How Much Does A Plumber Cost?
$45 – $150 Per Hour
Small plumbing repairs like unclogging a sink or drain cleaning costs around $75 to $250, while larger jobs like fixing a water heater or sump pump run $500 to $800. Some plumbers have fixed rates for common jobs or a call-out charge of $50 to $200, which usually covers the first hour of work.
Get free estimates from plumbers near you, or view our cost guide below.
Average Plumber Rates
The cost of a plumber ranges from $500 to $800 for large repairs, and $125 to $350 for small jobs like repairing toilets, sinks, faucets, or bathtubs. Most plumbers charge between $45 and $150 per hour, and some have a minimum service call out fee or a flat rate of $75 to $250 on average.
Plumbers work on anything that involves the plumbing system of pipes, tanks, fixtures, fittings, and pumps required for the gas and water to flow through your home.
Common plumbing jobs include fixing leaky faucets, replacing burst pipes, installing a hot water heater, repairing gas lines, installing water lines, or adding new plumbing fixtures such as sinks and bathtubs.
|National Average Cost||$280|
|Average Range||$125 to $350|
Table of Contents
- Plumber Cost Per Hour
- Flat-Rate Plumber Prices
- Plumbing Prices Per Fixture
- Master Plumber Hourly Rate
- Journeyman or Apprentice Rates
- Commercial vs. Residential
- Emergency Plumber Cost
How Much Do Plumbers Charge?
Plumbers charge by the hour or by the job, with hourly rates ranging from $45 to $150 or a flat fee of about $200 to $250 on average for small repairs. Hiring a master plumber costs about $100 to $200 per hour, while handyman rates are $50 to $80 per hour.
Additional costs are for travel, which is worked in with either:
- Minimum service call-out fees of $50 to $150
- Travel and trip fees of $1 to $2 per mile after the first ten miles.
- Flat fees for standard services or the first hour of work of $200 to $250.
- Setting a minimum number of hours to be billed for each service call.
These costs are just the base rate to have a plumber in your home—add the price for materials and supplies, the cost of travel to and from the job, insurance, and the cost of getting equipment to the job.
Plumber Cost Per Hour
Plumbers cost $45 to $150 per hour. Plumber hourly rates average $75 before trip fees and materials. Plumbing rates depend on their experience, union dues, overhead, parts, tools, insurance, and job type. A handyman or apprentice charges about half at $25 to $45 per hour.
Flat-Rate Plumber Prices
Flat rates for smaller plumbing repairs like a clogged drain pipe are approximately $75 to $250, while bigger jobs like fixing your water heater or sump pump range in price from $500 to $800.
It saves time and money for the plumber to figure out the general cost of common issues rather than create individual quotes each time. Also, it can save the customer money if the time it takes to do the work is longer.
Plumbing Prices Per Fixture
Plumbing prices typically range from $100 to $600 per fixture. For example, an average faucet installation costs $120 to $300, and a toilet installation costs $350 or less. Rates vary by locality and the type of house.
To get a general cost estimate for new construction, a plumber can add up the number of fixtures and multiply it by his “fixture rate.” Upgraded fixtures can take more time and skill to install, with some even having Bluetooth capability, where electrical work may be required too.
Master Plumber Hourly Rate
Master plumber rates are $75 to $125 per hour because of the education and experience required, and to cover overhead costs. A master plumber can own his own business and is qualified to supervise journeyman plumbers and teach apprentice plumbers. They are also eligible for bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions.
The requirements to qualify as a master plumber are:
- At least seven years of education
- A minimum of 2 years as a journeyman plumber
- A minimum of 5 years of experience
- Three professional references
Pay Per Hour for a Journeyman or Apprentice
An apprentice plumber earns $14 per hour while journeyman plumbers have completed their apprenticeship, and they make about $24 per hour. The plumbing company they work for bill out higher rates to cover their overhead.
