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

Unclogging a Toilet Cost


How Much Does Unclogging a Toilet Cost?

 
low costDIY Tools & Supplies: $10-$75+average costPlumber, Clog in Toilet Only: $65-$250+high costPlumber, Clog in 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.
  • If a toilet backs up but no other fixtures appear to be involved, the blockage is probably just in or near the toilet, and may be either a soft clog (paper or similar items) or a hard clog (like a child's toy). Having a plumber clear a toilet-only clog can cost $65-$250 or more, depending on whether the obstruction can be freed with a toilet auger (typically a short cable-like device inside a long pole) or if the toilet must be removed to clear the blockage and then put back in place with a new wax ring. CostHelper readers report paying $95-$210 to have a toilet unclogged, at an average price of $164.
  • In some cases clearing a toilet-only clog can cost $400-$650 or more depending on location, company and if it's an emergency call (evenings, weekends, holidays or immediate response). A CostHelper reader in Georgia was billed $625 for emergency service to pull a toilet and flush out a stuck plastic bottle.
  • If, in addition to the clogged toilet, backflow is coming out of a sink, shower, bathtub or other drain, chances are the clog is in the main household sewer line, which will need to be cleared of debris, roots or other blockages. Having a plumbing company "snake" the line with a long cable and cutting device can cost $100-$800 or more, depending on the distance snaked, company rates and if emergency charges apply. 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 efforts might cost $10-$75 or more. A flange, ball or funnel-cup plunger costs $10-$25; a toilet auger (also called a closet auger or a water closet auger) can cost $8-$60 with an average price of $20-$30; and a new wax toilet ring can cost $2-$10. CostHelper readers report spending $10-$30 to unclog an obstruction in just the toilet, at an average cost of $22; and $29-$70 to rent an industrial-quality snake to clear the main line, for an average cost of $55.
  • For tough clogs in a main sewer line, some companies offer sewer jetting, also called hydro jetting or hydro scrubbing, in which a special high-pressure hose cleans the pipes at a typical cost of $350-$600 for an average household sewer, depending on company 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: Replacing a Toilet, Sewer Line Replacement, Plumber, Burst Pipe, Septic System, Septic Tank Cleaning

What should be included:
  • A flat-bottomed plunger does not create a good seal in a toilet; use a flange, ball or funnel-cup plunger. For deeper clogs, use a closet (toilet) auger rather a standard sewer snake. A video by This Old House explains how to use a plunger and toilet auger[1] and a California plumber provides a more detailed video demonstration of a toilet auger[2] .
  • 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 snake a cable with a cutting head through the line. A Wisconsin plumber illustrates how a plumber snakes a sewer line[3] .
  • A video by a Florida plumber compares snaking and jetting[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Some companies include a video camera inspection of the pipes when the line is snaked, or this could be an additional cost ($100-$800, with an average price of $250-$550).
  • If the sewer pipe is permanently damaged, sewer line replacement can cost $1,000-$25,000 or more, depending on the length and depth of the lines that need replacing, the type of replacement pipe and local rates. CostHelper readers with a clogged toilet that led to replacing a short section of pipe report paying $1,000-$2,200, at an average cost of $1,533.
Shopping for unclogging a toilet:
  • CIDNetwork.com lists tips for choosing a plumber[5] .
  • Ask for and check references; verify that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[6] .
