How To Install A Cleanout Line Septic Tank? (Solved)

  • Locate the drain line as it leaves the home. Most septic tanks are located a minimum of 10 feet from the home. Choose a location approximately 5 feet from the home in which to install the clean-out.

Where do you install cleanouts?

Cleanouts shall be installed at each change of direction greater than 45 degrees (0.79 rad) in the building sewer, building drain and horizontal waste or soil lines.

What is a septic tank cleanout pipe?

The septic systems cleanout is the short PVC pipe with removable cap that sticks out of the ground between your house and the septic tank. If the cleanout does contain backup, it could be from the septic system or it could be a blockage between the cleanout and the tank.

How far apart are septic Cleanouts?

Cleanouts shall be installed not more than 100 feet (30 480 mm) apart in horizontal drainage lines measured from the upstream entrance of the cleanout.

Why are there 2 sewer cleanouts?

A two-way cleanout provides access in both directions. With this U-shaped cleanout, we are able to use it to access both the yard and the house lines.

How many Cleanouts should a house have?

For every house, there’s usually only one sewer cleanout Ideally, all houses should have a main sewer cleanout. But a few don’t, while some larger houses can have as many as three. Whenever there is a blockage in your main drain line, this is the plumbing fitting to look for.

How do Cleanouts work?

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.

Can I cut my septic vent pipe in yard?

They shouldn’t be removed but they can be cut down, level with the ground. Other white pipes may be standing above your septic tank, pump tank or close to your foundation. Those are available for maintenance, if needed, and shouldn’t be removed. Again, they can all be cut down close to the ground surface and recapped.

Should my septic cleanout have water in it?

If you see any sewage or water around the outside of that cap, you definitely have a blocked sewage drain. If you pull off the cap and see standing water inside the sewer cleanout, that’s also indicative of a blocked sewer drain.

How many Cleanouts do I need?

Cleanouts are required for horizontal drainage piping (see Figure 707.4). 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.

How far does a septic tank have to be from a boundary?

Legally you should ensure that your septic tank is 15 metres away from another property which will help you avoid placing a tank too close to any fencing.

How many lids are on a septic tank?

A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two-compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.

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.

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)
  • Shovel
  • Hacksaw
  • 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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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, always sure to use 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.

How to Add a Clean-Out to an Old Septic Line

Home-Interior Incorporating a clean-out valve into a septic system can help to avoid or alleviate a variety of plumbing difficulties. Cleaning up a septic system involves nothing more than a pipe that is connected to the septic line on one end and covered with a detachable cap on the other. A clean-out can be used by a homeowner or a plumber to quickly and effectively remove obstructions or build-up from a septic line.

The majority of newer homes come with at least one septic line clean-out, while many older properties do not have any of these features. By adding a clean-out to your old septic system, you may save yourself hours of frustration as well as money on future maintenance bills.

Getting Started

  1. Determine the location of the intended clean-out area. Ensure that there is at the very least a clean-out between the home and the sewer line. As an alternative, you may put one on each story of the home
  2. Clean-outs that are to be situated behind walls should be exposed by using a drywall saw to cut through the drywall and reveal the pipe. For outdoor clean-outs, the dirt around and beneath the pipe where the clean-out will be situated must be dug first. Clean the pipe in the region where the clean-out will be installed, and then connect the clean-out to the pipe with a pipe connector. Instructions on how to use the three basic types of pipe frequently found in septic systems are provided below.

Connecting to a Terra Cotta Sewer Line

  1. Using the rubber connection saddle, mark the location of the hole. This saddle will allow the clean-out to be connected to the terra cotta pipe
  2. Make the hole in the terra cotta pipe by gently tapping on it until the terra cotta cracks. Enlarge the hole slowly and steadily, until it reaches the required size. Place the saddle on top of the pipe and tighten it. Align the saddle’s hole with the pipe’s hole by slipping the saddle over the pipe’s hole. To attach the saddle to the pipe, use the hose clamps that came with it. Insert the PVC clean-out pipe into the saddle’s hole using a pipe cutter. Connect the saddle to the pipe once again with the hose clip that came with the saddle.

