How Much Does A Plumber Cost To Unclog A Toilet?

When you think of hiring a plumber to unclog the toilet, the cost of doing it comes into play. Generally, for simple clogs, it will cost you $50-$150. However, if the clog is far down and more solid, it will cost $300-$500. The worst case is when there is a need to replace a drainage pipe section as you could end up paying up to $2000. 

A blocked toilet can turn a happy day into a crappy one fast. The moment you realize the toilet is not flushing and you have tried to unclog unsuccessfully, the next thing is worrying about the cost. Let us be sincere; you will be willing to do just anything to get it back and functional. However, it would help if you had a rough estimate to plan and get it done by an expert. 

The cost will depend on the so many factors discussed here. 

 Plumber Cost To Unclog A Toilet

Factors That Determine The Plumber Cost To Unclog The Toilet

Most basic clogs can be addressed without the need to call an expert plumber. However, if the case is severe and you are unable to unclog the toilet, the best thing is to call a professional plumber. You might want to get quotes from several companies before settling on one. But, the total cost of getting the work done is dependent on the factors below:

Type Of Toilet

Some toilet designs present more challenges in terms of accessibility, which increases the cost of unclogging it. Wall-mounted toilets, for instance, have their tanks installed inside the walls, making access more difficult.  Plumbers will thus take time to repair, resulting in high cost. 

On the other hand, tankless toilets are simpler to unclog as they are attached straight to the floor pipe. Accessibility is, therefore, easier taking less time and cost to get the work done. Besides, they have wider pipes that are stress-free to unclog and even harder for it to block. 

The Cause Of The Blockage

The cause of toilet blockage determines the seriousness and the method used to unclog. This, in turn, dictates the cost the plumber will charge to repair it. For example, the blockage caused by a child’s toys is fairly easy to unclog and may cost $150-$30 all depending on whether the toilet must be disassembled or just snaking it. 

Large toilet clogs that are difficult to access can cost up to $500. However, if simpler methods are used to unblock it, you may end up paying as little as $300. In the worst case where the main sewer is damaged, and there is a need to replace, you could pay thousands. The best thing is always to address the issue as soon as it happens to avoid serious clogs that could cost you much.

Pipe Materials 

Various pipe materials are used to put up plumbing systems. These affect the cost of unclogging as some may need replacement whenever a repair is needed. For example, galvanized pipes break down easily and are replaced during unclogging. Replacing also would mean an additional cost of installing a new pipe section. The cost depends on the types of pipes installed; for instance, PVC is the cheapest and is about 37% less than other piping materials. However, if the plumber uses copper pipes, then you will be expensive than all other types.

Cleaning Technique Used

There are different ways of unclogging the toilet; you can use a hydro-jet, an auger, or a plunger. Each of these techniques attracts different costs as the level of complexity varies. You don’t need to worry once you call the plumber as he will try the simplest method first and move to the complex if it doesn’t work. Sometimes the plumber will need to use a plumbing camera to diagnose the problem to find a suitable technique, which means an additional cost.

Location Of The Clog

How much you will pay for unclogging the toilet is also dependent on the location of the clog. Basic ones located in the toilet, tank, or pipeline connecting to the toilet are simpler to unclog and cost less ($50-$150). This is because the plumber can easily use the snake or auger to unblock it. For example, when the clog is located at the blocked trap, the s-shape section that attaches to the toilet, it is easy to unclog.

However, hard-to-reach clogs, like those located along the drain lines under the house,  present a challenge when unblocking. A snake might not be enough; rather, there might be the need for a high-powered jet of water to get the clog break. This means using a special tool that can cost $400 and above. You can even end up paying $600 if there are multiple clogs. 

Sometimes, the clogged toilet could be a result of blocked plumbing vents. When the vents are clogged, there is insufficient airflow that can cause toilets to gurgle or not flash well. Nonetheless, unclogging the vents is quite easy and can cost $200 or less

The most expensive work is when the main sewer line is blocked. This means digging up the drain lines to repair. Also, for the plumber to pinpoint blockage, he might need to use cameras, which will cost you more. Uncovering the ground and replacing the damaged section can cost you thousands of dollars.  

