Replacing Your Sewer Cleanout

Every house should have a cleanout, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Many sewer line cleanouts are challenging to find, especially in older homes that are more than 30 years old. In many cases, they’ve been buried, drywalled, or concreted over for aesthetic reasons. In addition, many of our state and city ordinances weren’t in place 30 or 40 years ago. As a result, many of those homes didn’t have sewer pipe cleanouts. One person we spoke to said, “My husband didn’t know where it was since we’ve just moved in.” We looked at the home inspection report, and it’s not even mentioned in the plumbing section.

Homeowners Living In An Older Home May Not Know Where To Locate The Cleanout

The majority of homeowners have no idea what sewage cleanouts are or where to locate them. Although, the first time they heard the term “sewer cleanout” was probably their first call to their plumbing company. Some plumbing companies will ask where your sewer cleanout is located so they can have access in the case of a clogged drain. Any backed-up sewage lines in a home will cause a mess and be a horrible health risk. Every homeowner should know where their cleanouts are, especially in the case of a plumbing emergency.  A sewage cleanout is an important aspect of your home’s waste disposal and plumbing system, and every landlord should also make their tenants aware of the location. 

Sewer Line Cleanout

Your Cleanout Gives Your Plumber Easy Access To A Clogged Pipe

A clog in your home’s sewer systems could result in a major problem to your home’s plumbing system and, in some cases, leave fixtures inoperable until the clog gets removed. The cleanout allows your plumbing technician easy access to perform a camera inspection before they snake or hydro jet your clogged drain. 

 Home Inspection Reports Must Include Cleanouts

If you’re moving into your new home, make sure the home inspection report includes the cleanout. This is not a problem in newer homes because sewer cleanouts usually get exposed on the side of the house or in the garage. However, you’ll discover that older homes have a cleanout on the roof. Also known as the venting system, its purpose is to perform two functions. First, the vents will release sewer gases while being connected to a vertical waste pipe. Second, the same vent pipe gets used as a cleanout.

Clearing A Sewer Line From The Roof

Clearing the sewer line from the roof’s venting system can be achieved in the same manner as a standard sewer drain. The exception is requiring a plumbing technician on the roof and the ground. The technician on the ground will watch for overflowing toilets and drains while staying connected to the technician on the roof. In most cases, the average do-it-yourselfer can clear a drain, but in the case of a roof venting system, it’s best to leave it up to a plumbing expert.

Some Old Homes Don’t Have An Easy Access To A Cleanout

In rare cases, you may live in a home without a cleanout. That usually means your sewer line is probably cast iron. It’s very unlikely a house with a PVC sewer line does not have a cleanout. While installing a PVC or ABS cleanout on an old cast iron sewer line is possible, we don’t recommend it, especially if the line is showing signs of corrosion. A cast iron sewer line over 60 years old will probably need replacing sooner than later. 

PVC Cleanout Installed On A Steel Galvanized

Installed New Sewer Line Cleanout

At an older home in Escondido, California, the customer had a sewer line back up, and the house had no sewer line cleanouts. Big B’s Plumbing located and installed a new sewer cleanout by tapping into the old line. They decided on a two-way cleanout. It didn’t cost the customer any more money, and it allowed two access points to the sewer line for any future backup.

1 thought on “Replacing Your Sewer Cleanout”

  1. Thanks for informing us that it’s easier for plumbers to access clogged pipes using the cleanout, so it’s best to do a camera inspection for your drains there. My kitchen sink has been clogged since this morning, and I can’t wash the dishes properly because of it. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind while I look for a plumbing company to hire soon for clogged kitchen drain repairs.

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