How Much Should It Cost To Have Septic Tank Snaked? (TOP 5 Tips)

Snaking the main line can cost between $175 and $300 for basic jobs and up to $500 for more complex ones. $300 is an average price. If your line can be snaked through an access port or through the septic tank opening, it should cost less.

  • To have a plumber snake a main sewage line, you can expect to pay between $100 and $800. The price of clearing a main line varies quite a bit based on the severity of the blockage, the distance snaked, and the amount of time involved.

How much does Roto-Rooter charge to snake a sewer line?

Roto-Rooter is a national company that offers a flat rate for their drain clearing services, usually between $160 and $450. They base their pricing on the severity and location of the blockage. The price for sewer inspections is included in the clog clearing project cost.

Is Roto-Rooter cheaper than a plumber?

How Much Does Roto-Rooter Cost? Your plumbing needs will dictate cost, but the average cost for a Roto-Rooter contractor or independently owned business is $160 to $450. Unlike many plumbing services, Roto-Rooter charges a flat rate instead of by the hour.

How much does it cost to get sewer line Descaled?

Descaling a sewer pipe costs about $300 and involves clearing out the inside of debris without disturbing the pipe.

Do you tip the Roto-Rooter guy?

In general, plumbers do not expect tips. They don’t need to rely on tips from clients to supplement their income. Recognizing that the cost of plumbing services is already high, and to prevent employees from demanding tips, some companies institute policies or rules that forbid their employees from receiving tips.

What do you do when your toilet and tub backed up?

Call for Emergency Back-Up This is especially true if your problem involves both the toilet and shower backing up. Aside from the usual causes of clogs, tree roots may also be choking your sewer main pipes. The best way to confirm this is through the use of special plumbing cameras.

Can you snake a main sewer line?

A main sewer line can be snaked with a professional drain snaking machine using a heavy duty cable and motor to push through the blockage. Main sewer snaking can be done through a ground level accessible cleanout, a roof vent, or by pulling the toilet and snaking through the flange.

Can I snake my own sewer line?

For smaller clogs, snaking your own drain is possible. Routine, minor sink clogs from hairballs or food remnants are typically located in the U-shaped trap directly below the sink or only a few feet deeper in the drainpipe. They may be cleared by using a light-gauge, hand-operated auger.

How much does it cost to unclog a main sewer line?

The national average cost to unclog a main sewer line is between $350 and $650, with most people paying around $475 to clean a mid-sized clog by hydro jetting the main sewer pipe between a house and municipal main line.

How much does it cost to snake a toilet?

The average cost to snake a toilet with a standard snake is about $150 to $200. If a clog is minor, a hand-operated snake can remove the small or medium-sized blockage. A small auger is attached to the end of the snake used to help clear the debris.

How long does it take to jet a sewer line?

The average time to perform hydro jetting is about 60 minutes. If you have a lot of cleaning, you can expect about 90 minutes.

What is the life expectancy of cast iron sewer pipe?

Deterioration of cast iron pipes is normal after just 25 years. Wear and tear is normal in residential pipe systems. One frequently asked question is “How long do cast iron drain pipes last?” Cast iron waste pipes last anywhere between 50 and 100 years.

Is my main sewer line clogged?

If more than one of these drains is slow-moving, is gurgling, has a foul smell, or has water backing up, that is signs of a clogged sewer line. Slow-flowing water is an indication that your main sewer line may have become clogged. Eventually, the wastewater is forced to back up other drain lines.

Learn how much it costs to Repair a Clogged Drain.

The most recent revision was made on February 9, 2022. Jeff Botelho, a Licensed Journeyman Plumber, provided his review. HomeAdvisor has contributed to this article.

Cost to Snake a Drain

A professional drain snake will cost you an average of $229 to clean your drain. It is possible to pay anywhere from $145 and $334, depending on how simple or severe the problem is. Blockages that are difficult to remove or broken parts might raise the cost of your repair. Drain clearing services are frequently provided for a set rate by plumbers. It is possible that additional issues will need labor costs of up to $200 per hour plus the cost of parts. This is a common do-it-yourself solution.

Finddrain cleaning services in your area to get a difficult clog unclogged quickly.

Cost to Snake a Drain Calculator

Let’s run some numbers to see what the costs are. What part of the world are you in? What part of the world are you in?

National Average $229
Typical Range $145 – $334
Low End – High End $85 – $600

Data on real project costs reported by 28,917 HomeAdvisor members is used to compile this report.

Plumber Cost to Unclog a Drain

Every one of these projects is estimated by a plumbing specialist utilizing the aflat fee for drain cleaning services. If there are any complications, they will move to an hourly charge. A fixed rate from your plumber means that you will most likely spend less than $530 for the work. You might see your prices slowly rising with an hourly fee, especially if you employ someone with extensive plumbing experience. These professionals normally charge between$70 and$120 per hour for their services, however some charge as much as$200 per hour in extreme cases.

Compare Plumber Quotes for the Best Drain Clearing Price

Despite the fact that basic handheld, manually or drill-activated plumbing snakes often cost less than $25, they can only reach a maximum distance of 25 feet. Generally, these are most effective for small blockages that are placed somewhat close to the sink or toilet. In order to clear this sort of blockage, you will need to purchase a plumbing snake of this type from your local hardware retailer. For more difficult clogs that are deep in the pipes, you will need a machine auger, which may cost anywhere from $250 to $3,250 for the more professional versions.

Although the cost of purchasing this specialized technology tends to be more expensive than the cost of hiring a professional, you may reduce your DIY spending by renting the equipment instead.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Drain Snake?

Handheld drain snakes and machine augers can be rented from equipment rental firms and hardware stores for a charge that can be paid on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Handheld drain snakes cost between $35 and $45 per day. Because the weekly and monthly rates are significantly less expensive than the daily rate, if your job will take longer than a day, select one of those alternatives. The rental of a handheld drain snake will cost around $130 per week or up to $275 per month if you choose this option.

