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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > Sewer or Drain Cleaning

Sewer or Drain Cleaning Cost

How Much Does Sewer or Drain Cleaning Cost?

low costDo-It-Yourself: $10-$75+average costPlumber, Simple Clog: $50-$450+high costPlumber, Snake Main Line: $100-$800+
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  Typical costs:
  • Plumbers may charge may charge a flat fee per project or an hourly rate of $45-$150 or more. While some might provide a rough estimate over the phone, many will want to see the project before giving a firm quote.
  • Hiring a plumbing company to unclog a sink or tub drain can cost $50-$450 or more for a simple obstruction (not a blockage in the main sewer line), depending on local rates, company rates, the difficulty in clearing the clog and the time of the service call (there can be extra charges for evenings, weekends, holidays or immediate response). For example, CostHelper readers report paying $52-$430 to unclog a sink or tub, at an average cost of $226.
  • Having a plumbing company unclog a toilet can cost $65-$250 or more for a simple obstruction just in the toilet itself (rather than the main sewer line). CostHelper readers report paying $95-$210 to have a toilet unclogged, at an average price of $164.
  • If turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet causes backflow in another fixture like a tub, shower or sink, the main household sewer line is probably blocked. Having a plumbing company clean the household sewer line by "snaking" it with a long cable device and cutting head can cost $100-$800 or more, depending on the distance snaked, local rates and the time of the service call. A few companies advertise unclogging services for a flat fee of $50-$60, but several consumers report feeling pressured to agree to expensive additional services. CostHelper readers report paying $148-$900 to have a main household sewer line snaked, at an average cost of $410.
  • The unclogging process may reveal broken or damaged pipes. Sewer Line Replacement can cost $1,000-$25,000, depending on the length and depth of the lines that need replacing, the type of replacement pipe and local rates.
  • Do-it-yourself supplies for cleaning a sewer or drain can cost $10-$75 or more, depending on what is needed. CostHelper readers report paying $29-$70 to rent a 50'-100' industrial-quality sewer snake, for an average cost of $55.
Related articles: Unclogging a Drain, Unclogging a Toilet, Sewer Inspection, Sewer Line Replacement, Plumber

