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Where are Plumbing Cleanouts Required

Plumbing cleanouts are essential in any draining system. They serve as a point of access for repairs and removal of blockages at different points. They are pipe fittings that have removable covers in case some parts need to be cleaned, snaked or inspected by a drain camera.
So where are cleanouts required? Read on to find out.

  1. Traps connected to kitchen sinks, bathroom lavatories and other plumbing fixtures. These traps are prone to clogging, which is why they need to have cleanouts at the bottom. You will usually notice a threaded plug or cap at the lowest portion of the trap; that’s the cleanout. If the trap is detachable, a cleanout is no longer required.
  2. At the base of waste and drain lines. Cleanouts should be installed at every waste stack and storm drain. The maximum distance allowed is 3 meters from the base.
  3. On the building trap. A clean-out is required on a building trap as well as other running traps. The cleanout should be located directly on the inlet side.

The cleanout should be placed near the wall where the building drain is located. Old practices require that the building drain cleanout has to be within the building. However, it has now been allowed to be placed outside on the condition that it is accessible.

Table of Contents

Cleanout Distances

The distance between cleanouts should not be more than 100 feet if measured along the length of the pipe.
One cleanout should be installed at every horizontal pipe even if it is less than 100 feet in length. This rule is applicable to horizontal branch drains, building waste lines and building drain.

A cleanout should also be installed at every change of pipe direction that is greater than 45 degrees. This only applies if only one fitting is used. If more than one fitting is used, a cleanout is not required.

Sizes for Clean-outs

The sizes of cleanouts should be the same as the pipes they serve, but only up to a maximum of 4 inches. For example:

  • 1.5 inch drain pipe = 1.5 inch cleanout
  • 6 inch drain pipe = 4 inch cleanout
  • Pipes over 8 inches require a manhole
  • Other rules for Cleanouts

    Cleanouts must be installed in locations that are easily accessed. They should not be placed inside a wall or under a concrete slab.

    Cleanouts are not substitutes for drains. They must be re-sealed when repair and maintenance procedures have been completed.

    The pipe line served by a cleanout cannot change direction by more than 45 degrees with a single fitting. If such is the case, an additional cleanout will be required.

    The cover of a cleanout must be non-corrosive, like brass. It should also be able to create a gas tight seal over and over again once returned.

    Cleanout Substitutes

    There are kitchen and toilet fixtures that come with an integrated trap that acts as a cleanout. Some traps are detachable hence there’s no need for a cleanout. What’s important is that these traps are also accessible and that they follow the required size with reference to the pipes.

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