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Drain unblocking cost
by
Checkatrade

A blocked drain can quickly damage a kitchen or bathroom, so getting it sorted is a priority. If commercial drain cleaners won’t shift the blockage, it’s time to call in a professional.

In this drain unblocking cost guide we outline the main drain cleaning costs, including drain jetting prices.

Average drain unblocking costs

The cost of drain unblocking is a combination of the call-out charge you will pay the tradesperson and the work they need to do.

Type of jobAverage cost
Call out£60
Emergency call out£180
Drain rodding£80
Drain jetting£175
Drain rodding and jetting£275
Drain specialist (per day)£250 - £300
Drain CCTV survey£250
Drain relining (per-metre)£65

You can expect to pay £140 for drain rodding, and £235 for drain jetting (including call out charges). We explain the main drain cleaning costs in more detail below.

Why are my drains blocked?

Your drains can become blocked for several reasons.

Pipes too small

If your drain pipes are too small, waste and debris can build up leading to a blockage.

Drain misuse

Oil, grease, hair, soap and tissue paper can all build up in drains, causing a blockage.

Regular maintenance

Experts recommend you get your drains cleaned out every couple of years. This will remove any potential obstructions or build-up of material that can cause blockages.

Corrosion or damage

Over time, metal pipes can corrode or can become damaged, which can cause blockages.

Signs of a blocked drain

The first and most obvious sign that your drain is blocked is a toilet that won’t flush. You may also notice that the drain covers near your property are overflowing.

One unpleasant and unavoidable sign is a persistent smell of sulphur. This is because the gases usually removed remain in the air.

Finally, you might hear a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet, or that your sinks take longer to empty.

All of these signs suggest you need the help of a professional tradesperson.

Methods for drain unblocking

If commercial drain unblockers have failed, professionals will use one of two methods to unblock your drains: rodding and jetting.

Drain Rodding

When rodding a drain, a tradesperson will guide a drain rod through your sewer pipe or drain to force out the blockage. Drain rods are flexible and can be used to unblock sinks and sewer pipes.

Drain jetting

Drain jetting uses high-pressure water to clean out blockages. The water is forced through the pipes, forcing out any obstructions. It’s more likely to be used on stubborn sewer blockages.

Drain unblocking cost

The drain cleaning cost you pay will be a combination of the call-out charge, and the method needed to unblock your drain.

The average call out cost for an engineer is £60. In an emergency, they are likely to charge around £180 to visit your property.

When they arrive, they will assess the problem and decide which method is appropriate.

Drain rodding costs

If your tradesperson decided drain robbing will clear the blockage, then expect to pay £80 for the service.

Drain jetting prices

Drain jetting involves using specialist equipment and can take longer to complete, which is why the average drain jetting cost is £175.

Drain rodding and jetting costs

In some cases, your tradesperson may start by rodding but also need to jet your drains to entirely clear a blockage. Expect to pay £200 for both rodding and jetting.

Additional costs

If the blockage or obstruction is severe, your Your tradesperson may recommend some additional services.

Drain CCTV survey

During a drain CCTV survey, your tradesperson will insert a camera into the drain to see what’s causing the obstruction – and what can clear it. The average cost of a drain CCTV survey is £250.

Drain unblocking cost

Drain lining cost per metre

If your drain pipes are damaged, your tradesperson may recommend that they are re-lined. This involved using a polymer lining to repair any damage and ensure water flows smoothly.

Drain lining costs are given per-metre, with the drain lining cost per m of £65.

Which factors affect the cost of unblocking a drain?

Several factors will affect the total drain unblocking cost that you pay, including:

  • Location – prices will vary according to where you are in the country.
  • Size of the obstruction – more significant obstructions will take longer to shift and cost more.
  • Size of the drain – bigger drains mean bigger obstructions which can take longer to shift.
  • Method of unblocking – rodding is cheaper than jetting. Combining methods will cost more.

How long does it take to unblock drains?

A minor drain blockage that can be fixed with rodding should take a tradesperson no longer than an hour.

A larger blockage that need jetting to be cleared will take around two hours.

The exact time it takes will depend on the factors affecting drain unblocking outlined above.

Can I do the job myself?

Unblocking a drain is a specialist job. If you’ve tried the conventional ways of unblocking a drain, then we recommend you contact a professional who can take care of the job quickly and safely.

You can find a selection of drain unblocking specialists at Checkatrade.

Key drain unblocking takeaways

  • Drain unblocking is a specialist job that you shouldn’t attempt on your own.
  • The total drain unblocking cost you will pay is a combination of the call-out charge and the work completed.
  • The average call-out charge is £60.
  • An average emergency call-out charge is £175.
  • Drain rodding should cost around £80.
  • The average drain jetting costs is £175.
  • The total cost of drain unblocking depends on several factors, including your location, the size of the blockage and the method used to clear it.

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