Your Licensed Neighborhood Plumber
Sewer Work

Sewer Cleanouts: What You Need to Know

What is a Sewer Cleanout?

A sewer cleanout is an installation that provides access to your main sewer line. They are a very important asset to your home’s plumbing system and waste disposal system. If you have a clog in your house and also have a sewer cleanout, our expert plumbers can use a hydro jetting tool or a snake to disperse the clog and have your waste system running efficiently again. If you don’t have a sewer cleanout, the technicians at Pride Plumbing of Rochester can install one for you.

Why Should I Get a Sewer Cleanout?

  • There are multiple benefits of having a sewer cleanout:

    • They prevent frequent drain problems. With a sewer cleanout, a plumber can tell you exactly what is causing a plumbing issue and give you advice for how to prevent it from happening in the future.

    • Be proactive, not reactive. By having a sewer cleanout, issues that you are not yet aware of can be detected and dealt with earlier rather than later.

    • They make it easier to fix clogged pipes.

    • They reduce the cost of clearing away clogs.

  • Lower maintenance costs

  • Clogs are more easily accessible and easier cleaned

  • It prevents flooding inside of the home and protects your property

    • If there is flooding inside your house, it would be both very smelly and unsafe. Dangerous gasses build up inside piping which could impact your health if they seep into the floors and baseboards. Sewer cleanouts have a cap on them which protects you and your home from all of the buildup as well as those harmful gases.

Where Are Sewer Cleanouts Located?

  • Not all sewer cleanouts are located in the same place. Most sewer cleanouts are located outside of the home, but some, especially in older homes, are located inside.

  • There can be multiple sewer cleanouts for one property. Properties can have one or two main sewer cleanouts, which will most likely be located outside of your home. If you have a specific pipe that causes you increased stress, you can have a pipe-specific cleanout.

Where Can I Actually Find My Cleanouts?

  • Inside the home:
    • Check your basement or crawl spaces for possible locations. The cleanouts may also be protruding from the outer walls. Many times, indoor sewer cleanouts will appear to have a “Y” or “T” shaped intersection where one side is capped.

Sewer cleanout inside the house

  • Outside the home:
    • If you have a septic system in place, sewer cleanouts are generally located near the home. The cap of the sewer cleanout is often found within 3 feet of the foundation.

    • Also, check the sidewalk or curb. There could be a stamped or painted letter “S” there. If you find this marking, imagine a straight line from the “S” to your home.

Sewer cleanout outside the house

What If I Don't Have a Sewer Cleanout?

  • Very old homes may not have a sewer cleanout. In this case, the best idea would be to have one installed.

  • Sometimes, sewer cleanouts could be covered by dirt. If you think your home has a sewer cleanout but you cannot find it, you could choose to do some light digging around where you believe it should be.

  • The plumbers at Pride Plumbing of Rochester can also run a camera from the inside of your basement and use specific locating equipment to locate the clean out.

Plumbing pipes run throughout an entire home and they meet at a main pipe. From the main pipe, also called a stack, sewage runs out of the house and into the county sewage system. However, if there is a clog, it could stop the pipes from allowing the waste water through.

What is a House Trap and Why is it Important?

  • A house trap is referred to as a “combination sewer” which means that both the sanitary and storm sewer are connected to the same pipe.

  • If you don’t have a house trap, the perimeter of the house where the gutter pipes are connected to the storm piping would smell like sewer. The house trap or the water that remains within the house trap blocks these gasses from passing this point and eliminating sewer odors from entering the home or its surroundings.

  • Within Monroe County, house traps are generally found within the City of Rochester.

New house trap installation

Don from Rochester stated: “In the middle of a party on a Sunday, our sewer line backed up causing a flood in the basement. We called Pride and Ken quickly responded. He unclogged the line. He returned two days later to finish the job and to install a new sump pump. The work was done expertly and our drain runs perfectly. Ken was very professional, neat and thorough.”

What should I do if there is an emergency?

  • If a sewage problem arises, turn off the water immediately and stop using your water fixtures. Call your neighborhood plumber, Pride Plumbing of Rochester, at 585-272-7272 or schedule an appointment online.