You may anticipate to spend up to $250 per week for the weekly rate, but the monthly rate will only cost you around $500.

When you hire the drain cleaning equipment, ask one of the personnel at the tool rental company to demonstrate how it works. Using the proper procedures will assist you avoid causing damage to your plumbing that would necessitate the use of a professional to fix.

Roto-Rooter Drain Cleaning Cost

Roto-Rooter is a nationwide corporation that charges a fixed payment for its drain clearing services, which is typically between $160 and $450 each visit. They base their cost on the severity and location of the obstruction on the road or highway. The cost of sewer inspections is included in the total cost of the blockage clearance project. If you reside outside of their service area or want assistance after business hours, they may charge a travel or after-hours fee to accommodate your needs.

Compare Plumber Quotes for the Best Drain Clearing Price

When you put off clearing the obstruction, the situation grows increasingly serious. You may eventually need to engage a plumber, who will charge you an hourly cost of up to $200. Depending on the amount of work done, the final cost may vary, but you could anticipate to spend roughly $200, since project prices typically range between $135 and $295. Repairing a little obstruction might cost as low as $85; however, removing a major blockage can cost as much as $530. The degree of obstructions varies, ranging from reducing drain rates to completely stopping water from exiting the system completely.

Unclog a Toilet

The cost of hiring a plumber to unclog a toilet is comparable to the cost of hiring a plumber to unclog your other pipes. You may anticipate to spend a plumber between $110 and $275 to restore the functionality of your toilet in the majority of cases. Despite the fact that this is a less pleasant operation than unblocking a sink, you can still accomplish it yourself if you acquire a home snake tool for between $15 and $30. Additionally, you might choose to utilize a specialist toilet auger to remedy this issue.

Unclog Kitchen SinkGarbage Disposal

A fixed rate of between $110 and $215 is charged by a plumber to unclog a clogged sink. If difficulties emerge, however, your repair expenses may begin to escalate as a result of charges for minimum labor amounts and call-out fees, which are usual practice. As a result, it is sometimes significantly less expensive to attempt to remove a small drain clog on your own. If your sink is equipped with a trash disposal, however, hiring a professional could be your best option. It’s necessary to remove the drain trap fitting and dig out the debris using a scrub brush in order to perform this task.

If all else fails, it is possible that you may need to replace your garbage disposal.

Clear a Blocked Drain in a Bathtub or Shower

On average, you can expect to pay $225 to have a clogged bathtub or shower drain unclogged. Even with frequent cleaning, the drain pipes in the bathtub and shower rapidly become clogged with material such as hair, filth, and soap scum, among other things. The debris adheres to the interior surfaces of the pipe, causing a blockage to form. You may notice that water drainage is becoming slower as a result of this.

Taking action quickly might help you avoid the need for clog removal services in the future. You can physically remove hair from the drain using a snake, and you may manually remove soap scum from the drain with drain cleaner.

Clearing a Main Line

If you need a plumber to snake your main sewage line, you could expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $800. The cost of clearing a main line is very variable and is determined by the severity of the obstruction, the distance snaked, and the length of time it takes to complete the task. It is possible to hire an industrial snake for as little as $30 to $70 a day, but this is an unpleasant job that you should probably leave to a professional.

Compare Plumber Quotes for the Best Drain Clearing Price

There are a variety of factors that influence the typical cost of hiring a plumber to unclog a clogged drain, including:

  • Pricing Variations: Flat and hourly fees for plumbers differ from one location to the next, and they may go up during the busiest season
  • The severity of the blockage: A basic clog may be cleared in a few minutes, while a serious clog may necessitate the use of expert services. Clogs in a Large Number of Fixtures: A large number of clogged fixtures suggests an obstruction in the main line, which is more difficult to resolve. The root cause of the snag is as follows: It is simple to remove soap scum, hair, and food waste, but corrosion might cause issues.

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

In most cases, hiring a professional plumber to unclog a clogged drain is a good idea, but it is not always necessary. A plumbing snake may be able to clear clogs from a single pipe if the blockage is small. It is more likely that there is a blockage in the main sewer line when the obstruction affects many plumbing fittings. Immediately shut off your water supply and contact an emergency drain cleaning firm if you detect a problem with your plumbing system.

Need a Plumber? Find the Best, Pre-Screened Plumbers Near You

It is possible to manage a single pipe blockage on your own if you follow the instructions outlined in this article.

Use a Plunger

Plungers work by creating a seal around the clogged drain and then sucking the obstruction out using suction. Always use the proper sort of plunger for the sink or toilet, as directed by the manufacturer.

Try a Chemical Drain Cleaner

You might try to break up the components that are creating the blockage by using a powerful drain cleaner. If you use acid-based cleaners on your drain without caution, they may remove the finish off the drain. They also emit unpleasant gases and inflict chemical burns when they come into touch with them. Whenever possible, use protective equipment and adhere to all of the manufacturer’s directions on the label when traveling this route.

Remove the Trap

Removing the U-shaped trap to clear a clog under a sink or tub basin is simple if you have easy access to the pipes beneath the sink or tub basin. Make sure you have a bucket underneath the basin to capture any water that drains. Some traps are easily removed by hand, while others require the use of slip-joint pliers in order to be moved at all.

Snake the Drain

Small household snakes are generally affordable and simple to operate, making them an excellent choice for beginners. A machine auger is required when there is a blockage in the main line. You should look around for the most affordable plumber if you do want their services. When hiring a plumber, make an effort to obtain at least three quotations from which to pick, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. It is well worth the money to choose a certified and insured plumber who has a long list of satisfied customers and outstanding recommendations.