Apprentice plumbers work for about five years under a master plumbing and are learning as they go which gives them valuable experience.
Commercial vs. Residential Plumbing Rates
A commercial plumber charges $85 per hour on average, and then in 15-minute increments after the first hour while residential plumbers average about $70 per hour. Commercial plumbers are required to adhere to strict building codes, and they likely will not take on any residential work.
Weekend or Emergency Plumber Cost
You can be billed double or triple time on weekends, after hours, and holidays, or about $125 to $170 per hour when you need emergency plumbing services. For weekday nights, expect to be charged time and a half or more. Most, but not all plumbers are available for emergency calls.
Plumbing prices mostly depend on the location, materials needed for the repair or installation, and the plumber’s experience. Most of them will not have a plumbers price list on their website, so you’ll have to call and ask to find your local prices.
Plumbing Repair Costs
|Unclog a Sink||$75 – $250|
|Sewer Line Cleaning Costs||$75 – $450|
|Gas Line Repair Prices||$100 – $250|
|Water Heater Repair Costs||$220 – $515|
|Pipe Repair Cost||$120 – $180|
|Toilet Repair Cost||$100 – $300|
|Drain Line Repair Costs||$125 – $250|
|Shower Repair Cost||$140 – $200|
|Cost to Fix a Leak||$150 – $850|
|Cost to Unclog a Drain||$100 – $275|
|Sewer Line Cleaning Cost||$150 – $800|
|Water Softener Repair Cost||$150 – $600|
|Unclog a Garbage Disposal||$160 – $685|
|Septic Tank Pumping Costs||$250 – $650|
|Sewer Camera Inspection Rates||$290 – $640|
|Sump Pump Repair Prices||$380 – $550|
|Water Main Repair Prices||$450 – $2,500|
|Septic Tank Repair Cost||$500 – $2,700|
|Cost to Fix Ceiling Leak||$700 – $3,000|
|Well Pump Repair Costs||$800 – $2,000|
|Sewer Main Line Repair Cost||$1,880 – $3,700|
Plumber Installation Services Price List
|Faucet Installation Cost||$120 – $300|
|Toilet Installation Cost||$250 – $750|
|Sump Pump Installation Cost||$550 – $950|
|Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal||$600 – $850|
|Water Heater Installation Cost||$650 – $2,500|
|Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost||$800 – $2,500|
|Shower Installation Costs||$750 – $3,500|
|Bathtub Install Prices||$700 – $2,900|
|Walk-In Tub Installation Cost||$700 – $3,000|
|Bathtub Liner Installation Cost||$730 – $1,830|
|Water Main Installation Costs||$800 – $1,950|
|Water Softener Installation Cost||$800 – $3,000|
|Install Water Treatment & Purification System Costs||$750 – $2,675|
|New Plumbing Pipes Cost||$2,280 – $5,120|
|Sewer Main Installation Prices||$1,500 – $3,500|
|Septic Tank System Cost||$3,280 – $5,040|
|Drainage System Cost||$1,000 – $15,000|
Cost of Plumber for a House Call
Plumber Service Call Costs
Plumber service call fees range between $50 to $200 on average, which usually covers the first hour of work. The reason for this charge is to discourage casual clients who are not serious and are seeking free information. When requesting on-site quotes, be respectful of the plumber’s time, and remember they have other jobs scheduled as well.
Plumbing Trip or Call Out Fees
Many plumbers charge travel and trip fees of $1 to $2 per mile after the first ten miles. This fee covers their fuel and most of the cost of travel between your home, the plumbing supply store, and their office. Others will charge for the full first hour, even if the work only takes 15 minutes, in lieu of a plumbing service fee.
Plumbing Permit Cost & When You Need One
Plumbing permits cost $30 to $500 on average. You won’t need a permit for regular repairs or replacement work. Generally, if you go into walls to do anything to the plumbing, you’ll need a permit. If you added on to your home and lay new pipe, or if you change any of the plumbing in your home, you probably have to get a permit.
