“Do you have a clean out access or sewer clean out?”
It’s one of the first questions you’ll be asked when you call Coast to Coast Plumbing about a clogged toilet, sink or sewage backup in your Los Angeles home.
Some homeowners will know immediately if they do or don’t.
Others may tell us they have no clue what we are talking about.
A clean out access or sewer clean out is a capped pipe usually found on the main lateral pipe or main sewer line. The capped portion extends out of the ground by a few inches and can be located in the front yard, back yard or even in the basement.
Older homes in Los Angeles may not have a clean out access or sewer clean out, so it’s important they understand the advantages and disadvantages as it relates to hiring a plumber to unclog their main drain line from sewer blockage or sewage overflow.
Disadvantages of not having a clean out access or sewer clean out
You can expect a longer and more expensive service visit in order to gain access to your main line where the actual blockage is occurring when there is no clean out access or sewer clean out.
To understand why, read this common scenario about a homeowner with a toilet clog.
A customer calls us with a clogged toilet and thinks the problem is a quick fix. When we arrive and perform a video camera inspection we show the customer their toilet blockage is not in the toilet line but actually further down in the main line. In order to gain access to the main line we ask, “Do you have a clean out access or sewer clean out on your property?” The customer says no. At this point we have to tell them that we need to remove their toilet. That extra step could be avoided altogether if there was a clean out access or sewer clean out in the first place. It takes time to carefully remove the toilet and then once finished, reinstall it.
At this point a customer usually asks, “Can’t you just run your hydro jetter or snake through the toilet bowl itself without removing it?”
The answer is no primarily for these 2 reasons:
- The hydro jetter or snake may not fit and wind it’s way through the toilet bowl’s trap.
- The risk of toilet bowl damage like a chip or crack increases and we do not want to assume liability if this occurs.
Other times a customer asks, “Why can’t you run your hydro jetter or snake through my roof vents?”
The practice of main line cleaning through roof vents is illegal for licensed California plumbers due to safety concerns like falling off the roof. So the short answer is no. We do not go through roof vents or put our plumbers in hazardous situation like climbing roofs. In a future blog post we’ll explain in more detail the shortcomings of drain cleaning through roof vents.
While some unlicensed plumbers will break the law to perform this illegal and dangerous practice, we don’t. Homeowners think that by cutting corners they’ll be saving money. They rarely think of the implications if things don’t go as planned. For example, what happens if their plumber falls off the roof (potential lawsuit) or additional damage occurs (potential home insurance claim) or the problem recurs (no warranty).
Advantages of installing a clean out access or sewer clean out
If you live in an older Los Angeles home without a clean out access or sewer clean out and experience recurring plumbing problems, especially drain clogs in the main line, you should consider the benefits of installing a clean out access or sewer clean out. You may save money in the long term every time you have to call a plumber for a clog stoppage.
Here are the Top 3 advantages of a having a clean out access or sewer clean out:
- Reduce the possibility of a flood inside your home.
- Improve the ease for a plumber to inspect and clear the main line clog by minimizing the number of turns for their hydro jetter or plumbing snake to do the job.
- Eliminate the need for a plumber to enter your home with plumbing equipment since the clean out access or sewer clean out has been installed outside.
Cost of a clean out access or sewer clean out installation
Contact a Coast to Coast Plumbing in Los Angeles if you want a free estimate to install a clean out access or sewer clean out. While everybody’s situation is unique, and terms and conditions may or may not be applied, the average cost of a clean out access or sewer clean out installation is $900. We offer financing.