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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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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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