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How Much Does A Plumber Cost?

Typical Range: $172 - $455

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Average Plumber Rates

A plumber ranges from $45 to $200 per hour or more depending on the job, timing and location. According to project data from HomeAdvisor members, it ranges between $172 and $455 with an average cost of $311. Services may include drain cleaning, faucet replacement or installation, and toilet repair.

"Plumbing" is a broad category that includes anything to do with the system of pipes, tanks and fittings required for the water and gas supplied to your home. Plumbers can do anything from fixing leaky faucets to installing sump pumps. They can repair or install your water heater or add a sink to your garage. They work everywhere in your home.

Make sure you hire a licensed, insured professional or it may cost you in the long run. All HomeAdvisor contractors undergo a complete and rigorous background check prior to listing in our plumbers directory.

On This Page:

  1. How Much Do Plumbers Charge?
  2. Plumbing Labor Services Price List
  3. Other Cost Factors
  4. FAQs
  5. Choosing a Reasonably Priced, Licensed Plumber

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National Average
$311
Typical Range
$172 - $455
Low End - High End
$95 - $850

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 73,594 HomeAdvisor members in .

How Much Do Plumbers Charge?

Most charge an hourly rate between $45 to $200 per hour. Most licensed professionals run anywhere from $80 to $130 with handyman rates falling close to $45. Handyman projects are usually less complicated, such as unclogging a drain or replacing a kitchen sink p-trap. Pros charge for travel time in one of the following ways:

  • Set a minimum number of hours for service calls.
  • Add a trip fee of $50 to $300
  • Charge a service fee averaging $150.
  • Charge a flat rate for the first hour (ranging from $100 to $350) with a lower rate after the first hour.
  • Offer flat rates for a few common issues.

A rule of thumb for all projects requiring labor is that the more difficult, complex or inaccessible the job, the longer it will take and the higher the price. Apprentices or journeymen might be able to complete some simple jobs, but complex projects, like new installations and gas line repairs, require a master plumber.

Be prepared to not only spend money in labor and trip charges, but the supplies needed to complete your job. Your location, materials needed, and complexity of the job are the largest cost considerations. Always get a quote in writing before agreeing to any work.

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Plumber Cost Per Hour

Most rates average $70 to $120 per hour before trip fees and materials. Rates can range as high as $200 or as low as $45. Hourly rates not only cover their wages but also insurance premiums, union dues, overhead, equipment, vehicle maintenance and lease, and tools.

Plumber Flat-Rate Prices

Flat rates run $100 to $400 for most simple service calls such as unclogging a drain or fixing a faucet or toilet. More complex jobs requiring more time often incur further labor charges.

Average Master Plumber Hourly Rates

Expect to pay an additional $25 to $75 per hour for a master plumber. Often, they oversee the work of apprentice and journeymen contractors. Many states don’t require or endorse certification levels. Check with your local building construction and planning office for specifics on licensing requirements in your state or municipality.

Average Pay Per Hour for a Journeyman or Apprentice

A journeyman makes between $16 and $34 per hour with a median wage of $25 per hour. An apprentice makes about half of that in most states. These are for wages only. Your bill reflects those wages plus overhead, insurance, tools, equipment, vehicle expenses, and advertising.

Apprentices work for 4 to 5 years under a master plumber before taking the test to become a journeyman. During this time, they work on a wide variety of projects to gain experience. They are closely supervised and have the ability to work on all types of projects determined by the master plumber and based on their experience level.

Union Fees

Union fees vary by location and level but make up about 20 to 25% of a their wages. They include union dues, insurance, pension and other fees. Not all professionals belong to a union. Most of these dues are already figured into the hourly rate you're charged.

Emergency, Weekend, Holiday or After-Hours Charges

Most are called out for emergency situations. Off-hour repairs are more expensive than if you make an appointment during regular business hours. Weekend, holiday and after-hours work comes at a higher hourly rate or flat fee, or a combination of the two.

  • Flat or Trip Fee: $100 to $350 (or more in extreme cases). Ask your contractor if this is in addition to an hourly rate.
  • Hourly Rate: $70 to $400

Most charge time-and-a-half to triple their hourly rate depending on when the call comes in. One may charge time-and-a-half for evening work, double-time for weekends and triple-time for holidays. It depends on individual contractor policies.

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Roto Rooter Labor Rates

Roto Rooter, a popular national company specializing in drains and clogs, charges a flat rate for most problems. Rates depend on your location and specific problem. Labor is included in the flat fee. The amount of time spent working on a problem doesn't affect your final bills.

Commercial vs. Residential Pros

Commercial plumbers average $100 per hour. Residential plumbers average $80 per hour. Commercial contractors rarely do residential work and vice versa. Building codes, equipment and skillsets vary between the two types.

