Have you ever noticed a foul smell wafting from your dishwasher, or worse, witnessed dirty water backing up into your sink? If so, you’re not alone. Plumbing mishaps in the kitchen can quickly turn a pleasant cooking experience into a nightmare.
Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution that can prevent these frustrating incidents: the dishwasher high loop. In this post, we’ll delve into the world of dishwasher high loops, exploring what they are, how they work, and why they are crucial for maintaining a smooth-running kitchen.
Say goodbye to unpleasant odors and pesky plumbing problems, and embrace the dishwasher high loop to keep your kitchen spotless and hassle-free.
A dishwasher high loop is an arching loop in your dishwasher drainage pipes that goes up to the bottom of your countertop and then back down into sink pipes or garbage disposal. It prevents wastewater backflow into your dishwasher, delivering sanitary and safe cleaning conditions for your kitchenware. They cost nothing, are easy to install, and are highly effective in controlling backflows.
Why Is High Loop Important?
A high loop is an important feature to have in your dishwasher drainage pipes that run under your sink and into your sink pipes or garbage disposal in most homes. This feature is a loop where the drainage of your dishwasher goes under your sink, loops up to the bottom of your countertop, and then back down into the garbage disposal or other pipes.
High loops can be installed in a variety of ways, but as long as the loop inclines and is effectively touching the bottom of your countertop, and then declines back down into the other pipes, it will work. Oftentimes, a bracket is used to attach the loop to the bottom of your counter.
What Is The Purpose Of A High Loop?
The primary purpose of a high loop is to prevent wastewater backflow into your dishwasher draining system. When there are backflows of wastewater in your drainage system, which are quite common, the water will travel up into your sink rather than your dishwasher.
This works because the high loop runs to a higher point than the bottom of your sink underneath the counter, so the water will not travel up the drainage of the dishwasher and into your clean dishes, but rather into your sink where you can visibly see the problem.
How Do You Install A High Loop?
Installing a high loop for your dishwasher is very easy. To install the loop, you can use a screw and drill it into the side of your cabinet right under your countertop. You can also use anything that will keep the drainage pipe attached to the bottom of your counter. If you use a screw, pull the dishwasher drainage line up and hang it on the screw with a zip tie.
Alternatively, you can attach the loop to the bottom of your counter using a bracket. If you see your dishwasher drain line lying at the bottom of your sink cabinet, you will want to install a high loop.
Make sure when you install it that it is on the house side of the P-trap. If you fail to do this, your dishwasher will collect sewage fumes and give off an unpleasant smell.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A High Loop Installed?
Amazingly, if you can make the installation yourself, it will cost you nothing to install a high loop. You will just need a screw and a zip tie, which you can most likely find around the house, or buy for under $10.
If your dishwasher has not been connected to drainage, then an installation of a drainage pipe with the high loop included will cost you between $185 and $225. If you are reading this, you probably already have your dishwasher installed, so all you will need is a zip tie, drill, and screw.
Why Do I Need A High Loop?
You need a high loop so that your dishwasher does not get backed up with dirty sink water. If your sink is backed up, and your dishwasher drainage is lying horizontally along the bottom of your cabinet, the water will go into your dishwasher and cause a backup.
This is easily preventable with the simple addition of a high loop, which is doable for almost everyone if you have a zip tie, screw, drill, and bracket. You do not need any skills to install the high loop, and having one is basically required if you have a dishwasher.
What Is An Air Gap?
An air gap is another upgrade you can make to your dishwasher high loop. At the top of your high loop, the air gap is a cylinder contraption connected to the drainage pipe that will alleviate negative pressure which causes backflow in the dishwasher. The air gap will add air to change the pressure of the drainage pipe so that water cannot flow up into the high loop
Air gaps provide additional protection for your dishwasher and ensure that it does not fill with dirty water. Air gaps are required in some states for restaurant settings because they certify cleanliness. You can read about examples of air gap expectations here.
How Much Does It Cost To Get An Air Gap Installed?
Air gaps are extremely affordable, and will cost you $10-$30 for parts and installation. This piece is a little harder to install, so having a plumber do it is cheap and convenient.
Because of its cost, there is little reason to not have an air gap for your dishwasher if you want peak performance and minimal drainage issues. Both the high loop and air gap will help keep your dishwasher clean and functioning.
Does A High Loop Keep My Water Safe?
Because a high loop keeps wastewater backup from occurring, it helps make the water used in your dishwasher safe and clean. Sanitary and safety protocols often call for high loops and air gaps to be used in dishwashers.
High loops are an easy way to make sure your dishes are sanitary and you are kept safe from illnesses associated with wastewater backflow. They are practically costless and extremely undemanding to install.
What Could Happen If I Don’t Get A High Loop?
If you do not get a high loop, backups in your sink drainage can cause wastewater to enter your dishwasher. The dishwasher will then use this wastewater to clean its contents, presenting an unsafe and inefficient plumping system.
You want to make sure that your dishwasher has a high loop, and inspection only requires a quick look under your sink cabinet. It is easy to prevent what could happen if you don’t get a high loop. Adding an air gap will additionally guarantee that the problem associated with not having a high loop will not happen.
Is A High Loop Worth It?
A high loop is not only worth it but essential for clean, efficient plumbing of your dishwasher. There are virtually no reasons to not install a high loop, and getting it provides so many advantages making it worthwhile.
A high loop is great for the health of dishwashers, is safe, easy to install, costs nothing, and does not affect anything else under your sink. Having a high loop is completely worth it and you should inspect your dishwasher drainage to make sure you have one.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.