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Choosing the Right Sewer Cleanout:

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Introduction: Maintaining a properly functioning sewer system is essential for the smooth operation of any property. A crucial component of this system is the sewer cleanout, which provides access to the sewer line for inspection, maintenance, and clearing of blockages. With various types of sewer cleanouts available, it's important to understand the options and choose the one that best suits your specific needs. In this article, we will explore different types of sewer cleanouts and help you make an informed decision.

Exterior Sewer Cleanouts:

Exterior sewer cleanouts are typically located outside a building, often near the property line. They are designed to provide easy access to the main sewer line. The two common types of exterior cleanouts are:

Capped Cleanouts:

These cleanouts have a removable cap that can be unscrewed for access. They are cost-effective and commonly used in residential properties.

Plug Cleanouts:

These cleanouts feature a plug that can be removed with a wrench or specialized tool. They provide a more secure seal against leaks and are often used in commercial or industrial settings.

Interior Sewer Cleanouts:

Interior sewer cleanouts are installed inside a building and are typically located in basements, crawl spaces, or utility rooms. They are convenient for accessing the sewer line without having to go outside. The two main types of interior cleanouts are:

Floor Cleanouts:

These cleanouts are flush with the floor and can be found in basements or utility rooms. They are easy to access and are suitable for residential and light commercial properties.

Wall Cleanouts:

Wall cleanouts are installed vertically into the wall and are commonly used in commercial buildings. They provide access to the sewer line without requiring floor excavation.

Choosing the Right Cleanout:

When deciding which type of sewer cleanout to use, consider the following factors:

  • Property Type: Determine whether you need an exterior or interior cleanout based on the property's layout, size, and usage.

  • Accessibility: Consider the ease of access required for maintenance and clearing blockages. Exterior cleanouts may be more accessible for maintenance purposes, while interior cleanouts provide convenience in case of emergencies.

  • Building Codes: Familiarize yourself with local building codes and regulations, as they may dictate the type and location of cleanouts required.

  • Cost and Maintenance: Evaluate the initial cost and long-term maintenance requirements associated with different types of cleanouts.


Selecting the right sewer cleanout is crucial for efficient sewer system maintenance. Consider the property type, accessibility needs, building codes, and maintenance requirements when making your decision. Consulting with a professional plumber can provide valuable insights and ensure a well-informed choice. By choosing the appropriate sewer cleanout, you can help prevent blockages, minimize repair costs, and ensure the smooth functioning of your sewer system for years to come.

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