How to Plumb a Dishwasher Without an Air Gap

Installing a dishwasher can be a great addition to any kitchen, making meal cleanup a breeze. However, many people wonder whether they need an air gap for their dishwasher installation. The good news is that you can indeed plumb a dishwasher without an air gap, and in this article, we will guide you through the process step by step.

Is an Air Gap Necessary?

Before we dive into the installation process, let’s address the question of whether an air gap is necessary for a dishwasher. An air gap is a device that prevents wastewater from flowing back into the dishwasher, ensuring that your dishes remain clean. While it’s a recommended safety feature in some regions, it’s not always mandatory. Many modern dishwashers are designed to operate effectively without an air gap, thanks to improved technology and design.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin the installation process, gather the following tools and materials:


  1. Screwdriver
  2. Adjustable wrench
  3. Pipe cutter
  4. Pliers
  5. Tape measure


  1. Dishwasher installation kit
  2. Hose clamps
  3. Drain hose
  4. Dishwasher elbow fitting
  5. Teflon tape
  6. PVC pipe and fittings

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Step 1: Preparation

  1. Shut Off Power and Water Supply: Before starting any work, turn off the power and water supply to your dishwasher. You can do this by locating the circuit breaker and water shut-off valve.
  2. Clear the Cabinet Space: Remove any items from the cabinet under the sink to make room for the dishwasher.

Step 2: Create an Entry Point

  1. Drill a Hole: Use a drill to create a hole in the side of the cabinet for the dishwasher’s power cord and water supply line to pass through.

Step 3: Connect the Water Supply

  1. Attach the Water Line: Connect the water supply line from the dishwasher to the hot water supply under the sink using a dishwasher elbow fitting and Teflon tape to seal the threads.

Step 4: Connect the Drain Hose

  1. Attach the Drain Hose: Connect the dishwasher’s drain hose to the sink’s drainpipe or garbage disposal. Use hose clamps to secure the connections.

Step 5: Secure the Dishwasher

  1. Secure the Dishwasher: Use screws to anchor the dishwasher to the cabinet or countertop, ensuring it’s level.

Step 6: Test the Connections

  1. Turn On Water and Power: Turn on the water supply and power to the dishwasher. Run a test cycle to check for any leaks or issues.


Installing a dishwasher without an air gap is a manageable DIY project that can save you money and provide the convenience of a modern kitchen appliance. By following these steps and ensuring proper connections, you can enjoy clean dishes without the need for an air gap.


Do I need professional help to install a dishwasher without an air gap?

While it’s a DIY-friendly project, if you’re not comfortable with plumbing or electrical work, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.

Can I use an air gap if I prefer added security?

Yes, you can still install an air gap if you prefer the extra protection it provides against backflow.

Do I need special tools for this installation?

The tools listed in this article are standard and should be readily available at your local hardware store.

What do I do if I encounter a leak during the installation process?

Turn off the water supply and power immediately, and check your connections for any loose or damaged parts. Tighten or replace them as needed.

Can I install a dishwasher in any cabinet space?

Dishwasher installation requires specific dimensions and access to water and power sources. Ensure your cabinet space meets these requirements before attempting installation.

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