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How to Prevent Clogged Drains

Chemical drain cleaners purchased at a shop can help you avoid clogs, but they can also cause corrosion and damage to your plumbing system over time.

However, non-corrosive bacteriological drain cleaners are more mild, but they cost roughly $16 per gallon of water. Drain cleaning may be done in a more cost-effective manner by following the methods outlined below:

  • Pouring hot water into a PVC plumbing system is not recommended. The highest temperature of water that may be used in PVC systems is 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • However, there are several exceptions.
  1. Pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda and set aside for a few minutes. One cup vinegar and one cup hot water should be poured down the sink’s drain
  2. Allow for a 10-minute resting period. Using hot water, flush the toilet.

Keeping your drains clear of dirt after you have cleaned them is important. Don’t put too much food down the garbage disposal, and don’t pour grease down the drains either. Remember to clean out your pipes of any clumps of loose hair that may have accumulated. This process will be made easier if you invest in metal screens that are snugly fitted to all of your drains. Maintenance on a regular basis will help you prevent having to pay for drain cleaning services.


Although uncommon, significant blockages might necessitate the replacement of drain pipes, which can cost anywhere from $360 to well over $3,000 depending on the severity of the clog. Replace drain lines that require trenching at a significantly higher cost than simple line replacement that is easily accessible will result in a significantly higher price tag. This will cost around $100 per foot and need at least 14 hours of effort to complete.

What can I pour down a clogged drain?

When considering what to use to unclog a clogged drain, consider using an enzyme drain cleaner to remove the blockage material in a gentle manner. Baking soda and white vinegar may be used to manufacture your own plumbing-friendly drain cleaning if the $16 a gallon price tag is out of reach for your household budget.

How long does it take to snake a drain?

It may only take five minutes to snake a drain for loose obstructions that are found around the tub, toilet, or sink basin, according to the manufacturer. Clogs near the main line, on the other hand, might take many hours to clear, especially if they impact numerous pipes at the same time. Plumbers have the necessary skills, knowledge, and equipment to do the task considerably more quickly, however you may have to pay a premium for their services.

How long of a plumbing snake do I need?

Alternatively, if your 25-foot portable snake is incapable of reaching the clog, you may attempt one of the larger versions with lengths of 50, 75, or even 100 feet. When determining the length of a plumbing snake you require, all you have to do is test it against the clog to see whether it even makes contact with it.

Can snaking a drain make things worse?

When employing a snake to unclog a drain, it is possible to inflict more harm than is intended. You run the danger of scratching the surface and destroying the covering, which might result in fractures forming over time if you use too much effort. In other cases, depending on what is truly clogging the drain, the snake might make the situation worse by pushing the material even tighter and deeper down the pipe. If your early (careful) attempts to unclog your drain are unsuccessful, call in a professional to take care of the job safely.

Still Have Questions? Ask Pre-Screened Plumbers Near You.

If many fixtures in your house begin to back up, it is possible that you have a plugged sewer line. In this case, if you start hearing gurgling from many fixtures and the water is not draining, it’s definitely time to call a plumber, since gurgling is a telltale symptom of a clogged main line that has to be cleared. A clogged drain can be caused by a variety of factors, including an overfilled septic tank, which is why you should consult a plumber about the best course of action to take in order to resolve the problem.

It’s important to note that not all plumbers will perform a septic tank inspection, so make sure to speak fully with them before having them out.

They can also send a camera through your system, but this isn’t always necessary unless the snaking yields no results in the first place. If you don’t have to spend money, don’t. Also, keep in mind that “free camera inspections” are occasionally used as bait for an upsell scam.

How Does Snaking a Sewer Line Work?

Sewer snaking, also known as rodding, is a drain-cleaning technique that employs a drain-cleaning equipment fitted with a cable and auger that is stretched through your pipe until it reaches the obstruction (and drills through it). It is possible that your main line access plug is blocked, in which case a snake from a higher position in your home will be necessary to prevent trash from flowing out. Frequently, they’ll remove a toilet and insert a tube into the bowl. They have even been known to infiltrate via the roof septic pipe in extreme circumstances.

In order to reach and drill through the clog, the auger expands and rotates through the plumbing system until it does so.

Although you may need to have the pipe repaired in this situation, there are chemical remedies that may be utilized instead (for an additional fee).

How Much does Snaking a Sewer Line Cost?

Snaking the main line can cost anywhere from $175 and $300 for simple operations and up to $500 for more sophisticated ones, depending on the complexity of the job. Typically, $300 is the going rate. A less expensive option is to snake your line through an access port or the septic tank entrance rather than through the tank itself. The cost to remove and reseal your toilet ranges from $100 to $150 depending on the size of the toilet and the difficulty of the removal. When your main line backs up, the pressure from the backup might cause the seal on your toilet to blow, necessitating the need to replace it.

As a result of the need to dig up and repair or replace broken pipes, especially those on the exterior, you can anticipate paying a significant amount more than you would otherwise.

Replacement of hidden pipes in the ground might cost anything from $1000-$4000.

Other Ways to Clean a Sewer Line

There is another technique of cleaning a sewage line that is a little more comprehensive, but it is also a little more expensive: the use of a hydrojet. Hydrojets range in price from $350 to $600. They are more frequently seen in industrial settings, but they can also be found in residential settings. A hydrojet is a machine that feeds water into a head that blasts water out, clearing the clog and cleaning the pipe around the obstruction. Septic augers may not be large enough to clear out the whole blockage since their diameter is significantly less than the pipe through which they are traveling.

