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What is a clean out? 

A clean out is the access point for a sewer line and is a means to access the sewer line for unclogging or camera inspections. Not every home has a clean out, but if you do have one, it is usually found within three inches of the edge of your foundation. It is installed outside the home, typically in a flower bed or in the yard. 

When your main sewer line has an issue, whether its a clog, separation, or roots growing in the line, your entire house can quickly back up, causing all plumbing to be rendered useless. A clean out allows us to quickly and easily access the line and fix the issue without bringing plumbing equipment into your home.

If you do not have a clean out and are experiencing a stoppage in your home, things like the shower, kitchen sink, and toilet can back up into your home instead of outside, creating a huge mess.

What if I don’t have a clean out? 

If your home doesn’t have a clean out, ​​you can still remove back ups, but it can sometimes take longer and is more difficult to accomplish. There are two ways for a plumber or technician to clear a stoppage in your plumbing system if you do not have a clean out. 

  1. Pulling a toilet

A technician can partially access the main sewer line through your toilet. They would need to remove the toilet and use a drain machine to remove the stoppage via the pulled the toilet. While this may work temporarily, this option is not recommended above using a clean out since the pipes beneath the toilet are smaller and have more turns inside the pipes.

  1.   Roof vents

Gaining access to the main sewer line through the roof is another way to clear out a stoppage. Again, while it is possible, it can get tricky to get a cable or camera through these because of the many turns in the pipes. When you opt for this method, the equipment can’t reach the main sewer line, meaning the backup can’t be taken care of by the technician.

Clean Out Installation

Installing a cleanout on your property can typically be done in one day. However, installation time can vary depending on the location of the clean out. Installing a cleanout can be summed up in these 3 steps.

  1. We will first need to locate the main sewer line outside the home and dig up the existing pipes underground. 
  2. Then we will measure the pipes to find the best place to install the clean out.
  3. After attaching the clean out to the existing sewer line, we will test it for function and to ensure it has no leaks. 

Please note that installing cleanouts should only be done by licensed and insured plumbers- this is not a D.I.Y project as you could potentially damage your sewer line and create costly repairs. 

Installing a cleanout can vary in cost, but is a huge money saver when it comes to stoppages in your home! Feel free to contact us to schedule a free onsite estimate if you would like a quote.