Connecting to a PVC Septic Line

  1. Use the rubber connection saddle to mark the location of the hole. It is necessary to create a saddle in order for the clean-out to be attached to the terra cotta pipe
  2. To do so, tap the terra cotta pipe lightly until it breaks. Enlarge the hole slowly and methodically, until it reaches the required size. The saddle should be positioned on the pipe as follows: Assemble the saddle and pipe such that the holes in the saddle and pipe are aligned and functional. To attach the saddle to the pipe, use the hose clamps that came with it
  3. The PVC clean-out pipe should be threaded into the saddle’s corresponding hole. Connect the saddle to the pipe once again with the hose clip that was provided.

Connecting to a Cast Iron Septic Line

  1. Cut the cast iron pipe where the connection is to be formed with a chain-style cast iron pipe cutter before continuing. To connect cast iron pipe to PVC pipe, use a rubber T-boot manufactured specifically for this purpose. To secure the boot to the cast iron pipe, use the hose clamps that were provided. Insert the PVC clean-out pipe into the “T” end of the boot and secure it with the hose that came with the vehicle.

Finishing Up

  1. The opposite end of the PVC clean-out pipe should have a threaded pipe plug glued to it. Access to the septic line will be made possible by this detachable stopper, which will also prevent septic gases from going through the septic clean-out pipe. Replace the drywall with a cover that has been particularly designed to conceal the cut drywall while yet allowing for simple access in the future. Typically, they may be found at most home improvement stores, mainly around the HVAC or plumbing supplies. If the clean-out was installed in the yard, the pipe should be buried. Either totally cover it with earth or use a utility lawn box made specifically to conceal hidden pipes and electrical connections
  2. Or

Sewer Clean Out 101: Installation, Cost, and Where It Is Located

Sewer cleanouts are not something you hear about every day. In reality, the majority of homeowners are completely unaware of what a sewer cleanout is, what it accomplishes, or where it is situated. Only when anything goes wrong with the pipes or when blockages suddenly become an issue do they become interesting discussion subjects. Being familiar with sewage cleanouts may be quite beneficial when performing house maintenance and repair tasks. So it’s ideal if you’re prepared before you go down that road.

What is a sewer cleanout?

In its most basic form, a sewage cleanout is a capped pipe that connects to the primary sewer line. It serves as a dispersion unit for any accumulated water that has accumulated in the pipes of your home. Whenever there is a clogging issue, homeowners must access the sewer cleanout in order to declog the stock water line. If you are not familiar with hydro jetting tools, it is better to leave it to the professionals. The act of opening your sewage cleanout prevents wastewater from seeping onto the floor or into the gutter, posing a danger to you and your family.

Cleanouts are often formed of PVC or cast iron, and they may be distinguished by the cap, which can be made of brass, iron, plastic, or a combination of these materials.

What does a sewer cleanout look like?

Sewer cleanouts, as previously said, are pipes that have caps installed on them. Cleanouts protrude from the ground in contrast to the pipes that run underground along your property line, and they may be distinguished by their caps. They are frequently available in white, brown, or orange hues.

How to find a sewer cleanout

Finding the sewer cleanout can be a difficult chore, especially if you are not familiar with the area where the search begins. It is important to note that older homes may have cleanouts hidden within the structure, whereas new model homes may have cleanouts located outdoors. Additionally, there may be more than one cleanout along your property line, and you must discover each and every one of them. The following are the measures to take in order to locate your sewer cleanout.

1. Start searching by the sidewalk

Each and every one of the pipes in your home is connected to a lateral sewer line. When you’re walking along the curb, check for the stamped letter ‘S’ in one of those bricks, or just look around for it anyplace along the side of the sidewalk. To go back to your house, take a straight line back to where you started and you’ll discover your sewer cleanout valve.

2. Go to your home’s foundation

Placement of the cleanout near curbs or roadways has proven to be inconvenient over the course of time.

Because of this, if you have a functioning septic tank in your home, sewage cleanouts are more likely to be located a few feet from the base of the building. If it is not discovered there, it will very certainly be discovered somewhere between the curb and the septic tank.

