How to Replace a PVC Cleanout Plug

Many homes now have PVC water pipes running throughout the home instead of cast iron or steel. One of the many benefits of PVC is the simplicity of working with the pipe when repairs are necessary. If you notice leaks around the clean out plugs, it might be time to replace them. Plugs are sometimes installed too tight and develop hairline cracks. Replacement cleanout plugs are available at home improvement centers.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Pipe wrench
  • Adjustable wrench

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Place a bucket under the cleanout plug if you are replacing in the house, like under a skin. If replacing a cleanout plug on a drain pipe under the house -- like in a crawl space -- allow the pipe to drain onto the ground.

Adjust the jaws of a pipe wrench or adjustable wrench around the square button of the cleanout plug. Some cleanout plugs have a handle that you can lock a pair of vise grips on to help turn the plug.

Turn the cleanout plug counterclockwise to unscrew it from the pipe. Once you have the cleanout plug off the pipe, wipe the threads inside the pipe with a rag. Inspect the end of the pipe and threads to ensure there is no damage. Replace damaged pipe as necessary.

Thread the new cleanout plug into the pipe until it is tight. Turn the plug another ¾ turn with the wrench.

Tips & Warnings

  • PVC does not require plumber's tape on the threads to seal the joint.


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