Sinks clogged with food and soap scum are a common problem in kitchens.
But what do you do about it?
How much should you pay to unclog a clogged sink – with or without a professional plumber?
In this guide, we’ll answer this question so you can choose the method that seems best in your situation.
How Much Does a Plumber Charge to Unclog a Sink?
The price varies depending on where you live, whether you use a professional plumber or not, and how dirty your kitchen sink really is.
The average cost of hiring a plumber ranges from $100 to $200 per job.
Professional plumbers can charge more than that because they’ll also take care of any repairs needed after they clear out your pipes.
You can save money by doing this work yourself, but you won’t be able to get the same results.
You’ll also need to factor in time spent cleaning up your mess.
That means you could end up spending more money than you would if you hired a pro.
How Long Will It Take Me To Clean My Clogged Sink?
There are two main reasons why your kitchen sink gets clogged.
The most common reason is soap scum buildup. Soap scum is made when fat-based soaps react with water over time.
Soap scum builds up around the edges of your sink and eventually makes its way down into your drain.
This happens most often in older homes with cast iron sinks.
How Much is a Plumbing Snake?
A plumbing snake costs between $50 and $150.
They come in different sizes, so check with your local hardware store before buying one.
Sewer snakes are longer and thinner than regular plumbing snakes.
Most sewer snakes are used for clearing blockages in sewers.
These are typically sold online or through catalogs.
If you want to buy one, make sure you know exactly what you need it for first.
Some people use them to clear their drains, while others use them to remove debris from their septic tanks.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Drain Snake?
Renting a drain snake is generally cheaper than buying one.
However, you’ll still need to rent one for a few hours.
Drain snakes cost anywhere from $20 to $40 an hour.
How much does it cost to unclog a drain?
Nationwide, the average cost to clean a clogged drain is $130-$180.
But some homeowners find themselves paying hundreds of dollars to repair their own clogged drains.
The best advice we can give you is to do a little research before calling a plumber.
Ask friends who’ve done similar projects for tips.
Also, try looking online for reviews about local plumbers.
Not only will these reviews help you narrow down your search, but they’ll also give you insight into how reliable the company is.
What impacts the cost of clearing a clogged drain?
Location of the clog
The location of your blockage will affect the cost of having a professional plumber remove it. Usually, problems with pipes inside the house, like your kitchen sinks or toilets, will cost less than fixing clogs in outdoor pipes leading to the sewer or your city’s main line.
One of the biggest things that affect what you pay a plumber to unclog a pipe is their method for doing so. Snaking and hydro jetting are the two basic methods for draining blocked drains.
Here are the US national average costs for these two common drain cleaning methods:
Snaking is the easiest way to fix a slow-running drain or remove occasional clumps—like the Legos that your toddler flushed down the bathroom sink. A plumber uses a long, coiled, metal auger called a “plumbing snake” to dislodge a clogged drain. The auger is flexible and can be pushed into the P-trap, curved pipe under your sink, or toilet bowls that are the number one source of clogs in the plumbing system.
A toilet jack is also called a rooter. A plumber might use either a hand snake or a powered one depending on the location and severity. Snaking tends to cost less than hydro jetting. For example, a professional plumber in Denver who works for Thumbtack charges $195 to snake your kitchen sink.
Hydro jetting: $350 – $600
Snaking is one method for removing unsightly pimples and acne scars. Hydro jetting is another option, but it’s not always effective. The price for hydro jetting varies from $350 to $600, with complex procedures costing up to $1,000. This technique involves the use of a high-pressure hose to shoot a powerful jet of water at the clog in order to blast away the grease buildup and other goop.
It’s a more effective drain cleaner than a plumbing snake and clears drains more thoroughly. Since the plumber uses high-pressure water to clean out the drain, this is another non-chemical, ecofriendly way to unblock a drain.
Older pipes may not be able to handle the high pressure. Before using a hydro-jet drain cleaner, it’s best to first perform a video inspection to ensure the pipes aren’t damaged by the high-pressure water jet.