  • Check for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[7] .
post Post   Comments (91)  
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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toilet leaking from the bottom
Amount: $650.00
Posted by: a user in baltimore, MD.Posted: November 22nd, 2019 08:11PM
Firm or Company: Roto RooterDifficulty of Access:
Called Roto Rooter thinking they would do the service for a reasonable fee,, he tried the first piece of equipment to unclog it & spent maybe 1 minutes at most then went to get the snake,, told me the price is now $650.00 & claims he took off $200.00 what a joke,, I never felt more taken advantage of in all my life,, I will never use Roto Rooter again for anything,, they should be ashamed of themselves, ,this guy wouldn't pay that if it were coming out of his pocket,, he was supposed to show up around 4pm,, finally showed up around 5:30pm on a Friday evening,, with people working several jobs including myself how dare you take advantage of me like that, ,I wish I could contest the charge on my credit card bill
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Clogged toilet to main line clean out
Amount: $465.00
Posted by: a user in Richmond, TX.Posted: September 1st, 2017 05:09AM
Firm or Company: Roto RooterDifficulty of Access: Easy
Came out and pulled toilet ( took a whole 5 minutes)and ran his drain cleaning machine 75ft. to clear out clog which took about 15 minutes or so. Put on new wax ring and toilet back in place. Never ran machine outside in main line to city sewer to insure all lines were clear, said it was draining fine now. Two days later same problem but now main line backed up to house. Called and advised them of problem and was told there would be someone there in the next two hours. Waited 3 hours and called back and was told no one was available to come out that day they were all busy and was told maybe tomorrow or the next day. They came out next day after I called that morning and let them have it. Man came clean out main line to city sewer and all is fine for now (fingers crossed). Will NEVER use this company again after charging me what I believe is almost double regular prices of most other places.
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TOILET CLOG
Amount: $281.00
Posted by: SUE J. in RIALTO, CA.Posted: April 10th, 2017 09:04AM
Firm or Company: RESCUE ROOTERDifficulty of Access: EASY
RATE IN FEB. WAS $95 TO UNCLOG THE TOILET BUT RATES WENT UP TO $281 IN APRIL.....TOOK THE MAN LESS THAN 15 MINUTES AND IT WAS AFTER 1 A.M. ON THE WEEKEND.
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Unclogging a toilet
Amount: $155.00
Posted by: H. K. in Seattle, WA.Posted: February 8th, 2017 10:02PM
Firm or Company: Rescue Rooter SeattleDifficulty of Access: Easy
Emergency service - they came in relatively promptly (~2.5 hours, which they told me beforehand) and had it unclogged in an instant.
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One Whole Bathroom (out of two) clogged and with a $40 coupon
Amount: $410.00
Posted by: And away go troubles and money, down the drain in Chesapeake, VA.Posted: March 27th, 2015 03:03PM
Firm or Company: Roto RooterDifficulty of Access: Easy as pie outside
Guy came out for a "free estimate". Took 1 look @ it and claimed to snake a main line & replace the plug that was rusted on would be $450. W-T-F. Took the guy 30 mins to take his sweet time removing all gear from his truck (all the while texting and giggling like a little girl between the 2 trips). Took 5 minutes to remove the plug and another 15 to run the auger thru to finish. Had my mother assist him by telling her to run the shower for the entire thing & flush multiple times *cha ching on my water bill 2* . When satisfied they were running well, he started writing The Bill. As an after thought, he asked us to run the sink as well, to make sure it was ok. When it slow drained, he requested a metal hanger, untwisted it & scraped at the inside of the drain. I figured it was a favor that he didn't charge us extra for the extra work. He pulled some gunk, declared it fit. Later discovered he'd pushed the curve attachment off the rest of the pipe. Had water all under my sink. Ick.
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Clogged toiled cleared in minutes
Amount: $110.00
Posted by: Nancy Heifferon in Sacramento, CA.Posted: March 4th, 2013 06:03AM
Firm or Company: Armstrong PlumbingDifficulty of Access: Easy
Plungers didn't work to clear the toilet so I called a local plumber that was highly rated in Angie's List. I was quoted the standard price for unclogging toilet on the phone. The plumber arrived within 2 hours of my call. He cleared the problem in under 30 minutes so I was charged the minimum price, which was $110. I had a coupon for 20% off for new customers, so the final bill actually came to $90. Judging from other reports on this site, the price was pretty reasonable and the service good.
