While it is most likely an excellent idea for any Bungee Jumper to have a proper “Air Gap”—-that is not the kind of air gap I am talking about here. I am sure most of you recognize the little chrome shape cap located on your Kitchen sink or countertop. This “thingy” is called an Air Gap Device and assists in proper drainage of the dishwasher. Many jurisdictions require them nowadays. Water coming out of the cap during operation of the washer is signaling a plugged drain—-and cleaning is necessary.
Some jurisdictions also allow a “high loop” under the sink to do this job but it never actually gets the drain above the flood rim of the sink so in the event of a blocked drain from the sink water could flow back into the dishwasher.
But this post is not about the device on top of the countertop. It is about the part of the device “under” the countertop. Because of its location, behind the sink, access and installation become difficult. The hoses from the washer to the air gap device, and from the device to the drain connection, should be properly connected with hose clamps. When the connections are not properly connected, or only loosely tightened, the hoses can work their way off the device resulting in leaks under the sink. Sometimes these small leaks go un-noticed for long periods of time.
It is a good idea for the home inspector to check these connections to make sure they are in place. In this picture we see the “camera-eye” view of the device attached to the underside of the countertop. One can see that the black hose is barely holding onto the turquoise colored air-gap device—ready to pop off entirely—and certainly ready to leak.
In this next picture we can see the hose clamps stacked on top of each other at the drain connection—with signs of past leaks.
As a side note, there is another issue here that is totally unrelated to the Air Gap Device. The connection of the black ABS plastic pipe to the white PVC plastic connector is not allowed in most jurisdictions. I know in my own area, that even though there are adhesives that claim to be satisfactory for both types of pipes, it is still not allowed. In this instance, the black adhesive used on this installation is NOT the correct adhesive. I guess the thinking behind the prohibition of joining the two types of pipes is that the jurisdictional inspectors don’t want to be in the business of determining if the proper adhesives were used.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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