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What’s the Cost of a Main Sewer Line Cleaning in Phoenix?

March 06, 2018

Have several backed up drains in your home that are driving you crazy? If so, you likely need to have your main sewer line cleared—and, of course, you’re probably wondering how much that will cost.

Well, the cost to clear your main sewer line in Arizona ranges from $150 to $700, while the average price is $380 for this service.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The signs that you need your main sewer line cleaned

  • Factors that affect the cost of a main sewer line cleaning

  • Situations where you may need to replace your sewer lines altogether

Read on for more details that will help you budget for this plumbing service.

Don’t need prices, just a plumber? Contact us and we’ll send over a plumber right away.

Signs you need your main sewer line cleared

  • Multiple drains in your home are backed up. If you have several slow-moving or completely backed up drains versus just one drain, you likely have a clog in your main sewer line and will need to have the line cleared.
  • When you use one water appliance, water backs up in different plumbing fixtures. For example, when you flush the toilet, you notice dirty water backing up in the bathtub/shower.
cost to clear main sewer line

In this image, a clog in the main drain forces water to back up in the bathtub when the toilet flushes.

  • Sewage leaking from your home’s cleanout. Your cleanout is a pipe that plumbers use to access your main sewer line. This is usually located outside.
  • Sewage coming up from your home’s floor drains. For example, dirty sewage water coming up through your shower drains, sink drains, etc.

4 factors that affect the cost of a main sewer line clearing

The factors that affect the price to clean your main sewer line include:

  1. The location of the clog

  2. The severity of the clog

  3. Whether a video camera inspection is needed

  4. The plumber you choose

Let’s take a closer look at those 4 factors…

Factor #1: The location of the clog

How does this affect price?The harder it is to access the clog, the more it will cost to clean your main sewer line.

If the clog in your main sewer line is far from your home’s “cleanout” (the access point to your main sewer line), reaching it will take more time and materials, which raises the price of the job.

clog in main sewer line

Materials like grease and tree roots can clog your main sewer line (pictured here as the “lateral” line). The farther away the clog is from the cleanout (pictured above), the more expensive the job.Source

Sometimes, plumbers may even have to access the clog via a “drain vent” on the roof. If this is the case, you can expect the plumber to charge more for your sewer line cleaning.

Factor #2: Severity of the clog

How does this affect price?More severe clogs require more expensive tools (and more labor), which raises the overall cost of the job.

A plumber may need to use more expensive tools to break up particularly severe clogs, which raises the cost of the sewer line cleaning.

So what makes one clog more “severe” than another? And what are the different tools needed to break up clogs that are more severe? Let’s take a look...

Examples of “less severe” clogs

Clogs made of:

  • Hair

  • Single item (i.e. children’s toy)

  • Thick paper products

  • Fibrous foods (potatoes, celery, corn, corn husks, etc.)

Tools needed for less severe clogs: A plumbing snake (i.e. “auger”) is often used to clear less severe clogs. A plumbing snake is basically a long metal coil with a claw-like device at the end. The claw works to break apart and remove the clog.

drain auger main sewer line clearing

A drain auger clearing debris from a sewer line.

Examples of “more severe” clogs

Clogs made of:

  • FOGs—Fats, Oils or Grease

  • Tree roots

  • Mineral buildup

Tools needed for more severe clogs: A hydrojet is used to break up tough clogs that a plumbing snake can’t handle. Hydrojet drain cleaning uses a flexible hose with a super powerful nozzle that shoots out a water at very high pressures. This strong jet of water can break apart clogs, mineral buildup and even tree roots inside your main sewer line.

Factor #3: Whether a video camera inspection is needed

How does this affect price? If a video camera inspection is needed to locate the clog, this will usually cost an additional $150. However, a video camera inspection can save you time and money in the long run.

Reasons a video camera inspection would be needed include:

  • If a customer is concerned with retrieving a lost item (i.e. wedding ring that slipped down shower drain)

  • If the plumber failed to reach the clog with a plumbing snake, a video inspection will show how far down and how severe the clog is

  • If the plumber needs to use a hydro jetter but isn’t sure the sewer line is strong enough to handle the high water pressure

  • If a customer wants video proof that that sewer line actually needs to be cleared (or wants proof after the job is completed that the line is completely clear)

Factors #4: The plumber you choose

How does this affect price? The higher quality the plumber, the more they typically charge for their sewer line cleaning.

Just like any service, you can expect to pay more for higher quality. Our suggestion is to choose a plumber based on their reputation and experience versus just choosing the plumber with the lowest prices.

To help you steer clear of inexperienced or dishonest professionals, vet your plumber carefully based on whether:

  • They are licensed and insured by the state of Arizona

  • They can provide 2–3 references that you can contact personally to back up the plumber’s skill and professionalism.

  • They offer various tools for sewer line cleaning (drain auger and hydro jetting) to ensure they can handle any severity of clog

  • They offer a guarantee of some kind (for example, Patrick Riley promises that if you aren’t 100% happy with our work the first time, we’ll redo the jobo—on our own dime)

Need your main sewer line cleared? Contact our AZ plumbers

Think you have a clogged sewer line? Just contact us. We’ll send over a professional who can clear it.

And the best part? We promise you’ll be happy with our services—otherwise we’ll redo the job FOR FREE.