Septic Cleanout: Distance To Tank & Cost To Install

You’re probably reading this because you want to understand the workings of the septic cleanout. As you read along, you’d all the basic information you need about this septic system component.

When septic systems are constructed, a maze of pipes is likely to run through your property. These pipes connect your drainage systems that channel out waste.

Now, a cleanout is a critical component of the plumbing system that provides an access point to these pipes.

This easy access to your sewer septic lines and drains makes it more effective to carry out maintenance work. In other words, you won’t have to damage walls or dig out your yard to reach these pipes.

About Sewer Cleanout

Drainage pipes are designed to channel the waste out of a building. This either goes into the central county sewage system or a septic tank. Before this happens, all such plumbing pipes converge in the main pipe system.

This is known as a stack.

Although drainage pipes are meant to channel out waste, they sometimes get clogged.

Clogging results when certain items are disposed of down the drain. These may include wipes or sanitary pads among others.

To have such clogs removed, easy access to sewer lines is necessary.

This is where the sewer cleanout comes into play. Through a sewer cleanout, technicians or plumbers can reach such pipes without having to tear down walls or dig up your yard. When access to such drainage lines is established through the cleanout, work commences.

To unclog your plumbing pipes, hydro-jetting, or snake tools are used. These help clear out the pipes in a much easier manner than when a cleanout is absent.

Do I Really Need One?

From the little explanation provided above, you should have an idea of the importance of a septic cleanout.

This critical component gives technicians easy access to have your septic lines inspected and repaired.

With the ease of access comes a drop in repair cost. In other words, sewer line repair costs will be largely determined by how easily accessible the lines are. In a situation where a cleanout is absent, it becomes more challenging to have access to them.

Also, a lot of digging around your yard may result. Sometimes, walls may be torn open to get access to the drain lines. All this is unnecessary when there’s a septic cleanout.

From such a point, the entire issue is resolved. Snaking off the drain lines to pull out clogs is easily done.

So, the answer to whether you need a septic cleanout is obvious; you do need one. With this component, you’re saved a lot of stress in addition to having an efficient sewer system.

Distance Of the Septic Tank from the Cleanout

Sometimes when you move into a new property, the positioning of the septic tank may be unknown. You may also be oblivious of the distance between the septic tank and cleanout.

In most cases, such cleanout will be located at an average distance of 10 feet.

This distance may be more or less depending on how your septic system is designed. If there are doubts about where your septic tank is located, it can be traced from the septic cleanout.

A technician helps you get this task done by using one of several tools or methods.

The most common tool is the plumbing snake (flexible fiberglass or steel rods). This is inserted into drain pipes to dislodge and pull out clogs.

Now, this tool can also be used to determine the location, hence the distance of the septic tank from the cleanout.

  • Determining the Distance of a Septic Tank from a Cleanout

Actual measurements will be necessary for a situation where you seek to know the location and distance of the septic tank from your cleanout. The plumbing snake is inserted and pushed into the waste line until it encounters an obstacle.

Such an obstacle may be the tank’s inlet baffle.

Having encountered an obstacle, the plumbing snake is pulled out and the length that went into the waste line is observed and the distance determined.

However, it’s necessary to note that sometimes, the plumbing snake may hit an obstruction such as a collapsed line between the tank and house.

In other situations, the tank baffles may be gone or damaged. When this happens, the plumbing snake may go right into the tank. Under such circumstances, no obstruction is felt, and the entire plumbing snake line gets into the tank.

The use of an alternative method may be necessary.

Locating A Septic Cleanout

Apart from occasional difficulties faced by homeowners in locating their septic tanks, cleanouts may also be quite challenging to find. Not all plumbing is done to code. In other words, unprofessional plumbing work may present more challenges than it solves.

The default location for septic cleanouts is outside the home at least for older homes. This gives you possible areas to look at when seeking to identify a septic cleanout.

For cleanouts located indoors, this important septic system component may be found on the drain stack in the basement.

Septic cleanouts may also be found at every 100 ft of the sewer line until it gets to the main sewer line.

Cleanouts piping is made of different types of materials. These range from PVC or plastic as well to cast iron. You’ll find these with caps of iron, plastic, cast, or brass.

Septic Cleanout Installation Cost

One of the important things you’ll need to understand is the cost implications of having a cleanout installed.

If you wish to install an easily accessible septic cleanout in an existing plumbing system, such installation will cost anywhere from $650 to $2,000.

This cost increases quite significantly with job difficulty. Job difficulty in this sense refers to extensive digging and retrofitting among other things. Who you call for the job will determine how much you end up paying.

You might want to ask for multiple price quotes from different plumbing technicians to get the best possible price.

For better maintenance of a septic system, you’ll need to have a cleanout installed. Such cleanout helps with the ease of identifying faults and also cuts down the cost of repairs.

In other words, the extra work of extensive digging just to get to drain lines is eliminated.

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