How much does drain cleaning cost?

Whenever you use your bathroom, toilet or sink and notice that the water drains more slowly than usual, it’s the first sign of drain issues. Most homeowners neglect this first sign and eventually end up paying large sums for plumbing services. React to any suspicious drain behavior once you notice them because the sooner you can identify the problem, the less money you will have to spend on fixing it.

Here you will learn about:

Drain cleaning services include initial inspection of the problem and its further mending. Most often, drain cleaning is performed due to the minor pipes blockages as a result of hair or mug accumulation in the narrow turns of the water pipes. However, more complex issues may include severe pipes corrosion and even the need for pipes replacement. The average drain cleaning cost is about $100-$360, however, in more complex issues the price may go as high as $790.

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Cost-influencing factors and additional services


There are several factors that can influence the price. The most common of them include:

  • Location. Big city drain cleaners tend to demand higher hourly rates than smaller town companies.
  • Season. Yes, there is seasoning for plumbers. For example, during the summer months, they tend to have more work so the rates go higher. The same rule applies to weekends and holidays.
  • Case complexity. Some blockages can be dealt with within a few minutes while severe cases may require several hours of hard work. So the more complex issue you have, the more will you pay for the services.
  • Blockage cause. Corroded pipes are much harder to tackle than flooded debris. This is a direct influence on the case complexity and so on the estimated cost you will pay.

Additional costly services

  • Camera inspection

    If you have several clogged fixtures, then your plumber will need to inspect the whole clogging with a camera. Due to the initial cost of the equipment and training required for handling it, you will pay about $100-$130 for such a service.

  • Cabling (snake)

    The snake is used in most cases of clogged drains because it’s the easiest and most eco-friendly way of treatment. You can expect to pay about $230-$320 for this service.

  • Hydrojetting
    Hydrojetting involves the use of pressurized water that blasts away pipe blockages. It is used in tough clogs or if you’re willing to clean the pipes from the inside as well. Such drain cleaning cost is usually about 30%-50% more than for the cabling.
  • Removing parts
    Most often experienced plumbers will be able to identify whether replacement of any parts is required or not from the initial inspection. If you’re unlucky, then be ready to pay the sum of even more than $1,000 for the job. In this case, you will be paying for a highly-qualified professional assistance and for the new materials (no less than $250) as well.
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Cost-related questions

Can I unclog the drains myself?

Yes and no. Some drain problems can be solved without professional assistance. Most often this is clogging caused by hair or one large object blocking the drain. In such cases, you will need either a chemical to pour inside of the drain or a plunger (if the chemicals do not work). Such a treatment will cost you about $20 in total and is always worth a try.

How are tub and sink drains treated?

The average cost of cleaning a simple tub or sink blockage varies between $110 and $220. In this case, you mostly pay for the labor because the cases are standard. Generally, you can expect to get a flat rate cost for tub and sink cleaning service instead of an hourly rate.

How much should I pay for the toilet clearing?

You can read our toilet cleaning guide and try to unclog the toilet yourself. However, most often this unpleasant issue is left to the experts. The DIY clearing will cost you $5-$40 to buy a snake and a plunger. Professional assistance on average costs $100-$280.

What should I do with the mainline problems?

Mainline issues are not advised to be handled by yourself because of the complications that may occur. The average cost of mainline clearing service varies from $100 to $800. The price range is very broad because it heavily depends on the blockage complexity, the distance that requires being snaked, and the amount of manpower and time involved.

Will the cleaner check my pipes while cleaning?

Unfortunately, older homes with old pipes frequently experience blockage problems due to the age. They get covered with grease, dirt, and also corrosion from the inside and so cause recurring blockage issues. In such cases, general pipe cleaning might be required. If a plumber who was called in for a drain cleaning service identifies the issue of corroded pipes, then he or she will instantly inform you about the problem. If you agree to deal with the problem, then a plumber may even provide the service on-site. However, some complex cases require additional instruments and so the cleaning might be postponed for the next visit. The average cost of pipes cleaning is about $620-$790 for materials, labor, and examination altogether.

Other frequently asked questions

Can I attempt to DIY or should I hire a professional?

Some minor blockage cases may not be worth paying money for a professional service. Most often, it’s advised to deal with the issue as much as you can first. If it works, then you can forget about expert help. If, on the contrary, your effort appear to be not enough, then call for expert help.

Can I use chemicals instead of calling for a pro help?

Yes, chemicals can be used as well as vinegar and food soda. However, remember that these treatments help only with light blockage cases. Complex issues always require at least professional examination and advice.

Does emergency drain cleaning service cost more?

Emergency plumbing services do cost more regardless of the problem type you have. On average, the cost goes 50%-80% higher. You can expect to pay about $50-$120/hour or even $500 for a visit. Read more about emergency plumbing services in our plumbing cost guide.

Bottom line

Drain cleaning services involve a large scope of problem-solving activities from resolving a simple sink blockage to a complete cleaning of the inner side of the pipes. The average drain cleaning cost is $100-$360 with the higher end reaching $790.

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