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"- Plumber arrived on-time as promised and did the work quickly and efficiently. - Also took the time to explain how I might avoid similar clogs in the future. " - I would hire them for work outside the home warranty.

-Jason P.

"The technician was professional; took care of the problem by running a snake down the toilet; however, I feel the cost was too pricey for a ten minute job.

-Major D.

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Angie's Answers


First - NOT full septic tank - if that was the case you would be getting backup of sewage into the lowest drains in the house, and possible very slow flushing or refusal to drain out of the bowl - the opposite of your case.

Second - I assume you are the owner. If a renter or on a lease, this type of problem may be the responsibility of your landlord, depending on the terms of your lease or rental agreement.

OK - two possible situations here - low water in BOWL, or low water in TANK. I am assuming your toilet flushes OK, with adequate water to clean out the bowl, and that it is a typical type toilet with a tank sitting on the back of the bowl. If this is not the case and it is a designer toilet or looks like those at public restrooms (no tank), then the BOWL answers still apply if it is initially refilling OK, but if not enough refill water coming in at all then call a plumber.

First, low water in the toilet BOWL case. If the water in the toilet BOWL is low after flushing, I see four likely causes, in order of most likelihood -

1) the fill valve is not putting enough water into the toilet bowl. If you take the top off the tank, you will see a small hose (typically black plastic) coming from the fill valve (a vertical mechanism, usually at left side of tank, that the incoming water tube or flex hose connects to the bottom of on the bottom side of the tank). While the tank is refilling after a flush, a steady but not large flow of water flows through this fill tube and down into a vertical pipe or tube (usually brass or plastic and about 3/4 inch diameter, which stands almost full height of tank). The small tube puts water into this pipe, from where it flows into and refills the toilet bowl. This is also the overflow tube, which keeps the tank from overflowing if the fill valve fails to shut off. If the fill valve has a problem or the fill tube has a blockage, it may not be letting enough water into the bowl. Also, check the tube is actually pointed down into the overflow tube - if the clip came loose, rusted away or broke, then it may just be filling the toilet tank rather than the bowl. Check that a steady flow (will not be a real foreceful jet) of water is flowing out of this tube into the overflow pipe while the toilet tank is refilling. You should also see the bowl filling up at this time. If it come in but does not fill high enough because it does not run long enough, some fill valves have an adjustment - check fill valve manufacturer website for instructions. Others just have to be replaced - doable if you are handy at home repairs (see web videos on how to do it), or call a plumber for probably about $150-200 to replace fill valve (have him replace the flapper valve at same time if you get this done).

2) there is something like a rag or string caught in the trap (the waste passage within the toilet body itself) which is slowly wicking the bowl water down the drain - would be solved by a good snaking. If this is the case, the bowl will fill fully after flushing, but then slowly (typically many minutes to hours) drain down to just filling the start of the oval or round drain passageway where the waste passage starts to curve up into the toilet body.

3) blocked sewer vent pipe (which vents sewer gas and lets air into the sewer system so when you flush the traps in drains and toilets and such do not get sucked dry by the vacumn caused by the exiting flow. If this is the problem, then several drains in your house may have the same problem, or drain slowly. When you flush, the water will drain totally down the pipe and almost all the water in the bowl and trap will go down the drain too, typically with a gurgling sound for a few seconds at the end as the air seal is broken in the trap, then a small amount of water will flow back from the trap into the bowl, leaving you with water in the entrance curve to the trap but nowhere near normal height in the bowl - maybe not even enough to fill the entrance of the drain passage.

4) a crack in the toilet, letting water gradually leak out of the bowl onto the floor or into the subfloor. If this has been going on for long at all you should see water on the floor, or water coming out in the ceiling downstairs, or in the basement or crawl space under the toilet.

Case 2 - the problem is low water in the toilet TANK - since this is a sudden problem, two likely causes:

1)  the float arm has corroded or the float setting has moved. Look in tank for any broken part. You may have a black ball on the end of a metal or plastic arm connected to the fill valve (which is the part, normally at the left side of the tank, that the flexible or copper tubing comes into at the bottom of the tank), or it may be a sliding cylindrical float that slides up and down on the fill valve (typically all plastic) - see if it is broken or loose or alll corroded up (for the arm type). When you flush, this float hangs down (if lever type) or slides down the fill valve (cylinder type), opening the fill valve so fresh water comes in to fill the tank and bowl. As the tank fills it lifts this float, till at the proper elevation the bouyancy of the float shuts off the fill valve. If the setting on this float has changed then it will either cause the toilet to "run" continually because it is trying to overfill the tank (float shuts off at too high a level, so water is continuously flowing down into the overflow tube and into the bowl); or it will shut off too soon, causing only a partial tank fill. There are adjustments to adjust the float shutoff setting - typically an adjustment xxxx on the arm-type, and a slider stop clip on a small rod for the sliding type. See web videos on how to adjust this, or call a plumber.

