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Parts of a Home Sewer System

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Where does the water go when it washes down the drain? Find out how your home’s sewer system works and discover what happens when each part develops a clog.

Drainpipe

  • Every sink and appliance that uses water has a drainpipe that leads water down and away.
  • Drainpipes on the second floor will often connect with those on the first floor.
  • Clogs in the drainpipe are common and, thankfully, easy to fix.

Trap

  • Most drainpipes have traps, bends in the pipe that stops sewer gases from entering the home.
  • Clogs are common, but traps without water can be a problem too.

Main Drain

  • The drainpipes from each fixture or appliance connect to a larger pipe called the main drain.
  • Complete clogs in the main drain often affect multiple fixtures.

Ventilation Pipes

  • Your drainpipes and main drain and ventilated by a series of empty pipes that connect to a vent.
  • Clogged ventilation pipes can create plumbing issues too.

Main Cleanout

  • The cleanout allows you to access your main drain so that you can clean out clogs in it.
  • You can typically find main cleanouts in the front or backyard.

Sewer Lateral

  • The sewer lateral is the pipe that connects your home to the sewer main after the cleanout.
  • You may, or may not, be responsible for clogs in the sewer lateral.

Property Line Cleanout

  • If you are responsible for the lateral, it may have a cleanout to allow you to remove clogs.
  • You can typically find property line cleanouts at the property line.

Sewer Main

  • The sewer main is a much larger pipe that every nearby home’s sewer line feeds into.
  • While clogs here can be a hassle, they are rarely your responsibility.

Stormwater Drain

  • Parallel to the sewer main, stormwater drains collect rain and are separate from your home.
  • Clogs here are the city’s problem, but they can damage property.

By: Plumbing Solutions