What Does It Cost to Snake a Drain Line in Michigan?

Do you have a clog in your drain line and need it snaked?

Are you experiencing sewage backing up in the toilet? Is your shower super slow and easily clogged, so you can’t take a hot shower during the cold Michigan winter? Or maybe you hear gurgling noises coming from your water pipes?

Any of the above frustrating problems could indicate that you have a clogged drain line. The good news is that a professional plumber can quickly snake your drain and restore comfort by getting water properly flowing through your home.

You’re probably wondering how much a drain unclogging will cost you. It costs approximately $100-$300, with the average cost running around $185 for Michigan homeowners.

While we can’t tell you exactly how much your service will cost without a plumber visiting your home and inspecting your drain line, the following factors can help you determine how much you’ll end up paying:

  • The type of clog
  • How easy the clog is to access
  • The severity of the clog
  • The plumber you hire

We’ll go into more detail about each of the above factors so you can better budget for your drain clearing and determine if you have a severe clog on your hands or not.


Want a plumber to snake your drain ASAP? Contact Thornton & Grooms for reliable plumbing services. We’ve been a Better Business Bureau accredited business since 2005, so you know you can count on us. Call us at (248) 644-7810 or schedule an appointment below.

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The Type of Clog

Main versus secondary drain lines in your plumbing system.

Michigan homes generally have two types of drain lines: the main line and multiple secondary lines that feed into the main line.

The secondary lines connect your plumbing fixtures (e.g., toilet, bathtub, or sink) to the main line, which carries the waste from these fixtures away from your home and into the city’s sewer line.

As a homeowner, it’s important to know whether you have a main line clog or secondary line clog as it will affect unclogging costs. Main line clogs are more expensive because they are farther down in the piping system. They require a plumber with specialized equipment to spend more time unclogging and cleaning up any sewage backup.

Not to mention, clogs in the main line need addressing as soon as possible because they can lead to serious problems with your plumbing system. Sewage backup can also contaminate the groundwater if not appropriately handled.

You can tell if you have a main line clog if you notice the below signs:

  • Standing water in multiple locations: Water backing up in multiple sinks or tubs is a good indicator that you have a main line clog.
  • Difficulty draining multiple sinks or tubs: When multiple fixtures don’t seem to drain properly, those are surefire signs that your main line is clogged.
  • Gurgling noises: Loud gurgling noises mean that you have a main line clog or there’s an issue with the sewage flow.
  • Foul odors: These odors are unpleasant but can tell you valuable information. If you smell something terrible, you might have a backed-up main line.

However, suppose these signs only apply to one location or fixture. In that case, a secondary line likely has a clog. Secondary line clogs are usually isolated to the affected sink, bathtub, or toilet fixture and are much simpler to fix.

How Easy the Clog Is To Access

A plumbing cleanout in Michigan.

The farther away a clog is from the plumbing cleanout, the higher your cost for a clearing will be.

Residential plumbing cleanouts in Michigan are typically found outside homes or near property lines. A plumbing cleanout is the direct access point to the main line.

So, if the clog is less accessible to plumbers, more time and labor will be required to access the clog, and in some cases, even disassemble parts of the drain system.

The Severity of the Clog

Example of a drain snake, also known as a drain auger / Department of Energy

The cost to unclog your drain line increases with the clog's severity. Complex and large clogs tend to be more expensive to snake because they require specialized tools.

If the plumber suspects the clog is severe or if there are multiple clogs, they may perform a drain video inspection by feeding a waterproof camera down the drain to determine how far the clogs are down the drain line. It’ll show the plumber exactly what and where the blockage is in the drain.

This video inspection can increase the drain clearing cost by $70 to $300. However, it can be crucial to helping the plumber diagnose the problem precisely, which means you’ll save money on the repair. It’ll also alert the plumber if multiple areas in your drain are at risk of clogging in the future or if there is a leak in your drain line.

Sometimes when clogs are left untreated for a long time, the additional pressure in the line causes leaks. Depending on what the plumber sees during the inspection, they may recommend additional leak repairs. Once the plumber knows how severe the problem is, they can choose the right equipment for clearing the blockage.

For example, a plumber might use less specialized tools on a minor clog, like a snake (also known as an auger). These snakes are basic, manual tools used to punch holes through a clog in a secondary line. Plumbers also use a motorized, serpentine-like auger that spins nonstop to break up clogs in the main line.

Meanwhile, severe clogs might need a high-pressure water jetter to cut through the clog and unclog the drain.

Snaking a drain clogged with small tree roots.

Soft materials cause minor clogs, including:

  • Food
  • Hair
  • Hygiene products
  • Small tree roots
  • Toilet paper
  • Yardwork debris

Solid substances cause severe clogs, including:

  • Hardened fats, oils, or grease
  • Large tree roots

The Plumber You Hire

More reputable, experienced plumbers may charge more for a drain clearing than less-experienced plumbers. Before you hire a plumber, verify their experience and check their reviews. You want to ensure they are reputable and have the needed skills to handle the job.

An inexperienced or unreputable plumber may not thoroughly remove the clog the first time around, causing you to have to pay for repeat work down the line. Or, they might accidentally damage your drain lines while attempting to clear the clog with abrasive equipment, leading you to pay for more repairs.

You can verify a plumbing contractor’s experience and qualifications by checking:

  • Their licensing numbers on their website
  • How long they’ve been in business
  • Whether they offer written, upfront cost estimates before beginning any work
  • Their customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Google, and Facebook

Need Your Drain Unclogged With a Snake in Michigan? Contact Thornton & Grooms.

Thornton & Grooms’ team of highly trained plumbers are standing by, ready to help.

Our team has been snaking drains for Michigan homeowners since 1937. We offer experienced, high-quality drain unclogging services for the affordable price of $99. Our video inspections are also only $99.

For over eight decades, we’ve put people ahead of profits, which is why we have thousands of 5-star reviews. Call us today at (248) 644-7810 or click the button below.

Schedule today

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