If you’ve never heard of lot line cleanouts, you’re not alone. Many homeowners have no idea about the importance of maintaining these pipes that are so vital to proper functioning of plumbing systems. Other people find out about cleanouts when sewer water starts backing up into the home. Unfortunately, that is not the time you want to learn what you need to know to handle this common issue.
What are Lot Line Cleanouts?
The lot line cleanout or sewer clean out is a pipe that runs vertically up from the home sewer line to the sewer main at the street. The pipe is placed so that gravity helps transport the home’s sewage out of the house to the municipal main. In many areas, sewer clean outs lie along lateral sewer lines, which connect the home’s plumbing to municipal sewers. Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that their portion of this line stays clog-free and clean.
The city or local municipality is responsible for larger sewer cleanouts all through the city’s sewer line. City employees clear blockages along this part of the sewer lines.
Maintaining Sewer Cleanouts
Cleanouts are typically located on the homeowner’s property and along the property lines so that homeowners may access them at several spots. It is important to know where these cleanouts are located so that you can access them quickly and take care of any blockages. This way, you can prevent any overflow issues. Many builders place the sewer cleanout in basements in areas where snow is common so that they may be accessed during winter.
Opening and Unclogging Cleanout Pipes
When your home’s sewer begins backing up, you will need to close the main water valve to investigate the problem. Typically, clogs occur along the lateral plumbing line, and by accessing the lot line cleanouts, you can resolve any blockages.
Opening cleanout pipes usually only requires a wrench, and in some situations, you may even open it by hand. Clearing clogged cleanout pipes usually requires a plumbing augur or snake. This steel coil cable features a head that the user pushes through the pipe in order to clear any blockages. This action promotes a flow of debris through the sewer line.
For major clogs, professional plumbers sometimes use plumbing cameras that travel in the pipes and investigate what is causing the clogs. This allows plumbers to determine the cause of the backup, which might be a clog or crushed pipe.