- Usually a septic tank clean-out is a small square concrete “plug” with beveled sides in the top of the tank. Here in NC, NC State University has been doing septic system research for decades, and are the experts about them.
What does a sewer cleanout line look like?
The cleanout is usually a 4-inch-diameter pipe with a screw cap that has a square knob or indentation on the top. It’s most likely going to be popping up from the ground outside your home between the foundation and the street. The cleanout might also be on the side of the home, closest to the bathroom.
What does main drain cleanout look like?
Outdoor Clean-Outs Look behind bushes, or in a metal or plastic box recessed into the ground. The main clean-out fitting is usually a large-diameter pipe with a threaded plug in the top. It may be extending above the ground near an outside wall or may be contained inside a ground box covered by a metal cover.
What does a cleanout plug look like?
A drain cleanout provides access to your main sewer line and is located outside of your home in the front or back yard. Cleanouts typically go unnoticed until there is a problem. They look like capped pipes sticking a few inches above the ground.
How often do you need a cleanout?
For long runs of piping, a cleanout is required every 100 feet. This measurement is taken from the highest end of the horizontal drainage piping to the point of connection with the building sewer.
What are clean outs?
A cleanout is an easily accessible section of pipe with a removable cover that makes it easier for you or a plumber to access your pipes. This access lets you run an auger or snake into the pipes to clear clogs and provides easy access for a plumber with a camera to check your pipes for other issues.
How do you know if your main drain is clogged?
Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Clogged
- Dark Water. One of the signature symptoms of a main-drain clog is water backing up in your tubs or showers.
- Slow-Moving Drains. Take a minute to think about the drains in your home.
- Gurgling Sounds.
- Clogged Plumbing Fixtures.
- Turn Off the Water.
- Call a Plumber.
What is a wall cleanout?
A plumbing cleanout can be used to access the drain pipes in a building. The cap can be removed to provide access. Most localities require the installation of cleanouts during the plumbing rough-in.
Do you need a cleanout plug?
The cleanout plug not only helps to keep debris and pests from entering these pipes, but also prevents dangerous sewer gases and noxious fumes from backing up into the home. If this sewage pipe becomes clogged and the drain fails, a plumbing snake may be required to clear the clog.
What size is a cleanout plug?
The Zurn cleanout plug can be easily installed. It comes in 3 sizes to fit a 2 in., 3 in., or 4 in. size pipe. With just a turn of the wing nut it becomes an air tight fitting to prevent gases or orders from escaping into the atmosphere.
Do You Know about Your Sewer Cleanout – Why it’s Important and How to Locate It?
Sewer cleanouts aren’t something that comes up in regular discussion, but when something goes wrong, they’re a hot topic, aren’t they? In reality, the majority of homeowners aren’t even aware of the existence of their cleanouts, let alone what they perform. Because backed-up waste water in a house is such a horrible thing to think about, let alone experience, we thought we’d walk homeowners through the process of finding and using a sewer cleanout – including why it’s vital and where to look.
What is a Sewer Cleanout and how does it work?
They are brought together by a major pipe system known as a stack.
Things do happen, though, such as jams of a dozen various varieties preventing a pipe from enabling waste water to pass through it, for example.
- What is the significance of these individuals?
- In the event that waste water seeps into the flooring and baseboards before being cleaned up, the water will remain there unless it is cleaned quickly by specialists.
- Furthermore, if the health agency becomes aware of the situation, the homeowner will be punished and ordered to clean up the mess.
- The presence of a sewage cleanout that does not have a proper cap on it means that those gases might be released into the air around or within the house.
- Not all plumbing is up to code, or in other cases is only up to code to the point of passing inspection.
- This might result in the cleanout being located in a variety of locations, including on the drain stack in the basement.
- Stacks are equipped with a roof exit, where a cleanout might be installed.
In most cases, the pipes will be either cast iron or PVC (plastic) piping, with a cap on top that will be either plastic, brass, or cast iron in construction.
Second, locate the sewer cleanout that is located outside the home.
If homeowners are able to remove the cap, they will be able to go into the line with a snake and unclog it.
They will be able to open the cap since they will have the appropriate wrenches.
Every day, hundreds of individuals are faced with the task of unclogging their sewer cleanout, but many have no idea where to begin.
On rare occasions, though, you’ll need to know where the sewer cleanout is in order to avoid flooding.
We hope that this explanation has been helpful. Bay Area Plumbing is ready for all of your plumbing requirements 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require assistance with a blockage, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and assistance.
Sewer Clean Out for Residential Homes 101
a wooded trail / Photo courtesy of Fotolia Septic system failures can be prevented by utilizing a variety of fail-safes in contemporary plumbing. Your home is well-protected against sewage backups, with everything from drain traps to sump pumps and vent pipes. The sewage clean out is an extremely vital component of this system, and you should be aware of its existence. Despite its harmless look, having one or more clean outs in your home’s sewage line may have a significant impact on both the health of your sewer line and the health of your wallet.
What is a Sewer Clean Out?
In most cases, the sewer clean out is a capped pipe that is positioned on or near your property line and connects to the lateral sewage line. In plumbing, a lateral sewer line is a pipe that links the sewage lines in your house to either the municipal sewer system or your septic tank. Septic waste can back up into drains when the lateral becomes blocked, causing a nuisance as well as potential health risks for anyone who are exposed to it. Maintaining your sewer pipes and draining water in the event of a backup are two important benefits of having a clean out.
How to Find the Sewer Clean Out
The sewer clean out is a tiny, capped conduit that protrudes from the ground surface. Unfortunately, finding it is not always straightforward. The fact that many homes have several clean outs and, in some rare circumstances, the clean out is actually placed within the house just adds to the complexity of the situation. The methods that follow should assist you in finding the clean out more quickly.