Check your local building codes to know if you need a permit. Having a permit (and receiving the resulting inspection upon completion of the job) will ensure the job is done according to code.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Plumbers So Expensive?
Plumbers are so expensive because they are educated, trained professionals. They’ve spent thousands of dollars on training, and they’ve worked many hours as an apprentice (at a low rate of pay), up to the point where they have invested in their own business.
A plumber will come to your home in the middle of the night, they will crawl under your house, and will do all kinds of extensive work you don’t want to do.
How Do I Find Inexpensive Plumbers?
If you hire a cheap plumber and something goes wrong, you'll have to pay out of pocket for another master plumber to fix the damage to your home. To find a high-quality plumber, ask around for recommendations from friends and coworkers, or by comparing quotes on HomeGuide for free. The cheapest plumbers might only be less expensive because:
- They have no insurance.
- They aren’t licensed.
- They are not experienced.
How Do I Pay a Plumber?
You can pay by check or credit card, usually when the repair is complete. When you get your initial estimate, ask how they prefer to be paid. Sometimes they will prepare your final invoice in the office and then mail or email it to you.
What is a Plumber's Hourly Wage?
The basic hourly wage for an apprenticed plumber is $22 per hour. That can change as the plumber works additional years and receives more education, going up to an average of $45 per hour.
Do Plumbers Give Free Estimates or Quotes?
Many plumbers will give free estimates; however, keep in mind that preparing an accurate quote can be a labor-intensive project. If a plumber does charge for the time the estimate takes, they will usually deduct the cost of it from your final bill, if hired.
How Much Does a 24-hour Plumber Cost?
If you must call a 24-hour plumber who does charge more for late night issues, it can be in the neighborhood of $195 to $256 per hour. Some plumbers will charge you the same rate no matter what time you call them. Before you have an emergency, call some plumbers in your area to find out what their policy is.
How Much Are Plumber Union Fees?
Plumbers who belong to a union pay dues of $19 to $29 per month on average. Some unions may take a percentage of your wages that can be as high as 20%.
Roto-Rooter Labor Rates
Roto-Rooter doesn’t publish its labor rates online because hourly rates depend on the location of the business—some areas of the country have higher labor rates—but based on online reviews of the service, it would appear their prices are 3–4 times the cost of getting a handyman to do the same work.
Hiring a Plumber
When it comes to hiring a plumber, you’ll either hire a general plumber who handles basic repairs, or a plumbing contractor who specializes in new construction and remodeling projects.
A general plumber is who you’ll call when your kitchen sink gets clogged up, or you have a leak or the toilet’s overflowing. Master plumbers typically own plumbing businesses, and they have the knowledge and experience to handle every problem that might occur. It’s handy to know which local plumbers usually show up quickly for emergency issues.
A plumbing contractor handles things like remodels and new construction. They will act as a general contractor and overseer over the water, sewer, and gas lines in the new construction project, hiring subcontractors to handle different aspects of the plumbing project. If you want to add on a master bath, this is the guy for you.
Make a List of Questions to Ask Plumbers
Before you hire a plumber to work on your house and be in your home, establish the facts concerning their company. Make sure your professional plumber has:
- Proof of being bonded and insured
- At least six five-star reviews online
- Minimum one-year warranty on the work and possibly warranty on the materials used
- At least five years in the plumbing business
- A/A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Estimate was given by looking at the job first – what looks like a simple leak under your kitchen sink could be a big deal.
Check Licensing Information
Every state licenses plumbers who prove through testing they have the education and experience needed to receive a plumbing license. Call the building department and verify the license of the plumber you’re considering.
Hiring someone who is not who they say they are, could be disastrous for your plumbing problems and your home—someone who claims to be a plumber but only knows a little bit about snaking a drain could cause more water damage than what you called them for in the first place.
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