No matter how much you avoid it, clogs will occur in the pipe or toilet once in a while. Unfortunately, unless you deal with unclogging the pipe or toilet, the fixture will turn out to be of no use.
There are basically two ways to attend to clogged pipes or toilets. One is through the help of plumbers and the other is through a DIY approach. No matter how you want to deal with the clogs, take note that you have to spend a few dollars or so for the job.
The Cost Of Unclogging A Pipe Or A Toilet
The typical cost of unclogging a toilet is $80 to $300.
This estimate refers to hiring a skilled plumber to unclog the pipe or toilet for you. The price includes labor and the tools required for the job. The plumber will have to access the clogged pipe or toilet and clear the path. He will then test the pipe or toilet afterwards to ensure that he has dealt with all the clogs trapped inside.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Unclogging A Pipe Or A Toilet
Access. The most important determinant of the cost of unclogging a pipe or a toilet is access. Unclogging a pipe or toilet with outside access means the job is almost effortless for the plumber. Hence, prices for unclogging pipes with outside access runs from $80 to $150 only. On the other hand, if access requires dismantling the toilet or sink and drilling the line to access the clogged pipe, the price can go up to $150 to $300. The price can go up to $600 if the cleanout is requiring a roof-vent access. A roof-vent access means that two plumbers are required to do the job.
Complexity. The lower end of the spectrum always deals with simple cleanouts with outside access. In fact, most of the time, you will find simple jobs like this for less than a hundred dollars. However, as the unclogging task becomes more complex, the cost to unclog becomes higher. For instance, uninstalling the toilet and snaking or drilling the drain line to access the clogged area will require a lot more effort in the part of the plumber. Hence, the cost of the job will be higher. Also, there are instances that multiple lines require cleaning. With this, the cost to unclog a pipe or a toilet can go from $300 to $600.
Machinery. Plumbers use different equipment for different cleanout needs. At times, they use handheld augers for easy cleanouts. The price of the service starts to go more expensive as the machinery they use become more powerful and more efficient. For instance, a plumber using electric augers instead of handheld models may charge his service higher. The same is true for services that require the use of a special set of equipment for the cleanout.
Pricing. Some plumbers charge their service in a per hour basis instead of a per service basis. Usually, plumbers charge $100 to $150 per hour for unclogging pipes or toilets. Some plumbers even have a minimum charge of around $130 for this kind of service no matter how quickly they have finished their job.
DIY. Unclogging a pipe or a toilet in a DIY manner requires you to invest on some equipment that you can use over and over again. Handheld augers cost from $4 to $50 while electric versions starts from $100 to $500 or even more. You also need a plumbing wrench that can run from $30 to $100. There are also drain-cleaning chemicals that can be purchased in hardware and grocery stores that you can use.
When the toilet is required to be moved to access the clogged pipe, some plumbers will ask you for an extra insurance charge to cover the cost of possible breakage of the toilet.
You need to cover the cost of a new wax ring for the toilet when it is removed as part of the clogging of the pipe.
Tips Before You Unclog A Pipe Or A Toilet
When you are hiring a professional to do this for you, make sure to get a licensed, insured, and experienced plumber. You can check out references to see for yourself how a particular plumber does his job.
Ask recommendations from family, friends, and acquaintances. They can usually give you a reliable plumber that they have dealt with before.
Get price estimates from different plumbers in your area. A good plumber will have to ask you several questions to land up on an accurate quote for the situation. At times, the plumber may even require checking out the problem first before giving an estimate.
Get a plumber that is near your area of residence. Oftentimes, a plumber that does not require to travel long hours and to spend on expensive travel will charge you lower.
Most pipe or toilet unclogging jobs can be done easily. So for you to get the most out of the call for a plumber, check out other plumbing needs in your property and have them attended by the plumber while he is still on call.
If you are considering a DIY job, make sure you know the proper tricks and techniques to unclog a pipe or toilet. Most of the time, it takes just enough patience from you to ensure that you get the job done successfully in the end.
Cheap DIY Techniques To Unclog A Toilet
Plunger. This is one of the most used tricks when clearing clogs from a toilet. However, take note that this method must not be used when you know there is an object (such as a toy) causing the obstruction
- Get the right size of plunger. It must be big enough to cover the hole completely. Also, make sure that the plunger is submerged in water so it can be effective.
- Pull up on the plunger so as to create suction in the toilet drain and then push to create pressure. The constant suction and pressure will disturb the clog in all directions and the clog will loosen eventually.
Dish soap and hot water.
- Add a few squirts of dish soap into the toilet.
- Pour a half bucket of tap-hot water up to the waist level of the bow and let it sit there for a few minutes. The dish soap and the hot water will soften and loosen the clog and will eventually clear on its own. If this does not work after a few minutes, you may need to use the plunger method as discussed above.
Plumbing snake. If you have this flexible cleaning tool called auger, you can go through curves of pipes or drains to clean out the clogs.
- Insert one end of the snake into the toilet drain and push down.
- Feed the snake further until it reaches the obstruction.
- Twist and push the snake until the clog is cleared out.
Wire coat hanger. If you do not have an auger, this can work for you. However, take note that this will work only if the clog is situated in the first few inches of the drain.
- Twist the ends of the hanger and stretch it out.
- Insert one end into the drain and once it reaches the clog, maneuver it in a circular pattern until the drain is clear.
Baking soda and vinegar. When vinegar and baking soda is combined, they create a chemical process that can help in dissolving clogs but in a slow process.
- Pour a box of baking soda into the toilet bowl and then slowly add a bottle of vinegar.
- Pause on adding the vinegar once it begins to foam up.
- Let it set for a several minutes.
- Add a gallon of hot tap water into the bowl. Let this sit overnight and repeat if necessary.
Enzymes. There are available products in the market containing a mixture of enzymes with the purpose of eating waste materials. You can find products like this in home improvement stores. Most of the time, these products are used in septic systems in breaking down waste materials. However, take note that this will work only on organic waste clogs and not on objects or even hair. It also is not a fast process as it takes at least 12 hours for the product to work.
Chemical. You can purchase drain-cleaning chemicals in grocery or hardware stores. They are not usually recommended to be used because they can be harsh on the environment. Also, take note that this is not ideal if there is a hard obstruction in the drain. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer to ensure successful operation.