How Much Does it Cost to Snake a Drain?

Typical Range:

$145 - $334

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 28,804 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated February 16, 2021

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost to Snake a Drain

average cost to snake a drain is $220 or $85 to $575

It costs an average of $229 to get a drain snaked professionally. That price can land anywhere between $145 and $334 depending on the simplicity or severity of the issue. Stubborn blockages or damaged parts can increase your repair bill.

Plumbers often charge a flat fee for a drain clearing service. Additional problems may require labor charges of up to $200 per hour plus the cost of parts. This frequent DIY fix

When your sink, tub or toilet fails to drain water, plungers don’t always do the trick. Find drain clearing services near you to get a stubborn clog fixed.

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

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 28,804 HomeAdvisor members.

Plumber Cost to Unclog a Drain

Plumbing professionals estimate each of these jobs using a flat rate for drain clearing services. If any problems arise, they switch to an hourly rate. When your plumber offers a flat fee, you will likely pay under $530 for the job.

With an hourly rate, however, your costs could steadily climb upward, especially if you hired a master plumbing professional. These experts typically set their hourly labor rate between $70 and $120, though some charge as much as $200 per hour.

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How Much is a Plumbing Snake on Average?

Basic handheld, manually or drill-activated plumbing snakes typically cost around $25, but they only reach up to 25 feet. These work best for minor blockages that are located fairly close to the basin or toilet. If you need to resolve this type of clog, you can pick up this style plumbing snake at the hardware store.

For tougher clogs deep in the pipes, you will need a machine auger, which runs from $250 all the way up to $3,250 for the professional models. This innovative plumbing tool uses up to 100 feet of wire cable to clear blockages. The purchase price of this specialty machinery tends to exceed the cost of hiring a pro, but you can lower your DIY expenses by renting the equipment instead.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Drain Snake?

Equipment rental companies and hardware stores allow you to borrow handheld drain snakes and machine augers for a daily, weekly or monthly fee. Handheld drain snakes range from $35 to $45 a day. The weekly and monthly rate greatly decreases the daily cost, so choose one of those options if your project will take more than a day. If you go this route, your handheld drain snake rental will cost around $130 a week or up to $275 a month.

Machine augers, on the other hand, run from $50 to $85 per day to rent. With the weekly rate, you can expect to pay up to $250, while the monthly rate will only run you about $500. When you rent the drain cleaning equipment, ask the tool rental store employees to show you how it works. Using the right techniques can help prevent damage to your plumbing that would then require professional repair.

Roto-Rooter Drain Cleaning Cost

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. They may charge a trip or after-hours fee if you live outside their service area or need assistance after business hours.

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Drain Cleaning Cost by Service

The longer you wait to clear the blockage, the worse the problem becomes. Eventually, you may have to hire a plumber at an hourly rate of up to $200. The total price varies based on the amount of work involved, but expect to pay around $200, as project costs tend to run between $135 and $295. Small jobs can cost as little as $85, but clearing a severe blockage costs as much as $530.

The severity of blockages ranges from slowing drain speeds to fully preventing the water from evacuating. Treating the blockage at the first sign of a problem is the most cost-effective solution, as this is often something you can do yourself.

Cost for a Plumber to Unclog a Toilet

The cost for a plumber to unclog a toilet is similar to what you would pay for clearing your other pipes. For most projects, you can expect to pay a plumber $110 to $275 to restore the function of your toilet.

This is a less-pleasant task than clearing a sink blockage, but you can still complete the work yourself if you purchase a household snake tool for $15 to $30. You can also elect to use a specialized toilet auger to resolve this problem. At hardware stores, they run between $10 to $70 with those in the higher end of the range much easier to use effectively.

Cost to Unclog Kitchen Sink & Garbage Disposal

Hiring a plumber to clear a sink blockage costs a flat fee of $110 to $215. If problems arise, your repair bills could start climbing, however, as charges for minimum labor amounts and call-out fees are standard. Therefore, it is often far cheaper to attempt to clear a simple drain blockage yourself.

If your sink has a garbage disposal, however, hiring a pro may be your best bet. To complete this job, you must remove the drain trap fitting and dig out debris using a scrub brush. If that does not work, you must move onto removing the drain arm and snaking the pipes. When all else fails, you may need to replace your garbage disposal. The garbage disposal replacement may cost you $60 to $300 for parts alone plus at least two hours of labor.

Cost to Clear Blocked Drain in Bathtub or Shower

You can expect to pay $225 on average to have a blocked bathtub or shower drain cleared. Even with regular cleaning, the bathtub and shower drain pipes quickly fill with debris, including hair, dirt, and soap scum. The debris sticks to the inside pipe surfaces and forms a blockage. As this happens, you may notice water drainage slowing down. Acting fast can help you can prevent the need for clog removal services. You can manually remove hair with a snake and remove soap scum with drain cleaner.

