What is a sanitary sewer clean-out?
Plumbing access to structures main sanitary sewer drain piping to allow cleaning entry point when a stoppage occurs

Where are sanitary sewer clean-outs?

  1. Structures built before 1970, they are usually located in back of backyard inline with main toilet vent.
  2. Structures built after 1970, they are usually located in front flower bed area inline with main toilet vent.
Both located outside of the foundation.

What do sanitary sewer clean-outs look like?

  1. Older structures will have a 4" cast iron pipe with a hub and brass threaded cap.
  2. Newer structures can have either a 3" or 4" PVC pipe with a brass cap, PVC cap, or rubber cap.

How do you remove the clean-out cap?
Rubber Caps: Take the steel band off cap with a flat head or common screwdriver.

PVC Caps: Unscrew with pipe wrench, channel lock, or large crescent wrench.

Brass Cap: Same as the PVC caps.  Most brass cap threads will lock into cast iron pipe making it difficult to remove if not impossible unless threads were lubricated prior to being installed.  Sometimes the best and easiest way to remove the brass cap is to bend it slightly enough to drive a flat head screwdriver into the threads and pop the cap off the clean out. "Do not drive cap into clean-out or drop it down into the cleanout as this will most definitely cause a stoppage.

How many sanitary sewer clean outs does a residential house have?
Most Residents have a double clean out with two clean out stacks.

  • The stack closest to the foundation sweeps away from the house and towards the city's sewer main.
  • The stack farthest from the foundation sweeps towards the house to allow cleaning under the house.

What if the sanitary sewer clean out is dry?
Sewer stoppage will be under the house.

What if the sanitary sewer clean-out is holding water or overflowing?
Sewer stoppage will be towards the city's sewer main.

Why is my kitchen sink stopped up?
99.9% of the time sink stoppages are internal problems and need to be taken care of by the residents, this is not a City problem.