How To Connect A Dishwasher To Your Garbage Disposal (Drain Hose Connections)

by Shawn Anderson | Last Updated:  June 13, 2020
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If you are planning to have a new dishwasher machine (view price on Amazon) installed in your kitchen, then you should know that installation is only the first step in the process. After installing a dishwasher, you need to consider whether you will connect it to the drain or to your garbage disposal. In this case, we shall discuss how after you install dishwasher you can connect it to the garbage disposal.

Usually, there is no drain line for dishwashers in your kitchen. However, you can install a connection as part of your kitchen plumbing system. If you are wondering how to connect the dishwasher drain hose to disposal, then this is the right place for you.

The Connection Between Garbage Disposal and the Dishwasher

A dishwasher is usually installed under the countertop, while the drain hose connects through the side of the sink cabinet. As you clean your dishes, the food and water particles pass through the drain hose and into the garbage disposal. Establishing a connection between these two parts will have you busy in the sink cabinet, but the end result will be worth it.

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The Drain Hose Position on the Dishwasher

There is an air-gap fitting in the sink’s back ledge that prevents the waste from getting back into the dishwasher. The air gap fitting has connector nozzles too.  Other dishwashers do not possess the air-gap fitting. Instead, they utilize the high loop installation to help prevent the draining water from back-siphoning into the dishwasher.

Connecting a Dishwasher Drain Hose to Garbage Disposal

Dishwasher drain hoses can be connected to the garbage disposal in different ways. Before connecting the dishwasher and the garbage disposal, you will need to insert a screwdriver into the nozzle of the hose and use a hammer to gently push out the knockout plug into the nozzle.

Once the plug is out, you can pick it up with needle-nose pliers. With the plug out of the way, you can continue with the process as outlined below. Two of the ways to connect to garbage disposal include:

1. Connecting The Drain Line Through An Air Gap Into The Disposer

Connecting the drain line through an air gap is efficient when the configuration includes an air gap. You will use the factory drain hose that is on the dishwasher and runs up to the small tailpiece of the air gap, and the other will run from the air gap’s other tailpiece to the garbage disposal. You will need tools such as hose clamps, a utility knife, and screwdrivers to get the job done.

The first step will be to cut the dishwasher hose so that it reaches the smaller tailpiece then use a hose clamp to connect the hose’s end to the air gap. A hose clamp is designed to ensure a tight-fitting so that water does not leak at the hose connection. Cut any excess length off the hose to prevent kinking as you continue to connect the hose.

Universal Connector/Adapter For Connecting A Dishwasher To A Disposer
Universal Connector/Adapter For Connecting A Dishwasher To A Disposer

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You will then connect the air gap’s larger end to the garbage disposal with a rubber hose. Use a hose clamp to connect both ends of the hose. Ensure that there are no kinks on the rubber hose as you connect the ends of the hose using hose clamps. If there are kinks on the hose, you will notice a restricted water flow, and this may result in blockage in the long-term.

2. Connecting The Drain Line Through A High Loop To Garbage Disposal

Some localities do not allow the use of high loops to connect the drain line to the garbage disposal. It is, therefore, vital that you look through the local building codes to ascertain that they allow for the high loop instead of air gaps.

To achieve this connection, make use of the drain hose that sits behind the dishwasher. First, you will pull the drain hose as much as you can. The extra length of the drain hose is used for creating the high loop for the connection of garbage disposal and the hose of the dishwasher.

You continue this dishwasher drain connection by pulling the hose up and strapping it in the highest place possible under your sink. Just like the air gap, the high loop will prevent the back-siphoning of garbage from the disposal into the dishwasher. You can use a pipe strapping or hose clamp to ensure that the hose is securely held onto the counter top’s underside.

You then connect the garbage disposer and the drain tube with hose clamps. When utilizing the high loop, you may need to use a dishwasher connector fitting to make a transition between the drain hose and garbage disposal.

Unclogging A Kitchen Sink With A Garbage Disposal

Dishwasher not draining?

Every day, there is a wide variety of foods that go down the sink in your home. While this happens flawlessly, you are likely to experience problems draining large portions of waste down the drain. Most people resort to using chemical drain cleaners when the sink is clogged.

However, this has the potential to cause damage to the pipes and corrode the metal parts within the dishwasher connection. Next time, when the dishwasher is not working as desired, follow the steps below:

  1. Unplug the garbage disposal because it is dangerous to work on powered disposal. Make a cleaner from half a cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda. Let the mixture fizz for some minutes then wash out with hot water.
  2. Let the water run for some minutes so that the clog can clean and go down the drain.

Sometimes, this simple solution for unclogging the dishwasher drain does not work. In this case, you can peer into the drain with the help of a flashlight to ascertain that a foreign object is not blocking the drain. Reach for the item using needle nose pliers or tongs.

When you are done, you can return the garbage disposal. After running the water and turning the garbage disposal back on, check if there is still a block in the dishwasher drain. If it still clogged, clamp the end of the dishwasher line. Do it at the point where it enters the garbage disposer.

Place the plunger over the drain and add water to the sink. The plunger’s lip, in this case, should be covered with water. The next step is to plunge the drain for a few minutes. Once you lift the plunger, check if the water is flowing well in the sink. If you manage to unclog the dishwasher drain, let the water run in the sink for some minutes, so it carries the residue away.

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When to Schedule with a Plumber in Your Area?

Sometimes the clogs are stubborn, and you are unable to remove them. It is appropriate to call a professional in your area to do the job for you. You can contact them through their email address or any other contact information they have on the website, all rights reserved. They will help you with all your dishwasher needs.


Connecting drain hose from your dishwasher into garbage disposal is not a walk in the park for many. However, with the help of tools such as a clamp or two, needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver, and a knife, you will be set to go. The information here will guide you through the process.