Sewer Line Cleanout, do you know where yours is? : Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Blog

Sewer Line Cleanout, do you know where yours is?

by Aardvark Rooter on 12/03/13

Do you know what it means to have a cleanout for your side sewer? Many homeowners and business owners don't give this too much thought until their side sewer line backs up and needs to be cleaned out, hence the name "cleanout". The cleanout provides direct access to your sewer line, or main drain line, as some refer to it.

Sewer line backups usually cause your toilet to overflow or your bathtub to be filled with sewage. The house is now totally out of order! You can't bathe, shower, use the toilet, do laundry, use the kitchen sink, the dishwasher, or use vanity sinks. This isn't a problem you can procrastinate on, but what are you going to do?

You should look for a plumbing company, or better yet, a company that specializes in Drain Cleaning and clearing work, such as us at Aardvark Rooter. The company you call is going to want to know what kind of access you have to clear out the main sewer line. Do you know the answer to this question? You definitely need to know!

What you're looking for is a pipe with a twist-off top that will make getting to your main drain clog much easier. If you have a basement, there is probably a "vertical stack" with a cleanout near the entrance On the floor level. Without a basement, you need to know where your sewer or septic line exits the house. Just outside the foundation in your garden, you might find a cleanout. Sometimes there is a cleanout in your main floor bathroom or in a closet behind the bathroom.

If you can't find your cleanout, then you need one. If a plumber comes out to your home, he will most likely want to sell you one. They will usually want to dig right outside your foundation where the line leaves the house. This is a good idea because sometimes the cleanout in the basement is so backed up, when you open it up all of this sewage will come out into your basement. The best place for a cleanout is outside on the lateral line. This way, if you have a spill, it is easier to deal with, since it is in the yard, as opposed to inside the home.

If you don't have a cleanout and are not interested in getting one installed, then the drain cleaning equipment is accessed by removing and then resetting a toilet. This will add $100 to the total job of clearing your drain. if you want to save. If you have never done this before, you might be better off paying the extra money, as opposed to risking a property-damaging mistake.

If you would like to have a cleanout installed, you will probably want it just outside your foundation. Prices can vary depending upon how deep the plumber will need today to reach the mainline. The plumber can use camera and locating equipment to determine the exact depth and location of the pipe.

Once you have a clean out, you can be in control of your mainline backups. Not only is it easier to get in and clear the line, but if you absolutely have to, you can open the cleanout and allow sewage to spill into your yard as a sort of relief valve. It's only in the case that you are risking having the sewage backup into your home.

Having to clean out in place also allows you to bring your sewer line up to current construction codes. Older homes may have a clean out but it may be buried or hidden. Sewer lines backup for many reasons, but the most common is rude infestation or intrusion. Roots can be treated for many years by having them cut out once each year. There are root growth retardants and some claim to actually kill the roots, but aren't always successful. Your cleanout is the doorway to this maintenance.

If you don't already have a cleanout in place, it's a great idea to save up and have one put in! We'd be glad to help.

(Aardvark Rooter is proud to serve both plumbing and drain cleaning needs: Drain Cleaning and Sewer Repair in Tacoma, Federal Way, Auburn WA, and any other South King County or Pierce county area)

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