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Benefits of a Sewer Cleanout and Why Your North Center Home Needs One

A sewer cleanout is an important addition to any home. A cleanout allows a plumber, drain cleaner, or other qualified service providers to clear clogs in the sewage system without damaging your property.

If you have a yard that backs up into the house, a water softener that needs maintenance, or simply want to be ready for emergencies and preventative care, it’s worth considering adding one to your house today!

Our customer in North Center, Chicago was experiencing a clog in their sewer system so our team quickly located the issue, cleared their plumbing, and installed a cleanout to help our customer maintain their sewer in the future.

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Everything you need to know about sewer cleanouts

What does a sewer cleanout do?

A sewer cleanout gives homeowners an easy way to maintain their plumbing system. The cleanout is an access point that allows professionals to remove obstructions such as tree roots or other debris. This helps keep your sewer clean and functioning properly.

A sewer cleanout is a small hole that goes through the side of your house, typically in the basement. This allows you to access and remove any blockage from inside your main sewer line.

The best part about having a sewer clean out installed is that it can be accessed at any time, meaning you don’t have to excavate your property to clean your home’s sewer line.

A sewer cleanout is preventative and can save you from having to deal with backed-up sewage in your house. Sewer cleanouts will help you get more from your plumbing system, so it’s a great investment.

Where is a sewer cleanout located?

In most homes, cleanouts are located outside. It is easily identifiable as a plastic pipe with a cap that protrudes from the lawn or garden. However, there are various locations in your yard that the cleanout can be placed.

If you have a lateral sewer line, it is, generally, located close to your home and in line with both your house’s sewer system and the municipal sewer. Alternatively, the cleanout may be between your house and your septic tank, if your home uses a septic system.

The location of the cleanout will depend on whether you have a newer or older house. Older homes may have a drain cleanout located inside.

Clean outs placed inside still have a cap and may be found in the basement or near a toilet. Some homes might not have one at all, in which case it is worthwhile to install one.

The cleanout can be 3-, 4- or 6-inches in size. It is usually covered with a plastic cap with black and white markings, or with a gold-colored cap so it is easily located.

A cleanout can be installed both above ground and underground, depending on location preference. With at least 2 full-sized cleanouts, most homeowners do not need extra clean outs.

The benefits of sewer cleanouts

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Sewer cleanouts can be used for various purposes, such as during construction, for repairs, or for testing drain lines.

With easy access to inspect and maintain pipes, plumbers can quickly diagnose and address any plumbing needs on your property, without extensive excavation close to your house and long repair processes.

The simple cleanout enables a plumber to do some of the following treatments:

  • Sewer camera inspection, which is the process of using a small video camera to peer into the sewer line. This technique can show your plumber what blockages or damages are in your system.
  • Hydro jetting, which is the process of pumping high-pressure water through your pipes. It is generally used to clear any grease, minerals, and other blockages.
  • Power rodding, in which a plumbing technician will insert a long thin rod in your pipes, combined with a cutter head at its end, works to clear your main sewer line.

All of these methods are non-invasive and a plumbing professional is able to complete it without excavating your yard or cutting out sections of your home’s pipes.

How to tell if your home needs a sewer cleanout?

A sewer cleanout is an important addition to any home. With one installed, professionals can easily identify and solve major clogs without damaging your property.

Older homes that rely on a septic tank especially benefit from sewer cleanouts. But even with a lateral sewer line connected to a city sewer, cleanouts provide easy access to address any plumbing problems.

If you notice any of the following issues, it may be time for a sewer cleanout:

  • strong sewage smell around drains, toilets, and sinks
  • water backed up in your toilet, shower, or sink instead of draining away quickly

Most homeowners try to perform their own drain cleanout with a drain snake or chemical drain cleaner to treat any clog located in their drain.

However, if these symptoms continue after an attempt at cleaning the pipes then there is likely another issue at hand which will need professional attention.

If your house has experienced flooding in the basement it may be another sign that your sewer system needs repair and continued maintenance.

In rare cases, sewer damage may cause an emergency flooding scenario since sewage water backing up in your home can pose a serious health risk.

A damaged sewer line is such a terrible thing, at Rescue Plumbing, we are committed to not only addressing your plumbing needs but preparing your house for any future maintenance and repairs.

North Center, Chicago Sewer Cleanout installation

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Our North Center customer called Rescue Plumbing because their sewer line was unusable. The wastewater refused to drain down the pipe and they were in need of a rescue.

When our technicians first arrived, we immediately took action to locate the blockage. We attempted to power rod the pipe but this did not clear the obstruction.

Our experts knew there was a bigger issue at hand. To further diagnose the clog, they used a camera to inspect the piping. The camera revealed a problem area just outsides the home’s foundation wall.

After we located the issues in the sewer line, we had to excavate to reveal the damaged pipe. In North Center, it is common to see tree roots damaging a pipe underground. For this client, the roots were fully encasing the whole sewer pipe.

After diagnosing the plumbing problem, we knew exactly what to do!

First, our technicians installed a cleanout. This allowed our plumbers to access and fix the current problem, and gave the customer the ability to periodically clean and maintain their system. The section our team excavated was also a great location for the cleanout to go on the sewer line.

After the installation, we hydro jetted the pipe to remove all the tree roots throughout the sewer line.

Finally, we inspected the system with our camera equipment to ensure this North Center customer would have a free flow of water down their drain.

Unlike other plumbing companies, Rescue Plumbing is committed to addressing your plumbing concerns and setting your plumbing system up for success.

What is the process of installing a cleanout as a part of your sewer line?

As with our job in North Center, the process of installing sewer clean outs does require some work, but in the long run, it saves you time and money.

  1. Locate an appropriate place for the cleanout. Professional plumbers will make locating a position a breeze.
  2. Measure the existing sewer pipe to decide the angle for the cleanout. For a clean attachment, a professional will take measurements to ensure no leaks will occur at the connection.
  3. Decide the size of the pipe. A cleanout can be 3-, 4- and 6-inches. Full-sized cleanouts (6-inches) provide the most access.
  4. After making those decisions, you can begin the installation process.
  5. Depending on the city plumbing code, it may be necessary for the cleanout to be inspected prior to filling the hole surrounding the new pipe.
  6. After passing inspection, the pipe should be covered while leaving the cap to easily locate and use the cleanout.
  7. Finally, keep your sewer clean with routine maintenance!

To the Rescue!

We are always happy to help with your plumbing problems and to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape!

Our expert team has the experience and knowledge needed for all types of repairs and preventive work, no matter how big or small.

Please give us a call today at (773) 799-8848, we’d be happy to work with you to provide efficient and effective solutions.

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