Every sewer has a clean-out. In effect, it is an access point to the sewer pipe, and it’s essential when you have a clog.
Most homeowners have needed to deal with a slow draining appliance. Often, simply using a plunger will eliminate the issue. However, if more than one appliance is draining slowly, you probably have a clog in the main sewer. That means your sewage is no longer flowing efficiently away from your home.
If left, the clog will get worse, and the sewage will stop flowing. Continue to use your appliances, and the wastewater won’t disappear; it will start coming into your home. That’s not a pleasant feeling.
In short, if you have a main sewer clog, you must stop using your appliances until it is fixed.
Preventing the Issue
It’s worth noting that getting yourself a pipe inspection camera will allow you to inspect your pipes and find any evidence of clogs regularly. This will allow you to deal with them before they cause a major issue.
Of course, it also helps to avoid putting anything other than wastewater and toilet paper down your toilet.
Whether you’re using an inspection camera or dealing with a clog, you’ll need to know where the main sewer clean-out is in your home.
Finding The Clean-Out
It cannot be easy to locate the clean-out for several reasons. There is no standard spot for them, some are inside, and some are outside. In addition, some houses don’t even have clean-outs fitted, although they should.
It’s also worth noting that their location can change depending on the style and age of your house and the local geography.
If you have an outdoor clean-out, then it will be fitted near where the sewer pipes leave your home. This is common in houses with concrete foundations. Simply head to the outside wall of your bathroom and look around the ground. The clean-out is likely to be a large diameter pipe with a screw fitting. Unscrewing the fitting will allow you to access the waste pipes. You can move an inspection camera through the pipes or a drain auger to clear any blockage.
If the pipes aren’t visible, check for metal plates on the ground. Lifting one of these will expose the pipe.
Older homes with slab foundations are likely to have a clean-out inside the house. This type of clean-out is commonly found in bathrooms or garages. This will also be a large diameter pipe with a threaded fitting. It may be flush with your floor or stick up a little.
Should your home have a basement, then it is highly likely that the main clean-out will be in the basement. Again, it will be a large diameter pipe with a threaded fitting, and it should be sticking up out of the floor.
If you’re struggling, then you should trace the waste pipe from your appliances and out of the house. Follow it all the way to the mains sewer or septic tank, and you’ll find a clean-out. That is, assuming your system has one.