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Clooged main drain
Amount: $585.00
Posted by: Binder in Springfield, NJ.Posted: December 11th, 2012 01:12PM
Firm or Company: AAA Able PlummingDifficulty of Access: Easy
Main drain clogged in basement, I had to open a finished wall to give the plummer access to the main drain, which I did before they arrived. I advise them that I didn't know how much water had backed up and that maybe it would be better to start to clear the drain from the bathroom directly above the main drain. They agreed, but also said the job would be be between $450 and $600 depending on if they go directly for the main drain or if they first start in the bathroom above. I didn't want to risk getting a flood in my basement since I had a finisher wood floor, so I opted to have them clear from the bathroom above first. They did this and then went to basement to open the main drain. There was no overflow, but it did take them some time to snake the drain ~25 feet. They also had to replace the drain cap since the original one had to be chisled off. they said that is typical on an old drain that has not been opened in years. The clog was caused by 4 pairs of boys underwear that was fished out by the snake. My 10 year old caught some flack for that. At least now he knows not to flush anything down the toilet (I hope). The plummers (two people), one guy and his wife(?) were here about 3 1/2 hours total. I was satisfed with their work, and I closed up the wall in the basement after they left. I was initially stunned by the $585 price, but after reading some of the stories in this forum, I decided that it was probably not too far out of line.
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Clogged Lateral
Amount: $98.00
Posted by: Jmich in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: June 22nd, 2012 01:06PM
Firm or Company: JME ElectricDifficulty of Access: Depends on tools
Problem: City increased water pressure. New water volume was great for shower and sinks, however, the new volume also meant more water to drain. Apparently the house was doing fine with the lower water volume, but now, running a shower longer than 5 minutes was causing the basement floor drain to back up. House has two drain stacks in the basement that go from copper to cast iron. Cast iron is from 1965, both with access caps with a pentagon bolt. Problem: Caps seem welded on. Tried blow torch heat and breaker bar to loosen, no luck. Cut copper drain leading into stack w/ sawzall. Made sure to leave 5" of copper on top and bottom so I could slide the pipe I cut out back in and recouple with rubber couplers (fernco Model # P1056-33 from Home Cheapo)when the job is over. Use power auger down stack as planned before. Toughest part was getting it out. Used ladder as pulley and had son activate reverse switch. Problem alleviated. $26 for couplings, $62 for auger rental. 3 Hrs
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Cleaned uncleanable drain
Amount: $195.00
Posted by: James Newton in jasper, IN.Posted: June 20th, 2012 06:06PM
Firm or Company: Merkley's veriety serviceDifficulty of Access: BAD
after having three other plumbers try to clean my floor drain they all told me it couldn't be cleaned. after I told them all, I couldn't afford to replace it, all three told me I could try Merkley's. The last one knew there phone number so I called and they came out right away. They had no problem getting it open. I told the man who came out about what the other three had said and he seemed surprised and told me it wasn't that hard but all he works on is cleaning drains, so he has more tool's for that kind of work. They saved me $ 6.500.00 in replacement cost.
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Clearing Main Sewer Line with 100' power auger.
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: William Thomas Schlosser in Lakewood, CO.Posted: February 9th, 2012 09:02PM
Firm or Company: Afford -A-RooterDifficulty of Access: Easy
Our main line was very clogged. We called a drain-cleaning company, and hired them to use a 100' line, to attempt to clear the line. We knew before hand that this may not completely clear the line, which is 200'. And in fact it didnt. But we were satisfied that he did his best; he recommended a sewer-jetting, to clear the built-up grease-like material lining the pipe. Problem solved. Total cost: $150+$485=$635.00
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Unclogging shower and kitchen sink
Amount: $176.00
Posted by: barlow in Neptune Beach, FL.Posted: January 18th, 2012 07:01AM
Firm or Company: Bill FenwickDifficulty of Access: Difficult
I helped get some gear up to the roof and hold the ladder. Shower drain was clogged and kithen sink required vent access on the roof to clear drain.

