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Air Gaps Where and Why They are Used in Your Plumbing

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As it relates to plumbing, an air gap is the unblocked vertical space between the flood level of a fixture and the water outlet.

Why are Air Gaps Used?

Air gaps are required in water systems in the US and many other countries across the globe. And, as a matter of fact, there are safety plumbing standards and codes that regulate how air gaps are to be designed and used.

Primarily, the basic use of an air gap is to prevent the backflow of contaminated water in sinks, garbage disposals and others fixtures in homes and businesses. For instance, the faucet and sink set-up is an ideal example of this concept, especially since it easier to perceive and envision by the average person. With that being said, here are a few examples of air gaps and where they are used in households today.


Where are air gaps used?

Air gaps Used for Sinks

In plumbing, air gaps are commonly used in places that people see everyday. For instance, whenever you are looking at the sink in your home, you will see that the faucet is usually a lot higher than sink rim and Faucet. The space between these two (sink rim and faucet) is known as the air gap. And, this spacing is by design to ensure that the water can get from the faucet to the sink. In this scenario, the water can flow freely into the sink without the possibly of contaminated water flowing backwards.


Air Gaps Used for Dishwashers

As mentioned above, air gaps in plumbing are essential for safe water sources. Therefore, an air gap used for dishwasher is not an option, but a necessity in keeping the water safe to wash your dishes in. Even though a dishwasher air gap may appear to be a matter of convenience, especially since it positioned next to the kitchen faucet, this positioning is strategically placed. This is because the water sometimes spills out of it. For instance, in the rare event of a backflow event, the air gap, in this case, is instantly neutralized, and prevents contaminated water from flowing back and forth.


Air gaps Used between potable water and drains

To prevent serious risks to health, and prevent the accidental flow of contaminated water, air gaps are not only used for dishwashers, garbage disposals and sinks. They are also used in places that you may or may not think about. For instance, according to plumbing codes, an air gap is required between drains and potable water.



Today, air gaps are being used in the home for a variety of different reasons and purposes. And, professional plumbers are using their skills, knowledge, and expertise to strategically place air gaps according to their city’s standard plumbing codes.Therefore, you may find air gaps in a variety of places, including bathroom sinks, tub faucets, and other water fixtures around your home.

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