How much does it cost to unclog a kitchen sink?
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Unclog Kitchen Sink Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
As you wash dishes every day, food and other particles get trapped in your kitchen drains, which can cause them to clog over time. Kitchen sink clogs are one of the most common problems plumbers see. This minor issue can become serious if not properly corrected. That is why you need to enlist the assistance of a professional to get your plumbing back in shape.
The national average cost for unclogging a kitchen sink is between $250 and $400, with most people paying around $300 to unclog a kitchen drain using an electric snake. On the low end of the price range, some people only spend $100 to have minor clogs removed when they are not part of the main, using an electric snake. At the high end, you can pay up to $1,300 for emergency calls to the plumber in non-business hours for severe clogs in the main pipe line.
Price to Unclog a Kitchen Sink
|Cost to Unclog a Kitchen Sink
|National average cost
Cost to Unclog a Kitchen Sink by Method
Depending on the method, you can expect to pay between $100 and $800 to unclog a kitchen sink. The type of clog in the kitchen sink affects the method used by the plumber, which affects the overall project cost. A few tactics are typically used to unclog a kitchen sink. Plumbers start with the most non-invasive method like a snake or auger and proceed depending on whether it does the trick.
|$100 - $300
|$250 - $400
|$300 - $500
|Open Pipe Cleaning
|$550 - $800
Snake a Kitchen Drain
You can expect to spend between $100 and $300 to have a kitchen drain professionally snaked. This is one of the cheapest options and is the most common solution. This method involves using a long, coiled metal auger called a snake and pushing it down the plumbing system. It’s an efficient, cheap, and fast method to solve small to midsize clogs. However, it’s not a fit for larger or tough clogs. It also won’t detect issues with the plumbing system that may be causing the clogs and won’t address corrosion or build-up on pipes.
Electric Sink Snake
The average cost to unclog a sink by using an electric snake is $250 to $400. One of the biggest advantages of using an electric kitchen sink snake for unclogging is that it’s faster and capable of efficiently flushing away clogs and debris. However, it can be harsh and damaging to older or compromised pipes, so it may not be adequate for older drainage systems.
The average pipe jetting typically costs homeowners $300 to $500. Also known as water jetting, it’s an efficient unclogging method where the plumber releases a high-pressure hose into the drain and shoots a powerful jet of water to clean the pipes of any buildup or items that may have gotten stuck in the pipes. Hydro jetting is often used for bigger clogs and to clean the pipes of any goo. The powerful spray may damage the pipes and cause leakage, especially to older plumbing systems.
Open Pipe Cleaning
When there is a heavily clogged pipe, it needs to be opened manually to remove any blockage. This type of cleaning costs $550 to $800. As it involves manual removal of the dust and debris, it’s a lot messier, more complicated, and time-consuming than other methods. On the other hand, it’s also very efficient as each part is cleaned separately.
Average Cost to Unclog a Kitchen Sink by Location
Depending on the location, the average cost to unclog a kitchen sink can be $60 to $650. The plumbing system is complex, with different parts and connectors running through it. The clogging issue can happen in any area of the whole structure. The exact spot where the clogging issue formed is another factor that impacts the unclogging cost. The plumber must find exactly where the clog happened so they can solve it efficiently. Whether near the kitchen sink branch line or in the main sewer line dictates how severe your plumbing situation is. The closer a clog is to your branch line, the easier it is to resolve. When you are looking at clogs in the main sewer line, you could have an extensive project on your hands. The professional may also check the vent pipes on the roof of your home. These are prone to clogs due to birds or wildlife that nest nearby. You need to remove whatever is clogging this vent to resolve the clog in your sink.
|$60 - $150
|$100 - $300
|$150 - $500
|Main Sewer Line
|$350 - $650
Unclog a Garbage Disposal
The cost to unclog a kitchen sink with garbage disposal is $60 to $150. Garbage disposal makes the task more complex, as the disposal can fail and cause standing water for numerous reasons. The garbage disposal also requires a professional to first disassemble the system to dislodge whatever is causing the clog. Cutlery or small items can become jammed inside the disposal, so it’s always safest to rely on a professional plumber for resolution.
