I have a PVC pipe sticking up in front of my house, in a flower-bed area. It's 20 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. As I understand, it is a sewer clean-out pipe.

It's rather unsightly and I've been wondering whether I can cover it or cut it to a shorter length.

Obviously I don't want to prohibit access, but I've been thinking a hollow-bottomed bird bath might be ideal to put over it.

What should I do with this thing?

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  • 3
    After you cut it, as others suggest, I'd put a fake rock or something over it other than burying it in dirt. That way it's easier to find when you need it.
    – BMitch
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 23:18

8 Answers 8


You will need PVC cement and primer, and a female pipe adapter (available at your local or big-box hardware store; measure your existing plug -- it looks like 4" in the photo). Dig out around the pipe to get enough room to saw it off near ground level (any sharp hand saw will work). De-burr the edge with a piece of course sandpaper or a file, and follow the instructions on the cement and primer to glue the adapter on. Give it some time to set, replace the plug and backfill. As @Scott mentions, measure where it is so that years from now when you need it, you will be able to find it. If the sewer line runs through your basment, mark the location on or near where the pipe exists the house.


Paint it brown, green, or even camouflage. Then, plant some taller decorative grasses around it.


You could just leave it alone... I got fined $1500, and had to dig it up and replace it... for cutting mine down below 42 inches.

  • 1
    Good point -- check with your Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (town inspection office is one good place to start) to find out what you are and aren't allowed to do with it. Hiding it behind or under something might turn out to be your only available option.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 0:34
  • Generally speaking the top of the sewer cleanout should be BELOW the level of the lowest drains in the house so that in the event of a sewer backup in the city sewer (or in the sewer in the yard past the cleanout) the sewage flowing in the wrong direction could flow out of the cleanout rather than inside the house. This applies to slab on grade and pier and beam construction, but not sure it applies to full basement. This would assume the cap was removed or the cap was a spring loaded sewer relief cap. Commented Mar 15 at 22:18

Many hardware stores and Nurseries have covers specifically for this purpose that can be ordered or purchased. I had a $30 plastic dragon covering mine, but after it got stolen I went with a less noticeable man-made stone one.


Plant non-invasive Karl Forrester reed grass around it - leave it up all winter, trim it down in March, and enjoy the nearly year-round screening effect.


Cut it off, even with the ground or below ground level.

Take some measurements from the corners of your house so you know where it is when you need it.


Assuming that it's not that high in order to meet code or something, you could dig out around it, down to the pipe it's connected to, shorten the pipe so that the plug is below ground level (or even with it) and then get a plastic tub with a cover (I'm not sure of the technical term for it, but like what your water meter sits in) and put that around it, then it's below ground but has a nice cover over it so that you know where it's at. If it needs to be above ground level (but not as high as it currently is) you could do the same thing just have the cover extend above grade. Something like this only round http://www.essentialhardware.com/national-diversified-113bc-standard-valve-box-with-cover-223251.html



Use this. You can buy it at home depot!

  • 2
    Mind explaining what the product is/does so that folks in the future can find it if the link to the orange borg's site breaks? Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 0:15

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