Have a fixture that’s not draining like it should? You’re probably thinking, “How much is this going to cost me?”
Well, the cost to clear a clogged drain in Vancouver runs between $99 and $469, with most homeowners paying around $199.
Your drain clearing cost will depend on these factors:
- Location of the clog
- Accessibility of your plumbing cleanout
- Video camera inspection
- Severity of the clog
- The plumber you choose
We’ll cover each of these factors in more detail.
Cost factor #1: Location of the clog
Your home has 2 types of drains: a mainline and secondary drain lines. Both can get clogged, but it’s typically more expensive to clear a clog in the mainline than one in a secondary line.
What’s the difference between a mainline and a secondary drain line?
- A mainline carries your home’s wastewater to the public sewer line. The cost to clear a mainline usually runs between $99 and $469.
- Secondary drain lines are the ones attached to toilets, tubs, sinks and other fixtures. They carry wastewater to your mainline. Clearing a secondary line can cost anywhere from $99 to $300 (we offer a flat rate of $99).
Mainline clogs are more expensive to clear because they’re harder to reach and impact multiple fixtures. You can usually diagnose a mainline clog if turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet causes water backup in more than one fixture, like the image below shows.
Cost factor #2: Accessibility of your plumbing cleanout
A hard-to-reach cleanout will make the job more difficult, increasing time and labour costs.
What is a plumbing cleanout?
A cleanout—which usually looks like a steel or plastic pipe with a cap—is a plumber’s point-of-access to your home’s main sewer line. The good news? Your plumber will only need to access your cleanout if the clog is in your main sewer line.
Where is my cleanout located?
Wondering if your cleanout is in a hard-to-reach area?
Most plumbing cleanouts are located in easily accessible areas outside, either near your home or your property line. Some Vancouver homes might have the cleanout inside, in harder-to-reach places like the basement, a utility room or behind a toilet.
Cost factor #3: Video camera inspection
Your plumber might recommend a video camera inspection (feeding a waterproof camera down the drain) to see if the clog needs “hydro jetting” (see section below). A video camera inspection will raise the cost of your clog clearing anywhere from $100 to $400.
Your cost will depend on:
- Location of your plumbing cleanout
- How far down the pipe your clog is located
- Whether the plumber is viewing the images or recording them (to view later)
Keep in mind that, while a camera inspection is an additional upfront cost, it will tell the plumber exactly where the clog is located as well as what’s causing it. This will save the plumber time and effort and can actually lower your overall clearing cost.
Cost factor #4: Severity of the clog
The severity of your clog (what’s clogging your drain) determines the kind of tool your plumber will use to clear it. Most plumbers will use one of two drain clearing tools:
- Drain cleaning cable machine (less expensive)
- Hydro jetting machine (more expensive)
Drain cleaning cable machine
Also called “snakes” or “augers”, drain cleaning cable machines will be less expensive than a hydro jetting machine.
Drain cleaning cable machines range from basic, handheld models built for secondary drain lines to hefty, motorized models that can break up stubborn clogs in your main sewer line.
Cable machines work best for clogs caused by:
- Toilet paper
- Hygiene products
- Yard debris
- Small tree roots
Hydro jetting machine
If a plumber needs to use a hydro jetting machine to clear your clog, your overall drain-clearing cost typically increases.
Why? Hydro jetting machines, or “jetters”, are much more powerful than cable machines. They use high-pressure streams of water to slice through clogs caused by fat, oil, grease or other sludge build-up. Some can even power through thick tree roots.
Cost factor #5: The plumber you choose
Generally, better quality plumbers will charge more for their labour.
High labour costs shouldn’t keep you from hiring a quality plumber. Better plumbers will have the experience and know-how to answer your questions and properly clear your clog, so you don’t have issues in the near future.
We recommend you hire a Vancouver plumber that:
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We’ll send one of our trusted plumbers out to clear your drain. Learn more about what to expect on our drain clearing service page.
- Drain Clearing