What Is a Plumbing Cleanout Diagram?


Plumbers use auger or hydro jet to clear away obstructions in drain lines, which works more effectively when they have easy access. Therefore, every home should have a sewer cleanout.

An effective plumbing cleanout diagram provides an efficient means of pinpointing these locations on any property and marking them so a plumber can easily reach the drainage line leading to either municipal sewage systems or private septic tanks.


A plumbing cleanout is a capped pipe that sits above the ground, typically featuring an easily identifiable square-shaped button or hole on top. Usually black or white, these pipes may be found near drainage pipes such as those found in bathrooms. Their caps are sealed using threaded plugs with square nut seals topped off by plastic caps to complete their look.

Locations for sewer cleanouts differ between homes, but typically, it can be found either in the front yard, backyard, or close to its foundation. Sometimes, they’re hidden underground or hidden away in utility rooms and garages; others have multiple cleanouts installed throughout their property to help avoid overflows during heavy rainfall events.

An essential benefit of having a sewer cleanout on your property is having direct access to its sewer lateral line, so in case your drain line becomes blocked, you can call a plumber quickly and safely to unclog it. They will also be able to see exactly where it lies so they can choose the appropriate tool for clearing it and can run a camera along your drain pipe to determine where its source may lie within your plumbing system.


Drain cleanout systems provide homeowners and plumbers direct access to the main sewer line. Often beginning near a sink near its P-trap and leading outside or into the backyard, these systems are easily identifiable by a white cap threaded with square buttons that make finding it simple. If none can be found, then look through your home plot plan for its location;

Cleanouts are designed to make life easier for plumbers when clearing clogs from drain lines running from house foundations under the ground to either municipal sewer lines or private septic tanks. Access to this part of the plumbing system allows plumbers to identify problems like roots invading pipes or poor workmanship leading to broken ones more efficiently, as well as provide insight into its operation and identify problems such as roots growing into them and potential breaks caused by inexperienced installers.

The code requires that every building have a cleanout near the junction between the building drain and sewer lines, either inside or outside the wall, brought up to surface level and at surface level. An upper terminal cleanout may be omitted if an approved two-way cleanout fitting is used to connect the building drain to the sewer, though both must have equal-diameter pipes for their respective services.


Plumbing cleanouts are typically located in the front yard near city sewer lines and may be difficult to find due to dirt or debris accumulation. Luckily, however, the cleanout pipe itself is pretty easy to identify: look out for its distinctive square-shaped cap perched atop an off-center pipe with either a button or hole at its center; sometimes, these caps will feature colors such as white or black that stand out against its surroundings – these should serve as clear indicators that the cleanout is present underground!

Manufacturing cleanout fittings are designed with each outlet and trap individually in mind. A removable fixture trap may also serve as an effective cleanout if its diameter is at least one size larger than that of its drain piping downstream from it.


Plumbers can use drain cleanouts to access your sewage lines and perform various drain cleaning services without needing to access through fixtures such as sinks or toilets. It provides them with unrestricted access to your sewer system and allows them to snake, jet, or blow out pipes from within your sewer system – giving them complete visibility of where any problems lie so that they can address them before they worsen and create more havoc in your home.

Drain cleanouts are typically located outside your home near the main sewer line; however, sometimes they’re buried. If that is the case for you, dig a hole and search for its pipe – typically identified by its white cap sitting atop a 4 in (10 cm)-wide pipe, often featuring an easily identifiable button or hole at its top end.

Search the area near where your main line enters the foundation for T or Y-shaped pipe fittings with threaded plugs that feature square nuts; remove the cap and shine a flashlight down the pipe to identify possible blockages or issues.