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Serving Greater Cincinnati & Tri State Area Since 1972

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Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. Blog

What Is the Sewer Cleanout?

sewer-lid-coverOne of the most important services we offer as a professional plumber in Cincinnati, OH is cleaning and repairs for sewer lines, both residential and commercial. Hey, it’s a dirty job, and somebody’s got to do it—and you’re probably glad it’s not you!

One of the important things to know about sewer line services is how plumbers get to the sewer pipeline that runs from your building out under your property, and then into the municipal sewer system. When you call our plumbers to handle cleaning out drainpipes, we usually won’t need to worry about getting to the sewer line, unless we discover your drain issues are coming from clogs or breaks in the sewer main. When you’re in need of work for the sewer line, our plumbers won’t try to reach it through small drains! We’ll use the cleanout.

The Cleanout and How It Works

A cleanout is an access point to a sewer main. It’s a pipe with a secure cap over it that allows our plumbers to insert cleaning equipment and attach trenchless technology for more extensive repairs and sewer line replacements. The cleanout is usually located along the lateral line of the sewer pipe, and we recommend you know where it is. In some cases, the cleanout will be located outside on the property, close to your home or building. However, because we experience cold winters and snow in our area, cleanouts are often located inside the basement of a house. If you can’t locate the cleanout, you can ask a professional plumber for help. Keep the area around the cleanout as clear as possible so it’s easy to access in case of emergencies.

The cap on the cleanout can either be unscrewed with a handle or by using a wrench. Although you can open the cleanout to access the sewer line, we don’t advise you attempt to do anything on your own when you encounter sewer line blockages or other issues. You don’t have the equipment necessary to make a difference in the sewer line. Instead, shut off your water main and call for a professional plumber.

The cleanout is often where a plumber will start diagnosing the issue in the sewer line. For example, we use special video pipe inspection equipment. We insert a miniaturized camera on a long fiber-optic cable into the cleanout. This gives us the ability to look over a video feed of the interior of the sewer line along its entire length. We can identify issues like root infestations or breaks and leaks. Once we know what the problem is and its location, we can decide on the best approach to fixing it.

Other tools we use with the cleanout are drain augers and hydro-jetting equipment, which can take care of most clogs. We can use trenchless technology to handle bigger repair jobs: inserting new pipeliners into the cleanout to seal up breaks and leaks. We can even repair the entire sewer line using trenchless technology by sliding a replacement pipe into the cleanout and then expanding it with a pipe burster to replace the older pipe.

Call us for any sewer or drain services you may need! Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. has served Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding Tri State area since 1972.

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