Sewer Clean Out – What & Where

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This Article Discusses What A Sewer Clean Out Is, And Where It’s Located For DFW Homes.  



HomeProPlumber provides full service plumbing maintenance, repairs and replacements for every plumbing component in your home. We sell & install Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  We are near your home in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney Texas.  Homes in southern Collin and Denton Counties incur no additional travel-charges. HomeProPlumber in Plano, Texas also provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Call us today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience and offer 24/7 Emergency Service.  

What & Where Is A Sewer Clean Out?

sewer clean out in lawn

Shown: Lawn Sewer Clean Out

Image Source: ShutterStock

A Sewer Clean Out Is Where A Home’s Sewer Main Line

Can Be Accessed For The Purpose Of Clearing Clogs. 

Additionally, Sinks On Exterior Walls Have Exterior Clean Outs.

Newer DFW homes, and home with newer replacement sewer lines, typically have a clean out in the lawn.  Lawn clean out are now required by Building Codes.  In Texas & Municipality Plumbing Codes generally match the International Plumbing Code (IPC).  From at least 2012, the International Plumbing Code (IPC) requires “two way”  sewer clean outs in the lawn (allows access under the house & in the lawn toward the city sewer main).   

  • The clean out will be located quite close to the edge of the house. 
  • It will be located on the side of the house (front or rear) based on the location of the City’s Sewer Mains.
  • Often the clean out may be covered with mulch or debris.   

Unless The Sewer Lines In The Lawn Has Been Replaced,

Many Older DFW Homes Do Not Have A Clean Out In The Lawn.   

If the home does not have a clean out in the lawn, access to the sewer is through a plumbing vent pipe on the roof.

sewer clean out on roof

Shown: Access To Sewer Lines Is Through The Sewer Vent Pipes (the white pipes near the middle of the left side of photo)

Image Source: DreamsTime


What A Lawn Sewer Line Clean Out Looks Like

Clean outs typically have a white, screw-off, removable cap.  From that access point, sewer line clearing machines can go both under the house and into the lawn (toward the city sewer line) to find and clear the clog.

In DFW newer homes have a sewer main clean out access located in the lawn.

SHOWN: Sewer Line Clean Out With Screw Top.

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From


In newer DFW homes, the Sewer Clean Out may be inside a plastic box with a removable green lid.   Due to its location, it is possible the clean out may be covered with rock or mulch — as it’s typically located within planting-beds close to the house.

SHOWN: Lawn Connection Box With Cover.

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From



Clean Outs For Smaller Drain Lines Are Often Accessed Through Smaller Clean Outs In Exterior Walls.

When kitchen or bath sinks are located on an outside wall, there is a small clean out (for only that sink’s drain line) built into the wall, and accessed from outside through a removable cap. 


SHOWN:  2″ Sewer Clean Out With Cap.  

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From  


In DFW homes, there are typically clean outs in exterior walls near sinks.    They are accessed from outside.  Only the removable plug (and connection it screws into)  are visible from outside.   Depending on the age of the home, the exterior wall clean outs may be: White Plastic, Metal, or ABS / black plastic.  

Click Here To See A Drain Clean Out In An Exterior Wall (warm weather climate homes only): Exterior Wall Drain Clean Out (warm climate homes only).  


Sewer Lines Maintenance

Drain Lines Accumulate Build-Up (often called sludge) On Their Interior Surfaces. 

The Most Common Build-Ups Are Due To Fats, Oils, & Grease Poured Into Drains. 


The Environmental Protection Agency Estimates That Nearly Half Of All Sewer Backups Are Related To Grease Poured Into Drains.  Here is what happens when grease is poured into a drain.  As it moves down the sewer line, grease starts to cool and becomes a semi-solid and sticks to the walls of the sewer pipe.  Fats, Oils, & Grease mix with chemicals & solids in the sewers and form masses that build up and eventually block sewer pipes.

Of particular problem is FOG mixing with “flushable” Baby Wipes.   These wipes do not degrade like toilet paper.  Instead, they move down the sewer line or a short distance and settle to the bottom of the pipe.  This Happens:  Under Your Home, In Your Lawn, and In The City’s Sewer lines.

Click Here For A Video Demonstrating That Wipes Don’t Disintegrate: YouTube “Flushable” Wipes Do Not Dissolve & Clog Sewers

In This Test, Toilet Paper Took 2-1/2 Minutes To Disintegrate.   After 20 hours, 3 different brands of wipes were the same as when flushed.  

