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What Does It Cost to Unclog a Drain in Michigan?

Is your drain backed up or moving slowly? You’re probably wondering how much an unclogging will cost you.

Here it is: The cost of hiring a plumber to clear a drain in Michigan is approximately $100-$300. The average cost for Michigan homeowners runs around $185.

However, the cost to clear your drain depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The location of the clog
  • The accessibility of the clog
  • The severity of the clog and tools needed for the unclogging
  • The contractor you hire

To get an exact cost, you’ll need to speak with a plumber, but, we can give you a general idea of how much the drain cleaning will cost by breaking down the cost factors.

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Rather have a plumber clear your drain ASAP? At Thornton & Grooms, we’ll unclog your drain for the low price of $99.

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Schedule service today!

Cost Factor #1: Location of the clog (mainline vs secondary line)

Location of the clog (main vs secondary line)

The difference between mainline and secondary lines

Typically, you will pay more to unclog the main sewer line than the secondary drain lines. This is because it takes more time and specialized equipment for a plumber to unclog the main sewer line and clean up any sewage backup. Since the main sewer line connects directly to the municipal sewer line, clogs in the main sewer line can lead to serious problems with your plumbing system and sewage backup can contaminate the groundwater if not handled properly.

So, how do you diagnose where your clog is?

A plumber will be able to diagnose the exact location and problem. However, a general rule is that if a clog is affecting multiple fixtures it is a mainline clog. For example, if sewage is backing up into your shower or other water fixture when you turn on a faucet or flush the toilet, you probably have a mainline clog.

On the other hand, if you have a secondary drain line clog, it is usually isolated to the affected sink, bathtub or toilet fixture and much simpler to fix.

Cost Factor #2: The accessibility of the clog

plumbing cleanout

Plumbing cleanout

A residential plumbing cleanout usually looks like the above picture and can be found outside near your home or property line. The plumbing cleanout provides a direct means of access to the main sewer line.


The farther away the clog is from the plumbing cleanout, the harder it will be to access, thus the time and labor costs increase. For example, if a plumber needs to disassemble some part of the drain system to access the clog, the costs of the drain unclogging might increase.

Cost Factor #3: Severity of the clog & tools needed

The cost to unclog your drain increases when the clog is severe. Complicated and large clogs are more expensive to unclog because they require specialized tools.

If a clog is minor … the plumber can use a less expensive tool, like an auger. An auger can be a basic, manual tool used for unclogging secondary drain lines. Augers can also be motorized, serpentine-like tools that spin nonstop to break up a clog in the main sewer line.

Augers are best for less stubborn clogs like:

  • Hair
  • Food
  • Toilet paper
  • Hygiene products
  • Yardwork debris
  • Small tree roots
An auger cleaning a tree root clog

An auger cleaning a tree root clog

If a clog is large and hard to unclog … the plumber may perform a video inspection to determine how far down the clog is in the drain line before using a high-pressure water jetter. The video inspection service can increase the cost by $70 to $300. However, don’t let the additional cost be a deterrent. A video inspection helps the plumber precisely diagnose the problem, which means it can save you money on the repair work.

A plumber will perform a video inspection by feeding a waterproof camera down your drain. It shows the plumber exactly what and where the blockage is to see if a jetter is necessary. Blockages of fat, oil and/or grease clogs will most likely require the jetter the most.

After diagnosing what and where the clog is, the plumber may use the jetter to spray high-pressure streams of water to cut through the clog and unclog your drain.

Cost Factor #4: The contractor you hire

A high-quality, experienced contractor will cost more than a contractor with a lower labor rate.

But, when you need your drain unclogged, it’s vital to find a high-quality plumber who will thoroughly complete the job the first time around. An inexperienced plumber might temporarily unclog your drain but you could end up paying more to fix the clog down the line.

When looking for a high-quality and experienced plumber, look for a contractor who:

  • Is licensed and insured: You can find a plumbing contractor’s license and insurance info on their website or their Better Business Bureau profile.
  • Has a track record of 10+ years: A track record will allow you to see what your fellow Michigan homeowners think about the contractor. Check the BBB, Google or Facebook.

Will provide you with an upfront, written estimate: Transparent contractors will make sure you receive a clear quote so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises on your final bill.

Want your drain cleaned by technicians you can trust? Contact Thornton & Grooms

We offer affordable drain unclogging services ($99 to unclog a drain and $99 for a video inspection) and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Since 1937, we’ve put Michigan homeowners ahead of profits which is why we have 5 stars on BBB reviews, 4.9 stars on Facebook reviews and 4.8 stars on Google reviews.

Schedule with us today!