2) your flapper valve (in bottom of tank, the part a chain or cord or rod connects to the flush handle, which opens it when you flush the toilet, leaks. If it leaks AND the fill valve is working, the tank level drops till the fill valve opens, then the tank refills. This repeats at intervals, with the tank refilling periodically even though it has not been flushed. May need new flapper valve or just a good wiping of the sealing surface to remove grit that is causin it to leak. If this is the problem you will have a slight flow of water into the bowl continually, and will probably see a slight ripple in the toilet bowl.

3) water is leaking out of the fittings or bolt holes on the bottom of the tank. If this is happening enough to make you notice low takn water level, the tank will refill periodically the same as if the flapper valve is leaking, plus you will have water on the floor and dripping off the bottom of the tank.


Fill valve and flapper valves each cost around $15 if you do it yourself (you can buy just replacement flapper for less if that is the problem and the matching seal is good, but that is rarely the case). A plumber call to replace both probably $150-200, ASSUMING your water shutoff valve (at the wall, under the tank, with a flex or copper tube coming fromit up to the toilet tank) will work.. If it will not shut off the flow of water, then add another $50-150 to replace that, depending on how it is plumbed and whether he has to cut into the wall to replace it (rarely required). If you do go and have a plumber do it, have both the fill valve and flapper valve (and flush handle, if aluminum or brass and corroded) replaced at the same time, as all tend to go out with age - every 10 years or so. You don't want to have to call the plumber to replace another part in just a year or two.


From the sounds of it, you have a clog between the floor drain and the connection to the city sewer (unless you have a septic tank).  The lower flow rates of sinks / showers / dishwashers probable don't cause a backup like the washing machine does.  A couple of suggestions.

1.  Snake the drain line with a spade tip snake, twisting the snake as you advance it.  This should clear the partial blockage.

 2.  If feasable, have your washing machine discharge into a utility sink and put a strainer on the drain to catch the clothing fibre (fibres and grease from the sink probably made the clog in the first place not to mention a garbage disposal).

3.  Replace your floor drain with one that has a backflow preventer (looks like there is a ping pong ball in it).

 Good Luck

It is not uncommon for a plumber to have to go get the parts necessary to repair and complete the job.  It is very hard to determine what the problem is over the phone and it is not until the repair process begins that the parts needed to resolve the problem is discovered.  It may also depend on if the plumber is using hourly rates or per job rates.  I would hope the time to get the parts would be minimal and the charge would be as well!

Well , you've certainly started a debate that will endure forever , but personally , having worked with both products , PEX is a better product . Now granted , the 1st time i used it

I was not impressed , cause it leaked.......NOT because the product was at fault, it was because I did not understand how to use the product !

The trick to using Pex , is to make certain that the fittings seat, they MUST be pushed together with force, and if you do not push with force to get the seat to seal, it leaks .

Therefore , when using PEX , you have constantly to be aware of leaving room to make your connections -Properly !

The beauty of PEX is that it bends , it is flexible and decreases the labor factor ,although the connection costs are often 100-300 % higher than copper , but again , it can cut labor costs in half  and it is safer to work with,  NO FLAMEs!

FYI: CPVC and PEX are two different materials and installed differently.  PEX is not intended to be glued but instead has special crimp fittings.  PEX is a brand name of one product that is manufactured slightly differently by others as well so it is important that the same brand fittings are used to match the pipe material.

Mobile homes used CPVC for years and some still do.  It works fine but is not as strong as a properly soldered copper pipe system.  Is the contractor installing this new plumbing a licensed plumber?  I'd be surprised if he is since he's using CPVC and not PEX (or similar) or copper.  PEX pipe is even cheaper than CPVC when run by a knowledgable plumber.  It doesn't require nearly as many joints since it comes in rolls and can flex through spaces easily.

There are some groups raising a fuss about BPA and other chemicals found in plastics that don't like the use of CPVC, PVC, or PEX pipe.  I haven't seen the results of any lab tests to confirm or dispute their concerns.  As far as durability goes it's fairly safe as long as it's properly installed and secured.  It is not as susceptible to hard water damage as copper.  It absolutely must be insulated along it's entire length to protect it from contact to other materials as well as freezing.  Also, the fixtures in the house need to be grounded electrically since the pipe itself provides no electrical protection against accidental shock or electrocution.  In a copper plumbed house the system is grounded so static electricity, a short in a wire near a water line, or lightning strike will carry the current out through the pipe instead of through the water to you, ideally.

