Installing a sewer cleanout
May 12, 2022 3:40 PM   Subscribe

I want to scope my sewer line (to check its condition), but it has no cleanout. I do have exposed sewer line in my first floor laundry room, with the thicker line on the right coming down from the second floor bathroom, with a smaller horizontal drain coming from the washing machine and laundry sink. What's the best way to install a cleanout?

The vertical line on the left is for a vent. The washer and sink drain line is 2" and the main vertical sewer line is 3".

I did get a quote of $575 from a sewer scoping company for installing a cleanout in the vertical 3" line. That seems pricy, and doesn't look too hard to install myself.

My plan is to put the cleanout in the horizontal drain by installing a Y or a T with flexible couplings between the vent and main sewer line. I figure it's a better choice than the installing the cleanout in the main line as it's less messy to cut the drain, plus it only puts my washing machine and laundry sink out of commission and not a bathroom if things go wrong with the install (which is not unknown to happen with my plumbing work).

Is installing the cleanout in a 2" line reasonable over the 3" line? My questions are is 2" wide enough to pass though a scope or sewer rooter, and will a scope or rooter be able to make the downward turn from the horizontal drain to the vertical sewer?

Or should the cleanout be installed in the main sewer line?
posted by ShooBoo to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
If the eventual goal is to clean out the the main line you need the clean out on the main line.

575 is pretty cheap, all things considered. I would happily pay that much to NOT clean sewage off my basement floor. I do a lot of my own plumbing, but would happily hire a pro for this job.
posted by rockindata at 4:25 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]

As Rockindata said, if you want to clean out the main line, you need a cleanout as big as that line. The plumbing code agrees.

However, by code, there has to be a way to clean that pipe. If not a cleanout, then through the vent stack on the roof.

OK, you say the cleanout in the vertical line doesn't look like much work, and then say you are putting it somewhere else. I have had to tap into a stack (your 3" line is a stack I'd bet) and is not fun at all. If you don't support the pipe above, you are likely to break things above.
So then you make your cut. The cleanout tee you bought is hub x hub. They all are. This means the pipe sticks into the tee both above and below, so your cut will leave a gap too large to join the pipe.
So then you are going to have to find a 3" repair coupling and a short length of pipe, increase the length of your cut, and install the coupling and the pipe.

And as above, if it leaks, it is all on you. If a plumber installs it and it leaks, it's the plumbers problem.
posted by rudd135 at 4:56 PM on May 12

What happens if you screw up? Are you willing to be out of commission sewage wise? Then DIY. Don’t feel like cleaning up sewage? Call the plumber.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:53 PM on May 12

Best answer: If you want to save the money, you can do it. ABS is easy to cut and doesn't weigh much. Follow these instructions (well, until the picture of the wye, after that not relevant.)
posted by flimflam at 8:40 PM on May 12

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