*Septic Criss-Cross Cleanout*
I learned this trick years ago from an experienced plumber. Having access in to sewer pipes without having to open septic tanks or pull toilets is invaluable. If the main line from your house to your septic tank gets plugged, the last thing you want to do is pull your toilet and have a 100' long big nasty snake in your bathroom getting rust and crap all over everything. The simple solution is outside and costs only a few dollars. The line can be snaked entirely from outside eliminating the need to pull a toilet or even take a nasty dirty snake inside your house.
In the main line I simply installed two Tee fittings. I used the ones with the curls in them so that the snake will go a specific direction when it gets to that Tee. The Tee closest to the tank is pointed toward the house and a foot or so toward the house is another Tee pointed toward the tank. A vertical pipe comes up to ground level from each and is capped off.
If the line plugs up I just have to feed a snake in both and can snake both directions. There is no dead space between the Tees that the snake misses.
Some, like a guy I know who "is smart" said to take that out of there, you don't need that for anything. Well, maybe we never will, but if we do…it's there and it only cost about $10 for all of the fittings.
The story behind it is this: when I used to work at apartment complexes one of the buildings with four apartments in it backed up. We pulled the toilet in the apartment closest to the wall where the 4" pipe exited and tried to snake it. The snake kept hitting something solid at just about the end of the building and we could NOT get through it. There was no way of snaking from the outside. Four buildings ran in to a main 8" trunk line which was about 250' long and there was only access to one end of it. The contractors cut a lot of corners during construction. We had to use a mini excavator and dig up the 4" line from the building to the trunk line. There went the lawn. We found that the contractors had connected 4" sewer and drainage pipe to the 4" schedule 40 coming out of the building. They illegally used the S&D pipe to cut costs and ran it to the trunk line. After being in the ground for about 18 years it finally collapsed. It was all replaced with schedule 40 and that's when I learned about the criss-cross cleanout.Eli
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