Dear Maintenance Men
25 January 2011
Dear Maintenance Men:
Why does the “upside down cup” on the edge of my kitchen sink leak and squirt water every time the dishwasher is used? George
A quick primer: The “upside down cup” is the dishwasher’s air-gap. Its job is to keep the dirty water the dishwasher discharges from returning back into the dishwasher through the siphon process. The way the dishwasher air-gap works is that water is pumped up to the air-gap at the rim of the sink and the water then falls through an open air cavity and drops by gravity into a larger diameter hose. The larger hose is typically connected to the garbage disposal, which will allow the dishwasher to drain into the sewer system. The reason the air-gap squirts or leaks at the sink rim level is because the drain line leading from the air-gap to the disposal is clogged. The hose may be kinked or food particles from the garbage disposal may have blocked off the hose end. The easiest solution is to remove the section of hose from between the air-gap and the garbage disposal. Clean the hose and remove all debris. Be sure to clean out the connection at the garbage disposal. A small screw driver is perfect for removing any blockage. Reassemble the hose and test. If the problem persists the air-gap may need to be replaced.