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What Is a Cleanout and Why Should You Have One?

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What Is a Cleanout and Why Should You Have One?

When customers call to schedule a camera scope, snake, or hydro jetter, I usually end up asking them the same question: “Is there a cleanout?” Oftentimes this question is met with “What is that?” The fact about the matter is, cleanout drains are extremely handy. Not only can a cleanout make your local Tacoma plumber’s job easier, but having one installed can also save you money in the long run.


A cleanout is a location (usually on the side of the house or in the basement) where your sewer can be accessed to clear out clogs, or scope the line. Here in Tacoma, many people have cleanouts located in their basements. While this is a common occurrence, this is not always the most convenient place for a cleanout.

When your plumbing system gets backed up, the cleanout in your basement will be full to the brim with water and sewage. If you were to remove the plug in your basement cleanout while the sewer is blocked up, all that water and debris will come bubbling on the top and into your home. This is why it is recommended to have a cleanout (or even better, a two-way cleanout) installed along the side of your home.


Whether your sewer is blocked, or you are just scheduling a routine camera inspection, the presence of a cleanout will keep your life easier and your wallet fuller. For example, when we go to do a camera inspection with a cleanout we can show up, put the camera through, and locate the problem area just like that. Without a cleanout our technicians will either need to go through a roof vent or pull a toilet, which is more expensive. Overall, having outside access to your sewer line is highly recommended.


While most homes in Tacoma are built with a cleanout, they can sometimes be covered up in new renovations. They might get lost in drywall, or covered by other new home additions. This can make it extremely hard to gain access to your plumbing in the event of an emergency. If you cannot find your cleanout, or suspect that you do not have one we recommend you either have a technician come out and locate it for you, or have one installed.


A cleanout is an extremely important and convenient thing to have as a part of your sewer system. If you would like to have a cleanout installed or are unsure if you have one, give a call to (253) 331-1206 and we will have one of our skilled technicians out to you in no time! If you are experience a different plumbing issue, such as a clogged drain, one of our techs can come diagnose the issue – just pick up the phone and schedule an appointment!