Large PVC Pipe Sticking Out Of Ground? (We Have a Fix!)

Chad Kilpatrick
by Chad Kilpatrick
Nobody can deny that it is distracting to see a PVC pipe stick out of the lawn. Usually, PVC pipes in your lawn are there to prevent backed-up sewage from coming up into the yard. Follow along as we explore the possible explanations for the PVC sticking out of your lawn.

Have you ever seen a large PVC pipe sticking out of the ground in your yard, and wondered what is that? Chances are you may have had to mow around one. We’re going to tell you exactly what those are, and how you can help make them less obvious.

The large PVC pipes in your yard are sewer backflow pipes. They give access to the plumber so they can snake the sewer line. This keeps the backed-up sewage from coming out of your sink and other toilets. Instead, it goes to the backflow lines, where they can be snaked and unclogged.

Most of these pipes are backflow pipes, however, they could also be for several other things, such as gray water lines, or PVC housing shut off valves. We’ll take a look at each of these so you can figure what they are, and how to hide them.

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What is the PVC Pipe Sticking up in My Yard?

So you have come across some PVC pipes coming up out of your lawn. They are not there by accident. Many yards have multiple exterior pipes that are for different things. The most average pipes would be the sewer backflow pipes.

Other possibilities:

  • Gray water line
  • Vent
  • Housing for shut off valve

The most likely answer is that they are sewer backflow pipes. The sewer backflow pipes are two backflow pipes, that give plumbers a place to access your sewage line. This is to clean it out and to keep it from backflowing into the sink or bathtub.

Gray water lines are water drainage pipes. Gray water pipes sometimes carry drainage water, from your tub or sink, to outside. It does not contain sewage. However, sinks can have hair or food particles that wash out of the line.

It could be a PVC housing to a shutoff valve. These are big PVC pipes that have a small shut off valve inside of them. The PVC works as housing, to keep it out of the elements. The cap on the pipe keeps it from filling with water.

Green PVC Pipe Sticking Out of Ground

Sometimes you will find a large green PVC pipe in your yard. In most cases, these are PVC housings for shut off valves. You may have more than one pipe coming up out of your yard. When the PVC is green, it is usually a shutoff valve for a water line.

They will usually have a cap on them, to keep water out, and to keep them safe from the elements. The cap comes off and gives you access to the shutoff valve. If this pipe does contain a shutoff valve, you will not be able to cut it, to lower it down to the grade of the yard.

Your only option to make it less obvious is to paint it or to hide it with a box, or another object. There are rock shaped containers that are used to hide things in a yard. They are shaped like natural boulders.

Broken Pipes from Lawnmowers

I have been guilty of running over one of these backflow pipes with the lawnmower. I can remember mowing the lawn as a teenager, hitting something loud, and my dad yelling at me to watch the pipes. Of course, I ran right over it and broke the cap off.

If you have broken a backflow pipe or another kind of pipe, do not worry, it can be fixed. Most backflow pipes can be cut to the grade of the ground, so they do not stick up. And any pipe that you break, you can repair, and add a new cap.

If you break the cap off of a PVC housing for a shutoff valve, you can replace the cap, as long as there is no damage to the shutoff valve.

Cap Replacements for Backflow Pipes and Vents

Many of these pipes, at one time, had a cap on them. Backflow pipes should have caps on them. Vents have a different kind of cap. Gray water lines usually have no cap and run horizontal with the ground, with the water running out.

Backflow pipes have caps that screw down into the pipe. They can be found at most hardware stores. If you have broken the pipe and the threads, you may need someone to dig up the pipe and repair it.

Vents have female caps that screw on and are easy to replace. Most of the time the caps just get misplaced or come off by accident.

How to Unclog a Backflow Pipe

The backflow pipes in your yard come in very handy if you ever get your lines clogged. The pipes keep the backflow from coming up in your house, and leads it out to these pipes, that can be snaked with a roto rooter, and cleaned out.

There are usually two of these pipes, one going out to the road, to the city sewer, and one going towards your house. You will need to find out if the clog is on the side going to the city, or the pipe going into your home.

If you can push the snake through the city side with no problem, then it is most likely on your side. In this case, you will need to snake your side multiple times until the clog is broken up. If the clog goes out to the street, you may have to call the city, who will unclog it from their side, with their equipment.

What if the Pipe Broke Down in the Ground?

If the pipe has split or broken down into the ground, then it must be dug out and repaired. Most likely you will have to replace the entire pipe. You could splice it, but that would just be a bandaid.

If you have broken the pipe or the threads for the cap, then you will have to call in a professional, to get the pipe replaced. This will most likely cost a few hundred dollars, and a half a day of labor.

Tips for Hiding Backflow Pipes

The best way to get rid of the pipes as an eyesore is to hide them using various methods. Here are a few tips for making them stick out less.

  • Paint them to match the grass or landscape. If your pipes are in the grass, you could paint them green or black. Or paint them to match the landscape.
  • Put a box over them, to cover them. You can find box covers, that let you cover an object with a box. You can then put a plant or decoration on top of the box.
  • Use a rock shaped container. There are hollow boulders, that can be placed over things to disguise them, or hide them in a yard.

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Related Questions

Does the backflow cap need to be on?

Yes, the backflow cap needs to be on. They can be removed to clean them out if there is a clog. However, after you are done snaking them out, and cleaning them, the caps need to go back on. You can take them off to release pressure from time to time, and put them back on.

Is gray water ok for plants?

Gray water lines attract a lot of vegetation, because of the constant flow of water onto the ground. In most cases, you would not want to water your plants with this water because it could have bacteria in it, and other things that are not beneficial to plants.

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Chad Kilpatrick
Chad Kilpatrick

I'm a writer that is passionate about home improvements, remodeling, and renovating. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques and sharing them with others.

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