When you open the tap of your sink, the water which flows through the drain goes in the pipes through your home drainage towards the main sewer drainage system. It is a complex system in which all the sewer pipes are interconnected. If there is a clog in the main line, then you would need a sewer cleanout done by drain cleaning services.
What Is A Sewer Cleanout?
Sewer line clogs can create serious issues for homeowners. All the pipes and drains get blocked due to it and the water comes back up the drain till the clog is cleared out. You can clear up the clog using a sewer line auger, a drain snake, or a water jet. You just need an unclogging tool to unclog the main sewer line and due to this reason sewer cleanouts are a necessity.
Sewer cleanout is a plug or a threaded cap that fixes on the sweep or the (y) wye fitting of the main sewer line. It is the point through which you can insert the sewer unclogging tool to get to the main sewer pipelines. It is basically an access point towards the main sewerage system.
The unclogging tool is inserted approximately 90 degrees in the opening and it is made in such a way that whichever tool you insert cannot go in the opposite direction of the waste water.
Why Are Sewer Cleanouts Important?
Blockages or clogs in the sewer system are caused mainly by waste materials, but sometimes tree roots or debris, poor ventilation or problems within the septic system. Most of the unclogging tools are motorized and can unclog a lot of debris. But as they are very big they cannot be inserted through the drainage area or the toilet because it could break and damage the sewer pipes. That’s when the sewer cleanouts come.
Mostly the lateral sewer line is connected with the main drainage system of your home and with your area a sewer system. You will find many sewer cleanouts in the lateral sewer line and some may be buried in hidden areas well. The strategic placement of the sewer cleanouts in your lateral lines makes it easier to insert auger or snake to clear the clog downstream. If the clog is somewhere upstream then you will have to look for another sewer cleanout on the upper end because a sewer does not go upstream.
Sometimes a blockage leads to water backup. In this case you will have to check all the sewer cleanouts one by one. The one which spills water outside is the sewer cleanout with the clog. The clog will be downstream of that cleanout. But if there is no water spill outside then the clog will be upstream of that cleanout.
Locating The Sewer Cleanout And Cleaning It
The sewer cleanout is generally of the same size and diameter of the fitting pipe. The cleanout is threaded and attached with a cap. Some are attached with a slip type of fitting. The cap is screw-like and is attached with a nut of square shape that can be opened with the help of a wrench. You will need to put extra effort to open it because it might be stuck due to not being used for a long time.
Take Your Time
Not all cleanouts will be clearly accessible to you as some might be buried under ground as well. If you get the map of your sewerage pipes then you will know where all the cleanouts are. Once you locate it will be easier to open and clean. You can also track the septic system for the cleanouts. If the cap and nut is very tight then you can try the following tips.
- Apply lubricant to the opening of the cap. The lubricant will penetrate inside the cap and loosen the threads.
- Apply some heat to the cap so that it contracts and opens.
- You can also use a hammer to hit the nut and loosen the threads.
Sewer cleanouts are an absolute necessity for unclogging or else your whole septic and drainage system could be effected. It’s easier with hiring sewer cleaning companies and letting them do the sewer cleanout.