Clogged toilets can be a major inconvenience and often require immediate attention. If you’re faced with a clogged toilet, you may be wondering how much it will cost to have it fixed.
The cost of unclogging a toilet can range from $100 to $300, depending on where you live. This cost can increase if you have an emergency, night, weekend, or holiday call, so it’s important to keep this in mind when making arrangements to have your toilet unclogged.
The good news is lots of clogs are fixable without calling a professional. In this article, we’ll discuss when to call a plumber and what kinds of clogs and issues you can fix yourself. Plus, we’ll explain how to do it!
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Before you call a plumber, there are a few things you can try doing on your own to fix a clogged toilet. These options are typically cheaper than calling a plumber; plus, it’ll get it fixed faster.
So, before you pick up the phone, we recommend trying these great products to get rid of your stubborn clogs:
1. Manual Plunger – Step one to eliminate a clog.
2. Green Gobbler Enzyme Clog Remover – Use natural enzymes instead of harsh chemicals.
3. Toilet Auger – Get the power of the air harnessed for your convenience!
When Should I Call A Plumber?
Having a plumber come to your home can be invasive and expensive. But, unfortunately, there are times when it’s a necessity. So, when do you call a plumber for a clogged toilet?
If a pipe is broken, or if you’ve attempted to unclog it yourself to no success, then it’s time to call a plumber.
While you can try your best to unclog a stuck toilet using an auger, the unfortunate truth is that unless you’ve bought a professional grade one, odds are it won’t work as well as a plumber.
The next logical question is, how much does it cost to have a professional snake out a toilet? Typically, it’ll cost you between 100 and 300 dollars, and more if it’s a night, weekend, or holiday. I spoke to my local plumber, and for a same-day job, it’ll cost approximately $225 to fix a clogged toilet.
Why can a plumber charge this much? What does a plumber do to unclog a toilet? It can’t be that difficult, right? Well, if you cannot do it yourself, it’s still time to call. A professional plumber has higher quality tools and the experience to get the job done.
They may need to take part of your toilet apart to reach the clog better. Additionally, if there is damage to your pipes, they can tell and replace the parts within reason.
When (And How) Can I Unclog a Toilet Myself?
There are several methods commonly used to fix a badly clogged toilet. You can start with your standard toilet plunger. Make sure the plunger is properly suctioned to the pipe leaving your toilet bowl, and use several hard pushes to hopefully force air down the pipe and push out the clog.
If a manual toilet plunger isn’t doing the job for you, it’s time to move on to an electric model. While these still use air to try and push out the clog, they are more powerful. But, of course, they also are more expensive than a manual plunger.
Even though these electric models cost about one hundred dollars each, they are still less than a plumber! Plus, it’s a one-time investment, unlike a plumber.
What If the Plunger Isn’t Working
If the plunger is a no-go, the next step is a snake. Can I snake a toilet myself? Yeah, I can! Grab yourself a full snake and auger toilet kit, and watch that clog clear quickly!
This kit allows you to see the air pressure in your pipes, to help you determine if the clog has been neutralized. Plus, you can use it on all your bathroom and kitchen drains, not just the toilet!
Other Options To Help Unclog a Toilet
Unfortunately, unless you’ve thought ahead, you may not have an auger or electric plunger on hand when your toilet clogs. If this happens, and you still don’t want to call a plumber, there are still other options.
Let’s start by talking about Roto-Rooter. While they’re technically plumbing experts, they will charge you a flat rate for the entire job, whereas a local plumber charges by the hour. So, if you’ve got a big job, Robo-Rooter may be more cost-effective.
They typically charge about $200 for a clog removal job, so you may want to call around before you schedule with them.
What About Rentable Clog Removal Tools?
Did you know that many places offer rental options for snakes and augers? If you’re comfortable attempting to unclog your toilet yourself but you don’t have the necessary tools, look into your local hardware store.
Plumber snake rentals cost as little as $65 a day to rent a drill-type cleaner. You can also get more high-tech options, but those may cost up to $125 a day (still cheaper than a plumber!)
Have You Tried Clog Remover Chemicals First?
I totally get not wanting to call a plumber and not wanting to rent equipment, but what chemicals will unclog a toilet? There are many schools of thought, from the classic baking soda and vinegar and adding boiling water (use caution!) to using clog removal products. Let’s talk more in-depth about each.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
Follow these steps to use baking soda and vinegar to unclog your toilet:
Note: Do not attempt this if you’ve already added chemical cleaners, as it may cause a reaction!
