What Is The PVC Pipe In My Yard? (Find Out Now!)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

If you own a house and have spent any amount of time in your yard, you’ve probably noticed some strange pipes sticking out of the ground. You’ve probably also asked yourself what in world is it for? It’s likely an obstacle and an eyesore that you’d rather do without and want to know if you can get rid of it.

The PVC pipe in your yard is the sewer backflow pipe. These pipes are essential for preventing sewage backups and blockages. The backflow pipe in your yard is an access point for plumbers to snake a line to your sewage drains to prevent backups. It’s an essential component of your home’s sewage and drain system.

Because of the importance of your sewage backflow pipe, it must be easily accessible to plumbers. It can sometimes be the only thing standing between you and a flood of sewer water getting into your house. If you’re curious about the backflow pipes and what other pipes might be in your yard, then continue reading.

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What is the White PVC Pipe in My Yard?

The white PVC pipe in your yard is the sewage backflow pipe, that gets used by plumbers to prevent clogs and sewage backups. While they might seem like eyesores that you’d rather do without, they’re in your yard for a reason. The main one being to provide easy access to plumbers when they need to service your sewage system.

Do I Need to Have a Sewer Backflow Pipe?

Sewage backflow pipes are absolutely necessary in every house with plumbing and excavating inspections. When your house is being built, a plumbing inspector will not give the ok to continue building unless there’s a sewage backflow pipe.

Why Do I Need a Sewage Backflow Pipe?

Building inspectors don’t require backflow pipes just to be a pain in the butt or to make so that you have an eyesore in your yard. Most plumbers can skillfully install a backflow pipe so that it’s barely noticeable unless you’re looking for it. The reason that they get installed in the first place is to prevent sewage emergencies in your home.

Sewage and drain pipes are meant to handle a lot of waste and filth. There are times, however, when the system gets overloaded. Sewage problems are common with older houses that have outdated pipes. They’re also common when things get flushed down the toilet or sink that isn’t supposed to.

What are the Main Causes of Backflow Problems?

Here are some of the main things that cause sewage backflow problems.

  • Blockages caused by clumps of hair, toys, tree roots, grease, fat, or food particles.
  • A hole or crack in the sewage line allowing dirt to block the pipe.
  • To much sewage surcharge caused by flooding or melting snow.

How to Detect Sewage Problems

Because of how common and damaging sewage problems are, it’s important that you know how to spot one before it happens. Luckily, there are signs and symptoms of sewage backups.

  • Bubbling or trickling noises coming from your toilet after you’ve flushed.
  • Water draining extra slowly down the sink, shower drain, or toilet.
  • The smell of sewage coming from your kitchen or bathroom when they’re not in use.
  • Running water that tastes or smells funny and that is discolored.
  • Irregular water pressure in your kitchen or bathroom.

What Other Pipes are in My Yard?

Aside from sewer backflow pipes in your yard, there’s a chance that you’ve noticed a few other pipes. It’s important to know what each of these are before attempting to do anything with them. They likely play an important role in how your house functions and operates.

Electrical Conduit Pipes

Electrical conduit pipes are usually gray pipes that run underground in your front or backyard. They are most commonly found around duplexes or if you have a detached garage or shop. The reason for their existence is to protect electrical wiring that runs inside of it.

Electrical conduit pipes should be buried at least 1 ½ to 2 feet underground. You should only see them if you’re digging in your yard or if they are sticking out of the ground near the electric meter. Electrical conduit pipes usually contain live wires so make sure not to mess with them.

Sprinkler System Heads or Pipes

If you or the homeowners before you had a sprinkler system, then you’ve likely noticed pipes or sprinkler heads. These may or may not have running water in them depending on if the system is still active. Make sure not to cut into these pipes because you’ll have a flood on your hands if they’re active.

Gas Pipes

Gas pipes are usually located three feet underground, but they must surface near the meter or near a gas connection. Gas pipes are extremely dangerous, and you should never mess with them unless you’re a plumber or HVAC professional.

Other Water or Drain Pipes

Outside of the sewage backflow pipes and the pipes mentioned above, there’s always the chance that it could be something else. Depending on how old your house is, any number of pipes might be sticking out of the ground. It’s best not to mess with them until you know for sure what it is and if they’re dangerous.

How Can I Hide the Pipes in My Yard?

While you usually can’t completely eliminate sewage backflow pipes in your yard, you can try to hide them. The best way to do this is by painting them, planting bushes and flowers around them, or building a trellis over them. You can even set up ornaments like gnomes or seasonal decorations around them. Just because you can’t eliminate the pipes in your yard doesn’t mean you have to look at them.

Related Questions

Should the sewage backflow pipe have a cap on it?

Their should be a cap screwed or glued to the top of the sewage backflow pipe. This is done to protect the pipe while it’s not in use and to keep things from falling inside of it.

Does the cap on a sewage backflow pipe need to stay on?

The cap on the sewage backflow pipe needs to stay on when the pipe isn’t being serviced. Any number of obstacles can fall into the pipe if it’s exposed. Additionally, it will also stink up the neighborhood if the cap isn’t on the pipe.

Can I cut the top off of my sewage backflow pipe?

Under no circumstances should you cut the top off of your sewage backflow pipe. Only a licensed plumbing professional should do that if they need to access the inside of the pipe. There has to be enough pipe sticking out of the ground to put a lid onto.

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Final Thoughts

PVC pipes and other pipes sticking out of your yard are an inconvenience, but they’re also a necessity. If there’s a pipe sticking out of your yard and you don’t know what it is, it’s best to leave it alone. An exposed pipe could mean any number of things and it’s a good idea to call in professional help. Once you know what the pipe is, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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