Why Do I Have 2 Sewer Cleanouts?

If you’ve ever wondered why your property has two sewer cleanouts, you’re not alone. Many homeowners are perplexed by this duplication and are curious about its purpose. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind having two sewer cleanouts and shed some light on this commonly asked question.

1. Differentiating Between Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing Systems

One of the primary reasons for having two sewer cleanouts is to separate the indoor and outdoor plumbing systems. These two cleanouts serve different purposes and are strategically placed to provide access to their respective sections of the plumbing system. Here’s a breakdown of their roles:

  • Indoor Cleanout: This cleanout is typically located inside your home, often in the basement, crawlspace, or utility area. It allows plumbers to access and clear blockages in the indoor plumbing system, including drains, toilets, and internal pipes.
  • Outdoor Cleanout: Situated outside your property, the outdoor cleanout provides an entry point to the sewer lateral that connects your home to the main sewer line. This cleanout is essential for addressing clogs or issues that occur within the outdoor portion of your plumbing system, such as tree root infiltrations or debris buildup.

2. Simplifying Maintenance and Repairs

Having two sewer cleanouts also simplifies maintenance and repairs by providing more convenient access points. Depending on the nature of the problem or the location of the blockage, plumbers can utilize the appropriate cleanout to address the issue efficiently.

For example, if you’re experiencing recurring clogs in your kitchen, bathroom, or any other internal plumbing fixture, the indoor cleanout allows the plumber to directly access and rectify the problem without needing to dig up the outdoor cleanout. On the other hand, if there is a clog or blockage specifically within the sewer lateral or outside drainage system, the outdoor cleanout provides quick access without disrupting the indoor plumbing network.

3. Compliance with Building Codes

In some areas, the presence of two sewer cleanouts may be mandatory to comply with local building codes. These codes aim to ensure that properties have proper access points for maintenance and repairs, safeguarding both public and environmental health. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the regulations governing your region and adhere to them when setting up or renovating your plumbing system.

4. Different Plumbing Systems for Different Structures

Another reason behind having two sewer cleanouts is the existence of different plumbing systems for various structures within a property. For instance:

  • Main House: The main dwelling might have its own set of plumbing fixtures and therefore requires an indoor cleanout for addressing internal plumbing issues.
  • Guest House, Pool House, or Detached Structures: Additional structures within the property, such as guest houses or pool houses, may have separate plumbing systems. In such cases, an outdoor cleanout is installed specifically for easy access to their plumbing lines.

This separation of plumbing systems allows for efficient maintenance and repairs without interfering with the main house’s plumbing.

5. Effective Distribution of Plumbing Load

Having two sewer cleanouts also helps in distributing the plumbing load effectively. By separating the indoor and outdoor plumbing systems, the burden of potential blockages or issues can be shared between the two cleanouts, reducing the chances of overwhelming a single access point. This balanced distribution improves the overall efficiency and reliability of your plumbing network.

Understanding the reasons behind having two sewer cleanouts provides valuable insights into the functionality and design of your property’s plumbing system. By leveraging both cleanouts effectively, you can address plumbing problems swiftly and minimize disruptions to your daily life.

So, the next time you stumble upon those two sewer cleanouts on your property, you’ll have a better understanding of why they are there and how they contribute to the smooth operation of your plumbing system.