How much does it cost to clear a drain?

Drain clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems encountered by homeowners. At one point or another, every homeowner has had to deal with a clogged toilet, sink, or shower. The most common question we get when homeowners call our plumbers is this: “How much does drain cleaning cost?” The answer to that question comes down to a few factors.

In this article, we’ll get into the details behind your drain cleaning quote and explain why you might be better off hiring a pro than attempting to clear the clog yourself.

For fast and reliable drain cleaning help here in Albuquerque, call the friendly team at Wagner. We’re ready to help you and your home with your urgent plumbing needs.

How much does drain cleaning cost?

According to data collected by, the average drain cleaning job—including the cost of any supplies and labor—will run a homeowner between $100-$300. The reason for the variability in price comes down to the type of clog and how much time is required to fully clear it.

One thing to keep in mind is that most plumbers (including ours here at Wagner) make efficient use of their time while also doing a complete cleanup of the drain, ensuring there are no further problems once they leave.

How much will it cost me to clear my own drain clog?

Obviously, with DIY drain cleaning, you don’t have to pay yourself for labor. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the job is free, either. At the bare minimum, you’ll need to make a run to the hardware store to pick up some drain cleaning tools—snakes, cleaning solutions, and more. If your clog is serious enough, you may even need to rent an electric router from the store, which is when your DIY drain cleaning costs seriously start to balloon.

Depending on what you need to either purchase or rent, you’re probably already approaching the lower boundary of that average cost ($100) mentioned above. Of course, all of this is assuming that your DIY approach will get the job done. If the clog still doesn’t clear, you’ll then need to reweigh your options, which probably should include bringing in a professional to get your bathroom or kitchen running again.

Related Article: Should I DIY my sink clog?

Does DIY drain cleaning work?

There’s really no way to provide a universal, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The truth is that it’s situational. For some clogs, all that’s required is a plunger and some proverbial elbow grease. Others are more complicated and are unlikely to come loose with just a plunger alone.

Here’s the thing: using a plunger or a store-bought snake tool can’t hurt the situation, outside of the effort and time you’ll have to put into it. You might as well give DIY drain cleaning a shot and—if the clog still won’t come loose—bring our plumbers into the picture.

One exception to this recommendation: don’t use chemical drain cleaners to clear out your clogs. These liquid drain cleaners work by creating a chemical reaction that eats through the clog, clearing it out. There’s just one problem: a chemical reaction harsh and hot enough to clear a clog is also pretty bad for the surrounding pipe. Plus, drain cleaners don’t completely clear out the clog—in most cases, they get rid of enough of it to clear the existing blockage, but you’ll be right back where you started in about a week.

Watch: How to unclog any drain

In this video from This Old House, Richard Trethewey reviews how to best unclog sink, toilet, and shower drains.

Are some types of drain cleaning more expensive than others?

Most common clogs—shower, sink, and toilet clogs—cost about the same to have cleared and cleaned out. There might be some subtle differences in the cost between each of these projects, but nothing too drastic or surprising to you as a homeowner. If you run into a contractor or plumber who wants a significant increase in pay to deal with a typical clog, start asking questions and get a second opinion from our team.

Sewer line clogs, however, are a much different story. Sewer line clogs are a serious issue that occurs when a blockage forms inside of the sewer line connecting your home to the municipal sewer at the street. There are several factors that make these types of clogs more difficult (and pricier) to clear out:

– Sewer line clogs occur “deeper” in the drain than most clogs, which means specialized equipment is required to clear them. Your store-bought snake tool is practically useless in this situation.
– Sewer line clogs are often stubborn and formed from hard-to-clear materials. In some cases—such as tree root intrusion into the line—the line will need to be excavated so that our plumbers can physically reach it.
– With a sewer line clog, the urgency of the issue is higher, as this type of blockage puts your home at serious risk of a sewer backup.

One of the most prominent signs of a sewer backup is all of your home’s drains—including your sinks, showers, and toilets—clogging at once. If this happens, you need to immediately turn off the water and call in our plumbers. Sewer line issues are not a DIY-friendly project. You need to act quickly and have a professional come out to your home as soon as possible to determine the severity of the issue and the actions that need to be taken to fix it.

Call Wagner for expert drain cleaning in Albuquerque

Wagner is Albuquerque’s leading team of plumbing professionals. We’re here to help with all your plumbing repair needs—including clearing clogged or obstructed drains. Wagner is known throughout town for our commitment to great service and our fair, straightforward drain cleaning quotes. You can save even more off your drain cleaning and other plumbing services by checking out our coupons!

Contact us today for fast and reliable service here in Albuquerque.