Do Samsung Dishwashers Need an Air Gap? 

Do you need to install an air gap for my Samsung dishwasher? It’s easy to ask this question when considering the higher cost of buying and installing one. But despite the price, including an air gap in your installation really is worthwhile.

Dishwashers need air gaps because it prevents wastewater from returning to the dishwasher. Furthermore, it protects the wastewater from contaminating your drinking water. 

This article explains the reasons and instructions for how to install air gaps in Samsung Dishwashers. It also gives a potential, less expensive alternative to air gaps that can keep your drinking water safe.

What Are Air Gaps?

Air gaps prevent the backflow of wastewater into the dishwasher. In addition, air gaps preclude wastewater overflow into the dishwasher when there’s a blockage in the drain pipe. The last thing you want is grease-stained dishes at the end of a wash cycle.

Plumbing codes, building codes, and EPA regulations now mandate the use of dishwasher air gaps. Here’s why: Air gaps prevent cross-connection. In plumbing, cross-connection is when wastewater contaminates drinking water. 

Remember that your dishwasher is connected to the main clean water supply. So, the backflow of dirty water into the machine may contaminate drinking water.

How Does a Dishwasher Air Gap Work? 

The dishwasher has a Y-shaped build that prevents the backflow of wastewater into the dishwasher. So, here’s how it works. 

There are two branches in an air gap. One branch takes wastewater from the dishwasher, while the other directs the flow of filthy water to the sewage or garbage disposal line. 

Wastewater flows from the dishwater through one branch of the air gap. The dirty water curves upwards through the branch until it reaches the peak or top of the air gap. 

Water pours out of the open tube at the peak and down into the second branch. The second branch sends wastewater straight into the garbage disposal link. 

Plumbers usually fit the two branches of air gaps right underneath the kitchen sink or countertop. In some cases, the vertical part of the air gap extends above the countertop. 

The vertical part of the air gap contains air that prevents the backflow of wastewater into the dishwasher. Furthermore, it is dotted with holes to release hot water into the sink drain if the drain pipe becomes clogged and affects water pressure.

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Do New Samsung Dishwashers Need Air Gaps? 

Do new or old Samsung models require air gaps? No, Samsung dishwashers do not need an air gap. According to a Samsung customer care representative, the presence or absence of an air gap has no direct impact on the appliance performance. 

Do Dishwashers Have a Built-In Air Gap? 

Samsung does not include an air gap with your installation kit. You will need to purchase it separately when buying a dishwasher. Most appliance stores recommend these products alongside dishwasher purchases. 

How to Install an Air Gap in a Samsung Dishwasher 

Most people are reluctant to drill a hole in their countertop to accommodate an air gap. However, air gaps are a necessity for efficient dishwasher performance. So, here’s how to install an air gap. 

Step 1. Find or create an air gap hole in the counter. 

Most countertops have a pre-cut hole for air gaps. Sometimes, a disc-shaped plastic covers the hole. 

dishwasher drain pipe

Drill a hole into the countertop if there’s no pre-cut air gap. Use an electric drill to bore a 1-3/8″ hole. Ensure the pit is close to the sink in the event of the tube overflowing with wastewater. 

Step 2: Install and connect the dishwasher drain hose to the air gap 

Connect the drain hose to the smaller branch of the air gap. Use steel clamps to secure the air gap to the drain hose. 

Step 3: Connect the air gap to the garbage disposal 

Measure a ⅞” hose and use it to connect another branch to the garbage disposal or sink. Use a hose clamp to secure the drain hose connection at both ends. 

Step 4: Push the air gap through the pre-cut hole on the counter 

Remove the disc-shaped covering on the counter. Push the air gap through the hole in the counter. Some air gap models come with adjustable screws to tightly secure it to the counter. 

Run your dishwasher through a normal cycle while checking the drain hose for leaks. 

What Are the Alternatives to Installing an Air Gap? 

High loops provide similar functions to air gaps but at a fraction of the cost and stress. You create a circle with the drain hose and install it directly under the counter. It restricts the backflow of wastewater into the dishwater. 

Note, however, that high loops are not as effective as air gaps. 

Conclusion: Do Samsung Dishwashers Need an Air Gap? 

Air gaps are necessary when installing any dishwasher, including Samsung branded ones. With an air gap, you can prevent backflow and adhere to plumbing codes and building regulations while still getting clean dishes.