How Much Does It Cost to Snake a Drain: What You Need to Know

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Is your drain acting up and you’re unsure about the cost to snake it? You are not alone, many homeowners face this dilemma. Understanding that these costs can range from $145 to $1000 or more depending on various factors can be daunting.

This blog post aims to guide you through each aspect of snaking a drain, including average costs, pros and cons of DIY vs hiring a professional, possible additional expenses and how to save money on this service.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Snaking a drain can cost anywhere from $145 to $1000 or more depending on factors like labor, blockage severity, and the type of drain.
  • Factors such as blockage location, number of blockages, and the cause of the blockage can also affect the cost of snaking a drain.
  • It is generally recommended to hire a professional plumber for drain snaking due to their expertise, time-saving abilities, quality results, prevention of further damage, and potential warranty coverage.
  • DIY snaking may be cost – effective but risks damaging pipes and taking up valuable time.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Snake a Drain

Labor, blockage severity, blockage location, number of blockages, blockage cause, and drain type all contribute to the cost of snaking a drain.


Workers play a big part in the cost to snake a drain. A plumber with many years of work will often charge more for their time. On average, plumbers can charge around $200 to unclog your pipes.

Main line clogs are much harder to fix and might need a skilled plumber. You may pay between $200 and $500 to get this job done by an expert. Be sure about who you hire for the task!

Blockage Severity

The severity of the blockage in your drain can affect the cost to snake it. If you have a minor blockage, like hair or soap scum, it may be easier and quicker to remove, resulting in a lower cost.

However, if you have a severe blockage caused by tree roots or other debris, it may require more time and effort to clear, which could increase the cost. Keep in mind that severe blockages may also require additional repairs or techniques such as hydro jetting, which can add to the overall expense.

So depending on how bad the blockage is will determine how much you’ll need to spend on snaking your drain.

Blockage Location

The location of the blockage can affect the cost to snake a drain. If the clog is in a bathtub or shower drain, it may be easier to access and remove, resulting in lower costs. On the other hand, if the blockage is in a main sewer line, it can be more challenging and time-consuming to unclog, leading to higher prices.

The average cost to snake a main sewer line is around $500 to $1,000. So depending on where the blockage is located within your plumbing system, you might expect different costs for snaking services.

Number of Blockages

The number of blockages in your drain can affect the cost to snake it. If you have multiple blockages, it may take longer for a plumber to clear them all, which could increase the cost.

On average, homeowners spend around $200 to snake a drain with one blockage. However, if there are more than one or severe blockages, the cost may be higher. It’s important to address any clogs promptly to avoid further damage and higher costs in the future.

Blockage Cause

The cause of the blockage in your drain can affect the cost to snake it. If the blockage is caused by something simple like hair or soap residue, it may be easier and cheaper to remove.

However, if the blockage is due to more complex issues like tree roots or a collapsed pipe, it can be more difficult and expensive to fix. The cost will also depend on whether the plumber needs specialized equipment or additional repairs to clear the blockage.

Drain Type

Different types of drains in your home can have varying costs when it comes to snaking them. For a bathtub or shower drain, the average cost ranges from $145 to $350. To snake a kitchen sink drain, expect to pay around $200 on average.

Snaking a laundry drain may cost you anywhere between $100 and $275. If you have a clogged toilet, the price for snaking it is similar to other drains, usually averaging around $200.

Lastly, if you’re dealing with a blockage in your main sewer line, professional snaking can cost between $500 and $1,000. Remember that these prices are just estimates and can vary depending on factors such as location and severity of the blockage.

Cost Breakdown by Type of Drain

The cost to snake a drain can vary depending on the type of drain being unclogged. Different drains may require different techniques or equipment, which can affect the overall cost.

Here is a breakdown of the average costs for snaking various types of drains:.

– Bathtub or Shower: On average, it can cost between $100 and $300 to snake a bathtub or shower drain.

– Kitchen Sink: The cost to unclog a kitchen sink drain typically ranges from $100 to $250.

– Laundry: Snaking a laundry drain can cost around $75 to $200, depending on the severity of the clog.

– Toilet: Unclogging a toilet drain using snaking methods usually costs between $150 and $300.

– Main Sewer Line: Snaking the main sewer line is generally more expensive due to its complexity and accessibility. It can range anywhere from $200 to over $500.

Please note that these are just average estimates and actual prices may vary based on your specific location and

Bathtub or Shower

Snaking a bathtub or shower drain is usually more affordable compared to other types of drains. On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $175 for a professional plumber to snake a bathtub or shower drain.

However, the cost may vary depending on factors like the severity of the blockage and the location of the clog. For example, if the clog is deep within the pipes or requires extra effort to remove, it may result in higher costs.

It’s important to keep in mind that these prices are just averages and can differ based on your location and specific circumstances.

Kitchen Sink

Snake a kitchen sink drain can cost between $100 and $275 on average. Hiring a professional plumber is recommended for this task, as they have the expertise to handle different types of blockages in kitchen sinks.

