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Old 06-21-2015, 10:48 PM   #1
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dual floor cleanouts in basement - why?


Greetings:

The house that I am renovating at the moment has dual floor cleanouts where the drain line exits the basement. http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/De...61705.jpg.html I can see water flowing (after flushing toilet, etc.) on the cleanout on the RH side. The depth of this cleanout to bottom of the pipe is about 18 inches. http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/De...61851.jpg.html THe cleanout on the LH side has still water at a depth of about 24 inches. There is no change to the still water when a toilet is flushed. http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/...620_161946.jpg BTW, the brass cap on the LH cleanout is severely corroded/pitted on the underside (including one small perforation).

So my question is an attempt to understand why there are two cleanouts, what the plumbing pipe arrangement might be.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:48 AM   #2
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It appears to be a trap/clean out that allows one to snake in either direction.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:58 AM   #3
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this may be what you have..can't really tell by the pics..
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

I am certain that this is not a two way cleanout the one with the still water is 6 inches deeper than the one with the flowing water and the cleanouts go to two parallel lines (I should have mentioned this in my first message). I opened these two cleanouts because I was looking for a way to run the large tip from my electric eel up hill toward the kitchen drain tie in.

I forgot to mention in my first message that this house was built in 1959 - no idea if the dual cleanouts / parallel lines were something popular at one time (FWIW, as I sit here typing this I know that my residence ('71) has the dual cleanout also - but I have never had a drain issue in the 21 years that I have lived there so I have never removed the drain plugs)
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aribert View Post
Thanks for the responses.

I am certain that this is not a two way cleanout the one with the still water is 6 inches deeper than the one with the flowing water and the cleanouts go to two parallel lines (I should have mentioned this in my first message). I opened these two cleanouts because I was looking for a way to run the large tip from my electric eel up hill toward the kitchen drain tie in.

I forgot to mention in my first message that this house was built in 1959 - no idea if the dual cleanouts / parallel lines were something popular at one time (FWIW, as I sit here typing this I know that my residence ('71) has the dual cleanout also - but I have never had a drain issue in the 21 years that I have lived there so I have never removed the drain plugs)
Maybe one is for regular sewer and one is for storm/ground water. Just a guess.

Call your local municipality maybe they would know or have records of what was common set-up back in the 50's. Maybe ask your neighbors if they have a similar set-up.

Would probably have to have them scoped to find out for sure. Just a suggestion.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
Maybe one is for regular sewer and one is for storm/ground water. Just a guess.
I think this is a pretty common setup on older homes. My neighborhood is full of old homes built between the 20's and the 50's, and we all have 2 cleanouts. One line handles all the waste from inside the house (toilets, sinks, etc) and the other was for the drain tile system that the gutters use to drain into, which runs beneath the length of the basement and picks up the floor drains along the way.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:08 PM   #7
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Might be a house trap if storm an sewer are combined.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:21 AM   #8
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jmon & MrBryan:

THanks for the replys. I tend to agree w/ you - I never considered the downspout system. On this house there is no residual evidence that the downspouts ever went into a drain pipe so I never considered the second cleanout to be for that.


Ghostmaker & others:

Follow up question - what is the purpose of a trap (where the storm lines and sanitary lines converge)? Was this to prevent the sanitary line to backflow into the storm line if the main line was obstructed further downstream? THe reason I ask is because I have a house (I'm a small time landlord) where there is a trap at the storm & sewer line junction. THis trap causes me all sorts of misery in trying to cleanout the drainline (6 inch clay tile, a couple of mature trees nearby). In the future I would like to have the trap eliminated and a backflow valve installed for the nearby floor drain. THen I could auger the entire drain from the outside cleanout at the street curb - instead of having to approach the trap from both sides.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:23 AM   #9
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It is typical for older homes to have a "whole house" trap, which you will find near the cleanout exactly like you are describing. Mine has one too and right now I am loving it because I am in the middle of a gut-rehab of my main bathroom and I don't get the stinky sewer gas every time I crack into the plumbing
The trap will keep the sewer gases out of your home but it will not prevent backflow. I haven't dug up enough of my basement slab to be sure but I suspect there are no traps in the floor drains, hence the main trap.
Depending on where exactly yours is located it is one of those things most people don't mess with unless you are working on something near it. Because it is likely located near the foundation wall (and possibly might run through or beneath a concrete footing) most of the time it is easier to add a cleanout somewhere outside of the home.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:52 PM   #10
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It also keeps the sewer stink from coming up your downspouts. Tends to ruin the barbecue.
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