3. Indoor cleanouts

As previously stated, vintage model homes typically feature cleanouts in the basement or attic. They are often available in a T or Y configuration, with just one side of the pipes being capped. Inside, cleanouts are often located in the attic, the basement, and vent pipes, among other places. They can also be discovered protruding from the walls of bathrooms.

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How to find a buried sewer cleanout

Cleanouts that are buried are more difficult to locate than cleanouts that are protruding from the ground. The following are the several methods for locating a hidden sewer cleanout.

1. Get the help of a metal detector

To prevent overgrowth from occurring in the future, plumbers are trained to leave a steel bar next to the pipe. Thus, employing a metal detector to identify the hidden cleanout will be the quickest and most efficient method of finding it.

2. Looking for the sign

To prevent overgrowth from occurring in the future, plumbers are required to leave a steel bar adjacent to the pipe. This means that the most expedient method of finding the hidden cleanout will be to use a metal detector.

3. Check the blueprint

The arrangement of the pipeline is almost certainly included in the home’s plan. The location of the septic tank or lateral line will be shown by a dotted line somewhere on the map. If you can track down these two individuals, the cleanup is not far away. It is possible that you may look first for the plumbing symbols that are utilized so that you can simply identify the cleanout from the blueprints.

4. City development plans

If the blueprint checking fails and you are still unable to locate where the cleanout has been buried, you can always consult the city’s development plans. You can provide them with the very minimum of information on the location of your house sewage line. In order to help you locate the hidden sewer cleanout, they will measure several angles from the main sewage line.

Benefits of a sewer cleanout

Although having a sewage cleanout is not required by construction rules in the majority of circumstances, having one has several advantages. If you are seeking for reasons to have a sewage cleanout installed in your property line, the following are some of the advantages you may be able to reap from doing so.

Cheap maintenance

Regular plumbing monitoring can be reduced or eliminated when a sewer cleanout is installed since pipe blockage is expected to be minor. You will also save money since you will no longer have to pay plumbers to clean your sewage lines or the pipes themselves because you will already have a direct route to your lateral sewer line installed.

Landscape preservation

Due to the fact that your lateral sewer is essentially underground, it is assumed that your landscape will be dug up in the event of a serious obstruction. This might be avoided with the use of sewer cleanouts, since plumbers can now readily check and correct clogs through the cleanouts, thanks to the advancement of technology.

Prevents backflow

Many homeowners are unaware that sewage cleanouts may also function as drains.

It is possible to drain surplus water from pipes when the cleanout cap is removed. This stops water from backing up on the floor or from backing up in your home’s lateral sewer when the main sewer (city/tower lateral sewer) is back flowing.

Increase home value

If you ever decide to place your house on the market, you should be aware that having a cleanup might be beneficial to your situation. Potential buyers will always want a drain inspection, and having one performed already provides the buyer with some relief because the plumbing has already been installed. It also gives them the assurance that they will not be subjected to any major plumbing repairs anytime soon.

How to install a sewer cleanout

Installing a sewage cleanout requires two steps: first, conduct your homework, and second, locate a trustworthy plumbing company to complete the installation for you. In order to do research, it is necessary to communicate with the officials that issue building permits, especially given the fact that sewage cleanouts are not an uniform need for all residences. In most situations, towns provide a complete program or grant for sewage cleanout installation, and it would be beneficial if you could take use of one of these opportunities.

  • The blueprint for the house will be examined, and the arrangement of the pipes will be examined.
  • The excavation and digging up of your subsurface pipelines will be the responsibility of the plumbers.
  • Following the installation of the cleanout, the cap is placed in a container so that the pipe body may be buried easily while the cleanout protrudes precisely from the cap.
  • Here are some of the most frequent types of sewage cleanouts that you might want to look into.

Single cleanout

Although it does not enable complete access to the municipal lateral since it is 45 degrees too short, it does provide a direct path from your home’s pipe system to the municipal lateral line.

