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What is Sewer Cleanout? How to locate it?

What is Sewer Cleanout
  • August 09, 2019

A sewer cleanout is an important part of your home’s plumbing and waste disposal system, yet many people have never even heard of them. Continue reading to discover what sewer cleanouts are, why they’re important, and where you can locate them!

What is a sewer cleanout?

There is a network of plumbing pipes throughout a home that all come together into a stack. This is where the water and sewage travel from the home out into the local system. This is what usually happens; however, sometimes things don’t always go to plan! If there’s a blockage in the pipes there will be the sewage back up.

This is where the sewer cleanout comes in. The sewer cleanout is a small capped pipe jutting above the ground and typically located on or near your property line which connects to the lateral sewer line. When the lateral clogs, it can cause sewage to back up into the drains inside your house. A sewer cleanout enables you to keep the lines clear and drain water if a backup occurs.

Why is sewer cleanout important?

Wastewater can be dangerous. If a pipe blockage isn’t dealt with quickly, it can be a serious health risk, not to mention the terrible smell! It’s a good idea to have a couple of well-placed sewer cleanouts which connect your home pipes to the municipal sewers.

A cleanout will also help to keep maintenance costs down by making the lateral easier to clean, inspect and maintain On top of this, you can also drain excess water if there is a blockage. Saving your home from waterlogging and buying yourself time while you try and fix the problem!

Where is sewer cleanout?

Unfortunately, the sewer cleanout can sometimes be tricky to find.

Some houses have multiple cleanouts, and some may have buried cleanouts.

Here are some general tips to help you locate your sewer cleanout:

• Take a look at the sidewalk: Most areas will have a letter “S” on the sidewalk to mark the location of the municipal sewer line starts. If you find this, all you have to do is walk a straight line from this point towards your home. Most likely, you’ll come across the sewer cleanout along the way!

• Check the foundation: In many houses, the sewer cleanout will be installed right by the foundation. This is true whether the home has a septic tank or connects with the county sewerage system. Usually, the cap of the cleanout will be found anywhere up to three feet from the foundation, so have a good look around your house!

• Search inside the home: A lot of older homes have the cleanout located right inside the home. Check the outer walls of the home as well as basements and attics. Often, an indoor cleanout will look a little different. It will be shaped like a “T” or “Y”, with a cap on one side.

Still can not find it?

Sometimes, older homes won’t even have a sewer cleanout or might just be covered in dirt. If this is the case, make sure you contact your local West Hills plumber to locate it or have one installed. Professional local plumbing companies can run a camera through the pipeline to locate the specific point of the cleanout.

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