  • However, a plumber or sewer cleaning business should be able to advise you on the best course of action for your situation.
  • If you have a complicated problem, the cost might be significantly more.
  • For example, do they conduct both interior and outdoor plumbing repair, as well as checking the septic system?
  • If you can locate a plumber who can handle all of those services, you may be able to save money on service costs, depending on how much they charge each service.
  • In the event that your project turns out to be large and expensive, don’t be afraid to obtain numerous bids.
  • Also, check out our articles on toilet reseating and septic tank cleaning.

For best results, flush twice for number two and avoid using thick toilet paper (we’re not mentioning brands) to avoid clogging the main sewage line. Please accept our sincere thanks for posing for our photographs on behalf of Plumber’s Service of Milford, Michigan.

How Much Does It Cost to Snake a Main Sewer Line?

It costs an average of $318 to clear a sewage line, with snake and rodding services ranging from $100 to $250 and hydro jetting services costing up to $600. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. The main sewer line, which is located just below the surface of your lawn, is a pipe that transfers wastewater from your home to the municipal sewage system. To put it another way, if something gets in the way of your sewer line, the remainder of your home’s pipes will be unable to perform their functions.

You may anticipate to pay between $175 to $467 for inspections and sewer drain cleaning, with rates rising to higher levels for severe blockages and repairs, as well as pipe replacement.

How Much Does It Cost to Snake or Hydro Jet a Main Sewer Line Per Hour?

Gushing pipes, clogged baths, and weird odours emanating from your plumbing all have one thing: they all indicate a problem with your plumbing. They’re all unmistakable indicators of a clogged sewage system, as you might expect. It is necessary to have a sewage line specialist inspect the pipe because it is located underneath. Sewer line professionals often charge an hourly or set cost to diagnose and cure problems that are common in their field of expertise. Prices for inspecting and cleaning a major sewage line range from $45 to $150 per hour depending on where you reside and the severity of the obstruction.

The following items may be included in your sewage line cleaning costs:

  • Home visit and initial diagnostic
  • Camera examination
  • Rodding or hydro jet cleaning
  • And other services.

Expect higher pricing for hydro jetting drain cleaning expenses, the cost of tree root removal, and other, more involved services, which we’ll go into more detail about in the next sections.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Main Sewer Line Near You?

While the national average cost to unclog a sewage line is $320, the location of your home might have an influence on the ultimate cost of hiring a sewer cleaner in your area. Costs vary depending on the firm, the area, and the type of job, as well as some additional details:

  • Local Labor Costs: Cities, for example, may be more expensive than rural places in terms of labor costs. The following are local laws and permits that may be required: For more significant repairs, such as replacing a sewage line or digging a trench to reach the pipe, some locations require extra permissions
  • Pipe Accessibility: Breaking through concrete slabs or squeezing into crawl spaces to gain access to pipes might raise the cost of the project as well. When a pipe becomes blocked or breaks, the material of the pipe varies depending on the age of the house. Clay, cast iron, bituminized fiber or plastic PVC pipes are all possible options, and each has its own set of issues.

What Main Sewer Line Services Can I Get on My Budget?

Over time, the warning signals of a sewage main obstruction might become more visible. The good news is that discovering the problem early means that less money will be flushed down the toilet, as it were. Is your toilet making bubbling noises when you run the dishwasher, for instance? What about a sink that takes a long time to fill up with water? In any scenario, it’s imperative that you contact your sewer line crew before the problem worsens. Here’s how sewage line blockage charges are factored into each individual’s budget:


Treatments for sewage main lines that are environmentally friendly, such as RootX® and Bio-Clean®, cost between $40 and $100.


The vast majority of sewage line blockage expenses fall within this range of expenses.

Depending on your business model, you may charge a fixed rate of $350 to examine and clear basic clogs, or you could charge up to $250 for simple snaking services.


This fee is applicable to larger tasks, such as a 100-year-old elm tree whose roots have been winding around your sewage line for several decades, among other things. The cost of sewer line repairs, root removal, and hydro jetting ranges from $400 to $1,000 per hour. It is reasonable to anticipate additional charges for digging a trench, replacing the pipe, and repairing your landscaping.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Main Sewer Line Yourself?

Plumbing is one of the most liberating categories of do-it-yourself home improvement. When the pipes in your home get clogged, a plunger and your preferred drain cleaner may be required to clear the obstruction. The major sewer pipes are a little different. Identifying and unclogging a blockage in an underground pipe is only possible with the help of a licensed specialist who has the proper instruments to do so. However, there are certain do-it-yourself actions you may take in the meanwhile. Turn off the water supply to your home, contact a plumber, and inspect your cleanout line.

Remove the rubber cover to release pressure while you wait for the rest of the squad to arrive.

Main Sewer Line Clog Cost Breakdown

Finding an exact cost for cleaning your main line might be difficult to determine in advance. Remember, aggressive tree roots in your sewer system will cost you more money than removing a huge hairball from your sewer line. As a general rule, your expenses will be broken down as follows:


In addition to the set payment for emergency services, which includes inspection and basic rodding for an average of $350, some firms charge a per-service fee for emergency services. Other providers may charge a flat rate to come out to your home or workplace. If extra visual inspection is required, they may charge between $250 and $500 for a camera-topped auger that snakes through your pipes to get a better look at the problem.

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Cleaning Method

The most effective cleaning approach is determined on the size of the blockage. A main line may be snaked for between $100 and $250, and the process is known as rodding or augering. However, residue or smaller debris may be left behind. Hydro jetting is a technique that employs a high-pressure hose to eliminate significant obstructions and more thoroughly clean the pipe. This treatment is a little more expensive, ranging from $350 to $600.

Repairs and Replacements

This is when the fees may really start to add up. High pressure, old pipes, and even shifting ground can all contribute to the cracking, deterioration, and sagging of your main sewer line. Repairs and replacements of sewage lines cost between $1,000 and $7,500, depending on the following factors:

  • The extent to which the repair is required
  • Access to the pipe (including whether or whether they must dig a trench)
  • The length of the new pipe
  • Foundation and landscaping repair are among the several services available.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Main Sewer Line by the Type of Service?

