Cost of fixing a blocked toilet or sink

Looking for a cost estimation for fixing your blocked toilet or sink? Learn more about the hourly rates, fees and typical costs associated with hiring a professional plumber to fix your blocked toilet or sink issue 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 toilet or sink

In South Africa, addressing household maintenance issues such as a blocked toilet or sink is a common challenge. Given the country's diverse urban and rural landscape, the fix for such problems can vary greatly. This guide is tailored to provide South African homeowners with a comprehensive understanding of managing and resolving blockages in their plumbing systems, ensuring functionality and hygiene are maintained in one of the most critical components of their homes.

Average blocked toilet or sink Repair Costs

The national average repair cost for a blocked toilet or sink in South Africa can fluctuate based on location, the severity of the blockage, and the type of service required. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between R450 to R850 for standard unblocking services. However, if there are additional complications such as pipe damage or the need for part replacements, costs can escalate to R1000 or more. It is important to note that emergency call-outs or after-hours services may incur higher fees.

Estimated Costs Associated with fixing a blocked toilet or sink


  • Plunger: R100 - R200
  • Drain auger (5 meters): R250 - R500
  • Chemical drain cleaner: R50 - R150 per bottle
  • Replacement piping (if required): R100 - R200 per meter
  • New toilet or sink trap (if needed): R300 - R600


  • Standard service call: R450 - R850
  • After-hours/emergency call-out fee: R900 - R1500

Additional Fees:

  • CCTV drain inspection (if required): R750 - R1500
  • Transport or call-out fee (distance dependent): R200 - R400
  • Waste disposal fee (if applicable): R100 - R300

How is This a blocked toilet or sink fixed?

The process typically involves the following steps:

  • Assessment of the blockage severity.
  • Attempting to plunge the blockage clear.
  • If plunging fails, using a drain auger to dislodge the blockage.
  • Employing chemical drain cleaners for persistent blockages, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Inspection of the pipes for damages if the blockage persists.
  • Replacement of sections of piping or traps if necessary.
  • Testing the drain flow after the blockage has been cleared.

How Long Does It Typically Take to fix a blocked toilet or sink?

The time it takes to fix a blocked toilet or sink can vary widely depending on the severity and cause of the blockage. Here are typical scenarios:

Minor Blockage:

  • Plunger: If the blockage is minor and can be cleared with a plunger, it may take between 5 to 15 minutes.
  • Chemical Cleaner: For minor blockages that need a chemical drain cleaner, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours for the chemical to work through the blockage.

Moderate Blockage:

  • Drain Snake or Auger: If a plunger doesn't work and you need to use a drain snake or a hand auger, it might take between 30 minutes to an hour, assuming you don't run into unusual complications.
  • Dismantling Parts: If you need to remove the U-bend under a sink or a toilet's trap to clear the blockage manually, it might take 1 to 2 hours, including the time to put everything back together.

Severe Blockage:

  • Professional Help: For severe blockages that require a plumber, the time can range from a few hours to a half-day, especially if there is a need to inspect the sewer line with a camera or if there is a blockage deep within the system that requires specialized tools.

In summary:

  • Minor blockages: 5 minutes to a few hours
  • Moderate blockages: 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Severe blockages: A few hours to half a day

Remember, these are estimates and the actual time may vary based on specific circumstances.

DIY - How can I fix my blocked toilet or sink?

For those inclined to tackle a blocked toilet or sink on their own:

  • Use a plunger with the correct technique to create a vacuum and dislodge the blockage.
  • Implement a drain snake to reach deeper into the plumbing.
  • Apply a chemical drain cleaner as per product instructions; however, do so with caution and proper ventilation.
  • Check the P-trap under the sink for blockages that can be manually removed.

When Should You Get Professional Help?

Professional help should be sought if:

  • The blockage persists after DIY attempts.
  • There is water overflowing, indicating a possible sewage backup.
  • There are multiple drain systems affected.
  • You suspect that the blockage might be caused by pipe damage.

How to Save Money on when fixing a blocked toilet or sink?

To save money on unblocking services:

  • Perform routine maintenance to prevent blockages.
  • Compare quotes from various service providers.
  • Avoid after-hours or emergency call-out fees by addressing the issue during standard business hours.
  • Consider a local service provider to save on travel fees.


Tackling a blocked toilet or sink can be daunting, but with Home+ in South Africa, the solution is just a click away. By simply downloading the app or booking a job online, homeowners can effortlessly connect to professional and affordable tradespeople who are vetted and equipped to handle such issues, ensuring a quick and efficient resolution to your plumbing problems.

Frequently Asked Questions about fixing a blocked toilet or sink

Q: How often should I have my drains professionally cleaned to prevent blockages?

A: It is advisable to have your drains professionally cleaned every 18 to 24 months to prevent blockage buildup, depending on usage.

Q: What should I avoid flushing down the toilet to prevent blockages?

A: Avoid flushing items such as wet wipes, sanitary products, diapers, and excessive toilet paper as these do not disintegrate easily and can cause blockages.

Q: Are chemical drain cleaners safe for all types of plumbing?

A: No, chemical drain cleaners can be harmful to certain types of pipes and fixtures. Always check the compatibility of the product with your plumbing system.

Q: Can a blocked drain cause damage to my property?

A: Yes, if left unattended, a blocked drain can lead to water overflow, resulting in potential water damage to your property.

Q: Is it cost-effective to attempt DIY before calling a professional?

A: If you have the right tools and knowledge, attempting a DIY fix can be cost-effective. However, if you're unsure, it's safer and possibly more economical in the long run to call a professional.


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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