What is a Sewer Cleanout?

The name ‘sewer cleanout,’ you would be forgiven if you thought it was a cleaning process. “Oh no, my drains are clogged, I need sewer cleanout!” But that’s not what its! This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we’re going to tell you all about this part of your home’s plumbing system!

What is a Sewer Cleanout

So a sewer cleanout is a pipe that has a cap that allows for direct access to the sewer line. It allows for blockages in the sewer line to be more easily tackled. The sewer cleanout is usually located along the lateral sewer line, or sewer lateral, is the bit of plumbing that connects your home’s plumbing system with the public sewer system.  Sewer cleanouts might be located in the basement or just outside the home, on the property line, or somewhere inbetween. Many homes will have multiple! 

Do All Homes Have a Sewer Cleanout?

Unfortunately, not all homes have a cleanout for easy access. But they should! If you’re looking for your homes cleanout and can’t find it, it is definitely worth it to hire someone to install. It might cost a little bit of money now, but the headaches it can save are worth it!

Why Do You Need a Sewer Clean Out

The public sewer system is maintained by your local government and your home’s plumbing is obviously your responsibility. When the waste water moves from your home through those lateral lines towards the public sewer system it is still your responsibility, despite being ‘out’ of your home. Should a blockage occur in this stretch of plumbing your whole home will suffer but it won’t yet be a public sewer system problem. Having a sewer cleanout allows you (and your plumber) to have easy access to sort anything out before it becomes worse.

City Sewer Cleanout

While not the focus of this blog, it’s worth mentioning that your public sewer system will have 

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

How to Use a Sewer Cleanout

A bad blockage in the sewer line can cause waste water to back up into your home, causing an absolute mess. Sewer cleanouts let you respond to those clogs fast, if you know how. The cap on the cleanout can be removed simply enough either using a wrench or by hand depending on the cap. Once the cap has been removed, a plumbing snake (or auger) can be run into the line to clear it. A plumbing snake is a long cable with an end that is designed to grab ahold of blockages and break them loose. Having access to the line via the sewer cleanout makes the job a whole lot easier for plumbers, and can help prevent any mess from inside your home. 

If you have a sewer line blockage, and need a professional to help – Call Economy Plumbing Services!  We can run some video into the pipe, do a quick inspection and know just what the problem is and how to fix it!

If Water Goes Through It Or To It, We Do It!

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