- The Sidewalk Should Be Checked– In many localities, the location where your lateral joins the municipal sewer line is indicated on the sidewalk. Along the curb and sidewalk, look for a letter ‘S’ that has been stamped or painted. If you come across this marker, you may easily visualize a straight line from the mark to your house, where the lateral may be located if you look closely. In certain situations, you may even be fortunate enough to come upon a clean out in the neighborhood of where you are looking. Search Near Your Foundation– In many circumstances, locating the sewer clean out near the road is impractical, or the home’s former owners elected to have more than one sewer clean out built. In these cases, you should search near your foundation. When you have a septic system in place, sewer clean outs are also typically positioned close to the home’s location. If you are more than three feet from the foundation, you will most likely find the cap anywhere between the road or septic tank and the point at which your home’s sewage line exits the foundation and enters the ground
- Look for extra clean outs inside– Some homes, particularly older ones, may have clean outs that are either hidden within the structure or protrude from the exterior walls of the structure. Check the basements, crawl spaces, and attic for probable vent pipe sites along with the vent pipe. Most of the time, indoor sewer clean outs will look to be a junction with one side of the Y or T shaped intersection being capped. These are important for keeping your interior pipelines in good condition, even if they are not essential.
What if the Property Lacks a Sewer Clean Out?
It is possible that older properties may not have a sewer clean out. The latter is particularly true if one is not obligated to do so by municipal or state plumbing regulations. It is typically preferable to have one installed in such situations. Sometimes your home has a clean out that has just been covered up by dirt, which is another situation. If you suspect the house has a clean out but have been unable to identify it, you may want to conduct some light digging along the ground where you assume the clean out should be in order to locate it.
Benefits of a Sewer Clean Out
While having a sewage clean out is mandated by law in certain jurisdictions, if you have an older property or live in a state where they are optional, you may find yourself without one. There are, however, various advantages to having a clean out installed on your home, including the following:
Lower Maintenance Costs
The clean out gives you direct access to the sewage lateral on your property’s property. This means that a plumbing professional may monitor the water flow from each individual faucet in your home to verify that there are no blockages or other pipe concerns during their monthly maintenance visits.
Cheaper and Easier Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning your sewage lines, a plumber would normally have to remove your toilet or perhaps climb onto the roof to do so.
They will have easier access to the sewage lateral if they have a sewer clean out performed. Because of the time and effort savings, you will have a lower overall bill.
Protects Your Landscaping
If you have a big clog, one advantage that only becomes evident in an emergency situation is the fact that a sewer clean out can assist eliminate the need to dig up your yard in the case of a clog. The sewer lateral, in contrast to many of the pipes within your home, is totally underground and cannot be inspected for wear or damage without digging the area where it is located. The sewer clean out serves as an entry point for your lateral, allowing it to be more readily examined and maintained.
It can also be used as an external drain if a large amount of blockage is encountered. Taking the clean out cap off will allow you to drain the extra water, which will save your property from flooding. When there is an issue with the municipal sewer that is forcing water back up into your lateral, this may also be beneficial.
How to Install a Sewer Clean Out
It is necessary to complete many steps in order to install a clean out. Depending on the circumstances, your local municipality may provide programs to assist with the cost of installation, particularly in situations where a sewer clean out was not previously required by code. Before you begin, make sure you check for any available programs or grants, as well as any necessary permissions or licenses. It is also recommended to get expert assistance if you do not have prior experience splicing or installing sections of pipe in order to prevent making costly blunders.
Choosing a Clean Out Type
The first and most important step before starting any work is to choose the sort of sewer clean out you will be using. There are three alternatives accessible at the present time: Double Clean Out– The double clean out is the most common type of clean out used in contemporary installations. It contains two shafts that link to the lateral pipe in a ‘U’ configuration, making it the most common type of clean out used in modern installations. The cap that is closest to your home allows for simple access to the city end of the lateral, but the cap that is closest to the street allows you to preserve the house end of the lateral (see illustration).
Despite its T design, the test tee clean out provides access to both ends of the lateral, but it can be difficult to use for clearing obstructions owing to a 90 degree angle at the intersection.
Excavation and Installation
A segment of pipe will need to be excavated in order to find your lateral line. This can be accomplished using either conventional hand tools or leased equipment, with caution to avoid damaging the lateral pipe. As soon as you have completely exposed the required area of the pipe, you should measure out the length of pipe that will be removed. The type of cutting equipment you’ll need will depend on the material that your lateral pipe is constructed of. Once the undesirable portion has been removed, you will be able to measure, cut, and install the new junction section in its place.
Most of the time, it’s advisable to put a container box around the top to keep it from being overgrown or buried too quickly.
Professional Cleaning Cost with a Sewer Clean Out
Even while cleaning your own lateral line may appear to be a cost-effective choice, there is always the possibility of causing damage to the pipes. A professional plumber can complete the task more efficiently and at a lower cost if they have access to the sewage system through a sewer clean out. As a result, they use less tools and less effort than if they were required to dig up your yard or snake the lateral from an interior location of your property. With a basic estimate range of $99 to $900 and an overall average of $288, HomeAdvisorgives provides a reliable service.
When it comes to costs, CostHelper gives more specific estimates, with an estimated cost of snaking your lateral ranging from $148 to $900, with an average cost of $410.
Additional costs will include a video examination of the line, which will cost between $100 and $800.
Some plumbing businesses may quote you a fixed charge but then urge you to tack on extra services in order to raise the total cost of the job.
