What is a Sewer Clean Out?

A sewer clean out is an important part of your home’s plumbing and waste disposal system. Every homeowner should know where the sewer clean out is located, and landlords should make sure that their tenants are aware of the location of the sewer clean out as well.

The sewer clean out is a pipe with a cap that provides access to the sewer line so that blockages can be removed. The lateral sewer line is the sewer line that connects your home to the public sewer system. 

The sewer clean out is usually located somewhere along the lateral sewer line. If you have a clog in the lateral sewer line or your sewer clean out needs to be emptied, the responsibility and cost for doing so falls to you as the property owner. 

The public sewer system that is maintained by your local municipality also has sewer clean outs, 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.

Sewer clean outs may be located at several points along the lateral sewer line. Often there is a clean out near the home itself, or near the property line, or both. Sometimes a sewer clean out is located inside the basement of the home so that homeowners can get to it easily, particularly if there is usually a lot of snow in the region. 

It is important to know where the sewer clean out is located so that you can get to it quickly if there is a problem. You should try to keep the area around the sewer clean out clear so that it can be accessed easily. 

A blockage in the sewer line can cause sewage to back up inside the home, so the ability to quickly respond to a sewer blockage is quite important to anyone who doesn’t want stinky sewage inside their house.

The cap on your sewer cleanout can be removed one of two ways. Some caps can be removed by hand by simply twisting the cap. Other sewer cleanout caps need to be removed using a wrench. 

Once the cap is removed, the sewer clean out can be cleared of blockages by using a plumbing snake or an auger. An auger is basically a long cable. The end of the auger is inserted into the sewer clean out, and the cable is pushed through the sewer lines to remove blockages.

If you believe that you have a sewer line blockage, you can have the sewer line inspected by a plumber using video inspection services. In this case, the plumber uses a video camera on a snake that is pushed through the line to provide visual evidence of the circumstances of the sewer line and the location and nature of any clogs. 

If a clog is found, hydrojetting can be used to clear it out. A hydrojet is a high pressured water jet, similar to a pressure washer, that forces water through the line to clear out clogs.

If you believe that you have a sewer line blockage, first turn off your water supply and stop using your plumbing fixtures immediately. Then check your sewer clean out for any signs of blockage. Remove any blockage that you can see. Then call a professional plumber for assistance.

If you have a sewer line blockage, call Scott English Plumbing. We have video inspection services and hydro-jetting equipment to locate blockages in your sewer line and remove them quickly and easily. When you encounter a plumbing emergency, call Scott English Plumbing.


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Sewer Cleaning | Sewer Pipe Repair