How much does sewer cleaning cost?

By Paul FP Pogue

In any home, normal wear and tear can cause the main sewer system to back up at some point. This clogging can be due to normal clogging from fat and household items, or it can be due to external problems such as penetration into root systems. Whatever the reason, a clogged sewer will cause problems. The problem should be resolved as soon as possible to avoid backups and additional cleanup and repair costs.

While you can buy a number of products in the market designed to help homeowners deal with simple drain clogs on their own, see a professional plumber or commercial sewer company for mains and outdoor problems.

Professionals use two main methods to clear a sewer pipe:

– When snaking or rodding, a snake leash with a snail at the end is used. This is usually the cheapest route at just $ 100-250, or about the cost of a service call. Clearing blockages in the main line can be done twice as often. Most professional plumbers have lines that are 50 feet or longer for easy access to most clogs. If the blockage is minor, a snail can break it open in a matter of minutes. While the drain can flow again, the entire pipe is not cleaned. The heads are usually smaller than the pipe they go through, so only most clogs will be punched through a hole.

– Hydro spray is a more effective technique and removes more debris than a snake, but increases the price to $ 350- $ 600. Heavy and complex work can cost up to $ 1,000. Due to the extremely high water pressure, older pipes are prone to damage and should be video inspected first.

Many line blockages take place somewhere in the house and can be remedied relatively easily. However, you may also have a blocked main line outside the home. Sometimes these can also be easily deleted, but you can pay anywhere from $ 500 to $ 1,000 or more for a complicated job. Outdoor mains lines are larger in diameter and can be several meters away, which requires special equipment.

Sometimes your professional will tell you that a sewer inspection is the way to go. This works by placing a small camera at the end of the auger and passing it through the pipe. This gives professionals and homeowners a clear overview of the causes of blockages and is especially useful if you have frequent problems. A scope inspection typically costs between $ 250 and $ 500.

In many cases, sewer cleaning can fix a problem and deal with it. In some cases, however, the blockage is due to damaged pipes. In this case, you need to hire a sewer repair company.

Major sewer repairs cost $ 1,000-4,000 with favorable conditions and easy access. Digging under slabs or in crawl spaces increases the price. Prices vary significantly depending on the length of the pipe, the complexity of the job, ease of access, and your location. Also, you need to consider cleanup and repair work on your yard and foundation.

Paul FP Pogue is a reporter at Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local customer reviews and an online marketplace for services from world-class providers. Visit

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