When do I clean out my Clean out?

In our on-going advice series for “Desert Dwellers” . We answer the question, “why do I have 2 clean outs? and do I clean them out?!  Lets break this down easily:

It can be referred to as a cleanout pipe, or “clean out” or “clean-out”.  Either way, we’re talking about the same thing…those 2 plugs in the front of your house (like the reference pic above). And, if you have a house built in a subdivision within the last 25-30 years you probably have two cleanouts in your front yard. What you may not realize if your home inspector did not explain to you is the direction of each clean out. The one closest to the house runs towards the street and the one closest the street runs towards the house.

If you have a tree in your front yard and the roots clog your sewer line, the clean out snake will have to be inserted in the pipe closest to the house because it runs to the street.


If you clog is in the house the cleanout snake will need to be inserted in the pipe closest to the street.



Now I know you are probably thinking “I would call a plumber to solve my problem”, but what if you have a friend or family visiting you in their RV and they want to use you cleanout to dump their waste from their RV and they think the one closest to the street is the one they should use, and they pump there waste back up into your house. Just saying! This is a good thing to know.  So, in short, the clean out does not need to be cleaned out unless its plugged!