Cleanout and mysterious PVC pipe


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Old 12-06-18, 04:43 PM
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Cleanout and mysterious PVC pipe

A plumber came and snaked my outside cleanout in the garden. I notice there was a black pipe a few inches sticking out of the dirt close to the cleanout. Plumber said "pvc pipe". PVC pipe was 4 or 6 inches wide. Four days later, it seems like I can't "find" the PVC pipe as its buried under dirt. What was that pipe and is it part of plumbing? I'm in CA. Here are some images: https://imgur.com/a/n8eIi34
 

Last edited by Soymilkcake; 12-06-18 at 05:26 PM. Reason: add images
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Old 12-06-18, 07:12 PM
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If your clean out is exposed and the drain is working fine I wouldn’t worry about it.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 08:39 AM
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Thanks very much for the comment. So is it OK if there is dirt covering this mysterious PVC pipe? I am not sure if this PVC pipe is also a 2nd cleanout that is next to the obvious cleanout in the photos.

It is strange that even after digging and moving the dirt around, I can't find this 2nd PVC black pipe that was sticking out a few days ago. This area is behind a hedge so it is not trafficked by anyone.
 

Last edited by Soymilkcake; 12-07-18 at 08:39 AM. Reason: forgot to add an important word
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Old 12-07-18, 09:27 AM
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The top of the pipe in the bottom pic doesn't look like PVC. Plumbing clean out stubs are normally 3" or 4" Sometimes there will be a valve buried with some pipe for access - sprinkler system?
 
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Old 12-07-18, 10:11 AM
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As mark says that does not look like PVC. Maybe the cleanout in your pic is the old one, before the piping was converted to PVC. The new PVC cleanout is buried. The plumber dug around it, so at that time it was in fact sticking out of the dirt a few inches so he could access it.

He then used it for snaking, and when finished he buried it again so there wouldn’t be a depression in that area. If so, then you might have to do a moderate amount of digging in the area to find it again.

And maybe this idea is nonsense – LOL!!!

(But I don’t know why a cleanout would be buried. But I guess if landscaping etc. had been done after the fact, maybe it could wind up buried)
 
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Old 12-07-18, 10:12 AM
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I see the one cleanout/cap, where's the second one? (or that's the problem, you can't find it?)

If they are both aligned, some cleanouts actually have two pipes coming up, one for snaking into the house and one for snaking to the street.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 10:52 AM
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1. Worse case scenario, the mysterious "PVC pipe" is buried under dirt without a cap, is that a major problem? City online records show that a cleanout permit was done in 2005. I'm in California.

2. Are the odds high that the "PVC pipe" is a 2nd cleanout then like that photo? But shouldn't it stick out like the obvious one in the imgur photo.

I've seriously been digging and can't find it. Weird because the area is very small between my house and a hedge. Thanks very much for everyone's responses!
 
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Old 12-07-18, 11:31 AM
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The "pvc" pipe looks like thin, corrugated pipe commonly used to carry rainwater away from the house.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 11:33 AM
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I’m no expert to say the least, but I don’t think a cleanout should be buried, however I don’t know whether that would be an actual code violation or not. It would seem to be very impractical to say the least. And maybe also the pipe is actually capped, but when you saw it the cap was off. If the cleanout was put in 2005 I would bet that what is in the second picture would NOT be that cleanout. I think it would most likely be PVC.

But I think I read somewhere that if the cleanout would be a trip hazard it can be below the surface. But I don’t know the requirements in detail, like whether it should still be visible, under a grate or something like that. It looks like in your picture it would NOT be a trip hazard in that area, but I guess that wouldn’t stop someone from burying it.

It doesn’t seem to make much sense, but you saw it and now you don’t. Unless what is in the picture is the actual cleanout, but the plumber had a piece of PVC he was using for something and that’s what you saw. But that seems really unlikely, more so than the possibility that something is buried there.

Ah- just saw wirepullers thoughts. I thought you called the plumber to take care of a sewer drain problem, but was the call because of rainwater backing up?
 
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Old 12-07-18, 11:52 AM
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The call was because of sewer backup (toilet paper, waste) in our garden.

The bottom picture in my imgur, is that safe to assume that is the cleanout with the stone looking cap? That was my assumption. Trying to figure out what the "hidden" PVC pipe is and if its important.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 03:04 PM
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I see that the pipe has a clamp on it. I wonder if the plumber removed the clamp and took off the cap to do the snaking. Then what you would have seen at that time might just be a black pipe sticking out of the ground a few inches. With the cap and clamp back on it looks different. That would explain why you can’t find the other pipe.
 
 

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