Cost of fixing a blocked shower drain

Looking for a cost estimation for fixing your blocked shower drain? Learn more about the hourly rates, fees and typical costs associated with hiring a professional plumber to fix your blocked shower drain in South Africa

National Average rate
High-End Rate
Low-End Rate

*The rates above are estimates based on national averages.  Rates and prices can vary greatly based on specific circumstances, location, severity of your problem, etc.

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Comprehensive cost guide on fixing a blocked shower drain

In the vibrant and diverse landscapes of South Africa, household maintenance is a familiar routine for homeowners. Among the common household nuisances, a blocked shower drain is an issue that many South Africans have faced at least once. The causes range from accumulated hair and soap scum to the more serious pipe scale and foreign objects. Addressing this problem promptly prevents water damage and maintains the bathroom's hygiene, a key aspect of home care in cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, or anywhere across the Rainbow Nation.

Average blocked shower drain Repair Costs

The cost of unblocking a shower drain in South Africa can vary significantly based on the severity of the blockage, the chosen method of clearance, and geographical location. On average, homeowners might expect to pay between R300 to R800 for a standard drain cleaning service. However, if there are complications such as damaged pipes or the need for high-end equipment, costs could escalate to R1500 or more. Prices in major urban centres like Pretoria and Durban may also be higher compared to rural areas.

Estimated Costs Associated with fixing a blocked shower drain

The following list breaks down potential costs homeowners in South Africa might encounter when fixing a blocked shower drain:

  • Basic plunger: R100 - R200
  • Drain snake (manual): R150 - R400
  • Chemical drain cleaner: R50 - R150 per bottle
  • Drain auger (electric): R600 - R1500 (for purchase, rental would be cheaper)
  • CCTV drain inspection: R750 - R1500
  • Labour: R450 - R850 per hour (depending on the expertise required)
  • Call-out fee: R250 - R500 (varies by location and company)
  • After-hours surcharges: Up to R500 additional
  • Plumbing parts (if replacement is needed): R100 - R2000+ depending on the part

How is a blocked shower drain fixed?

The steps to unblock a shower drain typically include:

  • Assessing the blockage by visual inspection.
  • Attempting to clear the blockage with a plunger.
  • If unsuccessful, using a drain snake or manual auger to dislodge the clog.
  • Employing a chemical drain cleaner as an alternative or supplementary measure.
  • For persistent blockages, using an electric drain auger or a high-pressure water jetter.
  • Inspection with a CCTV device may be necessary to diagnose deeper issues.
  • Replacing damaged sections of piping if necessary.
  • Testing the drain after clearing to ensure water flows freely.

How Long Does it Typically Take to fix a blocked shower drain?

Fixing a blocked shower drain can vary in time depending on the severity and cause of the blockage. Here’s a brief breakdown of time estimates:

Minor Blockages:

  • If the blockage is near the surface, such as hair and soap scum, it may take between 5 to 15 minutes to clear it using a plunger or a drain snake.

Moderate Blockages:

  • For blockages slightly deeper within the pipes that can be resolved with chemical cleaners or a hand auger, it might take around 15 to 30 minutes.

Severe Blockages:

  • If the blockage is severe, where you need to dismantle the drain trap or use a motorized drain snake, it could take 1 to 2 hours. This includes the time to set up, perform the task, and clean up afterward.

Professional Help:

  • If you need to call a plumber, the assessment might take 15 minutes, with the actual repair lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours based on the complexity of the clog.

These estimates assume that the tools or chemicals needed are readily available and that the person doing the task has a basic understanding of how to approach the problem. If you’re unfamiliar with plumbing, tasks could take longer and might involve additional time to research or gather the right tools.

DIY - How can I fix my blocked shower drain?

A blocked shower drain can often be addressed with a few DIY steps:

  • Use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage.
  • Employ a homemade mixture of vinegar and baking soda to break down grime.
  • Manually remove visible obstructions such as hair clumps.
  • Use a plumber's snake to reach deeper into the drain.

These measures are cost-effective and can be conducted with minimal tools.

When Should You Get Professional Help?

Professional assistance should be sought when:

  • DIY methods have failed to clear the blockage.
  • There's a recurrence of blockages, indicating a more serious issue.
  • Foul odours persist, suggesting a deeper problem.
  • Water is draining extremely slowly or not at all, even after attempts to clear it.

How to Save Money on when fixing a blocked shower drain?

To save money on clearing a blocked shower drain:

  • Perform regular maintenance to prevent blockages.
  • Compare quotes from multiple plumbers or drain specialists.
  • Consider a local handyman for minor blockages to avoid high professional fees.
  • Schedule the service during regular hours to avoid after-hour surcharges.


In conclusion, resolving a blocked shower drain in South Africa doesn't have to be a daunting task. With Home+, you can effortlessly connect with skilled tradespeople to address your plumbing woes. Simply download the app or book a job directly online. Home+ ensures that your home maintenance needs are met by vetted, competent, and affordable professionals without the hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions about fixing a blocked shower drain

Q: How often should I clean my shower drain to prevent blockages?

A: It's recommended to clean your shower drain at least once a month to prevent the build-up of debris and soap scum.

Q: Are chemical drain cleaners safe for my pipes?

A: Chemical drain cleaners can be used sparingly on certain types of pipes, but overuse can lead to corrosion. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Q: Can a blocked shower drain cause leaks?

A: Yes, if the blockage increases pressure in the pipes, it can lead to leaks or burst pipes, hence the importance of timely intervention.

Q: Is it more expensive to fix a blocked drain on weekends or after-hours in South Africa?

A: Yes, plumbers typically charge higher rates for services rendered during weekends, public holidays, or after-hours.

Q: Will my homeowner's insurance cover the cost of repairing a blocked shower drain?

A: Typically, homeowner's insurance in South Africa does not cover routine maintenance, but it's best to check your specific policy for details.


The information provided in this Plumbing Cost Guide is intended for general informational purposes only. While we strive to keep the information up-to-date and accurate, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the guide or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the guide for any purpose.

The costs and estimates mentioned in this guide are based on averages and typical scenarios in South Africa and should not be taken as exact figures or quotations. Prices and rates can vary significantly based on specific circumstances, locations, and changes in market conditions.

This guide is not intended to substitute for professional advice. Always seek the expertise of a qualified and licensed plumber for any plumbing needs. The user's reliance on any information in this guide is strictly at their own risk. Click here to get a free and accurate quote on your plumbing related needs today.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this plumbing cost guide.

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