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How Do You Turn A Dishwasher Air-Gap Device Into A Water-Gap Device?

So, how do you turn a dishwasher air-gap device into a water-gap device?

Remember the old air-gap devices?  Those little domes on the edge of the kitchen sink which AIR is supposed to come out of when the dishwasher drains?  If it clogged water would spray instead.

Now dishwashers are mostly drained directly into the disposal, which is alright if the drain hose loops over the disposal so you don't get goop back washing into the dishwasher.

People sometimes call me to ask why there is rice on their plates after the dishwasher finishes.  Ummmm...

However, arriving at an empty house, with a "new" kitchen, we admired the new sink.

Its a beauty!

I turned the dishwasher on first.  And began with the rest of the kitchen.

Typically I do the kitchen last, but it was new so we wanted to see what it had in store.  The buyers were very interested in the new appliances.

Not long after we heard spraying under the kitchen sink.  I thought I knew what it meant, and quickly turned off the dishwasher.

Looking underneath we found what I suspected might be the problem.

That is the air-gap device that stuck up and into the dome over the previous kitchen sink!

They had it tucked tightly up in to the gap behind the sink!

That's why I didn't see it first glance.

Conspicuously missing is the disposal.

The way they had this set up, when the dishwasher drained it sprayed through the air gap AND into the drain.

Now it's a water-gap device!

Fortunately we caught it before too much water sprayed!

Had we gone somewhere else there would have been other damage.

Cute!  But incorrect.

They didn't know how to drill a hole through the new sink, so they didn't!

My recommendation:  new is good.  New and done right is better!  Try everything in a new kitchen!  You might be sprayed with information!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 21 commentsJay Markanich • May 04 2013 01:07AM

Comments

Jay - You do find the darndest things. My dishwasher/disposer is set up wrong - so I darned well better remember to run the disposer often.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 7 years ago

That helps prevent the goop back wash too Marte!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Talk about "engine-newity"! That's putting the old gray matter to work...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

It is Michael!  How often do we see fun installations like this! 

And, geez, go to bed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good morning,  Jay, Not too often! I have two reports from the houses from the hinges of Hades to put together! 'Bout as much fun as s sharp stick in the eye! Then I will check the eyelids out for holes...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Not quite as bad as a kitchen remodel in the house I remodeled in Bethesda.  GEEZ:  That would be the stuff for half dozen posts.

It is clear that the no. 1 hazard to almost any home is contractors. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 7 years ago

One has towonder whatsomeone was thinking.. its an easy device to connect...

Posted by Scott Fogleman, Greater Good Group (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 7 years ago

Well Micheal, I hope you find a lot of holes.  Plug'em up!

'Tis Lenn.  It appears this dishwasher had not been used much, if at all, prior to the inspection.  Or there would have been damage in the basement ceiling below.

Scott - it is.  Drilling a hole would have been the hard way.  Simply connecting the line to the drain easier.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay;  You teach us well.  I quickly noticed the electric outlet near the sink was not GFCI.  My eyes are educated.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 7 years ago

It is GFI connected though Ken.  It is downstream from the device to its right.  Receptacles are often wired in succession, with many covered by one GFI receptacle.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Well at least you discovered it and it sounds like they should be able to fix it. Glad you noticed the spray right away.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

That was very fortunate Debbie.  I don't like it when phantom leaks happen without our knowing about it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

The good news is it was caught before a lot of damage was done.  There is always good news with the bad.  Which one you decide to remember is what determines the rest of your day.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

We were very glad we caught it early James!  And now I can use it to teach.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I liked what Lenn said that the contractor is the #1 hazard sometimes in remodels. 

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) over 7 years ago

Yes Richard, contractors or homeowners!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Very clever... why no disposal, septic? At least something was connected there! I have seen incomplete drain pipes and luckily checked under the cabinet before turning the water on.

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 7 years ago

I think there used to be one Fred.  There was a sealed box on the cabinet wall.  They hid this up high and behind the sink and I didn't see it first look.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I just got a call from a client requesting a hole be drilled in their sink Jay, it can be done. 

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago

Jay, Sure makes for a nice water feature in your cabinet. You have to wonder.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Of course it can be done Tom.  They didn't have the tools, ability, or knowledge.

Don - isn't a little zen waterfall calming?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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