What should be included:
  • To clear the main sewer line between the house and the connection to the public system, a plumber will typically locate the clean out (usually a y-shaped fitting near where the pipe leaves the house) and snake a cable with a cutting head through the line. A Wisconsin plumber demonstrates snaking a sewer line[1] .
  • A video by a Florida plumber compares snaking and jetting[2] .
Additional costs:
  • Some companies include a video camera inspection of the inside of the pipes in the total cost of cleaning a sewer line. If it is not included there could be an additional charge of $100-$800.
Shopping for sewer or drain cleaning:
  • lists tips for choosing a plumber[3] .
  • Ask for and check references; verify that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[4] .
  • Check for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[5] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Main Sewage Line Root Clog-Weekday
Amount: $185.00
Posted by: Sanjosemom in San Jose, CA.Posted: August 20th, 2015 01:08PM
Cleaner: MidasType of Obstruction: Roots
Called in morning and arrived as promised on time. Easy outdoor access to drain clean out in front yard. Set up auger and cleaned both ways. Cleared root obstruction. Took about 30 minutes from arrival to departure.
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Main drain clean
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: Lumberjack man in Palisades park, NJ.Posted: June 14th, 2015 09:06AM
Cleaner: Rao rooterType of Obstruction: Roots
We had water in the basement. Anthony came and snaked the main line within an hour he had pulled out three big sections of roots. And he offered to camera the line at no extra charge. Year was 2015. Their number 917 588 0408
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main sewer drain clean out for clogging
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: joe vin in westlake, OH.Posted: May 11th, 2015 06:05PM
Cleaner: Micah CalsterType of Obstruction: clogged
25 mts of job, clean work, 50 ft of snake run, flush the drain with water to make sure it's free from obstruction
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Main Sewer Line Snaking Due To Roots
Amount: $99.00
Posted by: AllanWalledLake in Walled Lake, MI.Posted: May 11th, 2015 01:05PM
Cleaner: MI Drain CleaningType of Obstruction: Roots
I had water coming from my basement floor drain and I called a company to tell me how much it would cost to repair or service the drain. They charged me $99 and snaked out the main sewer line. Found roots, offered me some $100+ chemical.. I declined and has been open ever since.
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Amount: $543.00
Posted by: s b in doylestown, PA.Posted: April 19th, 2015 10:04AM
Cleaner: ZOOM DRAINType of Obstruction:
Came out and the customer has been having issues with the main drain backing up. They called out horizon but they were unable to reach the blockage. They had removed a toilet to access the line. They did not reinstall the toilet. I reinstalled the toilet because I was able to locate outside access at the rear of the house. Once the toilet was reinstalled I powercleaned the main drain. Powercleaned the line going back towards the house first. Powercleaned this section of the line several times to ensure a proper cleaning. Powercleaned from the cleanout going out towards the city sewer. I was able to get the hose out about 110'. Pushed the camera out to this point and found a very large root mass in the pipe. Video inspected the line going back into the house and found this section of the line is clean and clear.
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Sewer snaked between house and septic system
Amount: $375.00
Posted by: Bob P. in Roanoke, VA.Posted: March 28th, 2015 10:03AM
Cleaner: JC PlumbingType of Obstruction: Unknown blockage
Toilets in house started bubbling and tubs started backing up. Septic system was pumped out 4-months ago.
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line to sewer snaking
Amount: $175.00
Posted by: a chinese homeowner in San Gabriel, CA.Posted: February 6th, 2015 02:02PM
Cleaner: Shun Lee HandyType of Obstruction: root
Gavin used snake up to 100ft to clean out root blockage. Don't know much of the details of what he did as I wasn't around. At most a couple hours of work. Year is not 2014 but 2015.
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Laundry drain + Shower drain
Amount: $180.00
Posted by: a user in Kewanee, IL.Posted: December 31st, 2014 08:12AM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction: Build up
Laundry drain and shower drain. Old house, drains were corroded and just general build up in trap and pipes. Shower was a pretty yucky mess...
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main sewer line cleaning or unclogging through clean out
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: THEMAGICPLUMBER.PLUMBING in San Jose, CA.Posted: July 16th, 2014 12:07AM
Cleaner: the magic plumberType of Obstruction: roots and sludge buildup
45 minutes to unload machine with 5/8 cable and 4 inch blade 30ft. run to clog and additional 25ft. run to the city lateral to make it a 55 ft. of total cable run plus a second run out to sewer lateral to make sure its free from obstructions and any solids that may clog the drain again. run water for 10 minutes to make sure its not clogged clean the area with sanitizer and wash down plus a six month workmanship warranty against clogs under normal usage and against roots that caused the blockage in the first place.. its not the unclogging that is done to prevent it from functioning is how you perform the service to make sure the clogging doesn't come back for at least a couple of years instead of the normal 6 to 1 year period which is a common issue for most home owners.. commercial buildings on another hand normally don't get warranties because we the service provider cannot control what the employees or outside crowds flush down the drains or sewer lines.. you would be surprised !!
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Main Drain Clean
Amount: $288.00
Posted by: a user in Lambs Grove, IA.Posted: July 9th, 2014 03:07PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction: Roots
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Main Sewage Line Clog - Weekend Snaking
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: ESz in Falls Church, VA.Posted: July 6th, 2014 08:07PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction: Blockage (Build Up)
To access the main sewage line, one need to remove the downstairs toilet in a small carpeted area. It was really difficult to access and the plumber had difficulty getting the roto-rooter in there. I felt we paid a lot but he was out within an hour on a Saturday.
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Main Drain Clean
Amount: $225.00
Posted by: Erincaldwell in Dayton, OH.Posted: July 22nd, 2013 10:07AM
Cleaner: All DrainType of Obstruction: Rag stuck in pipe
Our main drain is in a crawl space so it's tough to get at. That made the cost a bit more.
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