Wasn't sure what charges would be, this price was after a 25 dollar off coupon.
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Unclogging toilet and removing toilet
Amount: $335.00
Posted by: Llo in Baton Rouge, LA.Posted: October 28th, 2011 06:10PM
Firm or Company: Homecare 360°Difficulty of Access: No
Other Work: No
1st visit, applied 6' roto rooter $109, flushing was minimally improved but not all the way. Plumber explained the next step would be to remove entire toilet to see if there is an object causing the poor flushing pressure or if a new toilet is needed.
2nd visit, removed toilet and found child's toy lodged in toilet. Charge was $225
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Unclogging the Main Line
Amount: $290.00
Posted by: a user in Sarasota, .Posted: September 25th, 2011 09:09AM
Firm or Company: Plumbing TodayDifficulty of Access:
Excellent work, and found this site helpful in determining price fairness.
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How much is toooo much? Main cleanout
Amount: $175.00
Posted by: Candy Copeland in Bellflower, CA, .Posted: September 18th, 2011 01:09PM
Firm or Company: JanDifficulty of Access:
Our main is clogged. Called first plumbing company and that guy said he'd have to dig up our main to the street, knock a hole in it , suck out the sewage when they broke into it, then put in a cleanout and replace the main pipe. Est. was $900.00.
Second guy/company said the same thing. Est. was $2800.00. We did have that companies crew with the snake camera come and look into the main with cameras. Cost, $175.00.
Is $2,800.00 to much?
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whole house clean out through roof vents
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Exorbitant prices in el paso, TX.Posted: September 5th, 2011 09:09PM
Firm or Company: local co.Difficulty of Access: easy
Other Work: double sink clog
Should have SIGNED A CONTRACT BEFORE any work was done.Too expensive for work done running a snake down six vent pipes took less than an hour. I had to loan him a bucket and rags(inside the house), and provide the electricity while running the snake. Will go rent one and have honey-do next time. Thinking about it roofers climb on the roof tops just to give estimates and don't charge for it, don't know why it is such a big deal. The prices being charged for this non-technical easy work are not a good value. Sure there was a risk involved of going up on the roof, but he sat down to use the machine and my roof is not that steep. Besides I know how much it costs to run a business including advertising,insurance, employees, fuel,truck maintenance, regulatory fees. It was just not a good value. The plumber industry should rethink their rates, Maybe an hourly rate & charge for parts. They are charging more than some SPECIALTY doctors!...it's just ridiculous.
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Snake out drain from kitchen clear out
Amount: $148.00
Posted by: Unhappy Bill in Ormond Beach, FL.Posted: July 8th, 2011 05:07AM
Firm or Company: Roto RooterDifficulty of Access: Simple
Other Work: None
I was very upset with the high bill from Roto Rooter today so I looked on the Internet to see if anyone else had a similar experience. I was surprised to see how many people have had similar experiences with Roto Rooter. Why should we have to pay so much for someone to do what anyone can do, that is turn on the motor and feed the auger snake into the line?
We called Roto Rooter to snake our line from outside the kitchen toward the street. To my utter amazement, the bill was $148 for a 10 minute job. I would have been disgusted with a bill half that amount for that job. After reading the complaints of others, I guess I was lucky that it wasn't higher than that. The service technician asked if I wanted a bottle of the drain cleaner liquid. I said no, it would be cheaper to get it at Lowes. I didn't realize that if I had gotten it, the bill would have been $180 instead of $148. The technician showed me the standard list of prices when I expressed displeasure at the high price he was charging. I have rarely been so disappointed at the price for what was done.
Next time I have a clogged line, I will go and rent the same piece of equipment that Roto Rooter uses and it will only cost $20 for 4 hours or $30 per day. That is the rental price I just found on the Internet. Fortunately, snaking a drain line can be done by almost anyone, it is not technical like working on your TV or computer.
