What is a Drain Cleanout and How to Find Yours at Home?

Drain Cleanout

Your drain needs cleaning over time, or it will accumulate all of the icky stuff you could imagine. That is why drains are not complete without a drain cleanout. The main sewer line’s direct access point is located either inside (main house trap) or outside the house (sewer cleanout). A professional plumber near you can also help you with your drain and pipe concerns, including accessing drain cleanouts. 

What is a drain cleanout? 

Regardless of the cleanout’s location, one thing is for sure: a drain cleanout helps plumbers access the main sewage line and deal with sewage backup and clogs. Drain cleanout pipes usually measure at least 3 to 6 inches in diameter and are either black or white in appearance. Most homes in the US have drain cleanouts made from cast iron, copper, or brass. However, more and more households use ones made of ABS plastic.

When accessing a drain cleanout, you should only call plumbing professionals. They will be dealing with clogs and backup, which can be messy and risky if done by inexperienced people. Calling a plumbing professional will also save you from the dirty work and thousands of dollars for cleaning and restoration. The more easily accessible your drain cleanout, the more you can save on fees and time. 

How to find your drain cleanout 

Take note that the cleanout’s location may vary depending on the climate in your area. For example, the drain cleanout is most likely inside the house for those living in areas with cold weather.

On the other hand, those living in warmer areas will have their drain cleanouts outside their homes. Some drain cleanouts may also be located in the garage or bathroom, which means plumbers would have to search for the cleanout’s exact location. Here are tips to help you find your drain cleanout. 

Trace the drainage pipes to the main sewage line. 

Look for white or black cast iron, ABS, bronze, or copper drainage pipes that lead away from an appliance, toilet, or sink. These will eventually lead you to the main sewage line. 

Find a Y- or T-shaped pipe fitting. 

The drain cleanout should have a Y- or T-shaped fitting with a threaded plug and square nut. Some may also have a plastic cap covering the nut. 

Check the garage, utility rooms, and bathroom. 

Use a flashlight to locate possible alternate cleanout locations such as the bathroom, garage, and utility rooms. When found, make sure to test the drain cleanout plug first. 

Check if the drain cleanout is located outdoors. 

If it is not inside the house, the cleanout is most likely outside. Look for the septic tank or the municipal sewer line. It is also possible that it is covered or hidden, which is why you might have to move any obstacles outside your property. When found, place a marker where you can easily find the cleanout. Better yet, hire a professional plumber in Franklin, TN, to help you find your drain cleanout and remove years’ worth of clogs and dirt. 
Drain Cleanout


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