If it's installed correctly you should be fine but make sure the contractor knows what he is doing and follows the proper procedures to use CPVC pipe.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
It is usually cheaper to remove part of the ceiling below and patch it after the leak has been repaired.  Remember that water can travel before settling in one area, causing the spot you've seen.  Just because it is below the toilet does not mean that the toilet is the problem.  The cheapest option is to pull the toilet and check the floor around the wax ring to see if it has been leaking.  A new wax ring only costs a few dollars.  When was the last time you caulked the shower in that bathroom?  The water can leak around the corners or at the door (if you have one) and travel along the floor joists until it pools in a lower spot on the ceiling below, then seep through.  It could also be a seal at the drain of the tub or shower. 

I get a few calls a year for this sort of thing.  It's usually something simple but can be a nightmare to diagnose, especially if the problem is intermittent.  Start with the simple possibilities and use deductive reasoning to narrow the possibilities.  Before you do a lot of damage it may pay off to hire a reputable contractor to help you make sure you've exhausted all of the imple and more obvious possibilities.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Drain Cleaning reviews in Memphis


I purchased the Big Deal with $50 for $100 of work. When I called to schedule a service call for a leaky toilet, the CR told me that it would be a $60 "diagnostic fee" to show up, plus fees for any repairs. Since this company used a deceptive coupon with a $60 fee just to show up, I told them never mind.

The job itself went flawlessly. Then, came in to make sure everything was operational; when he discovered the hot water wasn't on, he went to the water heater to see if the guy from the other company had turned it off (he had). The thing is, what he ended up finding was that when my house was re-roofed months before, the ...More roofers had dislodged the vent pipes to both the water heater and the HVAC unit. Yes, he's coming back to fix that next week.
- Jonas H.

The Roto Rooter plumber came out to look at cleaning my main drain which was stopped up. After assessing the problem he told me he could only clear the drain from outside. When I showed him where the drain was he saw he would have to dig a little to get to it and apparently did not want to sweat he then said he COULD actually clear it from my basement ...More but would cost me $560.00. The plumber was obviously lazy and had a bad attitude. I wouldn't let Roto Rooter FLUSH MY TOILET!!
- Michael M.

I called the number on Sunday evening of Labor Day weekend. called me back within 20 minutes - on a holiday weekend. I got their number through Angie's List, and I found out a neighbor had used them. My sewer line was completely stopped up, and I was unable to use toilets, tubs or sinks. They showed up at 7:30am the next ...More morning - Labor Day. They inspected the sewer line and found the location of the clog, which was an area between the house and the street. They snaked out the line, removing a huge bundle of tree roots from the line. I was present during the entire time. When the line was clear and everything cleaned up, I was expecting a bill for $250 or more, especially since it was a holiday. They did more than I expected, sooner than I expected, for less than I expected.
The owner is a character, but very nice. He seems to be a man of integrity with the right equipment and expertise. I will use them again.
- Steve N.

Plumber came two hours after initial phone call was made to regarding an overflowing toilet when washing machine was in use. Determined issue of main line clog (it has happened before) and began pushing cable through to flush out main line. He spent the entire day here, and I had to check on him every now and again. He explained ...More the difficulty of flushing, that he could not get through with his cable and that he broke one of my pipes in his attempt to do so.
Repaired the pipe but then wrote up an estimate of how much it would cost to replace 30 feet of pipe (due to tree root growth) without establishing the pipe's location with the city inspection.
Charged almost $200 for the day's work and estimated his costs to be just over $3,000 to replace pipe, etc. Tried to rush me into a decision saying that I had half an hour essentially to decide whether or not he could do it the next day...and now I know why. The plumber left half of his cable in our pipes! It had broken off and he had not informed us that he had just left it in there.
Luckily I was able to get my normal plumbing company out the next day, and they quickly remedied the problem- after, though, having to spend several hours removing 's cable, which cost me an extra $200-$300 in labor. AND their estimate was about $400 cheaper than 's estimate. (I highly recommend American Tech Plumbing and will write a review for them as well- local family owned company with a wide breadth of experience in.)
Would absolutely never call this company again. Plumber was unprofessional and unskilled, ultimately failing in his job all together. Prices are extremely high and expertise are not. Especially if you have an older home like I do, with trees all around, call the experts! Do not call this fast food chain of the plumbing industry, they may come out quickly, but their work will not sustain the life and function of your plumbing.
- Linsey L.