How to Locate Your Sewer Cleanout in Case of Emergency
The drain cleanout is a direct connection to the main sewage line, which can be found either within or outside the property. If the trap is positioned within the house, it is referred to as the main house trap; if it is located outside of the house, it is referred to as the sewer cleanout. However, despite the little shift in terminology, the purpose of this cleanup remains the same: This addition to the home plumbing system is intended to provide plumbing professionals with an easy-to-access point through which they can reach clogs and sewage backup in the main sewage line that extends from the foundation of the home, under the ground, and out to the municipal sewage system, a private septic tank, or the portion of the main house drain piping downstream of the house trap, among other locations.
Only plumbing specialists should utilize the drain cleanout, but being aware of its presence during an emergency clog or backlog may save valuable time and money in the cleaning and restoration process, potentially saving thousands of dollars.
A drain cleanout pipe is commonly three, four, or six inches in diameter and white or black in color, depending on the manufacturer.
Some residences may also have drainage pipes made of brass or copper, though these are far less common. Keep in mind the type of material used in your sewage system as you follow these easy procedures to locate the main drain or plumbing cleanout valve.
Before You Begin
Before you begin, it’s crucial to understand that the overall placement of the drain cleanout varies based on the environment of the area where you live.
- Houses built to a standard in colder areas will often have drain cleanouts installed within the structure. People who live in colder areas and whose homes were constructed on a slab foundation may find an outside drain cleanout, or they may find it in a bathroom, garage, or utility room
- Therefore, people who live in this sort of property may need to explore both indoors and outdoors. Those in warm regions will often have an external drain cleanout in the yard
- However, homes in colder climates would not.
- There are drainage pipes running throughout the house, connecting every sink, toilet, and water-using equipment, such as the dishwasher and washing machine. Therefore, discovering a drainage pipe should not be a difficult task. Look for black or white ABS, cast iron, copper, or bronze drainage pipes that lead away from the sink, toilet, or appliance you’re looking to fix or replace. In most cases, following these drainage pipes will lead you to the main sewage line.
Look for a T- or Y-Shaped Pipe Fitting With a Cap or Plug
- Whereas when a drain cleanout is built within the home, it is usually found on the main sewage line, which is positioned immediately before the main line joins the foundation of the structure. Typically, the drain cleanout will be on a T- or Y-shaped pipe fitting, and it will be equipped with a threaded stopper and a square nut. It is also possible that a plastic cap will be placed over this nut. The drain cleanout, on the other hand, is not usually put on the main line. Depending on your location, you may need to check around for a black or white pipe with a threaded plug and an oval nut
- In certain cases, you may need to dig around to discover an additional entry point to the sewage system.
Check Bathrooms, Utility Rooms, and the Garage
- If the sewage cleanout is not located on the main sewer line, you will need to look for it in other areas of the house before determining its position. Take a flashlight with you to help you see better in low-light situations. It is common for the drain cleanout to be located near a collection of drainage pipes, such as in a complete bathroom with drains for the sink, toilet, and shower. Make a visual inspection of each bathroom in the house, searching for a capped ABS plastic drain line in black or white. As a last resort, examine the utility room or garage if you can’t find the drain cleanout where you think you might have put it. Occasionally, present or past owners may have made improvements that concealed the location of the main drain cleanout. As soon as you believe that this is the case, you should contact a plumber who will be able to identify and clear up the drain cleanout without causing more damage to your property.
Test the Drain Cleanout Plug
After locating the drain cleanout, it’s a good idea to test the plug to make sure it hasn’t been seized as a result of lack of usage. Make use of a pipe wrench or a big set of channel locks to tighten the square nut on the drain cleanout plug while wearing disposable gloves. Begin to crank the nut with the wrench in small increments until it is completely loose. After removing any accumulated filth from the threads, replace the plug with a new one. In certain instances, an expanding plug may be used to cover the cleanout, which may be freed by rotating a screw located in the middle of the plug.
- As soon as you begin to open the plug and notice water or feel pressure beneath the plug, it’s time to contact a professional. This indicates that the clog in the line has caused the pipe leading outside the home to get clogged. Depending on where you are in the world when you pull the plug, your drainage pit, yard, or house may get flooded by backed-up raw sewage.
Locating Outdoor Drain Cleanouts
- To locate an outside drain cleanout, you will first need to walk to either the septic tank, if your property is on a septic system, or the municipal sewer line, if your property is not on a septic system. It is possible to identify the sewage line by looking for the nearest manhole or by looking for a curb with a huge S stamped into the concrete.
Estimate the Direction of the Drainage Line
- Septic systems will often have the drain cleanout situated near to the residence, in line with the septic tank, in order to save space. Simply go back from the tank and towards the house, keeping an eye out for a plastic pipe protruding from the lawn or garden as you go. Similar to this, the drain cleanout on a municipal wastewater system will normally be located near to the house or other building. This drainage system should be connected to the municipal sewer system
- However, because the actual drainage line is not visible, you will need to follow a broad path around the yard in order to locate the drain cleanout pipe. Typically, the pipe is black or white in color, and it is sealed with a threaded plug that has a square nut on it and is branded S, C.O., or cleanout on the outside. Although, in some cases, this plug is protected by a plastic cap or a metal lid, this is not always the case. With this in mind, look for any things that may be used to cover or house a 3-, 4-, or 6-inch diameter pipe.
Move Lawn Decorations, Foliage, and Other Obstacles
- If you are still unable to identify the drain cleanout, it is possible that it has been accidently covered or intentionally hidden from view. The drain cleanout should be located adjacent to the residence in an area along the main sewer or septic line, which may be identified by the presence of drain pipe clusters in full or partially completed bathrooms. Begin by removing any lawn decorations that are blocking the view of the yard outside of the restrooms, gradually increasing the search area. Always keep in mind that a cleanup might be buried in a garden or hidden by overgrown vegetation. Overgrown grass may also be an issue, so you may wish to cut the lawn to make the hunt for a lost pet a little bit easier on yourself. Occasionally, the sewer cleanout is totally buried in the yard, in which case you will need to make an educated guess as to where the drainage line is coming from and use a long screwdriver to dig approximately 1 inch into the ground, probing for the pipe’s top. Nonetheless, because this approach is mainly trial and error, even with a strong informed estimate, you may want to consider hiring a professional to identify the drain cleanout
- However, this method is not without risks.
