How Much Does It Cost To Snake A Drain?

Typical Range:

$145 - $336

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 29,978 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get 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 May 18, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

It costs around $231 to snake a drain. For quick and easy jobs, you can pay as little as $145, but for more complex clogs, you can spend $350 or more. You can expect to pay up to $200 per hour in extra labor for stubborn blockages. For plumbing that needs repair, you'll also have to factor in the cost of replacement parts.

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National Average $231
Typical Range $145 - $336
Low End - High End $85 - $624

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 29,978 HomeAdvisor members.

Drain Cleaning Cost Factors

The price of cleaning a drain is dependent on many things, including the severity of the clog, the location, the cause, and the best solution. Hire a local plumber to inspect the problem and give you an accurate quote. 

Labor

Often, a drain clog is a fixed-price service, with an average price of $230. However, a plumber's hourly rate falls between $45 and $200 per hour

If you have a clog that needs immediate attention, you'll need to hire an emergency drain cleaning company to clear the blockage. They'll charge you an emergency call-out fee, on top of the standard clog-clearing cost, which could be anywhere from $100 to $300. Plus, if you need rapid service at night or during a holiday, you may be charged double for labor. 

Severity of the Clog

The severity of the blockage impacts the time spent on the task, and therefore how much it costs to clear the clog. A simple blockage that takes a few minutes to clear costs significantly less than a complex job that requires multiple attempts and a video inspection to identify and fix the problem. 

Location

The further away from an access point the blockage occurs, the more costly it is to clear. The cost of clearing a main sewer line runs from $100 to $800, depending on the location of the clog. The further the plumber has to snake, the more time the job takes, and the more you pay in labor. 

Number of Clogs

If you have multiple clogs or get frequent clogs, particularly in different locations in your home, there's likely a more significant blockage or problem in the main line. Clearing multiple clogs is typically a costly job involving a video line inspection to identify the location and cause of the blockage and, in some cases, may require additional services to remove root incursions or repair damage from rock or root penetrations. 

Cause of the Blockage

General household waste, such as soap build-up, hair plugs, and food debris are commonplace and easy to remove. But corrosion in the pipes or a blockage caused by tree roots or damage to the pipe is considerably more expensive.

Video Inspection

A video inspection costs an average of $700, and ranges from $250 to $1,300. This cost is only for the inspection. Clearing the blockage is charged separately. A video inspection is necessary if a pro has already attempted to snake the drain and either couldn't remove the blockage or removed the blockage but the drain is still running persistently slow. 

In that case, a video camera inspection is necessary to find the cause of the blockage and to check the line for damage, such as root incursions or back-pitched sections. 

Snaking vs. Hydro Jetting

Snaking a drain costs $145 to $350 while hydro jetting costs $350 to $600. Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to remove debris, including tree roots. The use of high-pressure water is extremely effective and removes more debris than snaking.

However, in older homes, you should use it with caution. Because of its efficiency, the water can damage old pipes and cause leaks, which leads to further problems and costs. In homes with suitably durable pipes, hydro jetting is the method of choice for stubborn blockages and in cases where multiple drains are backing up. Talk to your local plumbing pro to solicit their recommendation for your specific situation.

Type of Drain

Each type of drain in your home requires a different amount of time, and therefore money, to fix. For example, clearing a kitchen sink typically costs less than clearing a shower drain. Additionally, the more serious the issue becomes, the more it costs to fix. Calling a plumber at the first sign of a drain problem is the most cost-effective solution.

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Type of Drain

Each type of drain in your home requires a different amount of time, and therefore money, to fix. For example, clearing a kitchen sink typically costs less than clearing a shower drain. Additionally, the more serious the issue becomes, the more it costs to fix. Calling a plumber at the first sign of a drain problem is the most cost-effective solution.

Type of Drain Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Kitchen Sink $110 – $215 $160
Toilet $110 – $275 $190
Bathtub/Shower $175 – $275 $225

Major Repairs

While clearing a blockage or performing a video camera inspection, your pro may uncover problems that require extensive repair or replacement, which can quickly add to your costs. Root incursions, rock penetrations, sagging pipes, and collapsed lines are all common causes for blockages that require major remediation.

  • Broken or cracked sewer line pipe costs an average of $1,100 to $3,000.

  • Tree roots in the sewer line costs between $100 and $600 to fix, plus the cost of a video line inspection.

  • Collapsed line repair costs between $50 and $250 per linear foot. For extensive damage, it may be more cost-efficient to replace the whole line. 

  • Trenching costs$4 to $12 per linear foot for standard depth lines. If your sewer line is deeper than average or close to other utilities, expect to pay up to $24 per linear foot.

  • Pipe replacement costs$50 to $450 per linear foot. 

  • Sewer trap replacement costs$200 to $325

  • Bellied pipe repair costs $1,500 to $3,000, because you’ll need to replace the pipe once it starts to sag.

DIY Drain Clearing vs. Hiring a Pro

You can likely clear a single small blockage with a plumbing snake without calling a plumber. However, a more substantial blockage, like a clog that's affecting multiple drains or one that's further down the line, will need professional intervention. If you can't quickly resolve the problem yourself or you suspect there's an issue in the main sewer line, it's better to promptly call an emergency drain cleaning company. 

Steps to Handling Clogged Drains Yourself

If you have a minor blockage in a single drain, you can try the following steps to clear it yourself.

  • Use a plunger

  • Try a chemical drain cleaner

  • Remove the trap

  • Snake the drain

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FAQs

How long does it take to snake a drain?

It may only take five minutes to snake a drain for loose clogs located near the tub, toilet, or sink basin. However, clogs near the main line can take hours to resolve, especially if they affect multiple pipes. Plumbers have the skills, experience, and equipment to get the job 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, you can try the 50, 75, or even 100-foot models instead. 

Can snaking a drain make things worse?

Sometimes using a snake to unclog a drain can cause more damage than intended. If you apply too much force, you risk scratching the surface and damaging the coating, which could eventually cause cracks to develop. Depending on what’s obstructing the drain, the snake could worsen the problem by jamming the debris tighter and further down the pipe. If your initial attempts to unclog your drain are unsuccessful, bring in a pro to take over safely.

How can I prevent clogged drains?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent clogged drains is to install snug mesh screens over the drain openings in your sinks, bath, and shower. This tool prevents hair, food particles, and other solid items from making their way into the drain and forming clogs. 

Regular drain cleaning with a non-corrosive bacteriological drain cleaner is also a smart option.

If you notice a drop in water pressure or your drains start to run slower, you can prevent a full blockage by having the sewer line cleaned. Sewer line cleaning costs between $170 and $500

How much is a drain snake?

A drain snake costs about $25 for a 25-foot model. For tougher blockages or clogs further along the line, you'll need a machine auger, which costs anywhere from $250 to $3,250

If you don't want to buy a plumbing snake or machine auger, you can rent one. Renting a handheld drain snake costs $35 to $45 per day, or you can rent by the week or the month. The cost to rent a drain snake for a week is around $130 and you'll pay typically $275 for a one-month rental. You can rent a machine auger for $50 to $85 per day, around $250 per week, or roughly $500 per month.

How much does Roto-Rooter cost?

Hiring a Roto-Rooter professional for drain-clearing services costs between $160 and $450. This fee generally includes the price of the sewer inspection as well as the drain clearing. It does not cover the cost of additional repairs or part replacement.

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