Double cleanout

This form of cleanout is now often used in modern plumbing. A U shape is formed by two pipe shafts that link to the municipal lateral and the other that connects to your home’s lateral sewer or septic tank (if you have one).

Test tee cleanout

It functions in the same way as a double cleanout, but its T-shape, which protrudes to a 90-degree angle, makes it more difficult to unclog the drain pipes.

Cost to install sewer cleanout

It is estimated that the cost of building a sewage cleanout will range from $600-800 dollars. On the other hand, in some circumstances when deeper excavation and more thorough fitting are required (for example, because of the topography or geography of a property or because of the configuration of the pipes), the cost might exceed $2000. Additional expenditures would be incurred as a result of the type of cleanout to be installed as well as the material used in the cleanout (PVC, iron, etc.).

  • It is possible that high-end materials for installation will cost at least $500-800.
  • Typically, this will cost between $100 and $250.
  • If this occurs, the anticipated cost would increase by a factor of two.
  • The cost of cleaning sewage cleanouts is from $350-600, depending on the method chosen.
  • Another item to consider is the repair of damaged cleanouts.
  • The fact that it may be advantageous to install more than one cleanout, particularly in bigger homes, has been addressed previously.

Taking into consideration the advantages of having cleanouts may help you make a more informed decision, but the final decision is ultimately yours to make.


Sewer cleanouts, also known as drain cleanouts, are an important element of the plumbing structure of a home, despite the fact that they are not required by building rules in most cases. Cleanouts provide a variety of advantages, including but not limited to unclogging pipes to prevent backflows and leaks. Cleaning out cleanouts has long-term benefits in terms of protecting the home’s landscape, needing less plumbing maintenance, facilitating inspection, and increasing the home’s real estate value, to name a few advantages.

Tips for Installing Accessible Clean-Outs

Receive articles, news, and videos about Systems/ATUs sent directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Systems/ATUs+ Receive Notifications A thorough cleaning is necessary for all systems. The installation of a clean-out at an exterior wall of a residence or company is recommended in case the system ever has to be jetted or cleaned. The clean-out allows all of this work to be completed outside, ensuring that any mess is contained to the outside. There is the risk that the clean-out will be disguised within the house, as well as the danger of a significant leak.

A clean-out that is both directions Clean-outs should be easily accessible from the surface and, where necessary, should be housed in a protective enclosure such as a valve box.

The clean-out at the exterior wall may be located either within or outside the building, and it should be manufactured with a complete “Y” branch fitting that extends at least 2 inches above grade or finished floor, unless when a flush cover is required in high-traffic sections of the structure.

It is recommended, and in certain cases, mandatory, that the distance between clean-outs in horizontal pipework does not exceed 100 feet in straight lines in straight runs.

Unless put beneath an authorized cover plate or flush with the completed floor, each clean-out in a residence shall be at least 2 inches above grade, easily accessible, and not covered with cement, plaster, or any other permanent finish material, according to building codes.

Clean-outs in soil treatment systems

Clear-outs for pressure distribution pipes should be done to ensure that the system is operating properly and to clean any clogged perforations in the pipe.

Access to the clean-outs should be available from the final grade level. These clean-ups should include the following:

  • Threaded detachable caps or plugs should be installed on the ends of the laterals to enable for cleaning of the laterals and to monitor lateral pressure. To be big enough to enable for the removal of caps or plugs with hands, tools, or other objects
  • It must be accessible from the ground level

In pressurized laterals, clean-outs are installed at the distal end to allow for the flushing of the system prior to starting, the monitoring of the operating pressure, and the regular flushing away of particles. Sweep clean-outs at 90 degrees The clean-out pipe layout varies, but the most simple and convenient clean-out consists of a 90-degree turn up in the pipe. It is possible to employ two 45-degree elbows or one sweep 90-degree elbow. The usage of these allows the service provider to clean with a pressure washer or bottlebrush since the gradual turn allows for the simple insertion of the pressure line into the pressure line fitting.