Mark and Test the Drain Cleanout
- After identifying the drain cleanout, mark the site with a metal stake and a brightly colored flag so that you have a fast reference point in the event of an emergency. In addition, the drain cleanout plug should be checked to ensure that it may be removed if necessary. Slowly loosen the nut from the pipe with a pipe wrench or a set of big channel locks to avoid damaging the pipe. In most cases, the nut should be easy to thread out
- However, if you notice any water or feel pressure in the line, tighten the nut again and contact a plumber to clear the obstruction in the line.
The house sewage system can be severely damaged by even the most expert do-it-yourselfers. This can result in sewage backing up into the septic system, onto the yard, or even into the house itself. It is possible to save time and effort while also saving possibly thousands of dollars in clean-up and home restoration costs if you only use qualified professional plumbers to remove blockages and perform repairs to the main drainage line and drain cleanout.
Septic Tank Clean-Out 101
Septic tanks of various shapes and sizes are pumped out by John Kline Septic Services. From residential to commercial to municipal work, there is something for everyone. Maintaining your septic tank is essential, whether you’re in need of a clean-out or you simply want to understand more about the procedure. To learn more, continue reading or contact us now to arrange service. We provide same-day service for emergencies, and our technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Always In order to ensure that your septic tank gets cleaned out through the largest available opening, Your septic tank or system may have more than one entry point, depending on the type of tank or system you have installed.
- This is normally covered with a cement lid or manhole cover that is 18-24 inches in diameter and is often raised to grade with an extension.
- It also makes it difficult to completely clean out the tank, therefore it’s critical to ensure that your tank is well cleaned from the primary entry.
- In spite of the fact that we recommend that you have your tank pumped out every two to three years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home, you may be able to extend the period between clean-outs without suffering any difficulties.
- When it comes to septic tank cleaning, we recommend that you never go more than FIVE years between cleanings to ensure everything is operating correctly and that your tank is filtering out waste in the appropriate manner.
- Ensure that your septic tank is easily accessible before scheduling your septic clean-out.
- Make a notation on your manhole cover or access port if it is hidden by your landscaping so that your technician can easily locate the cleanout when he or she arrives on site.
- Simply inquire or contact us in advance to inquire about the possibility of installing a riser at the time of your septic pumping.
- Are you prepared to have your septic tank cleaned?
We provide commercial and residential septic pumping services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas, including York, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, and Dauphin counties, as well as the surrounding areas. Make a call right now at 717-898-2333.
How To Install a Septic Tank Sewer Cleanout
- PVC tee fitting
- Tape measure
- PVC 4-inch pipe
- PVC pipe cap
- PVC pipe cleaner
- PVC pipe cement
- Pop-off fitting (optional)
- PVC tee fitting
A clean-out port in your drain pipes may save you a lot of time and money, as well as avoiding a potentially nasty issue in some situations. In the event of a blockage, a clean-out allows you to quickly and easily access the drain line, and in some cases, it can avoid flooding inside your house. If the clean-out is correctly installed, it may also be utilized for routine septic tank cleaning while pumping out the septic tank.
Locate the drain line as it exits the home and follow it. The majority of septic tanks are placed at least 10 feet away from the house. Choose a site for the clean-out that is roughly 5 feet away from the house and put it there. The drain line should be no deeper than 2 feet or no deeper than 2 feet and 1 inch.
3 to 6 inches deeper than the drain line should be dug out of the ground. In order to have enough space to work, you will also need to expose 3 to 4 feet of the pipe on either side. Remove any loose dirt from the drain line and make ensure that no water or appliances are running inside the house in order to keep the drain line as dry as possible.
Remove a portion of pipe from the drain line by cutting into it. The length of the excised part should be the same as the length of the tee fitting. Make sure to account for the flange on the tee fitting, which will be used to enter the drain line on both ends of the fitting. Make use of the pipe cleaner to clean both ends of the drain line as well as the fitting on the end of the line.
Connect the tee fitting to the drain line using the hose clamp. Place the fittings such that the open port is pointing upward when the fittings are closed. Make use of sufficient quantities of pipe cement to guarantee a firm and secure fit. Calculate the distance between the fitting and the ground level. A piece of PVC pipe should be cut to match this measurement and firmly glued into the tee fitting to complete the installation.
Place the PVC pipe cap on top of the new pipe and tighten it down. It is recommended that you acquire a threaded cap so that it may be removed easily when service is necessary. A pop-out fitting is another option to consider. If there is a backup of water in the pipe, the weighted cap on this fitting will keep it securely in place. This will cause the insert to pop out and enable the water to drain outdoors instead of backing up into the house. These are not permissible in all jurisdictions, so verify your local codes before putting them in.
When cutting into the drain line, make sure to wear eye and hand protection. There will be sewage leftovers in the line, and you will want to prevent your eyes and skin from being contaminated as much as possible. Some homeowners may build a clean-out on both sides of the septic tank so that they can have easy access to all drain pipes as well as the tank itself while doing maintenance.
COMMON PROBLEMS — JT’s SEPTIC
You should examine the sewer cleanout on the exterior of the home if you are hearing gurgling and all of the house fixtures are clogged. This is often a black 3-4 in color “inch ABS pipe with a threaded cap is available. Remove the cap (WARNING: BE CAREFUL! (WARNING: IT MAY CONTAIN SOME PRESSURE!) : Assuming the sewage line is completely dry, you will have a clog inside the home plumbing, directly in front of the cleanout valve. Make a phone call to a plumber and have them rooter the line. Sewer line cameras are available from several rooter/plumbing businesses.
