Cost to Unclog a Tub Drain

Find the average cost to unclog a tub drain yourself compared with the labor and material cost of hiring a plumber. Use your ZIP Code to adjust the cost to where you live so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a pro to do the job. Learn what to consider and the steps involved.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

About three-fourths of all drain problems occur in the sink, tub and shower lines. And you can be assured of one thing: if there's going to be a clogged drain at your house, it will happen before an important event or when you're in a hurry. That's why everyone should know how to unclog a drain so you're prepared to handle it. It'll cost you about $28 for a plunger, chemical drain opener and a hand auger. You also need a pot of hot water, a screwdriver, some wire and a pair of pliers.

Try any and all of these tactics. If there's a grate over the drain opening or a plunger that closes the drain inside it, remove them. Make a hook at the end of some wire and poke it to dislodge the clog. Try pouring hot water down the drain, followed by using a plunger. If the plunger you’re using won’t stick to the tub, wipe petroleum jelly all around its rim. Sometimes that helps to stick it to the tub surface so you can create a tight seal and pump it. Or use a chemical drain opener according to the directions. For a tub, you may have to remove the drain assembly by unscrewing the coverplate and screwing the cable of an auger into the drain to remove a clog.

Still no luck? Call a plumber or drain cleaning service who will charge about $110 to do the job.

The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to unclog a tub drain with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.

Cost updated 2014

Would You Do This Project?

Poll Results

  • DIY    45%
  • PRO  55%