If you hire someone to fix your drain and clean it out, it will likely cost around $150-$200. This cost is likely to change based on a few factors, including:
- The complexity and location
- The type of repair needed (hydro jetting is more expensive than snaking, for example)
- If the plumber needs to perform a video inspection
- If the plumber needs to fix issues with the main sewer line
- If it’s an emergency repair
- Or if the plumber has to provide additional plumbing repairs
Always get estimates from a handful of plumbers to find out exactly how much your repair will cost.
Also read, “How much does fixing a clogged drain cost?”
Plumbers use two main methods to unclog drains. The first is a snake, which is a long, flexible metal coil that works its way through tight corners to dislodge whatever is causing the clog. This can be either hand-operated or motorized. More costly is hydro jetting, which involves shooting high-pressure water through a clogged drain to remove buildup from grease and other substances, as well as to remove clogs.
Assess the situation and try a few at-home solutions. For example:
- Did you try several DIY methods (using a plunger, drain cleaner, drain snake, etc.)?
- Are there multiple clogged drains in your home?
- Do you suspect your main sewer line is clogged?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, it might be worth contacting a plumber near you to come diagnose and fix your drain issue.
Depending on the service you need (unclogging a drain, fixing a pipe, installing new pipes, etc.), plumbers charge anywhere from $45-$165 per hour. Plumbers often operate on a fixed rate model, too. Some won’t charge hourly rates because the variables involved in their work makes it less practical to do so.
Plumbers will scope out the work, calculate the cost of parts, and roll it together with other fees to give you an estimate for the job. They may even offer standard flat rates for things like installing a toilet or a sink. Reach out to plumbers near you to get an accurate cost estimate for your project or repair.
A plumber will need to enter your home to fix plumbing issues like dripping faucets, clogged sinks or toilets and leaky pipes. They might not need to come into your home if the faulty appliance is located outdoors or in the garage. Before you begin the project, contact plumbers near you to find out they will need to enter your home.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a plumber during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If possible, it’s best to set up a virtual consultation or phone call with a plumber near during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can send a message to a professional plumber near you and ask if they are available to video chat or have a phone call. Use that time to discuss the work that needs to be done. Make sure to ask any questions you have about the project. And lastly, ask the plumber how they handle payments and whether they have any specific safety precautions in place to comply with social distancing.
Contact plumbers near you beforehand to see if they can complete the project without entering your home — for example, by entering the garage to fix a broken water heater. If the plumber needs to enter your house to do the job, you should proceed only if both parties feel comfortable with the project. Consider taking extra steps such as waving instead of shaking hands, staying 6 feet apart, using digital payments and sanitizing common areas.
Plumbers are skilled professionals who are trained to install and maintain pipes and systems for drinking water, sewage and drainage. They usually have trained through four- to five-year training programs, which include apprenticeships, via trade schools and community colleges. Plumbers’ areas of expertise typically go beyond pipes to include mathematics, blueprint reading, plumbing codes and water distribution. They handle plumbing emergencies, such as broken pipes or clogged drains, and install and maintain everything from a new piping system to a replacement faucet. Plumbers also know how to install bathtubs and showers, toilets, water heaters and dishwashers. Plumbers may work on residential or commercial sites, sometimes designing and laying out a pipe system during construction.
Generally, plumbers are often considered essential service providers. Essential service providers vary from state to state and city to city, however. For the most accurate information, check your official state or city government website to see whether a plumber is considered an essential service in your area.
Read CISA’s publication on identifying critical workers to find out more information on a national level. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
If you see a profile that states the plumber is offering remote services, contact the plumber before hiring them to see what those services include. Although plumbing is a job that has to be done in-person, you can ask them if they offer virtual consultations or an online walk-through.