Sewer technicians have seen it everything, including the following: In the pipe’s inside, clogs can be caused by hair, grease, and even common household things such as large rolls of toilet paper. Tree roots, earth pressure, and disintegrating foundations are all examples of outside intruders. The following are some typical ranges for water main cleaning charges, regardless of whether you want a simple clog to be cleaned or a complete pipe replacement: Removal of Minor Debris: $100–600.

Tree root removal costs between $200 and $600. Repairing Trenchless Pipes costs $160 per foot. Repairs to the general line: $1,000–$4,000 Replacement of the entire pipe costs between $3,000 and $25,000. Image courtesy of Steven White/iStock and Getty Images Plus Via Getty Images. .


If you see any of the following plumbing red flags, contact a sewer line provider immediately:

  • Even after attempting to clear the blockage yourself, your tub or sink continues to plug up. Your drains or toilet are making gurgling sounds
  • A puddle of water has accumulated near your basement drain or in your yard
  • There is a strong odor of raw sewage permeating your home

Is it true that you’ve just moved into a gorgeous Victorian fixer-upper? Make careful to get your main sewer line tested, particularly if the pipe is more than 40 years old.

What should I consider when hiring a sewer line company?

Avoiding sewage line business frauds is a major source of concern for anyone working in the field. Investigate sewage line companies with the same rigor as you would any other contractor that comes into your home. The following characteristics should be present in the correct sewer cleaners near you:

  • Licenses, certifications, and insurance are all required. Positive client feedback in your neighborhood
  • Years of expertise in the cleaning of sewage lines
  • Awards and top ratings in the industry
  • Pricing and contracts that are open and transparent

What other projects can I do at the same time?

Affiliation with the state, certification, and insurance; client testimonials that have been received positively in your region Sewer line cleaning expertise gained over years of practice Awards and high ratings in the industry. Pricing and contracts that are transparent;

How Much Does a Plumber Cost to Snake a Drain?

For further information on how to snake a drain, or for an estimate on the cost of a plumbing service, continue reading our comprehensive guide below to get the answers to all of your concerns!

What Do You Need To Know About Snaking Drains?

Many people assume that drain snaking is a straightforward procedure that can be used to unclog any blocked pipe. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and it is critical to understand the advantages of using a plumbing snake, when it should and shouldn’t be used, and how to use one properly in order to provide the most effective solution possible for your plumbing problem.

How Can Drain Snaking Help?

It is made out of a long, flexible piece of metal that is wrapped with a coil to function as a drain snake. The handle may be used to spin the coil and the rod, creating a screw-like movement in the coil and rod. Some snakes have a motor attached to them, which allows them to spin more quickly and efficiently than others. Augers are the term used to describe motorized snakes. Snaking aids in the clearing of blocked drains since the coil naturally captures debris caught in your clogged pipes and pushes it outward when the handle is turned.

Snakes used in toilets may trap a variety of items like toilet paper, feminine products, cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, and other items that homeowners flush.

When Is Snaking a Drain Useful?

When you have a partial clog that does not result in a complete blockage, snaking your drain is usually the most helpful procedure. Scanning your fixture will most likely assist if the water in your fixture drains but does so slowly. Other drain cleaning procedures, such as hydro-jetting, are frequently required when complete obstructions prohibit a snake from breaking up the clog. Hydro-jetting is a technique that employs high pressure to drive trapped debris through the pipe system. Kitchen sinks can become blocked with hardened grease, which will not catch on the coils and cause them to overflow.

  • Prior to snaking a blocked plumbing fixture, the majority of do-it-yourselfers and professional plumbers will first clear the trap beneath the fixture.
  • However, because of their design, they are the most difficult to install and maintain.
  • Scanning is particularly effective when cleaning the trap does not clear the clog and other methods such as boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar do not work.
  • Snaking is a more effective method of clearing drain clogs than chemical drain cleaners, which is why some homeowners prefer it.

When clearing obstructions in your drain lines, a plunger can be employed, however this can produce enough pressure to cause damage to your plumbing. Because of this, snaking is often considered to be a better option.

How Do You Snake a Drain Properly?

Whether or not a professional plumber employed a video camera to do a visual assessment of the material causing the blockage will determine the most effective method for snakeing your clogged drain. The plumber will introduce the snake into your plumbing system through the drain on your blocked fixture until it reaches the blockage once the video camera examination has been finished and the plumber has determined that the backup is not caused by hardened grease. The plumber will next manually crank the snake or use the motor to spin the auger in order to release the debris that has been stuck.

Additional snaking will be necessary to remove any remaining debris if the obstruction does not clear.

Especially when the couplings are positioned to provide quick access to your trap, this type of movement might cause significant damage to your PVC pipe.

Additionally, toilets may be snaked as well, although extreme caution must be exercised in order to avoid damaging the porcelain bowl.

How Much Does Snaking a Drain Cost?

Following our discussion of the fundamentals of drain snaking, let’s move on to the average fees associated with hiring a professional plumber to snake a drain. As you can probably understand, the cost of plumbing repair to have your drain snaked might vary significantly from one location to another. The type of drain that has to be unclogged and the degree of the obstruction are the two most important cost elements to consider. Even so, the national average cost of drain snaking is around $225, but we’ll go over some more precise per-project prices later on in this article.

KitchenBathroom Drains

A kitchen sink or bathroom sink snake job will cost you between $150 and $250, depending on the size of the sink and the difficulty of the snake job. Some small snaking jobs can be completed for as low as$100 in total. Tub drains will be a little more expensive since extra work will be necessary to reach the drainpipe. The average cost of having a shower drain snaked is between $225 and $300 for most households.


