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The Basics: What Are Cleanouts?

Serving Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and more of AZ with professional plumbing services since 2001

When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, there’s more than meets the eye. One essential, yet often overlooked, component is the cleanout. Let’s uncover the mystery surrounding cleanouts, particularly ground cleanouts, and understand why they are crucial for your plumbing.

The Basics: What Are Cleanouts?
The Basics: What Are Cleanouts?

Cleanouts: A Closer Look

Cleanouts are like secret passages within your plumbing system, strategically placed to ease maintenance and repairs. Unlike sealed water lines, your sewer system requires access points. But what exactly are these cleanouts and why are they so important?

Two Vital Roles: Airflow and Accessibility

Airflow within your sewer system is maintained by vents – those pipes you see sticking out of your roof. They prevent suction within the system. Think of it like sealing the top of a straw filled with liquid – it stays trapped. Similarly, without these ventilation points, your sewer line could run into issues. But remember, these vents aren’t intended for access – their job is to maintain airflow. Cleanouts are the access points. They are placed at ground level, providing plumbers with the access we need to address plumbing issues efficiently. Cleanouts are like keys to your plumbing kingdom, granting entry to tackle any blockages or maintenance tasks that arise.

The Basics: What Are Cleanouts?
The Basics: What Are Cleanouts?

Branch Lines vs. Main Line Cleanouts

Cleanouts serve both branch lines and the main sewer line. Branch line cleanouts are typically located inside walls, close to the fixtures they serve – sinks, bathtubs, toilets and washing machines. In older homes, these might not have been installed. In such cases, dealing with blockages could involve dismantling plumbing under sinks or inside walls to access the drain system.

Discovering Your Cleanouts

Main sewer line cleanouts, on the other hand, are usually found near your home’s foundation. The location, whether in the front or back of your home, depends on the direction of your sewer line – towards the street or an alley. These cleanouts are often black pipes with caps that protrude slightly above the ground. Knowing where they are is crucial since most of the time we find hidden cleanouts that were accidentally covered or damaged during landscaping projects, such as paver installation or small raised garden bed added on to the front of the home. If you are on the hunt for your cleanouts, check out your neighbors homes, most of the time you can find the general location of where they are located if your neighbor has them and start digging near that spot. 

In essence, cleanouts are unsung heroes of your plumbing. They provide access points for addressing blockages and maintaining airflow in your sewer system. Being aware of their location can save you time and hassle when it comes to taking care of your home’s plumbing. If you ever have questions or concerns about your cleanouts or your plumbing system, feel free to get in touch with us at Instant Plumbing and Rooter – your trusted plumbing experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are cleanouts and why are they important?

A: Cleanouts are like the entryways to your plumbing system. They’re essential for providing access to your sewer lines, making it easier for us plumbers to tackle blockages and perform maintenance. Without them, we’d have to dismantle parts of your plumbing, which is both time-consuming and costly.

Q: How do I locate my cleanouts?

A: Main sewer line cleanouts are usually near your home’s foundation. They look like black pipes with caps sticking out of the ground. If you’re having trouble finding them, take a look at your neighbor’s yard; cleanouts are often located in similar spots in adjacent homes.

Q: Are cleanouts only for the main sewer line?

A: Nope! Cleanouts serve both the main sewer line and branch lines. Branch line cleanouts are generally inside walls, close to the fixtures they serve like sinks and bathtubs. If you live in an older home, you might not have these, which can make dealing with blockages a bit more complicated.

Q: Do I need to do any maintenance on my cleanouts?

A: Generally, cleanouts are low-maintenance. However, it’s a good idea to know where they are and make sure they’re easily accessible. Sometimes, landscaping projects can accidentally cover or damage them, so keep an eye out.

Q: What should I do if I can’t find my cleanouts?

A: If you’ve looked high and low and still can’t find your cleanouts, give us a call at Instant Plumbing and Rooter. We can help you locate them and even install new ones if needed. Knowing where your cleanouts are can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

About Us

Instant Plumbing and Rooter LLC is a family-owned and operated plumbing business in Phoenix, AZ. We’re a family of reliable professionals that use the latest techniques for dependable plumbing services. Since 2001, we have been taking care of our community’s plumbing needs promptly and professionally.

Through our work, we aim to change the perception of plumbers in our community. Our goal is to make homeowners like you more informed, as well as show others that being a plumber is not just about unclogging toilets.

A plumber brings hygiene, sanitation, and comfort to everyone, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

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