You have two options at this point: call your preferred septic provider or pull up the tank lids yourself and check the water level and solids content in the tank yourself.
Most tanks erected after January 2001 include a filter that has to be cleaned at least once a year (we clean filters—please call us).
We’ll even notify you once a year when it’s time to clean your filters!).
You should contact your favorite plumber if only one or two fixtures are clogged (for example, one toilet or a specific sink or shower). It’s likely that you have a blockage in your sewage system. In the event that your septic tank is backing up, we can assist you!
Whenever you flush the toilet, the water gurgles, the toilet takes an unusually long time to flush, or the water in the shower turns brownish after you have done the laundry, you are receiving a subtle indication that trouble is brewing. In order to determine when the tank was last pumped, look through your records and then contact your preferred septic provider for assistance.
If you are experiencing unpleasant odors within your home, such as rotten eggs, it is likely that a trap or vent inside your home is not venting correctly. Call your plumber right away since these gases are harmful to both people and animals!
ODORS OUTSIDE IN THE YARD
A plumber should be consulted in order to elevate the roof vents and/or put a charcoal filter in the roof vents. Keep in mind that the roof vents are used to vent your septic tank.
SURFACING IN THE YARD
If you notice effluent appearing in your yard, contact your septic service provider immediately. If you see this, it indicates that your leach line has failed and you should get help right away.
HEAVY SOLIDS- OVERDUE FOR PUMPING
Contrary to common perception, you DO need to have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis. Pumping maintenance should be performed on a regular basis, otherwise your system will get overwhelmed with solid waste and eventually cause damage to your leach lines. DON’T MAKE THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! This is an extreme example of a tank that is overflowing. There is sewage flowing from the tank access holes and into the yard!
grease build up in sewer pipes
Fats and grease should never be flushed down the toilet or sink. They have the potential to harden the lines and cause failure; they have the potential to generate an excessive buildup of the floating scum layer in the septic tank; and they have the potential to go into the disposal regions and adjacent soils and completely block the system off. A shattered lid can pose a serious threat to both animals and children. It is conceivable that they will fall through the cracked or broken lids and will not be noticed until it is too late to save themselves.
crushed or settled pipe
This is the second most prevalent problem we notice in septic systems that are less than 10 years old. In addition to blocking flow, loose fill soil surrounding the tank is causing a backup into the house since it is pulling the pipe with it as it settles. We have even observed instances when contractors installing new systems do not correctly pack the fill earth below the pipe, resulting in pipe settlement on systems that have not been utilized or have only been used for a short length of time (see below for an example).
SEWER OUTLET PROGRESSION
When it comes to modern septic systems, this is the most typical issue we encounter. Take note of the fact that the unsupported outlet pipe is being driven down by settling dirt.
Watch as the water level in the tank rises, forcing the flow of water in the inflow sewage line to slow. This will eventually result in a clog in the inflow sewer line at some point. The solids flowing down from the house will not be able to enter the tank correctly because of the high water level.
examples of settled sewer pipes:
INSTALLATION OF A TANK AND/OR REPAIR OF SEWER PIPESTHE “POLY” PIPEIMAGES BELOW PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT PIPENOTTO USES WHEN INSTALLING A TANK AND/OR REPAIR OF SEWER PIPES However, despite the fact that this grade of sewer pipe is less expensive at the time of purchase, it might end up costing you a lot of money in the long run!
settled inlet sewer pipe on unused system:
Even if the septic system has not been utilized in some time, it is conceivable that problems will be discovered during the inspection process. Pipes might settle on unoccupied ground and in yards as a result of faulty installation and/or automobiles and/or ATVs running over the pipes without realizing they are there. It may be beneficial to all parties to have a skilled inspector take a look at the system and diagnose any concerns, even though the County does not require an examination on an underused system before transferring ownership.
Roots growing in and around the septic tank:
In addition to disrupting the system by clogging or destroying drainage and distribution lines, tree roots can also enter the tank, causing it to leak. Foul odors, poor drainage, and patches of vegetation in the leach field are just a few of the signs that you may have a root problem.
Solids are kept in the septic tank and away from the disposal area with the use of concrete baffles. Using baffles to reduce agitation of wastewater entering the septic tank and prevent particles from escaping the tank and entering the drainfield, baffles can assist avoid drainfield damage and extend the life of the drainfield. If the baffles are broken, missing, or have never been placed, the drainfield’s life expectancy will be reduced significantly. Baffle repair normally entails the placement of a plastic tee at the end of the sewer pipes to prevent them from clogging.
orangeburg sewer pipes
Orangeburg pipe was made in Orangeburg, New York, from 1860 to 1970, and was utilized to plumb numerous septic and wastewater systems throughout Yavapai County during that time period. Orangeburg pipe is produced from rolled tar paper (wood pulp that has been sealed with hot pitch) and was considered a low-cost alternative to metal, particularly after World War II, because of its flexibility and durability. In fact, the pipe itself is so soft that professionals might cut it with a knife during the installation process!
Orangeburg, on the other hand, is known for degrading over time (it has a 50-year lifespan at the most) and deforming when subjected to pressure.
If the septic system is approved, Orangeburg will normally be stated on the permits as the material for the inlet and/or outflow pipe material, respectively.
FAQs — JT’s SEPTIC
Make sure to contact JT’s Septic as soon as possible! It is possible for us to assist you in diagnosing the problem and determining if it is a plumbing issue or a problem directly connected to your septic system. Wastewater backing up into more than one household fixture (even during dry weather), pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement are all signs that your system needs to be checked.
