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Sewer Cleanout

Sewer Clean Out

Every household should maintain a functional plumbing system, and the most often neglected element is the sewer cleanout. Although unseen, this concealed entry point is crucial in maintaining the efficient operation of your drains and pipes. You can decide on your plumbing system with confidence if you know how sewer line cleanout work. 

Sewer line cleanouts provide experienced plumbers with access to your main sewer line so they may check, clean, and remove any potential blockages. Maintaining your sewage cleanout regularly will help keep roots from clogging it and blocking the effective flow of wastewater away from your property.

In this post, we’ll explain what is a sewer cleanout, its importance, and why they deserve your attention.

What Is a Sewer Cleanout?

A sewer cleanout line, sometimes called a drain cleanout, functions as a customized door that gives you easy access to your home’s main sewer line. This line is the large pipe that connects to the city’s sewer system and transports wastewater away from your home.

A sewer cleanout serves a simple yet critical purpose. Over time, your sewer line may get clogged due to accumulated trash, dirt, roots, and other components. This prevents wastewater from flowing freely, which causes backups and unpleasant odors and might even damage your plumbing system.

Being equipped with a cleanout makes it much easier for plumbers and sewer specialists to handle blockages or backups without digging up your entire plumbing system. Although the cleanout should only be used by skilled specialists, it’s still a good idea to know its location in case of an emergency. 

If you know where your cleanout is, you can help the specialists who come to fix any sewer by giving them the information they need.

How to Find Sewer Cleanout?

In any emergency, it is very important to know where your sewer line is located. Depending on where you live, weather conditions, and your house type, its location may be different. However, there are two places where your sewer line can be located: outside or indoors. Here are some hints to help you find it quickly.

Indoor Sewer Cleanout

In many homes, the sewer cleanout is located in the basement, usually close to the foundation wall or floor. Look for a white or black-capped pipe peeking out of the ground or a cleanout access point on the wall.

The cleanout may occasionally be found in utility rooms, garages, or even bathrooms. Search for an access panel or capped pipe in these areas.

Outdoor Sewer Cleanout

Outside sewer line cleanout are often found near the outer walls of the house, around where the main sewer line exits the building. Look for a small, capped pipe that sticks out from the ground and is typically constructed of PVC or metal.

Oftentimes, your sewer line may be located in your yard, probably with a metal or plastic lid to cover it. Inspect the ground for access points in a circular or square form. The last place to check will be in your house layout. In most cases, the cleanout is put in a straight path from the kitchen or bathrooms of your home to the city sewer line.

If for any reason you can not locate your sewer line cleanout, the best will be to call a professional plumber who will locate the cleanout for you.

What Are Sewer Line Cleanouts Used For?

A plumbing system has to have well-maintained and efficient sewer line cleanouts to work properly. Let’s go through the main reasons why they are used.

Clearing Blockages

One of the main goals of sewer line cleanouts is to remove blockages from the sewer system. The flow of wastewater can be slowed over time by the accumulation of garbage, oil, tree roots, and other pollutants. Professional plumbers can access the sewage line through the cleanout in case of a blockage and use specialized equipment to clear such obstacles with high-pressure water jets or mechanical snakes. 

Cleanouts are essential in restoring the necessary wastewater flow by removing blockages and avoiding potential harm to the plumbing system.

Inspections and Maintenance

Plumbers can use video cameras inserted through the cleanout to visually inspect the sewer system’s state. By doing so, they can inspect for any leaks or cracks that might cause damage to your sewer cleanout. This is why doing regular check-ups is important so any issues can be detected early and fixed before any damage occurs. 

Hydro Jetting and Cleaning

Hydro jetting is used to clean the inside of the sewage system thoroughly, remove any buildup waste, and ensure optimal flow. Through the cleanout, plumbers can install hydro jetting equipment directly into the sewer system, enabling effective and efficient cleaning.

Now you can understand why doing regular maintenance is important and needed. This will help you to prevent any plumbing issues that might happen, have a smooth wastewater flow and maintain your plumbing system in great condition.  

Repairing a Sewer Cleanout

When it comes to repairing your sewer cleanout, it is advisable to seek a professional plumber. While minor maintenance fixes can be done by some homeowners, not everyone is skilled or know how to repair drainage, blocked pipe, or any major issue that might occur to your cleanout. 

Repairing cleanouts definitely requires specialized knowledge and equipment. Here are some of the reasons why you should call a professional plumber:

  1. Assessment

A qualified plumber can do a full evaluation of your system. They will examine the cleanout, pinpoint the problem, and choose the best course of action for fixing it. Common problems like blocked or damaged pipes and leaks require certain knowledge, skills, and tools.

  1. Repair Methods

The plumber will use the best repair technique based on the particular problem. They can change a broken pipe or, for major issues like blockages, can use specialized tools, like hydro jetting or mechanical snakes, to clear the cleanout. 

  1. Professional Expertise

Professional plumbers have the essential training, know-how, and equipment to execute cleanout repairs successfully. They ensure that repairs are carried out in accordance with industry standards because they are aware of local plumbing laws and safety rules. 

Without the necessary knowledge, attempting to fix a sewer line cleanout might result in further damage or insufficient repairs, which can cause ongoing problems.

  1. Long-Term Solutions

In addition to fixing the immediate issue, plumbers also take precautions against potential problems in the future. To guarantee the cleanout performs at its best, they might apply sealing compounds, reinforce the cleanout using sturdy materials, or suggest ongoing maintenance.

Making DIY repairs might result in extra costs, more time-consuming, and possible plumbing system damage. Keep in mind that sewer cleanout line repairs are best left to experts. They are equipped with the knowledge, abilities, and tools required to handle difficult plumbing projects and guarantee that repairs are made correctly.

Final Words on Sewer Cleanouts

Now that we understand the basics of sewer cleanout and how to find sewer cleanout, it is important to keep clear access and conduct inspections so you can have a proper wastewater flow. While homeowners can maintain cleanouts, it’s recommended to leave any repairs to professionals, as their knowledge guarantees practical solutions and lasting effects. 

Being aware of the importance of clean sewer line cleanouts, you can keep your plumbing system in great condition and prevent major issues. You can rest easy knowing that your sewage cleanout will be repaired correctly, minimizing inconveniences and offering long-lasting solutions for your plumbing system by leaving the task in the hands of experts.


What does a sewer cleanout look like in the house?

A sewage cleanout in a home often appears as a short, capped pipe that sticks out of the ground or is mounted on a wall, and it can be either white or black. Utility rooms and the basement close to the foundation are common places to find it. Professionals may easily reach the cleanout to examine and remove blockages in the main sewer line.

How long does it take to clear a clogged sewer line?

The extent of the blockage and the particular circumstances can affect how long it takes to unclog a sewer line. Professional plumbers can usually clear a clogged sewer line in a matter of hours. However, complicated clogs or major fixes might take more time, and the procedure can extend if new problems are found as it is being cleared.

Do all drains lead to the sewer?

Not every drain empties into a sewer. There are a few exceptions to the rule that most drains in a home, like those in sinks, showers, and toilets, link to the sewer system. For instance, rainwater drains go to separate systems that directly discharge water into rivers or lakes to manage excess water and prevent flooding.

How often should you clear main sewer line?

Depends on how old your plumbing system is and the state of your pipes. To avoid buildup, clogs, and other issues, homeowners are advised to have the main sewer line professionally cleaned every one to two years. However, if you notice any issues, it is best to consult with a plumber and seek professional advice. 


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