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$1,600 to Clear a Sink?! How Much Does a Plumber Cost to Unclog a Drain?

3 min read • January 23rd, 2023

Heil Plumbing
Plumber with blue latex gloves using a red snake to clear a clogged bathroom sink.

Is your shower starting to drain slowly or even causing water to pool at the bottom of your tub? Showering in ankle-deep, soapy water is not a fun way to start your day. You may have tried at-home remedies such as vinegar, a plunger, or even tried learning how to use a snake to clear your drain. If you find that the blockage persists, you should call a plumber to fix the issue.  

But first, it’s helpful to anticipate costs and know what to expect to avoid an unwelcome surprise. So how much does a plumber cost to unclog a drain? Estimates for the service vary, depending on the age of your drain and the severity of the clog. 

Watch the video below or read more to learn: How much does a plumber cost to unclog a drain? And why a plumber could charge up to $1,600. 

How Much Does a Plumber Cost to Unclog a Drain? 

We recently received a service call to unclog a sink drain. A plumber had previously quoted $1,600 for the job, but we got it done for the low cost of snaking the drain (which took only 10 minutes). While most people can expect to spend a few hundred dollars for a plumber to unclog their drain with a snake, the price the first plumber had quoted was actually fair. Here’s why:

The plumbing trap was quite old, and outdated plumbing can cause a host of costly problems that quickly become serious and expensive to repair. Old fixtures often have thin walls, which make it difficult for drain snakes to break up the clog without damaging the pipes. A straightforward drain cleaning can therefore become an expensive pipe replacement job (complete with plaster and drywall removal and repairs). 

In our case, the plumber did not want to risk damaging the thin pipe wall and instead recommended updating the entire plumbing system, which will eventually need to happen. Since one plumbing fixture is often interconnected with several other fixtures and pipes, updating a plumbing system is often complex and time-consuming, justifying the $1,600 price tag. 

How Do I Know if My Plumber’s Cost Is Fair?  

Forward-thinking plumbers understand their customers might need repairs that are more complex and expensive than expected. If this happens, don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out why the repair seems so pricy. The more significant repair often helps avoid a series of minor plumbing jobs that will inevitably lead to a bigger one down the road.  

A reliable plumbing service will give you options and help you understand the risks that accompany each. If you have an older plumbing system but don’t have the funds to update it, ask for a comprehensive plan to take care of the immediate issue now so you can save for the extensive repair — before it becomes a problem again. 

In conclusion, the cost to unclog a drain can range from a few hundred dollars to $1,600 if you have outdated piping. By hiring a reliable plumbing professional, you can have peace of mind that you’ll get a tailored solution that will work for you while minimizing associated costs wherever possible.

If your drain is clogged or you’re ready to update your plumbing system, call Heil Plumbing today. Our reliable plumbers will work with you to understand your budget and come up with a plan to fix your plumbing issue. We’re here if you need a top-notch plumber in Baltimore or the surrounding area. Live closer to D.C.? Let our expert Montgomery County plumbers serve you and your family today!


Heil Plumbing Team

8177 Mission Rd Jessup, MD, 20794, United States

(410) 799-7727

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