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Pipe and Drain Cleanouts

Cleanouts in a drainage system

Posted 10:29 April 05, 2019
Last Updated 10:30 July 06, 2019

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All drainage systems must have cleanout fittings at various points to allow for snaking and or rodding the system. Cleanouts are pipe fittings that can be opened and closed, allowing an entrance point into the drainage system for drain cleaning, clearing blockages or to conduct camera inspections.

Where Are Cleanouts Required?


Traps that serve certain fixtures, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and laundry trays are prone to blockages. These fixtures are required to have cleanouts installed at the lowest part of the trap. These cleanouts are usually threaded plugs or caps. The exception to this rule is if the trap is removable it does not require a cleanout.

Rules For Cleanouts


The size of cleanout fitting must be the same size as the pipe it serves, up to the maximum of 4". For example:

1.5" drain pipe = 1.5" cleanout.
6" drain pipe = 4" cleanout.
Pipes over 8" require a manhole.

Cleanouts must be installed in accessible areas. The cannot be sealed inside a wall or installed under a concrete slab.

Cleanouts are not to be used as drains and must be re-sealed/closed when maintenance is not being performed.

The piping served by a cleanout cannot change direction by more than 45 degrees in a single fitting, or an additional cleanout will be required.

The parts of a cleanout that are removable must be non-corrosive (such as brass or pvc) and be capable of repeatedly creating a gas tight seal (to prevent plumbing odors).



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