If you notice any of the following, contact us to have it checked: a strong odor around the septic tank and/or drainfield
Should I Use Septic Tank Additives?
According to current research, there is no clear proof that these items can prevent septic system failure or that they will improve system function. The addition of compounds to a septic tank will not eliminate the necessity for routine tank cleaning. Septic tank cleansers, rejuvenators, and primers that are promoted as such will not hurt your system, but they will not benefit it either. However, there is already a large amount of bacteria in the tank that will break down waste products, so using enzymes or yeast would not hurt your system at all.
Septic system additives should be avoided, according to the North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication.
-Tank Refueling Station
what are the PVC pipes sticking up in my yard?
Septic tank cleanouts are often located between the home and the septic tank, and they are used to snake the input line from the house to the tank. If the PVC markers are labeled with “JT’s Septic,” they indicate that they are marking the access lids to your septic tank (buried directly under the labels). Alternatively, if the pipes are further away and appear to be arbitrarily arranged in relation to the house or tank, it is possible that they are inspection ports used to check the amount of liquid in the disposal area.
will household cleaning products harm my system?
The majority of specialists believe that the usual use of household cleaning solutions will not harm the system since it will not prevent the activity of bacteria in the tank from taking place as intended. A large amount of some chemicals, on the other hand, may interfere with the breakdown of wastes in the tank or cause the soil treatment area to get clogged. Please remember that the goods you use may ultimately make their way into the groundwater systems in your community.
How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?
Most tanks require pumping every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the tank, the amount of wastewater that flows into the tank on a daily basis, and whether or not the tank is equipped with a trash disposal. The state of Arizona currently does not have any laws requiring maintenance and inspection (with the exception of those pertaining to the sale of a home), but the Environmental Protection Agency and local health departments strongly recommend routine maintenance to help prevent groundwater contamination due to nitrogen, phosphorus, and disease-causing bacteria that can be found in wastewater.
I just had my tank pumped and it already looks full!?!
There is a distinction between being full and being overfull! An empty septic tank will fill up as quickly as you use up the quantity of gallons it can contain in terms of water use. The tank is designed to maintain a liquid level at or near the bottom of the outflow pipe at all times.
(that exits into the disposal area). When you look down into your tank, it should appear to be completely filled. It is necessary to hire an expert to assess the quantity of scum and sludge in your tank in order to decide when it is time to pump it out.
Does anyone have to be home to have jt’s pump my septic tank?
We usually advise people to have someone at their house for our service, but it is not mandatory. Our service technicians are quick and fast when it comes to finding and pumping out a problem. We enjoy having a homeowner and/or a Realtor on site for our inspections so that they may discuss any concerns that we may discover. If we happen to miss you during our service, we are more than pleased to accept a credit card payment over the phone.
Does JT’s Septic do leach line work?
At this time, JT’s does not install or do any work on leach lines or disposal locations. We do minor repairs on septic tanks, as well as on the inlet and outlet sewer lines. Not sure if we can assist you? Just give us a call!
Why can’t you pump my septic tank out of the sewer cleanouts?
We have found that a tank cannot be efficiently pumped through sewage cleanouts because the pumps on our trucks are just too powerful, and there is no way to get all of the scum and debris out of the tank through a cleanout. It is advised that the tank access lids be used in order to remove all liquid and particles from the tank and to examine the baffles. To empty the tank completely, we unlock all compartments and use a pump to remove the full contents of it. The fact that you do not pump via the primary access holes in the tank itself is a disservice to yourself and your system.
how do you know the size of my tank?
Our experts and inspectors can identify the size of the tank based on the form of the tank; tanks for a normal residence are generally 1,000 or 1,250 gallons in capacity, respectively (tanks may be smaller or larger depending on bedroom count, style of tank, etc). Our trucks are outfitted with clear sight glasses, allowing our specialists to keep track of the number of gallons they are extracting from your tank. Our specialists are also trained to measure the tank measurements on the job site in order to establish the approximate gallon capacity.
why do you recommend routine maintenance and frequent pump outs when I’ve not a had a problem in the last 10 years and I’ve never had my tank pumped?
Even while many homeowners are able to go several years over the suggested maintenance time without experiencing any problems, harm is gradually being done. Solids that are insoluble in water and cannot be broken down by natural microbes are stored in the tank. This builds up over time until the tank no longer has enough space to hold everything. As a result, the solids make their way to the drain field where they fill up the pores in the earth, causing poor drainage and, eventually, the failure of the septic system and drainfield.
How long will my septic system last?
All septic systems have a defined life span, which means they will ultimately cease to function. The length of time a system will survive is determined by the system’s size, installation, soil composition, the water table, neighboring trees and roots, the amount of usage and abuse, and, most crucially, the frequency with which it is maintained and pumped.
if I have a garbage disposal Can i use it?
Yes! It is OK to use the garbage disposal for a limited amount of time, such as for food crumbs that remain after doing the dishes. Pump outs will be more frequent if the disposal is used more frequently, which will result in higher costs.
The usage of a trash disposal can have a negative impact on your septic system by increasing the quantity of suspended particles that enter the system. Soil treatment areas can get clogged with suspended particles, which reduces the soil’s ability to remove waste.
CAN I FLUSH WET WIPESFEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS?
No! The presence of this problem is one of the most prevalent we see in tanks. Wipes and/or feminine hygiene items block sewer pipes and do not decompose properly in the holding tank, causing backups.
how often can i do laundry?
It is critical not to overburden your computer system. Instead of completing a large number of loads in a single day, try to spread them out over the course of a week. Doing no more than two loads of laundry every day – one in the morning and one in the evening – is advised.
Can I have a water softener system with a septic system?
It is unlikely that a water softener will cause damage to most septic systems, albeit they may necessitate the installation of a somewhat bigger tank disposal area.
