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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > Unclogging a Drain

Unclogging a Drain Cost


How Much Does Unclogging a Drain Cost?

 
low costDo-It-Yourself: $10-$75+average costPlumber, Simple Clog: $50-$450+high costPlumber, Clear Main Line: $100-$800+
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  Typical costs:
  • Plumbers may charge a flat fee per project or an hourly rate ($45-$150 an hour). While some might offer a rough estimate over the phone, many will want to see the project before giving a firm quote.
  • Hiring a plumbing company to remove a simple clog in a sink or tub drain can cost $50-$450 or more, 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). CostHelper readers report paying $52-$430 to unclog a sink or tub, at an average cost of $226.
  • If there is backflow from a tub or sink, in all probability the main household sewer line is blocked. Having a plumbing company "snake" the household sewer line with a long cable device can cost $100-$800 or more, depending on the distance snaked, local rates and if emergency charges apply. Some companies include a video camera inspection of the pipes in the total cost of snaking the line, or there could be an additional charge ($100-$800, but with an average cost of $250-$550). 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.
  • Do-it-yourself supplies can cost $10-$75 or more. A standard household sewer snake typically costs $8-$40, and CostHelper readers report paying $29-$70 to rent a 50'-100' industrial-quality sewer snake, for an average cost of $55.
  • If the pipe is damaged, 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.
  • For tough clogs in a main sewer pipe, some plumbing companies offer sewer jetting, also called hydro jetting or hydro scrubbing, in which a special high-pressure hose shoots water down the line to dislodge obstructions and debris, cleaning out the line at a typical cost of $350-$600 for an average household sewer, depending on local rates and the length of the line. For do-it-yourselfers, a sewer jet attachment for a pressure washer can cost $20-$150.
Related articles: Unclogging a Toilet, Sewer or Drain Cleaning, Sewer Inspection, Plumber

