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How Much it Costs to Clear a Clogged Drain

Besides repairs, problems with clogs often get delayed due to the practice of many plumbing outfits seperating out their minimum charge of a service call of $40 to $50 in addition to the fee for the first hour. This translates, in effect, to a customer who is frequently faced with a $125 charge or thereabouts even for a simple basic fix. Many plumbers also have adopted a five o'clock deadline during weekdays and weekends at which time the hourly rate multiplees by 1.5 times. But some plumbers do apply the service call to the repair. More reasonable however is the licensed business that bills out at 1/2 hour intervals rather than rounding up.

Drain Pricing Characteristics & Repair Costs

Various Drain Repairs by Plumbers - as efforts at clearing the drain depend on the intensity of the blockage, bottom line prices are often an unkown beforehand. But when a plumber has been called out it typically it means that other light methods have been exhausted. Be it the sink, tub, or other drain line, snaking the drain line is a possiblity. The price will usually depend on how far the line must be accessed for cleaning the stoppage, and whether it is a single occurance or if the clog happens more than once - along with the bends through which the snake must wend, although some plumbers utilize pressure techniques. Realistically this may take 1.5 to 3.0 hours or more and end up costing $90 to $315 and greater.

Fees soon become erratic when there is a large object stuck amid the line. Usually for the prospect of an object that will not soften and pass, this can pose the chance that drains be cut open to access the obstruction and then spliced back together and this can exceed six hundred dollars. But sometimes the removal of a plumbing fixture alone is enough.

For sinks, pulling and cleaning the 'P trap' by itself is about a 0.5 to 1.0 hour task. Including new 'O' ring seals, roughly a $75 to $90 procedure.

Repairs to leaky lines are likely to require a line patch for establishing a new seal. While internal closure due to hard buildup may mean outright replacement of lines, again on hourly (remembering that hourly rates are based on a person-hour, some tasks may require two plumbers).

Inspections by video camera help reveal the cause ahead of time. Most pricing for this service starts near a $175 base fee for major lines (comparatively shorter distances are less) with some licensed plumbers deducting this amount from the repair bill as an incentive to gain the work order, while other plumbers charge more as an isolated service.

Main sewer drain fixes are among the most expensive. Barring a total replacement, several thousand dollars on up is a frequent charge.

Doing Yourself - many clogs can be addressed by the homeowner, and doing yourself can not only provide a quicker solution but one that is practically cost free. See unclog sink drain which for the most part requires only a $7 short handle plunger - with the "mini bellows" style as low as $2.50 which also works at a much reduced height, if you don't mind submersing your hands. A more capable model for the toilet will be slightly more - and non-absorbant plastic handles are better for maintaining cleanliness over wood handles for repeat use.

The other main drain fix, unclogging the tub drain takes but a phillips screwdriver, pliers and possibly a $12 to $15 tub drain wrench (turns with 1/2" or 3/8" ratchet, some models like the tool featured in the latter tub how-to, utilize a turn bar).

For lighter snaking, manually operated augers begin near $20 for a drum or loose coil design. Rentals: powered units are available as convenient Counter units or in Sewer Auger designs -- these normally equipped with 50' or 75' of cable for around $26 to $35 for a 1/2 day period assuming one has the skill.

Reducing Clogged Drain Fees

  • Act proactively by preventing clogged drains that offers some suggestions before the lines either become slowed or stopped.

  • Keep some basic hand tools, like at least (1) plunger for the sink and another for the toilet(s).

  • If possible, when debating on whether to contact a plumber because of work scarcity, attempt to schedule any additional work at the same time to help defray the expense.

  • Seek plumbers who will apply the service call fee to the upcoming fix before the visit, and this is a better time to negotiate with smaller operations who may be less rigid in their billing.

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