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What is a Sewer Clean Out?

Sewer Clean Out

Modern plumbing creates many fail-safes to help prevent sewer issues. From drain traps to vent pipes, your home is well-protected against sewage backups. One very important component of this system that you should be aware of is the sewer clean-out. Continue reading to discover what sewer cleanouts are, why they’re important, and where you can locate them!

What is a Sewer Clean Out?

The sewer clean-out is a capped pipe located on or near your property line which connects to the lateral sewer line. A lateral sewer line is the pipe that connects your home’s sewer lines to the city sewers.

When the lateral clogs, it can cause sewage to back up into your drains, creating health hazards and a huge mess. Having a sewer clean-out enables you to keep the lines clear and drain water if a backup occurs. A sewer cleanout allows a snake or a hydro-jetting tool to disperse the clog and get things running again.

Where is the Sewer Clean Out?

The sewer clean-out is usually located somewhere along the lateral sewer line. If you have a clog in the lateral sewer line or your sewer clean-out needs to be emptied, it is helpful, as a homeowner to know how to locate it. You are responsible for the cost and responsibility of fixing your house sewer clean-out.

The public sewer system that is maintained by your local municipality also has sewer cleanouts, although they are much larger, which are located periodically along the municipal sewer line. The city is responsible for cleaning and removing blockages from those lines.

Sewer cleanouts may be located at several points along the lateral sewer line. Often there is a clean-out near the home itself, or near the property line, such as in a flower bed-or both.

It is important to know where the sewer clean-out is located so that you can get to it quickly if there is a problem. You should try to keep the area around the sewer clean-out clear so that it can be accessed easily by a plumber. Sometimes they can be tricky to find because it’s covered over with vegetation or landscaping.

Its location within a home will vary depending on the house style and the geographic climate where you live. Some will have 2 pipes extending upward and some will have one. Here are some tips for locating your main clean-out if you live in Texas. 

In the DFW area, homes built on a slab foundation or pier and beam foundation,  newer homes, and homes with newer lawn sewer lines typically have a cleanout, as they are now required by Building Codes since 2012.  Unless the lawn sewer lines have been replaced, many older homes do not have a sewer cleanout in the lawn.  If the home does not have a cleanout in the lawn, access to the sewer is through a plumbing vent pipe on the roof.

Why is a Sewer Clean Out 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 foul smell! It’s a smart 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 line easier to clean, inspect and maintain . On top of this, you can also drain excess water if there is a blockage.

When you have a sewer back up in your home, a plumber can run a special camera through the cleanouts and into your main sewer drain to locate the problem. This is sometimes necessary if they have trouble clearing the blockage or if you experience frequent problems.

After the plumber knows the clog type and location, the plumber can choose the right size of cutting blade to remove the blockage. He will run the camera through the drain line again after the work is done to make sure the clog is completely gone.

But what if I don’t have a Sewer Clean Out?

If you don’t have drain cleanouts, backups can still be removed but it can sometimes be more challenging. The plumber has two options in this situation: access the sewer line from the roof vent or from the toilet. Unfortunately, neither option is as effective as going in through a cleanout.

If you feel you are experiencing sewer problems, need to locate your cleanouts, or have new cleanouts installed, Please give your local Plumbers at Schrader Plumbing a Call today! 817-262-0989

Categories: Sewer Clean Out, Sewer Lines,
By: Michelle Kurcina

Last modified:

Last Modified: September 9, 2021 at 3:33 pm