What should be included:
  • Lowe's explains how to clear a clogged sink or tub drain[1] and estimates the average homeowner should be able to clear most clogs in two hours or less.
  • To clear a main sewer line, a plumber will typically locate the clean out (usually a y-shaped fitting near where the pipe leaves the house) and run a cable and cutting head through the line. A Wisconsin plumber illustrates how a plumber snakes a sewer line[2] including doing a video inspection. A video by a Florida plumber compares snaking and jetting[3] .
Shopping for unclogging a drain:
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, neighbors or co-workers, or at a local home improvement or hardware store. CIDNetwork.com lists tips for choosing a plumber[4] .
  • If possible, before choosing a plumber ask for and check references; verify that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[5] ; and check for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[6] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Shower drain clogged
Amount: $575.00
Posted by: RJ18 in Washington, VA.Posted: February 5th, 2018 02:02PM
Cleaner: Len the PlumberType of Obstruction: Hair
Shower drain became clogged suddenly and wouldn't drain at all. Water became yellow after 24 hours. The plumber came and snaked the shower drain (~2 hours) and charged $575. I was fairly desperate so I didn't really question the price, but I'm now seeing that it appears to be too high by a couple hundred dollars. He pulled out a fairly large and dense chunk of hair.
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Hydro Jet manhattan Restaurants
Amount: $5,500.00
Posted by: Sewer hydro jet in NYC restaurants in New York, NY.Posted: January 28th, 2018 02:01AM
Cleaner: RootsType of Obstruction: Hydro Jet
restaurants Was clogged with gress the guy jet my line charge spared to camerah
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Drain cleaning
Amount: $475.00
Posted by: David Altice in Bellevue, WA.Posted: January 26th, 2018 01:01PM
Cleaner: HydroworksincType of Obstruction: Toilet paper
No access to sewer pipe to clean. Plumber went up on the roof and ran his jet down vent. Had me in service in 20 minutes. He had a remote control to turn machine on and off from roof.. 5 yrs ago I was charged more money running down toilet and what a mess ( another company ) gave me a free camera inspection what more could you ask.
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Main Line Clogged
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: Tim F in Loveland, CO.Posted: August 5th, 2017 06:08PM
Cleaner: SnakeType of Obstruction: Roots/Household Products
Whole house was backed up. Rented commercial snake from hardware store and hired friend (apprentice plumber) to help. Had to snake clean out outside, then removed toilet (didn't work), then clean out below house. Finally removed obstruction. Spent about 3 to 4 hours total.
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Do It Yourself
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: Aundrea in Lompoc, CA.Posted: May 8th, 2017 05:05PM
Cleaner: 1/2 inch electric snakeType of Obstruction: Cast Iron Pipe clog
My washing machine was backing up the pipes and overflowing. Thankfully my awesome neighbor has a 1/2 inch electric snake with assorted attachments. It took about an hour and 2 attachments to snake out the pipes. I have a clean out pipe that we used to snake it. I bought him a bunch of beer and chocolate for the work. I recommend you buy a snake if you own your home so that basic clogs don't wreck the budget.
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Do It Yourself
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: Aundrea in Lompoc, CA.Posted: May 8th, 2017 05:05PM
Cleaner: 1/2 inch electric snakeType of Obstruction: Cast Iron Pipe clog
My washing machine was backing up the pipes and overflowing. Thankfully my awesome neighbor has a 1/2 inch electric snake with assorted attachments. It took about an hour and 2 attachments to snake out the pipes. I have a clean out pipe that we used to snake it. I bought him a bunch of beer and chocolate for the work. I recommend you buy a snake if you own your home so that basic clogs don't wreck the budget.
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CLOGGED SEWER LINE
Amount: $550.00
Posted by: xXx in WILMINGTON, CA.Posted: March 3rd, 2017 02:03PM
Cleaner: HYDRO JETType of Obstruction: SLUDGE
SNAKE DID NOT WORK,
SO THEY WANTED TO HYDRO JET FOR 750
I SAID THAT WAS TOO HIGH
THEY DID IT FOR 550 AND IT REMOVED THE SLUDGE
I STILL THINK 550 IS ALOT TO PAY
FOR ABOUT 2 HRS.
THINK ABOUT IT, ITS ALL LABOR NO PARTS
AND HYDRO JET DOES NOT TAKE THAT LONG,
EVEN IF THEY ADD IN TRAVEL TIME, WHICH THEY DO. 350 IS MORE FAIR.
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Hydrojetting
Amount: $792.00
Posted by: Dan Marino in Va beach, VA.Posted: October 21st, 2016 09:10AM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction: Build up
Sewage backed up into the toilet and young on ground floor - I tried snaking the line from the external cleanout - no joy so I called a plumber who hydrojetted it about 200ft to the street
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main line clogged
Amount: $625.00
Posted by: a user in valley village, CA.Posted: October 5th, 2016 07:10AM
Cleaner: hydroType of Obstruction: roots
removed deep root clog in main line and video using hydro rooter
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kitchen sink clogged
Amount: $488.00
Posted by: Tigger Cat in Linville, NC.Posted: June 2nd, 2016 02:06PM
Cleaner: Rooter GuyType of Obstruction: Framed Home 2 story
Plumber was in the house about 1 hour; ran his elect snake through our lines. Cleaned up and handed me a bill for $488.
I almost feel off the stool I was sitting on; but this was my fault; I needed a plumber and did not ask for a quote first.
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Main line snaked, video, and hydrojetted
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: JVickers in Redondo Beach, CA.Posted: February 22nd, 2016 12:02PM
Cleaner: Royal Flush PlumbingType of Obstruction: roots, dirt, buildup
2/21/2016
Single story, slab, old so no access. Ton of water backing up into front bathroom, plumber decided it was the main. Tried snaking, no luck then did hydrojet. Price was $1200. Included video to see where the crack in the clay pipes are. Water flows freely now, but expensive. Grateful for a Sunday repair.
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2" Pipe Replacement
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: Primed Pump in Oakland, CA.Posted: December 30th, 2015 01:12PM
Cleaner: New PipeType of Obstruction: Rusted Metal & Food
Our kitchen's double-sink's clogs became unbearable. The plumber went in the crawlspace to inspect and advised replacing about 20 feet of old galvanized pipe with ABS. He said the job would take 4-5 hours. A plumber-friend in the Sacramento area felt this was reasonable. It turned out the local plumber and his partner only needed about 90 minutes. Looking online, the cost of the materials is quite low. I realize there are other factors, such as overhead, education, demand, etc., which drive up costs, but I still wonder if I overpaid.
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Main line snaked, video\'d, and hydrojetted
Amount: $555.00
Posted by: Chuck105 in Lugoff, SC.Posted: September 2nd, 2015 09:09AM
Cleaner: Aero Services, Inc.Type of Obstruction: Grease Build Up
We bought the home on a short sale, had the septic tank pumped three times in two years. The first time it was pumped the grease on top the tank was 18 inches thick.(Never thought it had formed in the line). The line under house clogged as the grease started breaking away. They came in snaked the line, told me what the problem was, and hydrojetted it. They also video'd it to make sure the lines were not broken under the house. Excellent service and the plumber was super polite and quick.
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Tub drain
Amount: $205.55
Posted by: Girasole in Boca Raton FL, FL.Posted: August 25th, 2015 11:08AM
Cleaner: snake ( plus warranty )Type of Obstruction: band aids, hair
I used my regular plumber who has always been fairly priced but I was a bit taken aback when he told me what the fee was. He and his helper were here for about half an hour at best. However, it was a job well done.
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main sewer pipe
Amount: $850.00
Posted by: Chin Hung Lee in Fishkill, NY.Posted: April 27th, 2015 06:04PM
Cleaner: water jetter root cutterType of Obstruction: root
Using Water Jetter and root cutter for 4 inches 20 feet of main sewer pipe about 20 feet with a TV-Video Camera Inspections at the end. The whole thing last for less than 1 hour. I think $850 is on the high side, but with a clogged pipe, I did not have time to shop around beside.
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Kitchen sink clogged far down the line.
Amount: $476.91
Posted by: Blondi530 in ROMEOVILLE, IL.Posted: February 21st, 2015 02:02PM
Double Sink was backing up but it was taking awhile to back up. I tried an industrial strength cleaner to no avail. (Two applications did not do it.) Called out a professional who used an electric auger. Took about 45 min. and I feel I was overcharged. He did not tell me what was in the pipe or how far down it was. Also, this was in 2015 but there is no option for that.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.lowes.com/cd_Clear+Clogged+Drains_587687001_
  2.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=181VRfyxZUc
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2e-fFkgfEQ
  4.  www.cidnetwork.net/finding-plumber.htm
  5.  www.contractors-license.org/
  6.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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