If you need to remove a clog in the main sewer line, then finding the sewer cleanouts that are in or around your house is vital. The sewer cleanouts allow easier access to the sewer system to clean out the clog and open the drain line (or main sewer line) to the septic tank or municipal sewer. If you need to replace a sewer line, then you need to find the main sewer line first. No matter if there’s a blockage in a cast iron underground utilities sewer line, or obstructions from tree roots searching out the waste water in the septic system and breaks through the main drain, for whatever reason you need to locate your sewer line, you need to have the right resources and tools needed to find the access to your sewer pipe. Your local government offices are some of your most important resources for finding the original line for a sewer and should be on any homeowner’s radar when starting a project like this.
That is part of why working with a professional plumber to find these access points and the subsequent repairs of the sewer line. In cases where you need to replace the sewer drain pipes because it was an older home or has a straight line crack, knowing the zoning laws and what’s needed from city hall is all part of the process.
Maps and Other Documents You Will Need
You can request a map of the sewer lines. Granted, these will not always be up to date or correct, but they do provide you with a handy framework to work off of. You will also need a map of your county’s property lines. You can get this at a county subdivision and deed office. Your sewer line will usually not be found on a neighbor’s land, so once you know the exact boundaries of your own property, you can start to zero in on where your line is located. That being said, you will still have to look into whether or not there is a sewage easement on you or your neighbor’s property. If there is a sewage easement, then it is likely that is where the sewage pipe is located.
Locating Sewer Cleanouts
You will also need to find any sewer cleanouts you have on your property. They are not present at every house, and if they are there, they can make for tricky finds. These are little pipe stubs that jut out of the ground and offer a point from which sewer lines can be cleaned. Newer homes may have these cleanouts placed at ten-foot intervals from one another.
We suggest that all homeowners learn where the sewer lines are located outside their home as this knowledge is critical in the case of a plumbing emergency. The indoor drains are all interconnected and they lead to one central drain pipe, which leads away from your home and towards a septic tank (for homes in rural areas) or into the municipal sewer system.
If you don’t know where your drain lines exit your home, where do you begin? For starters, check around your basement or crawl space. If you can locate where your drain lines exit your home, you’re giving yourself a head start.
Perhaps a better option is to ask the previous owner – this can be the simplest and easiest solution. If you don’t have the previous homeowner’s number handy, you can locate their contact information on the deed and the municipal tax records.
You can also ask your next-door neighbors if they know where the sewer lines are placed. For example, if you have an observant neighbor, he or she may recall work being done on the line in the past, or at the very least, they may be able to tell you where their own lines connect to the municipal system.
To begin your search, look for sewer or cleanout caps in the front yard. They may even be located very close to the house, behind bushes or against the walls. Then continue your search along the sides of your house, paying close attention to the areas where bathrooms are located. Finally, you should look inside your house to see if there are cleanouts located around toilets. Whenever you come across a cleanout, you still need to keep looking, because you and your plumber will need to know the location of every single sewer cleanout.
CONTACT THE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Still not sure where the sewer lines are located outside your home? You can head down to the local building or zoning office in your municipality – they may have the information you’re looking for.
Many towns maintain maps that show where sewer lines are located on residential properties. What’s more, when you identify where your property line ends, you can better-understand places where your sewer lines cannot possibly be located. You probably know this as the “process of elimination.”
Knowing where your sewer cleanouts are can help you find the sewer line. But if all else fails, you could simply dig around in areas that have not already been eliminated as locations by your research. BUT before you do dig, you first need to call the state’s one-call system to find out where the gas lines are; a rented backhoe could rip through a gas line. Finally, you may very well need a local permit before you can begin digging. Otherwise, you could later be fined.
Get An Expert’s Help
If you have a sewage line that needs to be unclogged, if you are experiencing any plumbing problems around your home, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule service with our expert plumbing technician team. At A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc., it will cost you nothing extra for a Kansas City plumber to address a plumbing emergency on the weekend or in the evening. Get your quote today!