This company responded right away and had their plumber out to my condo within an hour of my call. The plumber was responsive and honest enough to tell me he didn't have the right eqp. I consider it excellent customer service when a co. does not charge for a service call when they can't fix the problem. I had just paid out $50 to an appliance ...More repair company, just to have them tell me they couldn't fix the problem, so I appreciated the fact that Baker Plumbing did not charge me for their visit.
Would definitely recommend this company and use them again.
- Suzanne C.

was prompt and efficient in cleaning out the line and there has been no trouble since. This is the second time this has had to be done and won't be the last. Next time, I'll heed 's (our personal plumber) advice and call him every other year to do this work. I have used ...More several times in the past 5 years for seveal plumbing issues and have never been displeased with the quality of their work or their professionalism. They are the best.
- Walton G.

I had a blockage in the drain which backed up into the basement. My regular plumber is not open on Sunday. Service man was there in about an hour and, because of the location, it took him about 45 minutes to clear the roots.
- Rajiv S.

Drain Cleaning Companies in Memphis

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!


PO Box 381621



A Parker & Son Plumbing LLC

4769 Daphne Rd

A+ Plumbing Solutions, Inc.

4011 Broadway Rd.

Airmark Services LLC

2881 Whitten Rd

All Clear Drain & Plumbing Co

6099 Mount Moriah Rd Ext

All Service Plumbing Heating & Air LLC

2878 Austin Peay Hwy


3718 Stonetrace Cr


860 RDG LK BLVD A3 1860

American Tech Plumbing

10345 Long Road


3357 suthern ave

Belk Brothers RPM, LLC

P.O. Box 1131

Best Care Home Services, LLC.

5250 Pleasant View Rd

Best Rooter Sewer and Drain Cleaning

2932 Spring Hill Drive

Bobby Wilson Plumbing

7045 Hwy 305 N

Choice Home Warranty

1090 King Georges Post Rd

Clog Buster's

6732 Kamali Ave

Cobb Plumbing Co

2286 Podesta Cove

Conway Services

1220 Big Orange Rd.


PO Box 38129

Creative Construction

2764 Surrey Park Drive

Dan Stewart Realtors

3205 Kirby Whitten Rd

Dan Stewart Realtors

3205 Kirby Whitten Rd

David Cleveland Pumping Service

6081 Hwy 51 N


1200 Nate Cv



Faucet Doctors Plumbing

693 N Holmes St

G & R Building Maintenance

8608 Rosemark Rd

Goodwin's Plumbing Service

86 Honeysuckle Ln.

Greenway Home Services

7550 E Barlett Corporate Cv E

H&S Plumbing Company Inc

877 Freeman St.

Handyman Ken Can

137 Cypress Ln



Hargrove Construction and Restoration LLC

2878 Austin Peay Hwy LLC

Haynes Plumbing Company


Hill Service

4940 Covington Way

Home Repair Co

7022 Cedardale Rd

Jim Douglas & Sons Plumbing, L.L.C.

2053 Riverdale Rd

Jimmy Mays


Johnson Plumbing Co

345 Mann Dr

Joyner Home Repairs

7073 Village Lane

JS Plumbing Services

12150 longleaf oak trail

Knight - Stanz Contractors, LLC

2809 Shelby Street

Landers Plumbing

1545 Cider House Cv.

Larry Yancey Septic Systems

2345 Reid Hooker Road

MLP Contractor LLC

PO Box 483

Mr Rooter Plumbing of Memphis

5702 Summer Ave

N-E-Time Plumbing

1700 Forrest Ave

National Economy Plumbing

2114 Southern ave

One Stop Plumbing Heating & Air

6794 Eastridge cv

Plumbers Memphis

5100 Poplar Ave

Priority First Plumbing

4420 alixs dr

R & C Water Heaters and Tile

6156 Mary Elizabeth Cove

R&R Construction

3104 Mary Elizabeth Drive



Reasonable Plumbing Company

2232 McCormick Rd


6871 center st. w.

Richards Heating & Air

5290 Crestview Drive

RJ Property Management

5099 Old Summer Rd, Suite C

Ron's Sub-contracting Services

569 Berclair Rd


5075 Macon Rd



Rustenhaven Services

7591 Woodshire Dr

Save Energy Solutions LLC

PO Box 3671

service pros inc.

1609 dancy blvd

Smith's Plumbing Services

2861 Shelby St

Splash Plumbing

6664 Willow Brook St

Steve and Sons Plumbing

8768 Johanessburg Dr.

Stewart Plumbing Co

1410 Brookhaven Dr

Terhune Glenn Plumbing Inc

2820 Whitten Rd

The Drain Expert

4894 Old Stone Cove

The Service Company

White Bluff

Wade Plumbing

2093 Thomas Rd


6045 E Shelby Dr

Willam A. Cannon Heating & Air

400 E South St

Wilson Construction Services

3104 Mary Elizabeth Drive

Zack Street Plumbing

721 Chaney Cv

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