Can We Drive Over Our Leach Field?
Neither driving on the leach field nor on the entrance and exit sewer pipes, nor on the septic tank, is suggested by the manufacturer. It is possible to restrict or slow down efficient evaporation by compacting the soil over the leach lines. Evaporation is a critical component of the drainage and disposal process. It is possible to induce settling and even rupture of sewage pipes by driving over them. It is possible to produce cracks in a tank by driving over it, especially if it is made of fiberglass or plastic.
do i have a septic systeM?
Do you utilize well water in your home? Is there no meter on the water main that leads into your home? Do your water bill or property tax bill display a “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged” or “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged”? What about your next-door neighbors? Do they have a septic system? Your home may have a septic system if any of the following questions were answered affirmatively:
How do I find my septic system?
Once you’ve confirmed that you have a septic system, you may identify it by looking at your home’s “as built” drawing, inspecting your yard for lids and manhole covers, or calling us for assistance.
How Far Does The Tank Have To Be Away From The House?
The normal setback distance from the home is 10 feet. Yavapai County is committed to upholding this obligation. Keep these setbacks as they are to allow for easier access and to avoid any potential foundation and moisture concerns.
An alarm is going off in my tank- what do I do?!
The sirens on certain alternative systems alert the homeowner to a possible problem prior to effluent or waste backing up into the house. The alarm may sound to warn a problem with the electrical system or a high quantity of liquid in the tank. A pump or float may be malfunctioning, in which case it is recommended to contact either JT’s or your alternate system maintenance provider for assistance as soon as possible.
Can I Plant A Tree Over My Leach Field?
No. Root invasion from trees is one of the most common problems that affect septic systems today. Certain species of trees are extremely harmful to your septic system and should be avoided at all costs. Please check your local nursery for further information.
does jt’s provide portable storage tanks?
We’re sorry, but we don’t provide portable storage tanks at the present moment.
can jt’s facilitate a pipeline repair?
Yes! We are capable of repairing and replacing sewer inlet and outlet pipes. Our main line sewer camera service may also be used to plan infrastructure maintenance, as well as to aid with any and all forms of repair work. Please contact us if you would like to book a service.
why do you suggest running a sewer camera down my line?
A difficult blockage may necessitate the services of more than one plumber. Pipe obstructions can be caused by a variety of factors, including tree roots, grease, aging pipes, and foreign items. Our power snakes and Ridgid sewer cameras are excellent tools for identifying problems such as the following: Pipes that are broken, cracked, corroded, or collapsed are considered damaged and must be repaired or replaced. A clog is caused by a deposit of grease or a foreign item that prevents the passage of water.
Joints that are leaking—the seals between pipes have failed, enabling liquid to leak through. Root invasion occurs when tree or shrub roots penetrate the sewage system, limiting normal flow and/or causing a clog in the pipe.* The following is the source:
Sewer Cleanouts-Functions, Locating them, Alternatives
A sewer cleanout, sometimes known as a drain cleanout, is a critical component of the drain-sewer-vent system, and it should not be overlooked (DWVS). The majority of individuals, on the other hand, do not consider it until they have blockages or sewage backups in their homes. But, exactly, what is a sewer cleanout and what is its purpose are not well understood. What’s even better is, what does a sewage cleanout look like and where exactly do you find one? How can you even know if you have one in the first place?
- It can be found both inside and outside the home, although it is usually located near to the house where it stands up a few inches above the ground and is roughly 3 to 6 inches in diameter.
- The lateral sewage line will be positioned outside the home in warmer regions and will protrude a few inches above the ground.
- To open a sewage cleanout, use a wrench to grasp the square nut at the top of the pipe and rotate it counterclockwise.
- Simply press the screwdriver into the outside edge of the cap and gently pound it with your hammer to pry it off.
WhatDoes a Home Sewer Cleanout Look Like?
When it comes to sewer cleanouts, they are typically 4 inches in diameter and have a screwed-in cap/plug that has a square nut at the top for ease of removal. It will be discovered popping out a few inches above the ground on the lateral sewage line that runs between the home and the road. This item will be located inside the house in cooler climates. Having more than one sewer cleanout is a possibility, especially if you have a particular fixture that is prone to clogging your pipes. It is common for two cleanouts to form a U-shape within the sewage line, with one cleanout providing access to the yard and the other providing access to the home when two cleanouts are used together.
Even if your home does not have a sewer cleanout, the sewage line can be reached by removing a fixture such as a toilet from the plumbing vent on the roof of the home or by opening the plumbing vent.
Cleaning out the lateral sewage line that links your home to either a septic tank or the public sewer system in the street is what sewer cleanouts are for.
The cost of installing a sewage cleanout is between $1000 and $2000 on average, depending on the intricacy of the job. Significant excavating (particularly through concrete) and retrofitting are required, which raises the cost of construction.
Sewer Line Cleanout Diagram
When it comes to sewer cleanouts, they are typically 4 inches in diameter and have a screwed-in cap/plug that has a square nut at the top to make removal easier. You’ll find it poking up a few inches above the ground on the lateral sewage line that runs between your home and the street. It will be discovered inside the house in cooler climates. It is possible to have more than one sewer cleanout, especially if you have a clogged fixture that continuously blocking the drains and sewer lines. A U-shape is formed by two cleanouts within a sewage line if there are two of them; one cleanout offers access to the yard, while the other provides access to the home.
Even if your home does not have a sewer cleanout, the sewage line can be reached by removing a fixture such as a toilet or by opening the plumbing vent on the roof of the home.
Cleaning out the lateral sewer line that connects your home to either a septic tank or the public sewer system in the street is done with a sewer cleanout.
According to the severity of the labor, installing a sewage cleanout will cost anywhere between $1000 and $2000 on average.
