reliability makes them well worth it!

Option 1: High Loop Installation

Option 1: High Loop Installation is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to the traditional dishwasher air gap. This installation method utilizes a high loop of pipe that attaches between the drain line and the sink drain outlet. It can provide effective protection from sewer gases, eliminates wastewater backflow, and reduces flooding hazards.

This installation option is fairly easy to install compared to other alternatives like air gap systems. All that’s required is mounting brackets, PVC piping, clamps, and a few basic tools; no special skills or knowledge is needed! Plus, it doesn’t require any additional hardware or fixtures as air gaps do. Once installed, you can rest assured knowing your dishwasher drains properly and safely without any risk of flooding due to backflow issues.

Option 2: Air Break Connector

If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional dishwasher air gap, then Option 2: Air Break Connector is the perfect solution. This simple and convenient device provides a quick and easy way to connect the dishwasher drain line to your home’s waste system. It functions by providing an air break between the two lines, which prevents backflow from occurring. With this in mind, it provides an effective solution for both residential and commercial applications.

The installation of this device requires minimal effort and no specialized tools are necessary. All that is needed is one water supply connection on the dishwasher side of the unit, plus another connection on the outlet side to be connected directly to your waste pipe. The Air Break Connector also comes with a built-in check valve, ensuring that all water will flow in one direction only – preventing any potential clogging or flooding issues.

Option 3: Sanitary Tee Connector

Sanitary Tee Connector is an ideal dishwasher air gap alternative. This device is a cost-effective and easy-to-install fixture that works well as an air gap. It consists of a tee fitting with two inlet ports, one outlet port, and a vent to the atmosphere. The inlet ports are connected directly to the supply line and the drain line from the dishwasher, while the outlet port leads directly into the drain system. The vent allows air to escape between these pipes so that water can flow freely without any blockage or clogging issues.

What makes this option so attractive for homeowners is its simple design and installation process. All it takes is a few basic tools and materials such as pipe sealant, wrench or pliers, and some basic plumbing knowledge.

Option 4: Check Valve Connector

Check Valve Connector is a viable alternative to the traditional dishwasher air gap. This alternative effectively prevents drainage water from backflowing into the dishwasher and contaminating the water supply. The Check Valve Connector can be easily installed without any special tools or skills, providing a cost-effective, low-maintenance option for homeowners looking to replace their dishwasher air gap.  

The Check Valve Connector has two parts – an inlet side valve and an outlet side check valve. The inlet side valve opens when water enters from the sink drain, allowing it to pass through and out of the outlet side check valve. When this happens, the pressure created in the line prevents backflow from occurring, protecting your home’s plumbing system against contamination.


Finding the right dishwasher air gap alternative can make all the difference when it comes to preventing water damage in your home. There are a variety of options available, and each one offers unique benefits depending on your budget and needs. Ultimately, it’s important to consider all the factors before making a final decision.

When considering dishwasher air gap alternatives, one of the most popular choices is an under-sink drain pump. This device can be installed directly underneath your sink and will keep wastewater from backing up into your dishwasher or other appliances.

It’s affordable, easy to install, and requires minimal maintenance once it’s in place. Another option is an automatic shut-off valve that helps prevent cross-contamination between sink drains and dishwashers by automatically cutting off water flow if there is a clog or blockage.

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