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How to Locate My Main Drain Clean-Out

If you are unable to unclog your sink or toilet using a plunger or sewer snake, the clog could exist somewhere along your main drain line. You must access your home’s main clean-out to remove or flush the clog from the line. Locating your main clean-out could be difficult if you do not know where to look.

If you are unable to unclog your sink or toilet using a plunger or sewer snake, the clog could exist somewhere along your main drain line.  You must access your home’s main clean-out to remove or flush the clog from the line.

Locating your main clean-out could be difficult if you do not know where to look. 

  1. Follow a path from the main city sewer line up to your home’s exterior wall or follow a direct path from your septic tank to you exterior wall for dwellings without a basement or crawlspace. A city or municipality’s main sewer lines usually run 8 to 15 feet deep under the street. Check with your city or municipality regarding the exact location of the sewer line on your street. The main drain clean-out is along the front exterior wall. You may have an additional main drain clean-out along the rear exterior wall.
  2. Access your basement or crawl space. Locate a drain line from a toilet, sink or bathtub and follow it until it connects with the main drain line. Follow the main drain line under the floor until you come to a pipe that uses a wye fitting to branch off the line.
  3. Look for a flat, round steel or white PVC plug on one end of the wye fitting. A square fitting protrudes from the center of the clean-out plug. This same plug covers the main drain line clean-out along the exterior wall. It is this 3-or 4-inch plug that identifies the main clean-out.

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.