A foul smell or dirty water squirting out of the air gap vent holes indicates a clog inside the air gap. The fix is a simple cleaning with household disinfectant.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:June 2013
Soak the bottle brush in household cleaner and
plunge it up and down into the air gap.
An air gap prevents dirty dishwater
from backflowing into
fresh water lines. But over time,
ground-up food and grease can
build up inside the air gap and
form a clog. If water squirts out
the air gap’s vent holes or you
notice a foul smell coming
from it, it’s time to clean it. All
you need is a bottle brush and
some household disinfecting
Yank the cover off the air gap
and remove the snap-in or
screw-on diverter. Remove any
loose food particles, then clean
with the bottle brush as shown.
If you still have a water leak
after cleaning the air gap, clean
the drain line where it meets
the garbage disposer or drain wye (aka “Y”).
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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