What’s the average cost to install a clean out? Roto Rooter quoted us over $6,000

Updated November 24, 2020
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Question by nafiseh: What’s the average cost to install a clean out? Roto Rooter quoted us over $6,000

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Answered by LCD: Extraordinarily high for a normal installation - you could normally replace ALL your sewer lines for about tht amount, or the buried line from house to street once or twice for that amount - get more bids.

There have been a lot of comments on the web (and complaints to BBB and FTC) about franchise sewer cleaning outfits (and pesticide companies and carpet cleaners etc etc) way overcharging just because people call them first because of the brand name and don't get competing quotes. Search the List (if a member - free or paid membership) in the Plumbing category (also many Sewer and Drain companies) for well-rated and reviewed vendors for this work.

In some cases the franchise sewer cleaning outfits are not licensed as plumbers, so they go hire a plumber to do the job, mark his bill up 50-100%, and charge you through the nose for it. Illegal to do that because they are acting as a General Contractor in that case, but many do it anyway.

Note if ground is frozen where putting it in, job will cost a good bit more, so unless this is an emergency situation (which cannot be routed out by removing a toilet) will be cheaper to wait till ground is thawed to depth if your ground freezes hard in winter.

Below are some previous similar and related questions with answers - including how to find existing cleanouts you may not know you have. Cost commonly around $1000 plus or minus with normal burial line (3-6 feet), more like $500-700 if not over about 3 feet deep burial. Extremely deep burial in far norhtern tier areas whereline may be 10-12 feet down can run $1000-2000.

Removal/ replacement of concrete if required (though usually would just move a few feet to get around that, and cleanouts should not be put in driveways) commonly around $500-1000 additional including all the concrete work. With tough access, having to save plantings, dig up/take down large trees, buried line in crawlspace, etc can push it to the $2000-3000 total range in rare cases.

Those are for in-ground or under-slab cleanouts - to put a cleanout on an above-ground line commonly around $300-500 with plastic pipe or cutting one into cast iron using rubber no-hub connector splices (which might last 20 some years rather than hundreds) - more like $400-700 if using all cast iron with new leaded joints.

Ideally, there will be a high-point cleanout in the household stack (and access plug in an upward facing wye usually) to allow snaking or jetting the household lines, then a separate cleanout a couple to few feet outside the foundation to allow access to the rest of the line leading to the street or septic tank.





Answered by Loosepush7: A simple clean out,4 inch PVC two 4inch ferncos 4 inch PVC Tee with cap. Labor if not an excessive amout of digging....$225.00

Answered by LCD: loosepush7 gave you the materials for an exposed DWV pipe/sewer line (and size may be 3, 3-1/2,4, 5 or 6 inch depending on age and size of house and if single unit or duplex/fourplex so you normally don't know in advance the size needed.

For buried line, not recommended to use a Tee - a street wye is recommended so sewer router/jetting equipment can easily make the bend from the standpipe to the sewer line. Plus would need cleaner and glue and pipe for riser to ground surface from the wye and a protective cap - or glue/thread coupling and screw cap (my recommended solution to minimize risk of kids dropping rocks in the standpipe and clogging sewer line).

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