Summary Table Of The Cost Of Unclogging The Toilet

Nature Of The ClogCost
Simple clogs$50-$150
Solid clogs located far down the drain $300-$500
Replacing a section of pipes>$1000

How Does A Plumber Unclog A Toilet?

When you get the quotes from different plumbers, the thinking of DIY might come in your mind. You wonder why they charge that much if it is something you can do it yourself. Before you try to unclog, you need to know how plumbers do it to avoid causing severe damages that can cost you even more. Here are the methods plumbers can use to unclog the toilet 

Method 1: Using A Plunger 

Using a plunger has been known to be the most basic and simplest way of unclogging the toilet. Plumbers follow the steps below to get the toilet unclogged using plungers:

Step 1: Preventing The Toilet Bowl From Overfilling

A blockage can make flushing terrible as the water can fill up the bowl. The first thing that a plumber will do is stop the toilet bowl from filling up. This is done by closing the toilet flapper inside the tank.  There is a need to remove the tank top to reach the flapper that releases water into the bowl. The plumber will then try to flush as he keeps his hand close to the flapper, ready to close in case of water rise. 

Step 2: Using The Right Plunger

A plumber always has with them the right plunger that helps achieve the best suction to get the work done effortlessly. Usually, the funnel-cup plungers are the best as they have a flange that extends off the rubber cup base. The extension ensures that the toilet channel is properly sealed for effective suctioning.

Step 3: Warming Up The Plunger

Soft and pliant plungers are the best, and plumbers ease stiffness and hardness by running it through hot water. As the plunger softens, the plumber achieves a better seal that makes unclogging easier.

Step 4: Plunging

Here the plunger is put in the toilet bowl and pushed downwards gently. This gets the air out to avoid water forcefully splashing back to the plumber. Once a good seal is achieved, the plumber then applies some force to pump the plunger up and down. Finally, the plumber pulls off the plunger; this breaks the seal, and if the unclogging was successful, the water would drain out faster. However, if the toilet starts to overflow, then the plumber repeats the same plunging process and repeatedly flushes until the clog is gone. 

Method 2: Using An Auger

For more difficult clogs, a plumber would resort to using an auger. The auger features a cable-like design that helps the plumber snake it through the toilet drain to loosen the clog. It is useful in unclogging deeper clogs that the plunger cannot get it done. The crank of the auger is turned on while threading the device down the train. 

Once the auger reaches the clog, the crank would stop. The clog will break or get hooked to the auger. The plumber would pull out the waste if hooked and then plunge the toilet to clear any leftovers. Usually, there is a need to put on gloves as the process can be a bit messy. 

Method 3: Use of dishwasher detergent and hot water 

Sometimes all that the plumber needs is to get the clogged drain lubricated. This is done by first pouring half a cup detergent and giving it some time to lubricate the drain.  After that, the plumber pours hot water and lets it sit in the toilet bowl for a few minutes. This will break the clog up and make it easy to flush it away. If it doesn’t, then the plumber will use the plunger to force it down the drain. 

Method 4: Use Of Vinegar And Baking Soda

Plumbers can resort to the use of vinegar and baking soda to get the toilet unclogged. This is done by pouring a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and then adding vinegar later. The two components will chemically react and, as a result, break down the clog. It is advisable to use when the toilet bowl is not full of water as the bubbles formed due to the chemical reaction can splash out, causing a mess. Flushing the toilet after allowing the mixture to sit will clear the clog.

Final Word

A clogged toilet can be the worst nightmare when the call of nature calls. Luckily, there are various ways of sorting out the issues without costing much. Of course, it will depend on the nature of the damage, with some costing you thousands. The best thing to reduce the cost is to address blockage as soon as it happens. This way, you reduce the severity, and thus when the plumber comes, they will use the simplest method possible that can cost less than $50.

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