  1. Ball valves can also be fitted at the distal end of the lateral in a vertical position as an alternative to the above.
  2. It is necessary to have a hole about halfway up the elbow to ensure that air may re-enter the pipe once the pump has been turned off.
  3. It is advised that rock be placed in the box to plug the perforation in order to prevent effluent from spraying freely into the container.
  4. In colder locations, it is also advisable to include insulation on the lid of this box.
  5. Make certain that the access is completely stabilized in order to prevent movement during backfill activities and after the installation is complete.
  6. a little about the author: Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher, and lecturer in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center.
  7. She has given presentations at several local and national training events on topics such as the design, installation, and administration of septic systems, as well as research in the related field.
  8. Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation.

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.

  1. 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
  2. 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.
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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.


If you have a significant 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 if you have a little blockage. It is not possible to inspect for wear or damage in the sewer lateral since it is totally underground, unlike many of the pipes in your home, and thus must be excavated. The sewer clean out serves as an entry point for your lateral, allowing it to be more readily inspected as necessary.

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.


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!


At times, the smells emanating from the roof vents will seep into the yard due to meteorological conditions. Make use of a plumber to elevate the roof vents and/or to place a charcoal filter in the vents, as needed. It’s important to remember that your septic tank is vented via the roof.


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.


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).


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:

Among modern septic systems, this is the most often seen issue. Take note of how the sinking dirt is pushing the unsupported outflow pipe down. Observe the water level in the tank rise and the water in the intake sewer line slow down as a result of this. An blockage at the sewage pipe entrance will ultimately result as a result of this. The solids flowing down from the house will not be able to enter the tank adequately due to the high water level.

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.

If you’d like to learn more about Orangeburg, make an appointment today or check out this article on to learn more about how Orangeburg has impacted Valley region homes.

installing drain piping on steep slopes

  • In this section, you can ask questions and express your opinions regarding sewage or septic pipe lines on steeply sloping premises.
See also:  How Long Septic Tank Baffle? (Solution found)

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Installing or replacing sewer lines on steep hills is a challenging task. This article discusses the construction of drain lines on steep slopes between a house and a septic tank, as well as the maintenance of drain lines. For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.

Guide to installing the replacement sewer pipe line at Steep Sites

Using real-world examples and photographs, we demonstrate how to diagnose and replace a clogged sewage line in an actual case study. Septic or sewage line blockage and backups may be prevented by having the proper drain line slope installed. In this section, we will talk about

  • Septic pipe installed in a zig-zag pattern on steep hillsides
  • Septic pipes with a U-turn on steep hillsides
  • Septic pipework running parallel to the fall line of a slope Designing steep septic systems for sewer or septic pipe repair or new installations

Pipes running up and down steep hillsides in a zig-zag pattern On steep hillsides, U-turn septic pipe is necessary. A slope’s fall line is marked by the location of septic pipe. Designing steep septic systems for sewer or septic pipe repair or new installation;

ZigZagging Drain Line Piping Down a Slope

zigzagging the pipe down a steep slope, making multiple bends, would be one method of reaching the required wastewater flow rate in a drain line down a steep slope. However, in my opinion, the increased number of turns and length of this approach may increase the likelihood of future sewer line blockages. Additionally, the zigzag drain line approach will make it more difficult to clean out blockages, and therefore you will need to include sewer line cleanout access points at every run and turn in the installation.

Straight-run Drain Line Piping Down a Steep Drop Slope between House and Septic Tank or Sewer Main

According to my observations, many waste line contractors simply establish a straight sewer line from the home to the septic tank or from the house to the sewage main, regardless of the building slope, as long as we have at least 1/8″ per foot, ideally 1/4″ per foot, or more, of water pressure. Drain lines with a lower slope or those are practically flat are more likely to clog. On a related note, if you’re building a drain line that may be too steeply sloped and you won’t be able to readily correct the problem, make sure to include extra cleanout access ports.