Kitchen Sink Trap Clogged
Unclogging a kitchen trap costs $100 to $300 as it’s usually cleaned by using a snake. The trap is a J-shaped pipe located below the sink that prevents harmful sewer gases from entering the house. The trap gets clogged when the water runs down the sink drain. Some amount of water is trapped and held in it. If some debris or hard piece gets trapped in it, it will start to fill up and prevent the remaining water from flowing through the pipe.
Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain
Kitchen sinks are connected to your home’s water supply systems through faucets. They are composed of several parts. Unclogging them costs anywhere between $150 and $500 depending on the exact location of the clog, the severity, and the method used to unclog it. Drains commonly get blocked because hair, dirt, debris, soap, and food get trapped in them during regular use, preventing the water from flowing through freely. The professional will assess the severity and location of the clog and determine the best way to unclog your kitchen drain. Some may decide to hydro jet. Others will use a snake, which will ultimately impact the overall cost.
Unclog a Main Sewer Line
To have a professional unclog the main sewer line in your home, you would pay around $350 to $650, depending on the severity of the clog and the exact method used to unclog it. The main sewer line is the line that connects your kitchen drains to the city connection or a septic tank. It’s important to unclog the main sewage line as soon as you notice the problem as it impacts all drains and fixtures at once and may cause them to release bad odors, make gurgling sounds, or cause sewage backup.
When there is a main sewage line clogged, the most common method used to unclog it is snaking because it allows the professional to reach the furthest distance, which is required with lengthy sewer lines. Because of the complexity of the job, the cost to unclog a sewer line is more expensive than unclogging other parts of the home and should always be done by a professional. If you try to do it yourself, you risk causing serious damage that would require replacing the whole pipe. Clean the sewer line regularly to maintain it and prevent clogs.
Cost for Plumber to Unclog a Kitchen Sink
The average cost to unclog a kitchen sink is around $300. About $200 of this cost are the labor costs, while the remaining $100 are attributed to the materials used. Most plumbers charge a flat rate of $150 to $500 depending on the urgency of the job, your location, the location and severity of the clog, and the time it would take to solve it. When they don’t charge a flat rate, it’s typically between $45 and $200 per hour, with the job taking an average of one to four hours. In addition to this, you may also have to pay a service call fee for having them come out to your home and diagnose the issue. This costs from $50 to $300 and may be waived (or partially credited) if you have the same plumber do the repair.
The rates are typically offered when you call to inquire about service and are guaranteed (with some limitations) regardless of how long it takes to complete the job. Plumbing contractors are best suited for unclogging your kitchen sink and typically can successfully tackle even the most stubborn clogs within a couple of hours. If additional work or equipment is needed to complete the job, the plumbers may notify you of additional charges.
Several factors impact the cost you will ultimately pay to unclog your kitchen sink. One of the main ones is the severity of the clog, which dictates the best method to unclog it. Whether your plumber uses chemicals, a snake, or an auger impacts the cost that you pay. If the kitchen sink needs to be removed to reach the clog, it increases the time and subsequent labor costs associated with calling a plumber. Accessibility to the plumbing also influences the cost to unclog a kitchen sink. Another important factor is the time of year. Rates and pricing fluctuate from one season to the next because of workflow and high demand during specific times of the year. Finally, the complexity of the job also impacts how much you will pay for the unclogging job, with more complicated jobs having increased labor and material costs.
Roto-Rooter Cost to Clear a Drain
Unclogging pipes and drains with a roto-rooter costs $225 to $500 because of the increased complexity the machine creates. The cost of roto-rooter hydro jetting is around $200 and $450 for the main sewer drain. A roto-rooter is a snake-like machine installed in drain pipes and sewers to prevent tree roots from invading and growing into them, eventually causing a clog.