When it comes to snake a toilet, most plumbers charge a somewhat higher rate since specific equipment is required, the stuck material is likely to be bigger and more difficult to remove, and the task is less pleasant. The typical cost of drain cleaning for a toilet is around$275, but severe blockages might cost as much as$350 to remove.

Other Drains

When it comes to snake a toilet, most plumbers charge a little bit extra since specific equipment is required, the stuck material is likely to be bigger and more difficult to remove, and the task is less enjoyable.

For a toilet, the average cost of drain cleaning is approximately$275, but severe blockages may cost upwards of $350.

What Are The Different Ways to Snake a Drain?

There are a variety of procedures and augers that may be used to snake a clogged drain, depending on the level of competence of the person conducting the service and the fixture to which the drain is connected.

Snaking a Sink Drain

Sinks in bathrooms and kitchens that are sluggish to drain are a common problem for many households. A clogged bathroom sink drain is most commonly caused by hair, which collects soap and other waste, resulting in a substantial buildup of debris. Snags on the drain itself, as well as hair accumulating in a trap beneath the sink, are common problems. Due to the fact that hair becomes caught in the coils of a plumber’s snake rapidly, bathroom sinks are among the easiest drains to correctly snake.

As a result, a manual plumber’s snake is the most effective method of cleaning bathroom sinks.

It is common for kitchen sinks to become clogged with food particles, which can be more difficult to remove with a snake than with hair.

Snaking a Shower or Bathtub Drain

In the same way that bathroom sink drains get blocked with hair, bathtub and shower drains are prone to being clogged with soap fat. When it comes to cleaning the drain in your bathtub, a conventional sink snake or a little bigger one that is specifically designed for baths works best. When it comes to removing matted hair from your shower drain, a plumber may choose to utilize an electric auger. Due to the fact that an auger gets in the way and can harm the mechanism that prevents the tub drain from blocking, most plumbers will choose to go through the overflow or expose the trap and snake directly down the drainpipe instead.

Snaking a Toilet

The fact that toilets are used as a catch-all by many houses means that they may become blocked by a range of things. Toilet paper is not known to produce significant blockages, but cotton balls, cotton swabs, feminine products, dental floss, and other items that are regularly disposed of in toilets can generate a suffocating situation. Manual snakes and electric augers of any kind should never be used to remove a toilet blockage, regardless of their size. If you have a metal toilet, the force exerted might cause the porcelain to crack, necessitating the purchase and installation of a new toilet.

If necessary, a plumber may choose to remove the toilet and snaking straight into the floor mount in order to empty up the drainage system.

Snaking a Laundry or Other Basement Drain

Many homes have drains in their basements, which serve as floor drains or as a drainpipe for their washing machines, among other functions. Basement floor drains, on the other hand, are less likely to clog since debris seldom makes its way in through the grate. On the other hand, laundry drains can become clogged very readily due to the accumulation of lint or fabric elements from clothes. It is quite easy for the material to compress and become difficult to remove. In order to accommodate the narrow diameter of the drainpipe, plumbers generally utilize a bathroom sink snake or other thin alternatives.

Snaking a Driveway Drain

Many houses have drains in their basements, which serve as floor drains or as a drainpipe for their washing machines, among other things, Due to the fact that debris rarely enters via the grate, basement floor drains are rarely clogged. Lint or fabric components from garments, on the other hand, may cause laundry drains to block very quickly. If the material is not removed immediately, it can quickly compress and become difficult to remove completely. To deal with the narrow width of the drainpipe, plumbing professionals usually employ a bathroom sink snake or other thin alternatives.

When Should You Hire A Professional To Snake a Clogged Drain?

If you are a handy homeowner or a DIYer, you can frequently snake drains in your house without any problems if you have the correct tools. However, there are some situations in which you’ll want to delegate the task to a professional to avoid confusion. Snake-draining may be quite dangerous, since the incorrect head attached to your auger may become caught in the material and become extremely tough to extract from the substance. In certain cases, the drainpipe might be damaged, resulting in the need for a costly pipe replacement.

Using particular equipment and having some prior knowledge with toilet drains is necessary in order to clear the blockage swiftly and without destroying the porcelain.

The majority of toilet blockages are caused by huge material, and it may be necessary to completely remove your toilet before snaking it.

Finally, any drain that is completely clogged – particularly kitchen sink drains that may be jammed with hardened grease – should be left to the attention of a professional plumber.

A total blockage may be quite dangerous and can result in costly damage to your plumbing pipes if you attempt to remove it.

What Should You Look For In A Drain Cleaning Specialist?

When looking for a professional to snake your drain, look for someone who has years of expertise, significant training, and the right plumbing certification, among other qualifications. However, while handymen and general contractors can snake drains for you, they are significantly less skilled than a master plumber would be in this process. The upfront cost of a master plumber is normally more, but they are more likely to have the necessary equipment, to cure the problem permanently, and to lessen the likelihood of having additional snaking down the road.

  • Despite the fact that flat prices are more convenient, they do not necessarily ensure that the issue will be addressed to the extent that it should be corrected.
  • As a result, we recommend hiring a plumber who charges an hourly cost, rather than one that charges a flat fee for a service visit but has the option of charging hourly rates if the task takes longer than anticipated.
  • Finally, we recommend that you use a plumber that has a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
  • By selecting a plumbing business that guarantees your pleasure, you will boost your chances of receiving five-star service and a long-term solution to your plumbing problem.
See also:  How Long Does A Septic Tank And Field Last? (Perfect answer)

How Much Does Sewer or Drain Cleaning Cost?