2018 News Reports Detailed A Manufacturer Of White King Brand “Flushable” Wipes Was Fined $700,000  The wipes were advertised as “just like toilet paper” though they do not disintegrate in the sewer system.   A Federal Court found the wipes manufacturer, Pental Products, guilty of false & misleading representations.  In particular, Pental claimed that the wipes would break down in the sewerage system like toilet paper does.

Future Sewer Clogs Can Often Be Prevented

Once A Build-Up Starts Accumulating, It Will Eventually Clog Your Home’s Sewer

Sewer Lines Maintenance /Cleaning

To Avoid Build Up — Use An Enzymatic Drain Cleaner On A Regular Basis

  • Enzyme drain cleaners do not have chemicals.   
  • Enzyme drain cleaners contain bacteria cultures  & enzymes that respond to the presence of organic substances.
  • This type of drain cleaner is for maintenance of pipes, it’s not for clogs.

Enzymatic drain cleaners are a much safer alternative to chemical drain cleaners. There are many brands of Enzymatic Drain Cleaners.  Enzyme drain cleaners are used mostly for sewer pipe maintenance.  Possibly the best enzyme drain cleaner brand is BIO-CLEAN.   It is sold and recommended by Al’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning.  If the drain is already clogged, try a plunger or drain-snake.


SHOWN:  BIO-Clean   

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From  

Description From Manufacturer: BIO-CLEAN is a special combination of natural bacteria & enzymes that DIGESTS organic waste located in your plumbing system such as: grease, hair, soap scum, food particles & other organic wastes.  Monthly BIO-CLEAN treatments are likely keep your drain lines clean and trouble-free In nature, all organic matter is broken down and recycled by enzymes and bacteria. 

BIO-CLEAN uses this same principal to biodegrade organic waste that accumulates in your plumbing system.   The enzymes are very fast and start breaking down waste. BIO-CLEAN contains billions of bacteria, and they double in number every 30 minutes!  Unrestricted by gravity, they spread through the entire plumbing system devouring organic waste. BIO-CLEAN has no effect on inorganic materials such as sewer lines.  

BIO-CLEAN does not product heat, fumes or bubbling like many chemical drain cleaners. BIO-CLEAN is safe for plumbing and the environment. BIO-CLEAN is approved by the U.S.D.A for use in Meat and Poultry Plants. Enzymatic drain cleaners have an added advantage for homes with a septic system (where no city sewer is available).   Enzymatic drain cleaners were originally designed and used to help maintain septic tanks.   A common product sold for septic tanks is Rid-X.   The bacteria & enzymes can’t eat non-organic items such as sewer pipes and the interiors of septic tanks.

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From

SHOWN:  Rid-X Was Designed As A Septic Tank Treatment.  It Uses Enzymes & Bacterial To Help Clear Septic Tanks.  


If You Have Already Used Chemical Drain Cleaners (That Did Not Clear The Clog)

Don’t Use A Plunger Or Drain-Snake After A Chemical Drain Cleaner Was Used.

You Risk Getting Chemical Drain Cleaner On Your Skin Or Into Your Eyes.



Before Using A Chemical Drain Cleaner

Attempt To Clear The Clog With A Plunger Or Drain Snake


SHOWN ABOVE: Toilet Plunger.  

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A Toilet Plunger And A Sink Plunger Are Not The Same. 

A Toilet plunger is designed to fit down into the area just below the bowl.  This maximizes its effectiveness.  

A sink plunger has a flat rubber.  It’s designed to stay in contact with the sink to maximize its effectiveness.


SHOWN Just Above: Sink Plunger.  

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Drain Snake

SHOWN: A Drain-Snake Moves Into The Pipes To Clear Clogs. 

Use This Next If A Plunger Does Not Work. 

Click On The Photo To View, See Details, Or Purchase This Item From  


SUMMARY: This article describes what & where a drain line is for homes in the Dallas, Texas area.  This information does not apply to homes with basements or slab homes in other locations within the U.S. . Also discussed is sewer lines maintenance which notably reduces the chances of a clog in the future.  We suggested how to easily provide drain maintenance with enzymatic drain cleaners.  Monthly maintenance (bi-monthly for households of 1-2) will introduce organic-waste eating bacteria & enzymes into your drain lines.  These bacteria will eat away at the build-up in the sewer lines until it’s gone.  Once there is nothing to left eat, the bacteria will move on (into the city’s sewer main).