Roto-Rooter is also the name of a popular company that provides plumbing repair, sewer and drain services, and water damage cleanup services to residential and commercial customers. The cost of roto-rooter services depends on what type of service you will use and where you are located. However, most of their locations charge a flat rate that is quoted upfront and doesn’t change based on the time spent on resolving the issue.
Emergency Drain Cleaning
In an emergency plumbing scenario, expect to pay $450 to $800 to unclog a conventional sink with a common cause. During non-business hours, you will pay an additional call-out fee between $50 and $100, and a premium of $45 to $200 per hour added to the regular hourly rate. Therefore, if the plumber’s normal hourly rate is $45 to $200 per hour, you could be charged $90 to $400 per hour for emergency plumbing services in the evenings or on weekends or holidays. Consumers living in urban areas and large cities will likely pay more than those living in rural regions and small towns. The time of day the clog occurs also affects labor costs.
Why Is My Kitchen Sink Clogged?
Typically, a clogged kitchen sink happens because of human error. It can be incorrect disposal of food, grease, eggshells, or coffee grounds in your sink or garbage disposal. These typically can become a lot less frequent with some simple steps toward clog prevention, such as using traps on all your sinks and drains. More serious problems can cause your sink to get clogged, such as a broken or damaged sewer line. These situations are usually diagnosed after other attempts to unclog the sink have proven unsuccessful and require more labor and materials than simple clogs, which is why they cost more to do.
When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Sink
If the clog cannot clear itself with boiling water, or if you have a serious standing water situation where you cannot even attempt to unclog it using natural remedies, it might be time to call a professional. If you have tried all of the remedies suggested for easy, safe DIY clog removal to no avail, you could have a much bigger problem. If the clog is in the garbage disposal or another complex part of your plumbing, it will be best to leave it to a professional. Even if you call a plumber and realize that it could have been a simple fix, the cost of a plumber is much less than the cost of serious damage to your plumbing from improper DIY methods.
How to Prevent Clogged Drains
You should schedule regular sewer line cleaning to help prevent clogs. Cleaning a sewer main line costs $150 to $600, which is cheaper than replacing the sewer line. Your efforts are better spent preventing clogs in the first place with practices like pouring boiling water down the kitchen drain periodically to melt away any residues that could eventually clog the sink. You could also use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar poured down the sink when you notice a slower-than-usual drain.
Make sure to be careful with what you are washing down the drains in your home. Set aside a coffee can or metal receptacle to collect grease, fat, or oils that can congeal and clog your drain. These can be upcycled into homemade soap later or simply discarded in the trash. Scrape plates well into the kitchen trash before rinsing in the sink to prevent food particles from collecting in your home drains. Always secure your home’s drains with traps to ensure items and objects don’t get lodged in your pipes accidentally.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Garbage Disposal Replacement
The cost to replace the garbage disposal typically costs between $275 to $450. Garbage disposals grind the waste thrown into the sink into tiny particles that are flushed into the septic tank or sewers. Because unclogging your garbage disposal can be a difficult and complex task at times, you may have to replace your garbage disposal entirely. A garbage disposal is not necessary but could be a good solution as an upgrade for those who have frequent clogs and want some assistance with the risk of food going down the drain. There are also newer models with anti-jam features and other premium features that reduce the risk of clogs.
Replace Pipes Under Sink
Sometimes, a slow-draining or clogged sink can be due to corrosion inside the pipes. The damaged segments of pipe must be taken out and replaced, costing around $2.50 to $3.00 per linear foot, depending on the severity and the location of the damage. This cost includes the time and labor for removing damaged pipes and installing new segments. If your clog is caused by damaged pipes or buildup, you may want to have them replaced in addition to having the clog removed.
