Plumbing Cleanouts Phoenix

What are cleanouts?

If you have a stoppage the first thing the plumber is going to look for are cleanouts, but what are cleanouts?  Unlike your water lines, your sewer system is not sealed, in fact if it was sealed it wouldn’t work, your drain system has access points to allow air flow and access points to allow stoppages to be cleared.

Air flow points are called vents, these vents are the pipes you see sticking up through your roof.  These vents allow air which prevents suction, much like when you fill a straw with fluid and hold the top, the fluid remains trapped inside the straw, the same holds true for your sewer line without proper ventilation.  Ventilation points are not meant to be access points for your sewer line they are meant only to allow proper air flow.  Access points for your sewer line are cleanouts and they are, by code, meant to be ground level and provide access for drain machines to clear stoppages.

Cleanouts are installed for both your branch lines and your main sewer line.  Most of the time your branch line cleanouts – branch lines are the drain lines that branch off of your main sewer line, such as your kitchen sink, bathtubs, bathroom sinks, toilets, washing machine etc. – are located inside the wall close to the fixture it is connected to.  Depending on the age of your home branch line cleanouts may not have been installed, if this is the case the plumber will have to take apart the plumbing under the sink or inside the wall in order to access the drain system to clear a stoppage if it is before the main line.

Where Are My Cleanouts?

Cleanouts for your main sewer line should be located near the foundation of your home and depending on if your sewer line runs toward the street or toward an alley will determine if the cleanouts are in the front or back of your home.  Cleanouts are black pipes with caps on them sticking up out of the ground slightly.  It is important for homeowners to know where their cleanouts are so they are not accidently covered or broken during landscaping projects.  There should be two pipes accessing your main line, the pipe closest to your home is actually guided to reach your sewer line going toward the city connection.  The pipe sticking up out of the ground furthest from your house is guided to be able to reach the main line going toward and under your home.