- Remove water from the toilet if necessary. Water shouldn’t reach more than halfway up the bowl for best results. (Any more, and you may have an overflow problem, and no one wants that!)
- Add one cup of baking soda directly to the toilet bowl.
- Add one cup of vinegar to the toilet bowl and wait for the fizzle (usually about 30 minutes.)
- Wait for the foaming to subside.
- Add hot, but not boiling, water to the bowl. Please use caution and pour slowly to avoid burns! At this point, you should be able to hear air release from the pipes if the clog breaks.
- Flush your toilet a few times to ensure that the clog is totally gone.
- If the clog is still there, repeat as necessary.
Using Chemical Clog Remover
To start, decide if you want to use a chemical clog remover or an enzyme clog remover. While both can help, certain products should be used depending on the circumstances.
Here are the major differences:
- It often contains bleach, caustic cleaners, and corrosion inhibitors.
- Hard on your toilet, pipes, and septic system.
- It can cause harm to the skin if touched and is poisonous.
- Works considerably faster than enzyme-based clog removers
- Able to break down organics, including hair.
- Free of chemicals, making it safer for pipes and septic systems.
- It can still cause skin irritation.
- It works slower than chemical clog removers but is very effective given the time.
To use a chemical-based drain cleaner, such as Zap, carefully follow all instructions on the jug. Typically, you’ll need to pour the entire bottle of cleaner into your toilet bowl and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. DO NOT flush with hot water!
To use an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Green Gobbler, pour the correct amount of powder into your toilet bowl and let it sit for several hours, preferably overnight. Then flush your toilet a few times to ensure the clog has completely dissolved.
Common Concerns With Toilet Clogs
Clogs don’t have to be a dread. However, they come with lots of questions. How long can a toilet stay clogged before it’s an issue? If you leave it alone, will a toilet eventually unclog itself? Is it okay to leave a toilet clogged overnight?
Let’s talk about these common clog questions, so you know what you can handle and what you should call a plumber for.
How Long Can a Toilet Stay Clogged?
Don’t panic immediately when your toilet clogs. In fact, sometimes, the best thing to do is just to walk away. If your toilet is clogged with toilet paper and organic material, the tissue will quickly dissolve, and the clog may clear itself up with no help from you!
However, if there are inorganic materials in the pipes or if the clog has persisted for hours without cleaning itself out, it’s time to try to clear it up. You don’t want to leave your toilet clogged longer than a few hours because your pipes may back up or there will be overflow issues.
Is It Okay To Leave A Toilet Clogged Overnight?
It’s typically best not to leave a toilet clogged overnight, as it may back up and overflow while you’re asleep. This can lead to an even bigger mess and more issues to deal with when you wake up.
However, one option you have is to use an enzyme clog remover before you go to bed. Then, the chemicals can work overnight, and you should be able to flush the toilet once you wake up the following day.
If you are going to try an enzyme cleaner, you may wish to place towels down before you go to sleep in case of overflow. After all, no one wants to clean up toilet water first thing in the morning!
Will A Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?
Whether or not your toilet will unclog itself without your help really depends on what’s causing the clog. If it’s something designed to break down quickly in water, such as toilet paper, then the answer is yes; it will probably quickly unclog itself.
Unfortunately, if the answer is no, the clog isn’t caused by something designed to break down (inorganic compounds, hair, foreign objects, etc.), then you’ll have to clear the clog yourself.
If the clog is caused by hair or other build-ups, you can try using a clog remover or a plunger first. ALWAYS start with a plunger if you intend on using one. Do not apply clog remover before you plunge, as it may splash back on you, causing injuries.
If the clog is caused by one solid mass (i.e., your child flushed their toy, and now it’s stuck), you may want to attempt to use a claw-like clog remover to pull the object back out of the pipes rather than try to push it the rest of the way through.
This way, you get the object back (if it’s worth saving.) Plus, then you don’t have to worry about it getting into your septic system or damaging your pipes.
If you’ve tried everything you can think of, and it’s still clogged, it’s time to call a professional. While it’s never fun to have a stranger in your home, they’ll typically be able to fix the clog in short order, and you can get back to your life.
You might also enjoy our post on Will a Toilet Unclog Itself?
Plumbers are sometimes a necessary part of life. They have the skills and experience to fix clogs and other plumbing issues quickly, but they are expensive.
Before you call a plumber, make sure you try to clear out the clog yourself. You can wait an hour or so to see if the clog will clear, and after that, use an auger, plunger, or clog remover to get rid of that stubborn clog.
But, when all else fails, don’t despair. Plumbers are used to being called out for all kinds of issues, and they are here to help!