3 Main Types Of Plumbing Cleanouts You Should Know

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Anthony Barnes

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Regularly checking a plumbing cleanout may not seem like it is essential, but it is very beneficial to your plumbing to have your pipes checked to make sure that they are not blocked.

There are lots of things that can contribute to clogging the pipes, so they must be checked to make sure that there are no blockages. 

There are different types of plumbing cleanouts that you should be aware of and how they are beneficial to your home.

It is important to make sure that the pipes are not blocked and that they are regularly checked, but why?

Find out more about the 3 main types of plumbing cleanouts and why you should be aware of them.

Find out more about the benefits of plumbing cleanouts below and why your pipes should regularly be checked to avoid blockages. 

What Are Plumbing Cleanouts?

Plumbing cleanouts allow plumbers to access the home sewer pipe that then leads into the main sewer.

This allows them to see if anything is clogging the pipe that is preventing waste from going towards the main sewer pipe, so having a regular plumbing cleanout or check is important to prevent any clogs or blockages. 

Therefore, your pipes need to be checked to make sure that there are no blockages that are affecting your waste going into the main sewer pipes.

A blockage will then affect your home, so it must be fixed. If the blockage remains there, it will continue to build up and it will become more difficult to remove, so it must be sorted. 

What Are The Types Of Plumbing Cleanouts?

It is important to know the different plumbing cleanouts as they indicate where the plumbing cleanouts are placed around your home.

You should be aware of where they are placed as you should know how to access them if there is a problem or if a plumber needs to check.

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Inside Cleanouts

Inside cleanouts are found inside homes in particularly cold areas, and they are usually found in basements.

They are found inside as the cold can freeze them over and make them very difficult to get into, so it is important to make sure that they are accessible.

As the main drainpipe is upright, the inside cleanout is often joined up to it. 

Outside Cleanouts

Outside cleanouts are often found outside of homes, especially in warm areas.

They are often connected to the main sewer and they can sometimes be difficult to locate if you are unfamiliar with them.

They are usually found as a pipe coming out of the ground, and they can have blockages removed.

Drain Cleanouts Indoors

Inside cleanouts are often found next to sinks, showers, and baths, as they all have plumbing traps.

The plumbing traps are shaped like a ‘U’, so it is very easy for clogs to occur as things can easily get stuck in the bottom of the ‘U’ shape.

Cleanouts are placed near the plumbing traps to make sure that you can easily access them and clear the pipe of clogs.

3 Main Types Of Plumbing Cleanouts

There are 3 main types of plumbing clearouts to be aware of and understand.

Here are the main plumbing cleanouts that you need to know about.

Single Cleanout

When referring to a single cleanout, it means that there is only access one-way into the sewer line going in one direction.

There isn’t direct access to the pipe, and it all depends on the angle of how you can access the pipe. 

Double Cleanout

A double cleanout refers to how the pipes are connected and how they are connected to the main drain.

There is access from both directions and it is the most popular cleanout as it is easier to access. 

Test-Tee Cleanouts

The test-tee cleanouts are very similar to double cleanouts as they allow accessibility at both ends of the main drain pipe.

The pipes are shaped like a ‘T’, but they are very difficult to clean out and remove blockages from due to their 90-degree angle. 

How To Find A Plumbing Cleanout

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You can easily find a plumbing cleanout by looking for a large pipe that is above the ground.

You can identify the plumbing cleanout by looking for the large pipe that has a square cap made from metal, and it is usually located by your home or in your backyard. 

If you are living in a colder area, you might find that your plumbing clearout is located in your bathroom or your basement.

It will look the same, it will just be in a different location to protect it from becoming frozen by the cold temperatures. 

It is important to know where your plumbing cleanout is located if you find yourself experiencing a blockage.

You can then work to unblock the drain or call a professional and show them where the plumbing cleanout is located so they can take a look and solve the problem. 

What Causes The Pipes To Clog

There are lots of different causes for the pipes to clog and it is a very common problem.

However, it is important to try to reduce clogged pipes and try to prevent them from happening.

If you are unsure what causes clogged pipes, take a look below to see if there is anything that you can do to prevent this from happening to you.

Do Not Flush Anything That You Shouldn’t

The most common way that pipes become clogged is due to objects being flushed that shouldn’t be flushed.

This can cause there to be a large blockage and build-up in the pipes, so you should never flush anything down the drains that could cause a blockage.

It can cause a lot of problems with your pipes and can be difficult to remove. 

Objects like toys, fabrics, sanitary products, plastic, and much more should not be flushed down the drain.

If they do become flushed down the drain, your pipe will likely become clogged and it will need to be unblocked. 

Tree Roots

Tree roots can grow inside sewer pipes and it can cause the pipes to become blocked.

This is also common as they can continue to grow in the pipes and it can be impossible for anything to go down to the main sewer.

Tree roots can become very compact, so nothing can get past them if they are found to be growing in the pipes.

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If you notice that there is a blockage, call a professional to take a look as they will be able to confirm to you if tree roots are growing there.

If there is, a professional will be able to remove them and make sure that the pipes are no longer clogged.

You can also purchase a root killer that can be used to get rid of the roots in the pipes. 

Call A Professional If You Are Unsure

If you think that there is a blockage in the pipes, you should call a professional to look.

If you are not experienced, you may not be able to sort the blockage out correctly, so calling a professional to take a look can make sure that the pipes are unblocked and nothing is building up inside and preventing waste from reaching the main sewer. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, it is important to be aware of the 3 main types of plumbing cleanouts so you can identify the plumbing cleanout that you have in your home.

This is important when you are experiencing a blockage and you need to make sure that it is removed before it can become worse. 

If the blockage is left untreated, it will continue to build up and it will be more difficult to get rid of.

If you are struggling to unblock the drain, a professional will be able to help to make sure that the blockage is cleared and no longer causing a problem.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age