Air Gap

An Air Gap in the plumbing trade is a device that is mounted to the back of a kitchen sink and connects the drain line between a dishwasher and disposer to allow the dishwasher to discharge freely into the disposer while preventing contaminated water from siphoning back into the dishwasher.

All plumbing codes require backflow prevention in several ways. The plumbing fixture manufacturers build the fixtures to meet these codes. A plumber must not build cross-connections in his daily work practices, and Plumbing Inspectors look for improper designs or connections of piping and plumbing fixtures. A common misconception is that a "high loop" (routing a drain line above a sink's flood level, for instance) will provide the same function as an air gap; this is not true, because the continuous connection in such a case still will allow backflow through siphoning.