Clearing a Main Line Cost

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. While it's possible to rent an industrial snake for $30 to $70, this is an unpleasant job that you should probably leave to a professional.

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Factors in Drain Rodding Cost

Many factors affect the average cost of hiring a plumber to clear a blocked drain, including:

  • Price Variations: Plumbers’ flat and hourly rates vary across all regions and may increase during the busy season.

  • Severity of the Blockage: You can clear a simple blockage in a few minutes, but a severe clog may require professional services.

  • The Number of Clogs: Having several clogged fixtures indicates a blockage in the main line, which is more difficult to resolve.

  • The Cause of the Blockage: Soap scum, hair, and food debris are easy to remove, but corrosion can cause complications.

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

Although it is usually a good idea, it's not always necessary to hire a professional to resolve a blocked drain. You may be able to remove blockages in a single pipe with a plumbing snake. When the blockage is affecting multiple plumbing fixtures, however, then there is probably a clog in the main sewage. If you suspect this problem, immediately stop using your water supply and contact an emergency drain cleaning company.

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Steps to Handling Clogged Drains Yourself

If you only have a blockage in a single pipe, you can try to handle it yourself with the following steps.

Use a Plunger

Plungers create a seal around the clogged drain and use suction to free the blockage. Always use the right type of plunger designed for the sink or toilet.

Try a Chemical Drain Cleaner

You can use a strong drain cleaner to try to break up the materials causing the clog. Acid-based cleaners may remove the finish on your drain if used without care. They also create noxious fumes and cause chemical burns on contact. When taking this route, always wear protective equipment and follow all of the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

Remove the Trap

If you can easily access the pipes under the sink or tub basin, you can remove the U-shaped trap to remove the blockage. Place a bucket under the basin to catch any water that drains out. Some traps are easy to remove by hand, while others require slip-joint pliers to budge.

Snake the Drain

Small household snakes are relatively inexpensive and simple to use. For blockages in the main line, you need a machine auger.

If you do need the services of a plumber, shop around for the best rates. Aim to get at least three quotes to choose from, but remember that you get what you pay for when you hire a plumber. It's worth the expense to pay a licensed and insured plumber who has happy customers and excellent reviews.

How to Prevent Clogged Drains

You can prevent blockages by using store-bought chemical drain cleaners, but they can often cause corrosion and damage over time. Non-corrosive bacteriological drain cleaners are gentler , but they are about $16 a gallon.

For a more cost-effective solution for cleaning drains, you can follow these steps:

  1. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.

    • Do NOT pour boiling water into a PVC plumbing system. The maximum temperature of water you can put into PVC systems is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda and wait several minutes.

  3. Pour one cup vinegar and one cup hot water down the drain

  4. Let sit for 10 minutes.

  5. Flush with hot water.

Once you have cleaned your drains, try to keep them free from debris. Avoid scraping too much food into your garbage disposal and never pour grease down your drains. Remember to remove clumps of loose hair from your pipes as well. Make this task easier by investing in snugly-fitting, metal screens for all your drains. With regular maintenance, you can avoid having to pay the costs for clearing clogged drains.


How Much Do Plumbers Charge to Snake a Drain?

For all but the most severe clogs, plumbers charge a flat rate for their services. Their rate runs between $85 and $530, though most drain clearing services only cost $215. If the scope of the plumbing service exceeds snaking the drain, the rate may switch to hourly for labor plus additional parts costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Drain Lines?

Although rare, severe clogs can result in the need to replace drain lines, which can cost up anywhere from $360 to well over $3,000. Drain line replacement projects that require the cost of trenching come in at a much higher price point than the simple replacement of easily-accessible lines does. This will cost about $100 a foot and at least 14 hours of labor.

What Can I Pour Down a Clogged Drain?

When deciding what you can pour down a clogged drain, you can go with enzyme drain cleaner for gentle removal of the clog material. If the $16 a gallon price point exceeds your budget, you can make your own plumbing-friendly drain cleaner from baking soda and white vinegar.

How Long Does It Take to Snake a Drain?

For loose clogs located near the tub, toilet, or sink basin, it may only take five minutes to snake a drain. Clogs near the main line, however, can take hours to resolve, especially if they affect multiple pipes. Plumbers have the skills, know-how, and equipment to get the job much faster, though you may pay a premium for their help.

How Long of a Plumbing Snake Do I Need?

If your 25-foot handheld snake cannot reach the clog, then you can try the 50, 75, or even 100-foot models instead. When figuring out how long of a plumbing snake you need, you just have to try what you have and see if it even touches the clog.

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