The cost may vary depending on factors such as the severity and location of the clog, as well as the type of drain pipe used in your kitchen sink. Regular maintenance and proper waste disposal can help prevent clogs in the first place, saving you money on future snaking costs.


The average cost to snake a laundry drain is around $200. This cost may vary depending on factors like the severity of the blockage and the type of drain. If you have a clog in your main sewer line, professional snaking can cost between $500 and $1,000.

It’s recommended to hire a professional plumber for mainline clogs since they may charge anywhere from $200 to $500 for snaking. By hiring a professional, you can ensure that your laundry drain is unclogged efficiently and effectively without causing further damage.


If you have a clogged toilet that needs to be cleared, hiring a professional plumber to snake the drain can cost around $100 to $275 on average. The national average for snaking a main sewer line is higher, ranging from $500 to $1,000.

It’s important to call a professional for main line clogs as they may require more specialized equipment and expertise. Roto-Rooter is one well-known company that offers drain snaking services, but their specific pricing is not mentioned in the article.

While the cost of purchasing a drain snake at Home Depot or Walmart is not provided, these stores are suggested as places to find them.

Main Sewer Line

The cost of snaking a main sewer line can range from $500 to $1,000. It is recommended to hire a professional plumber for this task, as they have the expertise and equipment to handle bigger blockages.

The national average cost for unclogging a main sewer line is around $3,080. Calling a reputable plumbing company like Roto-Rooter could be an option, but their specific pricing is not mentioned in the article.

Remember that attempting to snake a main sewer line yourself may lead to further damage and costly repairs.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional for Drain Snaking

When deciding between DIY drain snaking or hiring a professional, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros and cons of DIY snaking

Though more cost-effective, snaking a drain by yourself can be a tricky business. Here’s a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if it’s worth tackling the job yourself or hiring a professional.

Pros of DIY Snaking Cons of DIY Snaking
Cost-effective: DIY snaking can save you a good deal of money as the average cost for professional snaking is around $250. Additionally, you can find drain snakes at stores like Home Depot and Walmart. Lack of expertise: Without professional training, you risk damaging your pipes. This could lead to costly repairs, possibly more than what you would have spent on a professional plumber.
Immediate action: In emergencies, you can clear the blockage immediately instead of waiting for a professional to arrive. Time-consuming: It may take a significant amount of time to clear the blockage, especially if you lack experience. The article does not mention how long it takes to snake a drain.
Learning experience: It gives you a chance to understand your home’s plumbing system better. Safety hazard: Without proper knowledge and precaution, you risk injury from the mechanical snake.

In conclusion, while DIY snaking can save you money initially, the potential risks and costs from damage or injury may outweigh the initial savings. Consider these factors carefully before deciding on a DIY approach.

Benefits of hiring a professional

Hiring a professional plumber to snake a drain comes with several benefits. Here are some reasons why it’s worth considering:

  1. Expertise: Professional plumbers have the knowledge and experience to accurately diagnose and address drain issues. They can quickly identify the cause of the blockage and use the appropriate tools and techniques to effectively clear it.
  2. Time-saving: Trying to unclog a drain yourself can be time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the right equipment or know-how. Hiring a professional allows you to save time and effort, as they can complete the job efficiently.
  3. Quality results: Professional plumbers have access to specialized tools and equipment that may not be available to homeowners. This means they can often achieve more thorough and long-lasting results when snaking a drain.
  4. Prevent further damage: If you attempt DIY drain snaking without proper knowledge, you could potentially damage your pipes or make the problem worse. Professionals know how to handle different types of drains and blockages, reducing the risk of causing additional damage.
  5. Warranty coverage: Many professional plumbers offer warranties or guarantees on their workmanship. This means that if the issue persists after snaking, they will return to fix it at no extra cost.

How to choose a reliable plumber

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have recently had their drains snaked.
  • Look for online reviews and ratings of plumbing companies in your area.
  • Check if the plumber is licensed and insured to ensure they meet the necessary qualifications and standards.
  • Inquire about the plumber’s experience and expertise in drain snaking.
  • Request a written estimate from multiple plumbers to compare costs and services.
  • Find out if the plumber offers any warranties or guarantees on their work.
  • Ask about the availability of emergency services in case you encounter a sudden drain blockage.
  • Consider hiring a plumber who offers 24/7 customer support for any future issues or concerns.

Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the cost of drain snaking, there are a few other factors to consider. Find out about video inspections, alternative methods like hydro jetting, and potential additional repairs that may arise during the process.

Discover how these factors can affect your overall costs and make an informed decision about the best approach for your drain issues.

Video inspection

Another important consideration when snaking a drain is video inspection. This involves using a small camera to check the condition of your pipes and locate any potential issues. While this may incur an additional cost, it can help identify the root cause of blockages and prevent future clogs.

Video inspections are particularly recommended for main sewer line clogs, as they allow professionals to accurately assess the extent of the problem before performing any snaking or repairs.