Do-It-Yourself: $10-$75+ Plumber, Simple Clog: $50-$450+ Plumber, Snake Main Line: $100-$800+
  • Plumbers may charge a set cost for a project or an hourly rate ranging from $45 to $150 or more per hour. Despite the fact that some contractors may offer a preliminary estimate over the phone, many will want to visit the job in person before providing a solid price. When it comes to unclogging sink or tub drains, it can cost anywhere from $50 to $450, depending on the complexity of the clog and the time it takes to complete the service call. (This does not include a blockage in the main sewage line) (there can be extra charges for evenings, weekends, holidays or immediate response). For example, readers of CostHelper report paying between $52 and $430 to unclog a sink or tub, with an average cost of $226. Having a plumbing specialist unclog a toilet can cost anywhere from $65 to $250 or more for a small impediment that is only in the toilet (rather than the main sewer line). To unclog a toilet, CostHelper readers report paying between $95 and $210 on average. If turning on a faucet or flushing the toilet produces backflow in another fixture like a tub, shower, or sink, it is likely that the main home sewage line is clogged. Having a plumbing firm clean your family sewer line by “snaking” it with a long cable device and cutting head may cost anywhere from $100 to $800 or more, depending on the distance snaked, local rates, and the time of day you schedule the appointment. A few organizations offer unclogging services for a fixed charge of $50-$60, but numerous customers have stated that they were forced to subscribe to extra services that were prohibitively expensive. CostHelper users report spending between $148 and $900 to have a main residential sewer line snaked, with an average cost of $410. The unclogging operation may discover broken or damaged pipes, which they report paying between $148 and $900. Depending on the length and depth of the sewer lines that need to be replaced, the kind of replacement pipe used, and the rates in your area, sewer line repair can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000. Depending on what is needed, do-it-yourself supplies for cleaning a sewer or drain might cost anywhere from $10 to $75 or more. A 50′-100′ industrial-quality sewage snake may be rented for between $29 and $70, with an average cost of $55 according to CostHelper readers

Related articles:Unclogging a Drain,Unclogging a Toilet,Sewer Inspection,Sewer Line Replacement,Plumber What should be included:

  • A plumber would often identify the clean out (which is typically a y-shaped fitting near where the pipe leaves the home) and snake a cable with a cutting head into the main sewage line between the house and the connection to the public sewer system. A plumber from Wisconsin explains how to snake a sewage pipe. snaking and jetting are both discussed in detail in this video by a Florida plumber.
  • Cleaning a sewage line may involve a video camera inspection of the inside of the pipes, which some firms include in the overall cost of the cleaning. If it is not included, there might be an extra charge ranging from $100 to $800.
  • provides advice on how to choose a plumber. Verify that the firm is appropriately bonded, insured, and licensed by requesting and checking references.
CostHelper News What People Are Paying – Recent Comments
Posted by:Angela Bettencourt in PHOENIX, AZ. Posted:May 14th, 2021 04:05PM
Cleaner:C.R.WELLMANco. Type of Obstruction:Wipes and paper

I have a child that is wiping his own butt now and hasn’t mastered the less is more theory yet. I had a clog in the sewer main approx 47feet out. Chase from C.R.WELLMANco. 928-350-5383 Phoenix area worked diligently to get the drain cleared so that we could shower and use toilets by morning. In addition he spent hrs with the cleanup and sanitizing inside and out of the home. Then only charged me 100$ cause it was coming on mother’s day. Other companies quoted me 10$ per foot of snake which would have been over 500$ plus the fee for the service call.

Posted by:tulipox in san rafael, CA. Posted:August 25th, 2020 11:08PM
Cleaner:local plumber Type of Obstruction:unknown

first floor toilets bubbling, backing up sewage into tub.

called plumber. house is on a hill so cleanout not in easy spot to use, so he wanted to use the heavy duty snake from the toilet. two man job just to bring the snake in the house. removed toilet, cleared blockage. a little over an hour. nice hourly wage!

Posted by:Roto-Rooter Rip-Off in Vero Beach, FL. Posted:August 7th, 2019 07:08AM
Cleaner:Roto Rooter Type of Obstruction:basic kitchen clog

WARNING! Roto-Rooter is a RIP-OFF, wouldn’t tell me before they came out that their flat rate is $370. That is so much more than any local plumber would have charged me. Thought RR would have been competitive but after checking around, the work they did would have cost at least $300 less by a local plumber.

Posted by:Wexy in Ellicott city, MD. Posted:December 8th, 2017 04:12PM
Cleaner:Roto Rooter Type of Obstruction:Sewer Backup

Basement sewer backed up and got toilet overflow. I could not use laundry machine for a week. I did everything I could for a week. After 1 week, 10 pm Thursday night, I called roto rooter. Technician came at 11pm and did the job for 2 hours. He used roto rooter snake 100′. He removed toilet bowl in basement and did snake 2times. Got cleaning wipes out after all. Snake reached 85′. I paid $740 and I think that was way too much. I regret to hire Roto Rooter cuz I did not compare the estimate with other companies.

That was a bitter sweet moment.

Posted by:Snaked in Edgewater, NJ. Posted:September 28th, 2017 09:09AM

Main line backed up and come up through basement shower. I rented a small snake from Depo but for major blockage you can’t use these small drills. You need a huge snake. Two young guys showed up and they said $250 for starters and $95 ever 10 feet of snake. I knew the cost would be the max at this point and sure enough they charged $950 which was 95 feet of snake, the full length of their snake. A scam.

Posted by:NT in Alameda, CA. Posted:May 11th, 2017 03:05PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction:Blockage

we had two upstairs toilets not draining. Plumber had to take both out, snake the main line and r-install toilets.

Posted by:z in oak park, MI. Posted:March 16th, 2017 06:03PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction:grease/possible more

wanted camera, but dispatcher sayz not for small pipes, so I said send him anyway. he charged me to snake it and wants me to make a appointment for a 100 snake check from his company. there might be a break in the line.

