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5-Step Dishwasher Vacuum Breaker Installation Guide

You’ve been using a dishwasher in your house for quite a long time. It was all okay till a problem took place. You suddenly noticed dirty dishwater siphoned backward from the drain. But you find online that a vacuum breaker can solve this issue. 

How to install a dishwasher vacuum breaker? 

If you’ve basic technical knowledge it will be really easy to install a vacuum breaker. By following a few steps you’ll smoothly install this tool. To begin, locate the air gap hole in the machine. Once done, connect the vacuum breaker along with the drain hose. Push the air gap up through the hole after that. 

We understand this much information isn’t sufficient enough. That’s why we  have provided 5-step solutions to install the vacuum breaker inside your dishwasher.

Let’s get into the detailed info!

What Is The Purpose of A Dishwasher Vacuum Breaker?

Technicians suggest joining a vacuum breaker with a dishwasher. Vacuum breaker is also called an air gap. 

The purpose of this tool is to prevent dirty dishwashers from coming backward from the drain line. It stops dishwasher water from being accidentally siphoned back.

This problem can occur when there is a clog in the dishwasher drain. The sudden drop in the water supply line pressure can cause this issue.

Whereas, a vacuum breaker creates an air gap inside the dishwasher drain line. It controls water from being sucked in reverse.

How To Install Vacuum Breaker in Dishwasher?

Installing a vacuum breaker is a really easy matter. If you have basic repairing knowledge you can easily cross the river. You just need some patience while working. 

By the way, if there’s a clog in the dishwasher you have some extra work. You have to unclog your dishwasher before installing the vacuum breaker. Once you’re done cleaning the mess, follow the below stated steps-

Step 1: Locate Vacuum Breaker Hole on Your Counter

The first thing you have to do is identify the vacuum breaker hole on the counter. Many counters contain previously precut holes on the counter. 

If your machine’s hole is not already open, it’s covered with a disc-shaped cover. Detach the disc and set it aside.

But if your machine doesn’t have any air gap holes, drill on your own. Grab an electric drill and bore a 1-⅜” hole in your countertop. 

Must ensure the hole is near the rim of your sink. This way the vacuum breaker will get ample room to suck out overflowing water.

By the way, you might face a 90-degree elbow leak with your dishwasher. In that case, fix that issue first before installing the vacuum breaker.

Step 2: Attach The Vacuum Breaker To The Drain Hose

The next task is to attach the vacuum breaker to the dishwasher drain hose. This drain hose will be attached to the shorter leg of the vacuum breaker. Hope you are clear enough to detect the shorter one. 

Once done, assemble these two ⅝” tubes together. You can also use hose clamps which secure the tube tightly to the air gap.

You can purchase your hose clamps from these suggestions below- 

Product 1
Product 2 

These are the best ones you can get. You can use any of these without any worries!

Having a huge distance between the dishwasher and the countertop will affect the air gap connecting process. That’s why closing the distance between dishwasher and countertop will be one great initiative.

Step 3: Set It To The Drain Hose Or Garbage Disposal

It’s time to connect the other part of the vacuum breaker to the drain hose or garbage disposal. To do so, cut a length of ⅞” tubing to attach the vacuum breaker. 

If you’re setting the tool to the drain, join the tube to the Y-branch tailpiece. This tailpiece will connect the sink directly to the drain. Secure the tubes with a hose clamp after that.

If you’re using the garbage disposal, locate the tube protruding from the side of the disposal unit. Before connecting tubes check out if there is any debris in the tubing. Finally, attach the ⅞” tubing to the disposal and secure it with hose clamp.

Step 4: Push Vacuum Breaker Through The Hole On Counter

Remove the vanity covering on the vacuum breaker now. Insert it into the hole in the counter below afterward. Thread nuts with air gap’s threads so it gets tightened up against the counter. 

In the first phase, tighten those nuts by using your hand. When the vacuum breaker is stabilized, use a wrench to fasten it to the counter.

You can conduct the same wrench used for connecting your ice maker to the washer line. 

Step 5: Run Your Dishwasher On A Fill Cycle

Check if there is any leaking in between the air gap and tubing connections. To do it, go through a fill cycle. Ensure that there’s no water leakage that’s dripping into the. cabinet.

That’s it! All the instructions end here. If the condition is so crucial don’t hesitate to call a technician.


Question: Is there any replacement for the dishwasher vacuum breaker?

Answer: Well, yes. There are alternative options available to dishwasher vacuum breakers. If you can’t arrange a vacuum breaker, use a ‘high loop’ drain hose configuration. Or use a standpipe as a primary alternative

Question: Which way should a dishwasher vacuum breaker face?

Answer: The slot in the vacuum breaker always needs to face towards the sink. Otherwise, the disposal pump will throw water backward in the air gap. As a result, your vacuum breaker will spill the counter like an overflowing sink. Even if backflow occurs it will go toward the sink, not towards the backsplash.

Question: Why does the dishwasher vacuum breaker leak?

Answer: Leakage occurs when water flows backward from the drain to the vacuum breaker. Vacuum breaker prevents water from siphoning backward. But it’s a rare scenario. Because it’s hard for the water level to come up so high that it flows backward.

Bottom Line

We’ll be parting our ways with this. Hope this solves your dishwasher vacuum breaker installation dilemma. If you can’t do it yourself, you can always call a professional. 

We wish you all the luck!