Types of Plumbing Cleanouts
There are two primary forms of plumbing/sewer cleanouts: mechanical and non-mechanical. They are as follows:
1. One-Way Sewer Cleanout
This is the category in which the vast majority of sewage cleanouts fall. A one-way sewer cleanout allows you to only access the sewer system from one direction at a time. Consider this: If your sewage cleanout is elbowed towards the street, a plumber may only feed his snake or hydro jet into the yard between the cleanout plug and the public sewer lines or septic tank, rather than into the street itself.
2. Two-Way Sewer Cleanout
A two-way sewer cleanout is what you have if it appears that you have two sewage cleanouts on the outside of your home. It is possible to gain access to both sides of a sewage pipe with this form of sewer cleanout. The snake/auger will be fed via a cleanout that has been elbowed towards the street or septic tank if the blockage is located between the cleanout and the street. When clogging occurs on the home side of the sewage line, on the other hand, the auger should be fed through the cleanout elbowed towards the house.
As a result, it is feasible to snake both sides of the sewer line at the same time.
Do all Homes Sewer Cleanouts?
There are two questions that I frequently hear people ask concerning cleanouts.
- Are sewer cleanouts available in every home? Should every home be equipped with a sewer cleanout?
It is recommended that all homes/houses be equipped with a sewer cleanout, and all new houses be equipped with a sewer cleanout since it is mandated by the construction code. Unfortunately, if your home was constructed prior to 1978/80, there is a possibility that your home will not be equipped with a sewage cleanout. It’s important to note that sewage cleanouts are unsightly, regardless of whether they’re positioned inside or outside the home. As a result, they are difficult to locate, and they are also infrequently utilized, which makes finding them much more difficult.
When they are placed within the home, most people prefer to conceal them behind closets, and when they are positioned outside the house, they prefer to conceal them behind flower beds. Mulching and gardening on a regular basis might also result in these pipes being totally hidden in the yard.
How to Locate a Sewer Cleanout
First and foremost, you must establish whether the sewer cleanout is placed inside or outside the house in order to find it precisely and complete it in the smallest amount of time. Generally speaking, if you live in a cold climate, the cleanout will be positioned inside the home, and if you live in a warmer climate, the cleanout will be located outside the house.
1. How to Locate a Sewer Cleanout Inside the House
If your sewage cleanout is placed within the home, it will be linked to the main drain stack, which will carry waste from all of the fixtures in the house (toilets, sinks, showers and washing machines). In your home, each drainpipe is connected to the main drain stack, which in turn is connected to the main drain stack. It is then linked to a vertical pipe, known as the plumbing vent or vent stack, which goes through the roof of your home. Sewer cleanouts are linked to the main drain stack in a Y or T shape, depending on the configuration.
- Because the main drain stack is often one vertical pipe, the placement of the plumbing vent on the roof will assist you in determining the location of the main drain stack.
- I do not anticipate being able to locate a sewer cleanout with such ease, though.
- If you are unable to locate the cleanout in your bathroom, expand your search to include the utility room, basement, and perhaps the garage.
- The only thing I can hope for is that it hasn’t been put in the crawlspace, which is a very real possibility.
How to Locate a Sewer Cleanout Outside the House
If you know what you’re looking for, finding a sewer cleanout outside the house might be a simple task. The good news is that sewage cleanouts are often built within a short distance of the residence. This is done on purpose in order for you to be able to clear obstructions from the whole length of sewer line between your home and the public sewer line or your septic tank system. The first area you’ll want to look is in the vicinity of the restroom. As a result of the large number of water fixtures in bathrooms that are susceptible to clogging, sewer cleanouts are typically put in close proximity to them.
- In the event that a flower bed is adjacent, there is a considerable likelihood that the cleanout will be obscured by the flower beds.
- The other strategy you may use is to answer this question first, and then go on.
- You should stroll to the location where your septic tank is located if you are on a septic system.
- From the site of your septic tank, glance up at the top of your house to see where the plumbing vent is and then start walking straight towards the house while looking for the cleanout.
- If your home is connected to the public sewer system, proceed to the street and begin walking back towards your home again.
- An other option is to go to your plumbing diagram, which I am confident is included in your home inspection report.
- If you are unable to locate the sewer cleanout despite your best attempts, you should seek the assistance of a professional plumber.
Warning! Attempting to remove your sewer cleanout plug while you have sewer backup in your home is not recommended. You have raw sewage backing up into the drain stack. I’m not sure what will happen if you pull the plug. The sewage on your property will be overflowing.
What if Your House Has no Sewer Cleanout?
It is possible to reach your sewage line in two ways if your home does not have an accessible sewer cleanout and you need to clear a blockage from your system. They are as follows:
1. Through the Plumbing Vent
As previously stated, a plumbing vent is a vertical pipe that goes through the roof of a home and is linked to the main drain stack of the house. As a result, sewer gases are removed from the drainage system, and air is introduced, allowing fixtures to drain more quickly and toilets to flush more effectively.
2. Remove the Toilet
Because most plumbers do not enjoy going to the top of a home, this is what they will often perform for clients. Removing a toilet allows you to gain access to the drain stack, but the cost will be higher due to the additional labor required. Using a snake to snake the sewage line from the toilet drain or through the plumbing vent is not optimal, and the success rate is greatly reduced since the snake will take several twists and turns, limiting its efficiency. The plumber will also need to use a camera to check the sort of blockage so that they can identify which type of blade to attach to the snake when the snake is being operated.
I have, however, yet to come across a company that would provide a guarantee after snaking the line from the toilet drain or a plumbing outlet.
If you have old cast iron pipes, I would not recommend that you do the same thing as I did.
In such a situation, I do not believe it is necessary to dig up the yard in order to build a sewage cleanout.