Posted by:george kraus in Torrington, CT. Posted:December 13th, 2016 04:12PM
Cleaner:Dan’s Discount Rooter Type of Obstruction:Paper,medical gauze,baby wipes
Posted by:MTR in Sanford, FL. Posted:July 27th, 2016 08:07PM
Cleaner:Frank Gay Services Type of Obstruction:Clorox Clean Wipe

Had water back up in downstairs shower of 3 1/2 bath house after doing 4 loads of laundry. Tried everything I could as a DIYer, except renting a powered “snake” from box store. No other drainage problems throughout house. Apparently this was not a complete block as water did go down. There are a lot of trees in yard and house is 55 years old. so I thought the worst. FGS ran a powered snake down toilet pipe after removal (by me). Pulled out small amount of fibered material that looked like clean wipes, no roots or plant matter.

I paid $380 for what I could have done for $50.

I was happy with service, just seemed expensive.

Posted by:KJGP in Saint Louis, MO. Posted:July 2nd, 2016 03:07PM
Cleaner:Roto Rooter Type of Obstruction:Clog
Posted by:Chris Chugg in Batavia, NY. Posted:March 13th, 2016 06:03AM
Cleaner:Roto rooter Type of Obstruction:House trap clogged

About4to6feet of snake. Half hour. This normal price? Saturday afternoon.

Posted by:Sanjosemom in San Jose, CA. Posted:August 20th, 2015 01:08PM
Cleaner:Midas Type of Obstruction:Roots

Called in morning and arrived as promised on time.

Easy outdoor access to drain clean out in front yard. Set up auger and cleaned both ways. Cleared root obstruction. Took about 30 minutes from arrival to departure.

Posted by:Lumberjack man in Palisades park, NJ. Posted:June 14th, 2015 09:06AM
Cleaner:Rao rooter Type of Obstruction:Roots

We had water in the basement. Anthony came and snaked the main line within an hour he had pulled out three big sections of roots. And he offered to camera the line at no extra charge. Year was 2015. Their number 917 588 0408

Posted by:joe vin in westlake, OH. Posted:May 11th, 2015 06:05PM
Cleaner:Micah Calster Type of Obstruction:clogged

25 mts of job, clean work, 50 ft of snake run, flush the drain with water to make sure it’s free from obstruction

Posted by:AllanWalledLake in Walled Lake, MI. Posted:May 11th, 2015 01:05PM
Cleaner:MI Drain Cleaning Type of Obstruction:Roots

I had water coming from my basement floor drain and I called a company to tell me how much it would cost to repair or service the drain. They charged me $99 and snaked out the main sewer line. Found roots, offered me some $100+ chemical. I declined and has been open ever since.

Posted by:s b in doylestown, PA. Posted:April 19th, 2015 10:04AM
Cleaner:ZOOM DRAIN Type of Obstruction:

Came out and the customer has been having issues with the main drain backing up. They called out horizon but they were unable to reach the blockage. They had removed a toilet to access the line. They did not reinstall the toilet. I reinstalled the toilet because I was able to locate outside access at the rear of the house. Once the toilet was reinstalled I powercleaned the main drain. Powercleaned the line going back towards the house first. Powercleaned this section of the line several times to ensure a proper cleaning.

I was able to get the hose out about 110′.

Video inspected the line going back into the house and found this section of the line is clean and clear.

Posted by:Bob P. in Roanoke, VA. Posted:March 28th, 2015 10:03AM
Cleaner:JC Plumbing Type of Obstruction:Unknown blockage

Toilets in house started bubbling and tubs started backing up. Septic system was pumped out 4-months ago.

Posted by:a chinese homeowner in San Gabriel, CA. Posted:February 6th, 2015 02:02PM
Cleaner:Shun Lee Handy Type of Obstruction:root

Gavin used snake up to 100ft to clean out root blockage. Don’t know much of the details of what he did as I wasn’t around. At most a couple hours of work. Year is not 2014 but 2015.

Posted by:a user in Kewanee, IL. Posted:December 31st, 2014 08:12AM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction:Build up

Laundry drain and shower drain. Old house, drains were corroded and just general build up in trap and pipes. Shower was a pretty yucky mess.

Posted by:THEMAGICPLUMBER.PLUMBING in San Jose, CA. Posted:July 16th, 2014 12:07AM
Cleaner:the magic plumber Type of Obstruction:roots and sludge buildup

45 minutes to unload machine with 5/8 cable and 4 inch blade 30ft. run to clog and additional 25ft. run to the city lateral to make it a 55 ft. of total cable run plus a second run out to sewer lateral to make sure its free from obstructions and any solids that may clog the drain again. run water for 10 minutes to make sure its not clogged clean the area with sanitizer and wash down plus a six month workmanship warranty against clogs under normal usage and against roots that caused the blockage in the first place.

commercial buildings on another hand normally don’t get warranties because we the service provider cannot control what the employees or outside crowds flush down the drains or sewer lines. you would be surprised!

Posted by:a user in Lambs Grove, IA. Posted:July 9th, 2014 03:07PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction:Roots
Posted by:ESz in Falls Church, VA. Posted:July 6th, 2014 08:07PM
Cleaner: Type of Obstruction:Blockage (Build Up)

To access the main sewage line, one need to remove the downstairs toilet in a small carpeted area. It was really difficult to access and the plumber had difficulty getting the roto-rooter in there. I felt we paid a lot but he was out within an hour on a Saturday.

Posted by:Erincaldwell in Dayton, OH. Posted:July 22nd, 2013 10:07AM
Cleaner:All Drain Type of Obstruction:Rag stuck in pipe

Our main drain is in a crawl space so it’s tough to get at. That made the cost a bit more. External Resources: More Articles on the Subject of the Home and Garden

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