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How Much Does It Cost To Clear A Blocked Drain

Discovering a blocked drain is a real nightmare and can test even the sunniest disposition. Things like fat deposits, foreign objects and even tree roots can block your drains, but whatever the cause, it’s vital to act fast. A blocked drain can cause your home or garden to flood, often with raw sewage.

Clearing a blocked drain needs specialist equipment and skills - it’s not a DIY job. You need a company that understands the urgency of the task, knows how to do it and how to make the process as pain-free as possible. If you’re concerned about how much it costs to clear a blocked drain, remember it’s better to spend on a professional company than have to get someone to fix a botched job.

Who should I get to unblock my drain?

Like many other states, Queensland requires plumbers to have a special licence for doing drainage work. Under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018, anyone working on plumbing or drainage in the Queensland area must hold an occupational plumbers and drainers licence.


How to find the right tradie for clearing a blocked drain?

Finding the right tradie can be tricky. It’s not just a case of asking “how much does it cost to clear a blocked drain?” and going with the price you like. You need to know you have the right person for the job. We recommend getting three quotes, so you know you have a fair price – anything wildly low should ring alarm bells. When you’re getting your quote, it’s worth asking a few questions to gauge whether this is the right person for the job.

• Do you have an occupational plumber and drainage licence?
• Do you have insurance?
• Do you have references?
• Can I have a written quote?

Instinct is also important – if the tradie is slow to get back to you, doesn’t turn up for their quote appointment, or something just doesn’t feel right, then they’re probably not the person to trust with your home or business.

How do plumbers fix a blocked drain?

There are a bunch of ways plumbers can unblock drains, from simple to sophisticated. Deciding which method to use depends on the problem.

The first step is to identify the cause of the issue. Most plumbers use CCTV or sewer drain cameras to understand the cause and location of the blockage and determine how to proceed.

Common causes of blocked drains include:

• Tree roots
• Tampons or sanitary towels
• Grease build-up
• Hair build-up
• Kids' toys
• Toilet paper

Once the cause of the blockage is identified, the plumber can decide how to get things moving again. There are various tools that we use.

1. Electric eel

This is a long flexible steel rod with cutters to slice through tree roots. Whilst these can be super effective, there can be a downside, such as limited reach and the possibility of damaging the pipes.

2. Hydro jets

These are exactly as they sound – powerful jets of water that clear through the blockage. They can even get through tree roots, and many plumbers find this is the most effective way to do the job.

How much does it cost to clear blocked drains?

This is the biggie, and unfortunately, it’s hard to give a standard answer. Some plumbers will charge a call-out fee. This can be between $55 and $100. The call-out fee is on top of the hourly rate, which will be somewhere between $100 and $150. If you are calling outside normal working hours you will most likely pay a premium.

Fees will vary depending on where you are, and the skill level of the plumber – a Master Plumber may well charge a little more to reflect their enhanced skill level.

Here’s a round-up of what you could expect to pay for various jobs, including the cost of unblocking a drain.

• Unblocking a toilet or kitchen drain: $80 to $120
• Clearing a short length of blocked drain: $300 to $500
• Replacing a section of your drainage system: $1000 to $3000
• Replacing an entire drainage system: $5,000 to $20,000

These prices are only a guide and things like location, market forces, supply of materials and labour will all influence the cost of the job. A bit of research will help you when you’re getting your three quotes, and any reputable plumber will be happy to answer your questions.

Get a quote

At Parker Plumbing we’ve been taking care of all aspects of plumbing and drainage for over 11 years. We work all over Queensland, with a focus on the West Brisbane area. We’re a proud local business that uses local tooling and products and enjoys a strong reputation for quality and service. To find out more about us, just get in touch by telephone on 1300 489 897 or book online.

Areas Served

Ipswich & West Brisbane
West Brisbane