Experience in Installing Steep Sewer Drain Line Piping

It is my opinion that if the whole pipe run is steeper than what is generally specified, it is possible that you will never see a clog occur. The sewage line dips on a slope between 2″ and 3″ per foot over a 40-foot run between the home exit line and the septic tank entrance baffle at the property depicted in these images and in the other photos in this series on sewer line replacement, as seen in the other photos in this series. In order to avoid leaving particles behind while flushing the toilet, this house-to-septic tank drain pipe should be placed in the “risk zone.” However, after managing this property for more than two decades, we can confidently state that we have never had an issue with too-rapid drainage clogging the waste line.

Since we replaced the old clay plumbing with plastic piping, we have not experienced any sewage obstructions.

The black line on the right-hand pipe portion indicates to the installer when the pipe sections have been completely connected together.

The only issue we experienced with the line was when the previous clay line was smashed and subsequently became clogged with mud and other debris. SO If you use plastic piping, run it in straight lines, and make nice couplings, you should be able to get by.

Other Steps to Avoid Problems with Septic or Sewer Drain Lines on Steep Sites

  • Cleanouts of septic tanks or sewer drain lines: I’d put outdoor cleanout access ports on the sewer line every 20 feet or so for the sake of convenience. Proper septic pipe connections include the following: Ensure that the new piping connections are made correctly, that they are lubricated, and that they are completely seated during the assembly process. The following are the proper sewer pipe directions: The receiving pipe hub, also known as the “female” end of the pipe, is located at the bottom of the next downhill section. Make sure you don’t do this in reverse or you’ll invite leaks and clogging in your sewer line.
  • Pipe Cleaning for Septic and Sewer Drain Lines I’d install external cleanout access ports on the sewer line every 20′ or so feet for the sake of ease. Connexions of septic pipes in the proper manner: When assembling new pipe connections, make certain that they are properly installed, greased, and completely seated. Follow these guidelines for installing a sewage pipe properly: After that, there is a downhill segment that leads to the receiving pipe hub, also known as the “female” end of the pipe. This should never be done backwards since it will result in leaks or clogs in your sewage system.

Installing SepticDrainfieldPiping on Steep Slopes is a Different Matter Entirely

Please understand that we have examined the installation of solid plumbing between a building and its septic tank or sewage main in this articleand that higher slopes may be acceptable in some circumstances. However, the possibility of a “OK” for steep drain pipe does not apply in any manner to the perforated piping put in a septic drainfield gravel trench, which is a different story. Those looking for help on installing a septic system on a steeply sloping or rolling site should check out the following articles:

  • For further information, see AEROBIC SEPTIC SYSTEMS, ATUs, and HOME – some of these systems can be used on steep slope locations. Or SeeHOOT Aerobic Systems Drip Disposal Design and Installation Guide for more information. Alternatively, see “Guidance for the Design, Installation, and Operation of Subsurface Drip Distribution Systems as a Replacement for Conventional Title 5 Soil Absorption Systems for the Disposal of Septic Tank Effluent,” published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2006 and refining Massachusetts regulations 310 CMR 15.240, 15.242, 15.247, and 15.280-15.289
  • Or “Guidance for the Design, Installation, and Operation of Subsurface Drip Distribution Systems as SYSTEMS DE DOSAGE For hilly sites where the drainfield must be located either uphill or downhill from a septic tank or structure, PRESSURE is a term that refers to pressure dosing systems that may be beneficial for disposing of sewage. GRAVELLESS SEPTIC SYSTEMS – Other gravelless systems are capable of handling mild bends required to follow rolling slope lines
  • However, some gravelless systems are not. A system that will be required when the elevation of a structure or a septic tank is lower than the elevation of the drainfield or sewer main is Septic pumps, sewage ejector pumps, grinder pumps, effluent pumps, sump pumps, septic pumping stations, and septic pump alarms Installation of septic drainfields on steep or rolling terrain is described in STEEP SLOPE SEPTIC DESIGNS, which is part of the SEPTIC DESIGNS section.

Reader Q A – also see the FAQs series linked-to below

@hello there, dude. Sweep turns with a wider radius (e.g., 2 45s) will often flow better than sharper turns. On a corner where the toilet waste flow is present. If trenching provides for 4″ deeper depth, is it preferable to construct the 90° corner with a 1° drop rate as normal, or is it preferable to make the corner with two 45° corners while lowering the 4″? Thanks@Ted, Start by consulting with your local building or health department to see what type of design would be considered suitable in your nation and neighborhood.

