How Long Does It Take to Clear Your Drain?

A clogged drain can disrupt your normal routine and cause inconvenience to everyone in the house. Clogs can happen for various reasons, such as hair, soap, food particles, mineral buildup, and foreign objects.

It can be easy to clean out the drain with a plunger, but other times it may require an expert plumber to fix the problem. Drain clearing can be relatively quick, depending on the factors involved:

Types of Clogs:

Different types of clogs take different amounts of time to clear. A small grease clog can take a few minutes to fix.

A larger one in the main sewer line may take several hours. Regular drain maintenance can prevent minor clogs from turning into major ones.

Hair Clogs:

Hair clogs can range from small to large, depending on the density and length of the hair. It can take several minutes to clear a hair clog with a plunger.

Food Clogs:

Food particles can clog kitchen sinks and garbage disposals. It can take several minutes to clear a food clog with a plunger or a drain snake.

Grease Clogs:

Grease buildup can clog drains in both kitchen and bathroom sinks. Clearing a small grease clog with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda can take a few minutes. If the clog is more extensive, it may take a few hours to clear.

Foreign Object Clogs:

Foreign objects such as toys, jewelry, and other household items can accidentally fall into the drain and cause a clog. It can take several hours to clear a foreign object clog, depending on the object’s size and location. In some cases, it may require dismantling the drain to remove the object.

Methods Used To Clear the Drain

The time it takes to drain clearing also depends on the method used. Here are some common methods used to clear a clogged drain:


A plunger is a tool used to clear minor clogs in sinks and toilets. It creates suction that dislodges the obstruction, and the water then flushes it down the drain. It takes several minutes to clear a clog with a plunger.

Drain Snake:

A drain snake is a long, flexible tool professional plumbers use to dislodge clogs deeper into the drain. It can take several minutes to clear clogs using a drain snake.


Hydro-jetting is a method used to clear stubborn clogs by blasting high-pressure water through the drain. This method effectively removes tough clogs like mineral buildup and tree roots. It can take around a few hours to complete this process.

Chemical Drain Cleaners:

Chemical drain cleaners are a quick fix for minor clogs, but they are not recommended for regular use as they can damage the pipes. The time it takes to clear a clog with a chemical drain cleaner depends on the product and the severity of the clog.

Expertise and Experience :

If you are attempting to do it yourself and are not experienced in plumbing, it may take you longer to clear the drain. A licensed plumber should clear most clogs within an hour.

Experienced plumbers can complete the job faster than a novice because they have all of the right specialized tools for a variety of different clogs.

If the drain isn’t clearing after you’ve tried traditional methods, it may be wisest to call a professional to come take care of the issue so you can get back to using your appliance. 

The Age and Condition of the Plumbing System:

Older systems with corroded pipes and weakened fixtures sometimes take longer to clear. This is because the pipes can be too old or are unable to handle the pressure of hydro jetting or other methods.

The appearance of multiple clogs throughout the plumbing system may be a sign of extensive system damage, and the repair process could take several days.

Regular maintenance of a plumbing system can help to keep it in good condition and prevent more significant problems in the future.

Hire a Professional Plumber for Drain Clearing

Drain clearing can take a few minutes to several hours, depending on the type of clog and the method used. Solve minor clogs immediately before they turn into more extensive problems.

If you’re unsure how to clear a clogged drain, seek the help of a professional plumber to avoid causing further damage to the pipes.