Plumbing codes and practices improve over the years. If you have an older home, you may not have a drain cleanout unless a previous owner had one installed. New homes have a cleanout installed already, and they may even have more than one. Here's a look at why a cleanout is beneficial and why you should consider having one installed if you don't already have one.
Why Your Home Needs A Drain Cleanout
You'll appreciate having a cleanout if your sewer line gets clogged up. A cleanout allows the plumber to clear the clog while working outdoors. This plumbing part looks like a pipe poking up from the ground with a lid on it. It's usually near your house where the sewer line exits. When there's a clog, the plumber opens the cleanout and inserts the snake or hydro jet and cleans the sewer line with much less disruption.
If your home doesn't have a cleanout, the plumber might need to clear out the sewer line by working through the vent stack on the roof. If that's not an option, the plumber might have to remove the toilet so they can work through the toilet drain. It's much better to have a cleanout available, so if your old plumbing system doesn't have one, talk to your plumber about putting one in.
How A Plumber Installs A Cleanout
The first step is to locate the buried sewer line and dig down to it in the location where the cleanout will be installed. The plumber may place the cleanout near your foundation so it's hidden by plants and away from where you need to mow. Once the sewer pipe is in sight, the pipe is cut so the cleanout can be fitted in.
A cleanout is made of PVC pipes. There are different options, but a popular one is a pipe that connects to the sewer pipe on both sides and a U-shaped pipe on top. This allows the plumber to insert a snake in the direction needed to clean out a clog on either side of the cleanout.
A cleanout may only be needed on your sewer line, but newer homes often have cleanouts added for other drains too, such as the kitchen drain. You can discuss what your home needs with your plumber. When you have a sewer clog, your plumber might recommend that you have a cleanout installed. Having a cleanout in place could make it much easier and more convenient to get rid of drain clogs.