  1. We have a shortage of service personnel for upkeep, and I believe that a sprinkler system would be more beneficial to our grounds.
  2. Thanks@Ted That doesn’t appear to be a concern in my opinion.
  3., Yes, without a doubt, that is not hygienic.
  4. Thanks@Ted, In a situation when you are just transferring a cleared fluid, there should be no particulates left behind in the wastewater stream.
  5. That is a very other issue.
  6. What if it’s been sitting in a septic tank for a while, breaking down as if it were going to a leach field instead?
  7. That would be the material that would be sent to the aerobic tank.

You may be required to utilize a grinder sewage pump and force main; we are in the process of establishing a traditional tank close to our home.

What is the maximum percent drop per foot for the effluent line in terms of percent drop?


Thank you very much.

It goes without saying that such lines must have the proper pitch in order to reach the final position of the septic tank.

You should verify with your local building authority to find out exactly what is required to be placed at a 4 foot depth in your area.

My issue is, can I dig a smaller trench and then descend vertically to the requisite four-foot depth before finishing?

Thank you for the information, it was really useful.

What would be the best configuration for the septic tank and pipes when the designated drain field area is 500 feet away from the house?

The slope before and after the hill is rather level, descending very gradually in the direction of the drain field before becoming steeper.

A construction site located in a swale below the city sewer lateral service point has been identified as a potential concern.

(Let’s pretend it’s 8 feet below the surface) Is there an alternative to the brute force strategy of bringing in hundreds of cubit yards of fill and compacting it to raise the elevation of the construction site?

A septic tank is just 18 inches away from the building foundation, which is a little near.

Solids dropping vertically have the potential to adhere to and clog the pipe; however, employing 45-degree elbows instead of 90-degree elbows can help to mitigate this danger.

I would begin by having the tank examined to identify which items are most important in this order of significance.

A sound septic tank, as opposed to one built of brick or rusted steel; how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained; and how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained.

The quality and capacity of the drainfield are important considerations.

Is this a reasonable drop?

This is an ancient septic tank that I was allowed to utilize because of a grandfather clause.

What is the length of the pipe drop when the septic tank is 120 feet away?

How steep do the pipes have to be from one drop box to the next?

Does the length of the pipe, in addition to its angle of incline, have a limit in terms of length?

Please let us know if this is the case!

Verne, you have an issue with a septic or wastewater system that has too much downslope.

The difficulty with longer segments of excessive slope sewer plumbing is that the liquid waste will occasionally overtake the solid waste in the line, causing the system to back up.

One of the most valuable aphorisms I can share, at least in the context of the building construction and mechanicals fields, is that it is extremely uncommon to come into a situation that has never been experienced before.

According to one of the solutions described on this page, the sewage line is made even longer by zig-zagging across the steeply inclined areas of the land.

I’ll leave the graphic specifics to your imagination, so go ahead and go creative.

Let’s put the question to your septic installer and see what she has to say about it.

STATIONS FOR PULLING OUT SEWAGE Hello, I have a question concerning the installation of a toilet in a cabin that is around 300 feet from the main home, septic tank, and field.

Is too much slope a concern in this circumstance, given the considerable distance that the effluent must travel to reach the tank?

Do you think that building a sewage pump would make any difference in this circumstance, considering that the septic tank is located downhill from the toilet?

There should be a thorough inspection of the entire sewer line (possibly using a sewer camera), and any slope errors should be corrected.

It’s always filled, no matter how long you wait.

Is it necessary to have the angle coming out of the home re-done?

What type of valve is used to connect the pump to the drain field?

Alternatively, seeSEWER / SEPTIC LINES for STEEP SITES FAQs- questions and answers that were originally posted at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, consider the following:

Steep Slope Septic System Articles

  • Septic consultants, designers, and engineers
  • Septic system design alternatives-home
  • Septic system design basics-home
  • Septic system design alternatives
  • Septic system design basics
  • S

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