Cost to Unclog a Tub Drain – 2021

| Last Updated: August 20, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 148

$ 38

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 46% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Unclog a Tub Drain noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to unplug a tub drain? The contractor cost to unclog a tub drain is $148 vs. doing it yourself for $38. 

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 $38 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 $148 to do the job. Click here to get to Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local prescreened contractors.

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. 

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Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.