Sewer Line Replacement
A new sewer line costs $50 to $250 per linear foot, depending on different variables. This is the worst-case scenario where your main sewer line is damaged beyond repair. The damage can be caused by corrosion or an outside force breaking it. In both cases, you would have to replace it to ensure it will keep functioning properly.
Drain Camera Inspection
You can have your main line inspected during the plumber’s visit for a one-time service or inspection fee of around $200 to $400. The plumber will use a video camera that identifies any issues before they become a crisis. They usually charge the one-time fee unless they are also opening the line to remove blockages, which will raise the cost to around $650 for the entire visit.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. Several DIY solutions and home remedies may be used to unclog the kitchen sink. One option is renting a plumbing snake. However, there is a knack to effectively using these devices. Drain cleaning chemicals can be harsh, toxic, and emit hazardous fumes. You can also opt to plunge a sink, which creates a seal around the clogged drain and sucks away everything that blocks it.
- Time. The longer you wait, the worse your plumbing issue can become. Small clogs and stubborn drains can become bigger and more challenging if you ignore them and as more debris becomes trapped.
- Water valve. It doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with where the water valve shut-off is located if your clog is a symptom of a broken pipe or main. While this is the worst-case scenario and not common, a broken pipe sends water rushing into your home. Saving a few seconds can prevent thousands of dollars in water damage later.
- Permits. While you don’t need a permit to unclog your kitchen sink, you will if you need to dig up a sewer or plumbing line on public property. Make sure that you consult with municipal authorities at the area zoning or public works department before you mess with these lines.
- Estimates. Getting several estimates gives you an idea of how much every professional charges and prevents you from overpaying for the service.
- Location. Consumers living in urban areas and large cities will likely pay more than those living in rural regions and small towns because the clogs are usually more complex and require more work to solve.
- Drain snake rentals. Some people choose to rent a drain snake from their local home improvement store to help unclog sinks. This costs $35 to $80 for a day, depending on the size of the snake. If you do this, make sure that you know how to properly operate the snake so that you do not cause damage or bigger issues trying to remove the clog.
- How much does it cost to unclog a main drain?
Several factors can be involved in unclogging a main drain, and many will cause the cost to fluctuate. This often involves access through the largest opening in a plumbing system, which is your toilet. The cost can be anywhere from $200 to over $1,000.
- What happens if your plumbing vent is clogged?
You can tell that your plumbing vent is clogged when your toilet gurgles and doesn’t flush quite right. You will also notice a slow drain and possibly a strong, gas-like smell. Your plumbing vent will need to be cleared and unclogged via a plumbing auger fed into the vent opening by a plumbing professional. This service typically costs between $250 and $500.
- How do you unclog a sink with standing water?
You can avoid a mess by bailing standing water from your clogged sink. However, this may not be feasible given your plumbing dilemma. In these instances, plunge and try to get the clog to move and wash away. Never add chemicals to these clogged sinks. You will likely get splashed or wet. If you have added drain remover, it can be dangerous for a plumber coming in later.
- Can you pour Drano down the kitchen sink?
Yes, you can pour small amounts of Drano for kitchen sink and pipes or other lye-based drain cleaners, but use gingerly. These chemicals are harsh on your pipes and may be toxic for you. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product label before using.
- What is a natural way to unclog a sink?
To unclog your kitchen sink without chemicals or a carbon footprint, try pouring a pot of boiling water slowly and carefully down the clogged drain. Wait a few minutes and try again. This may help to melt and move whatever is causing the issue. Another option is to mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar. Pour it down the clogged drain and let it fizz for around an hour. Once the time has passed, pour hot water over it to remove the grime that has accumulated. Unclogging is also possible by pouring a mixture of salt, hot water, and vinegar down the drains.
- What is the best way to unclog a kitchen sink?
Typically, it is advised to use boiling water or a baking soda/vinegar mixture to unclog a sink quickly. However, the best solution depends on the type and severity of clog and may require a plumber’s professional assistance.