Plumbing problems are a common occurrence for homeowners. The first question is often how much does plumbing cost? The price is highly dependent on many things including size of project, quality of parts and location.
There are a variety of different plumbing issues that can happen. From leaky pipes and dripping faucets to running toilets and low water pressure, it’s always best to call a professional plumber.
Many people think that they can save a buck or two by fixing the issue on their own. But if you have no plumbing experience, this can just make the problem worse. For that reason, it’s a wise investment to rely on a pro to fix the problem.
The average cost depends on location as well as the issue at hand. In this guide, we’ll cover the average price range for how much does plumbing cost depending on these factors and more.
Important Considerations for Plumbing Costs
According to a report from Angi, “a portion of your plumber’s costs will cover wages. On average, a plumber will charge anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour, though you may also pay for a minimum number of hours or a flat service fee.”
There are a few things that determine a plumber’s hourly cost. Expertise is a big thing; an experienced plumber typically charges more than a less experienced apprentice.
You also need to consider your location. If you’re in a state with a higher cost of living, expect a higher price tag for plumbing service. It also depends on the service being offered as well as the cost of the materials and tools needed.
Here’s a more thorough rundown of the costs associated with different plumbing services:
Average Hourly Rates Based on Location
Before trip fees and the cost of materials, the average rate plumber’s charge per hour is about $75. Of course, this can range anywhere from $45 to $200+ per hour based on your location.
The cost of a plumber in an expensive city like LA will obviously be more than in a small town in Ohio. Everything costs more in cities with a higher cost of living, and that includes plumbing.
Some plumbers choose to charge a fixed rate based on the job at hand. In this case, the plumber would charge a flat service fee instead of an hourly rate. This is only common for simple services like fixing a leaky toilet, and it can range from $100 to $400 based on location.
Repair & Installation Costs
So far, we’ve only talked about the hourly rates of a plumber. You also have to factor in the cost of repairs and/or installation.
If you’re looking at a simple repair, the cost won’t be too high. For example, fixing a leaky faucet shouldn’t set you back more than $150. But if it’s a major job like repairing a burst pipe, you’re looking at $500+ for the job.
For a brand-new installation, the cost depends on the job complexity as well as the fixture cost. A simple sink installation can range from $250 to $600. On the other hand, a pricier tankless new water heater cost will be at least $900.
Several plumbing issues fall under the category of emergency services. If it’s an emergency job that must be solved outside of regular business hours. The perfect example is a burst pipe due to cold weather.
A Forbes article says that you could be paying an average of $170 per hour for an emergency plumbing service. The rate is slightly higher, just because the job can’t wait until morning to be completed.
On top of this, some plumbers add an emergency trip fee to the total cost. This can range anywhere from $100 to $350 in addition to the hourly rate.
Cost of Materials & Tools
Plumbing equipment isn’t cheap. You’ll also need to consider the professional’s required tools and materials. Obviously, the plumber won’t be paying for the supplies needed, like fittings and pipes. That’s on you!
Homeowners should be given a full breakdown of material costs. Some plumbers allow their customers to purchase materials beforehand, but this isn’t common.
Full Breakdown of Average Plumbing Costs
|Average Flat Rate Fee||$100 to $400|
|Average Hourly Rates||$45 to $200/hr|
|Average Minimum Fee||$50 to $100|
|Average Repair Cost||$75 to $400+|
|Average Installation Cost||$150 to $700+|
|Average Emergency Service Fee||$100 to $250|
|Average Plumbing Inspection Fee||$100 to $500|
Why You Should Hire a Professional
There are tons of benefits to leaving the work to the professionals. While you may be tempted to DIY your next plumbing project, don’t! Unless you have some plumbing experience on your belt, hiring a plumber is a wise investment. Here’s why:
- Experience & Expertise: Professionals in the field have all the necessary knowledge for fixing an issue. They can diagnose the problem, compile a list of materials, and get their hands dirty without any guesswork.
- Quality Craftsmanship: A master plumber is a craftsman in the field. These professionals value a job well done, and they’ll make sure it’s done the right way. While it may cost slightly more, pros believe in using the best materials and tools because they take pride in their work.
- Safety Standards: As is the case with any trade job, plumbing can be a dangerous field. These pros often have to deal with electrical components and gas lines. To avoid a dangerous situation, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
- Time Savings: When you don’t have the necessary skills, attempting to fix a problem yourself can be time-consuming. A plumber can come in a diagnose the problem in minutes, while it could take you days.
- Cost Savings: Even though there is an upfront cost involved with hiring a plumber, it can save you money in the long run. Your DIY “fix” may be temporary, and you run the risk of doing it all wrong. In the end, it could cost you a lot more than just hiring a pro.
10 Important Questions to Ask Your Local Plumber
Before you hire a plumber, there are a few essential questions to ask. These include:
- Are you and the business properly licensed? Are you insured?
- What’s your past experience with this specific type of work?
- Do you have any references? What about customer reviews?
- What will this project cost me? What’s the cost of labor? Cost of materials?
- Are you able to respond to an emergency plumbing situation? How fast is your response time?
- Are any warranties or guarantees offered with your service?
- Can you give me a detailed estimate/quote before you start the job?
- Where do you get your equipment? Materials?
- Will you notify me if you run into unexpected complications?
- What’s the timeframe for completing the job? How long is it expected to take?
How to Choose the Right Plumber for the Job
Depending on where you live, you probably have dozens of different plumbing services to choose from. Before hiring the first one you come across, there are a few important things to consider.
Licensing & Insurance
No matter what, your professional plumber should have a license. If he/she does not have proper licensing, don’t even consider hiring this person. A license shows that the individual has gone through the proper training.
Insurance is another thing to look for. If a plumber isn’t insured, you won’t be protected from liabilities for damages and/or accidents.
It’s not wise to hire the first plumbing service you stumble upon. The internet is a wonderful thing, so browse different services in your area. It’s best to research at least 3 different plumbers before deciding on one.
Consider Experience in the Field
More experience typically means more knowledge. You want your plumber to be as knowledgeable as possible. That’s why it’s best to go with a licensed master plumber rather than an apprentice or handyman.
For complex jobs, you’ll definitely want to go with a plumber who’s been in the field for 10+ years. New plumbers typically charge a much lower hourly rate, but there’s a reason for that!
Final Recap on How Much Plumbing Costs
There are lots of factors that determine the cost of a plumbing job. Location, cost of living, job complexity, and the plumber’s experience all play a role.
If your plumber is charging an hourly rate, expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour. Simple services won’t cost as much as big jobs, and you could be charged a flat rate fee.
The main takeaway from this is to understand the importance of hiring a professional. Plumbing is an essential aspect of any home, so keep the DIY-ing to a minimum!