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plumbing prices
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: denise...proud wife of plumber in nj, NJ.Posted: May 29th, 2011 02:05AM
Firm or Company: n/aDifficulty of Access:
Other Work: n/a
I loooove the comment from the "high priced" plumber on this page!! Although he may have been a bit intense....i completely understand why! I am a 30 yr old mom of 3 boys and the proud wife of an HONEST plumber!!! i dont think people consider the cost to the plumber...like the man said above...tools, GAS, schooling, insurance, trucks, employees...etc. it adds up!! U should see the amount of $ that goes out every month to keep a healthy business going! Now, yes, some of you seem to have been legitamitely ripped off! I feel for you...i would be in the same situation if i wasnt married to a plumber! Im proud to say that my husbands prices are fair..just this past memorial day wknd he left my moms party at 8pm to snake a toilet for an elderly woman...thirty mins away...and i charged her $190! For a holiday wknd emergency call half hour away!!! I guess i felt badly for her..but we dont charge that for every snake job! $300 is normal. We try to help when we can. Good luck to all!!
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snake out drain and repair leak
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Flushed of $ in Seattle, WA.Posted: April 27th, 2011 05:04PM
Firm or Company: Butterfield PLumbing LLCDifficulty of Access: easy
Other Work: April 14, 2011
On April 14, 2011, I wrote a scathing report here on Butterfield Plumbing. Today I sit corrected and give them their 5 stars back.
After the patched sewer pipe continued to leak (or so we thought), we called them back. 2nd plumber said there was a leak higher up. After removing drywall up to the ceiling, he found a cracked pipe.
He worked 4 1/2 hours, cleaned up, and charged us zero $. Butterfield plumbing wishes to please the customer. I restore the 5 stars they had on yelp.com and wrote them a rave review of my own.
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unclog drain and permaline pipe to main
Amount: $9,855.00
Posted by: Flushed of $ in Seattle, WA.Posted: April 15th, 2011 12:04AM
Firm or Company: Roto-RooterDifficulty of Access:
In addition to previous repair of drain will install 30' of permaliner from 1st excavation to city main, all parts, labor, and permits incl. to complete this job.
Got suspicious when guy kept pushing the contracts at me, saying he had another emergency. He followed me to the bank to cash out a CD, demanding I sign his contract 1st. I said not until I see if I have enough money. I walked with a walker. I called my credit card
company tonight for help. Help comes at 5:00 this AM. Will stay up all night, if I have to, to get some of my $ back and learn how to stop the work they are to do today. Now there is an excavating machine, a huge covered pile of dirt, yellow tape around a pear tree, orange cones, a metal plate over the 10' hole. Payment was always demanded 1st because the job was so big. The 4 day job would be done in 2. I was to receive discounts on everything. Yet at the end, I paid $880.01 more than quoted! Let him do the last calculation without checking it--guess that's when he charged me $880.71 more! Our clogged up drain cost me $20,479.30! That's not counting the $520.00 charged by Butterfield Plumbing! Don't use Roto-Rooters! I was royally flushed of $.
P.S. So far everything works. Hope I don't find all that H2O in the downstairs bathtub!
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unclogging a pipe
Amount: $10,156.13
Posted by: Flushed of $ in Seattle, WA.Posted: April 14th, 2011 11:04PM
Firm or Company: Roto-RooterDifficulty of Access:
The second Roto-Rooter guy said he would give a free re-camera towards main to see condition of line under street. (Remember we could not wash, shower, flush, run any water that would not go into
the downstairs toilet and then into the downstairs tub.) The cause he said was root infiltration.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20057854,00.html
  2.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oyfjKLXwHk
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=181VRfyxZUc
  4.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2e-fFkgfEQ
  5.  www.cidnetwork.net/finding-plumber.htm
  6.  www.contractors-license.org/
  7.  www.bbb.org/en/us/search
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