Video camera inspection
If the plumber doesn’t know what’s clogging your drain or toilet, he can do a video inspection of your pipes. This involves sending a high-resolution video camera down your sewer line or pipes in order to look for the drain clog. The camera is mounted onto a flexible metal rod that allows the plumber to push it through the plumbing and transmit images in real-time, so they can see where the problem is.
With a video inspection, a plumber can see into underground pipes and in your home’s foundation before digging up the yard or tearing up floors.
The average cost for a video inspection is around $395 nationally but can range from $250 to $650. You’ll be charged for drain cleaning and plumbing repair separately. Some plumbers may offer a free video inspection with their standard drain cleaning services.
Additional plumbing repairs
Sometimes a clogged sink is caused by bigger problems like damaged pipes.
If a plumber needs to remove and replace old water pipes, it can cost anywhere from $200 to several thousand dollars. The national average cost for replacing old pipes is $2 a linear foot, depending on which type of pipe you use, and where it’s located
How to unclog a drain yourself without spending a fortune.
1. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is inexpensive and effective at unclogging drains.
Mix 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain and let sit overnight. The next morning, pour out the mixture and flush the drain again. Repeat until the clog clears up.
2. Pour Hot Water Down the Drain
Pouring boiling water down the drain is another cheap and effective method of unclogging a sink.
Fill the sink with warm water and add 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Let the water run for about 10 minutes.
Afterward, pour out the water and repeat the process with cold water.
Repeat until the clog clears.
3. Use Vinegar
Vinegar is another inexpensive and effective way to unclog a clogged sink. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar into the drain and let it sit overnight.
The next morning, pour out the vinegar and flush the drain. Repeat until the clogs clear.
4. Use Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are an inexpensive and effective way to stop a clog from forming in the first place.
Put ice cubes in the bottom of the sink and fill the rest of the sink with water. This will prevent any debris from entering the drain.
5. Put Garlic In the Sink
The active ingredient in garlic is called allicin. Allicin breaks down fats and grease and helps remove them from pipes.
To use garlic to unclog a pipe, simply cut off the top of a head of garlic and place it inside the drain.
Leave it in for 24 hours and then pour out the contents of the drain.
6. Use Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are an inexpensive and effective method of unblocking a clogged sink. Simply mix coffee grounds into the drain and let them sit overnight.
Next day, pour out the coffee grounds and flush the drain. Continue doing this until the clog clears itself.
7. Use Salt
Salt is another inexpensive and effective method of clearing a clogged sink. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the drain and let it soak overnight.
Next morning pour out the salt and flush the drain. Do this several times until the clog clears and the water runs normally.
8. Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another inexpensive and effective means of unclogging a clogged sink. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the drain.
Let it sit overnight, pour out the lemon juice, and flush the drain. Keep repeating this process until the clog clears and the water runs again.
9. Use Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is another inexpensive and effective remedy for clogged sinks.
Cut open a peanut butter jar and put the lid back on. Then, take a spoon and scoop some peanut butter into the drain.
10. Use Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another inexpensive and effective solution to clogged drains. It works by helping to loosen things that have gotten stuck in your pipes.
Simply pour a small amount of toothpaste into the drain and let the paste work its magic.
12. Use Castor Oil
Castor oil is another inexpensive and effective treatment for clogged sinks. Pour castor oil into the drain and let sit overnight.
Next, pour out the oil and flush the drain. You can do this several times until the drain clears.
14. Use Cornstarch
Cornstarch is another inexpensive and effective alternative to using bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Mix cornstarch with hot water and add to the drain. Let it sit overnight and then flush the drain.
15. Use Borax
Borax is another inexpensive and effective chemical you can use to unclog a clogged sink.
Add borax to the drain and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Next, pour out the borax and flush the drain. Repeat as necessary.
16. Use Alum
Alum is another inexpensive and effective substance to unclog a kitchen sink.
Pour alum down the drain and let it stay there for about 15 minutes. Then, pour out the alum and flush the drain.
17. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another cheap and effective way to unclog a drain. Pour apple cider vinegar down the drain and let sit.
18. Use Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are another inexpensive and effective way of unblocking a sink. Pour them down the drain and let them sit overnight.