By addressing underlying issues, you can save money in the long run by preventing recurring drain problems.

Snaking vs. hydro jetting

When it comes to clearing clogs in your drains, there are two main options: snaking and hydro jetting. Snaking involves using a long, flexible cable with a blade or hook on the end to break up the clog and remove it.

This method is effective for most blockages and is generally more affordable, with an average cost of around $200. On the other hand, hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to blast away stubborn clogs and clean the entire pipe.

While this method is more thorough and can prevent future clogs, it tends to be more expensive, with an average cost of $350 or more. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that gets the job done, snaking is your best bet.

Additional repairs

If your drain has a blockage that cannot be cleared by snaking, additional repairs may be needed. This could include fixing damaged pipes or replacing parts of the drainage system.

The cost of these repairs will depend on the extent of the damage and the materials required. It’s important to budget for potential repair costs when considering how much it will cost to snake a drain.

Tips for Saving Money on Drain Snaking Costs

Regular maintenance can help prevent clogs and reduce the need for drain snaking, while proper disposal of waste and choosing cost-effective plumbing solutions can also help save money.

Regular maintenance to prevent clogs

  • Schedule regular drain cleaning appointments with a professional plumber to prevent clogs.
  • On average, professional drain cleaning costs around $200, but this can save you money in the long run by preventing major blockages and potential damage to your plumbing system.
  • Consider using eco – friendly drain cleaners or homemade solutions like baking soda and vinegar to keep your drains flowing smoothly.
  • Avoid pouring grease, oil, and food scraps down the kitchen sink to prevent clogs. It’s also important to use a sink strainer to catch larger food particles.
  • Regularly clean out debris from bathtub and shower drains using a hair catcher or mesh screen to prevent hair and soap scum build-up.
  • Be cautious when flushing items down the toilet—only flush toilet paper and human waste. Other items like wipes, feminine hygiene products, and cotton balls can cause clogs.
  • To maintain laundry drains, regularly clean out lint traps in washing machines and avoid overloading the machine with clothes.
  • Consider installing drain covers in all sinks and tubs to catch debris before it enters the pipes.

Proper disposal of waste

To save money on drain snaking costs, it’s important to properly dispose of waste. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain as it can solidify and cause blockages.
  2. Dispose of food scraps in the trash or compost bin instead of rinsing them down the sink.
  3. Use a drain strainer or stopper to catch hair, soap residue, and other debris before it goes down the drain.
  4. Empty lint traps regularly to prevent build – up in laundry drains.
  5. If you have a septic system, follow proper maintenance guidelines to avoid overloading it with waste.

Choosing cost-effective plumbing solutions

When it comes to choosing cost-effective plumbing solutions for drain snaking, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you save money:

  1. Regular maintenance: By regularly maintaining your drains and pipes, you can prevent clogs from forming in the first place. This can be as simple as using drain guards or strainers to catch hair, food particles, and other debris.
  2. Proper waste disposal: Avoid flushing anything down the toilet or pouring grease and oil down the sink. These can cause blockages and lead to costly repairs or professional snaking services.
  3. DIY options: If you’re comfortable with DIY projects, you might consider purchasing a drain snake from a retailer like Home Depot or Walmart. While the cost of the drain snake is not mentioned in this article, it could potentially save you money on hiring a professional plumber for minor clogs.
  4. Choosing reliable plumbers: If you do decide to hire a professional plumber for drain snaking, make sure to choose someone who is experienced and reputable. Ask for recommendations from friends or family, read online reviews, and get multiple quotes before making a decision.
  5. Compare prices: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Get estimates from different plumbers in your area and compare their prices along with their reputation and experience.


In conclusion, the cost to snake a drain can vary depending on factors like labor, blockage severity, and drain type. On average, homeowners spend around $200 for professional snaking.

It’s important to choose a reliable plumber and consider additional costs like video inspection or repairs. By practicing regular maintenance and proper waste disposal, you can potentially save money on drain snaking expenses.


1. What does it cost to snake a drain?

The average cost to snake a drain can vary based on the severity of the clog, with prices ranging from those found at Home Depot for do-it-yourself options, to higher costs when hiring plumbing services.

2. Is there a different cost for unclogging various types of drains?

Yes, shower drain snaking costs can differ from laundry drain or kitchen drain unclogging costs. It also depends on the time taken to unclog each one.

3. Are there other methods besides using a drain snake to clear drains?

Apart from using a standard pipe snaking method, plumbers may also use techniques such as hydrojet cleaning which might have different sewer line unclogging costs.

4. How much does it cost for a plumber to unclog main sewer lines versus regular ones?

Unblocking main sewer lines usually comes with higher plumber’s costs due their size and complexity compared with regular clogs in houses.

5. Are maintenance and repairs included in the initial cost of fixing my clogged drains?

While some plumbing services may include basic maintenance or minor repairs in their service fees others could charge extra.

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