How to Add a Clean-Out Trap to a Sewer Pipe


Clean-out traps are very important components to a septic system. However, they were not always used in some of the older systems. If your home does not have a clean-out fitting on your main drainage line, then you should add one for future maintenance and clogged pipes. Clean outs give the home owner easy access to the sewerage pipes, and this is helpful when the system is clogged up.

Things You'll Need

  • PVC pipe
  • Tape measure
  • Male to male PVC tee fittings
  • 2 rubber couplings
  • Saw
  • Locate the main sewer pipe. This pipe is the main line into which all of the septic pipes tie.

  • Follow the main sewer pipe inside of the house to locate where it exits the building.

  • Measure the distance from one wall to the center of the pipe.

  • Measure from the corner along the same wall on the outside of the house and mark the distance that was measured on the inside.

  • Dig down to the pipe according to the marked distance.

  • Dig a 2-foot area around the sewer line and 6 inches under the sewer line.

  • Clean the dirt off of the sewer line.

  • Measure the tee fitting from one end to the other end.

  • Cut the existing pipe according to the dimensions measured from the tee with 1/2 inch subtracted.

  • Insert a rubber coupling onto both sides of the main sewer pipe until it is flush with the edge of the pipe.

  • Insert the tee into the hole and align it so that it matches with the pipes on both ends with the vertical part of the tee facing up at a 90-degree angle.

  • Slide the coupling onto the tee until half of the coupling is on the tee and the other half is on the existing pipe. Do this for both sides.

  • Tighten all of the clamps using the wrench.

  • Glue an extension pipe onto the vertical portion of the tee and cut the tee 6 inches above the ground.

  • Back fill the dirt around the pipe and then pack the dirt down with the end of a shovel or with a 2 by 4.

  • Fill the dirt up to the ground surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mound any extra dirt on top of were the hole was to allow for settling.
  • Be careful not to cut too large of a section from the existing main sewer line.

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  • Photo Credit papier hygiénique image by Psop Photo from
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