Plumber Service Call Costs

Service call fees range from $100 to $350 and usually include the first hour of work. Service calls cover a wide range of common services including clogged drains, leaking pipes and fixture repair.

Trip or Call Out Fees

Trip fees range anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on your location and the distance they need to travel. Unlike a service call, this fee is in addition to labor charges.

Minimum fees and trip charges help offset the time and materials of travelling to and from job sites. Plumbers spend much of their time travelling to a jobsite and a supply house to pick up materials for your project.

  • Most offer a flat fee within a certain radius of their shop with additional mileage pricing past that.
  • Alternately, some skip the trip charge and simply charge a 1- or 2-hour minimum. So, if they spend only 15 minutes working, you'll pay the minimum amount of time.

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Plumbing Labor Services Price List

The best way to determine what your project budget will be is to get at least 3 quotes from local plumbers. However, knowing what others paid for the same work helps you make an informed decision after the bids come in.

We've collected thousands of HomeAdvisor member reported data to provide comparisons for most common issues. Below is a list of the most common projects and their price ranges. Each list item links to a detailed guide on pricing information and considerations for each project.

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Other Cost Factors

After a problem is fixed, there are often other holes to patch or messes to clean up. In addition to labor and supplies, you may need to hire someone to repair water damage.

You may need new carpeting, drywall repairs or electrical work done on your home to get it back to where it was before you had your problem.

If you had a sewer problem, there is the additional cost of cleanup and getting your home back to code to ensure that it's safe for your family. You also may need to remove tree roots (which means digging up your yard and landscaping expenses) or replacing pipe that's difficult to get to.

Other Plumbing Repair Cost Considerations
Electrician Rates$150 to $500
Sod Installation Costs$1,000 to $2,600
Landscaping Prices$1,400 to $5,300
Carpet Installation Rates$200 to $2,500
Drywall Repair Pricing$300 to $800
Water Restoration Costs$1,000 to $4,000

Ask Your Plumber About Project Details and Pricing.

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FAQs

Why are plumbers so expensive?

Plumbers are expensive because it is a highly specialized trade requiring thousands of hours to master. Additionally, they make house calls meaning they spend time and money investing in vehicles, tools, equipment and gas to bring to you. They also carry insurance and have other overhead expenses. Labor shortages in the field also contribute to premium pricing.

How do I find inexpensive plumbers?

Finding inexpensive plumbers is often a mistake. If you have a cousin or friend in the trade, they may work cheaply for you. However, it's a highly specialized skill developed over years of training and experience. Their fees are a reflection of their skill, overhead and demand.

How do I pay a plumber?

Most plumbers send you an invoice or accept a check or credit card at the time of service. The choice is usually up to you. Ask how they bill when you get a quote.

What is a plumber's hourly wage?

Plumbers make an average wage of $25 per hour but it ranges anywhere from $16 to $35 for a journeyman. Apprentices make about half that, and Master Plumbers can make far more if they own a shop or supervise others.

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Choosing a Reasonably Priced Licensed Plumber

The leak from a pipe fitting that costs less than a dollar can easily cause thousands of dollars in water damage and can disrupt your household for weeks. But not all plumbers handle all types of work. Their duties break out into two categories:

  • Family, or general plumbers, handle basic repairs (often in emergency situations).
  • Plumbing contractors specialize in new construction, remodeling projects and additions.

Family Plumber

Be prepared for a more urgent situation by establishing a relationship with a professional before you need him or her. If possible, hire a pro to do non-emergency repairs or fixture installations during normal hours. It's easier to get a plumber's attention if you're a regular customer and not a panicked stranger asking for immediate service.

Plumbing Contractor

Unlike a family plumber, a plumbing contractor tends to work strictly on new construction or major renovations. Many shops do both small, residential and emergency projects and new construction.

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Choosing a Plumber

  • All states issue licenses, and the licensing board can confirm a their legitimacy. Yet not all states require journeyman certification, meaning that they have passed competency exams. Most states provide a number you can call to verify that the license is current and that there are no active complaints against it.
  • Any pro you consider should also hold a current workers' compensation policy and a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance.
  • Plumbing isn't necessarily difficult, but it requires a lot of knowledge. Code requirements are just a small part; you also need to understand piping parts and have experience with the materials. For instance, knowing how hard you can crank on PVC before it cracks takes time to master. Not having a feel for this can turn a $10 repair into a flood

Check out our Hiring Guide with a list of questions to ask potential plumbers when hiring.

Getting a Free Estimate or Quote from a Plumber

Unless you've got water gushing from the ceiling, you probably have time to get several free quotes from licensed professional plumbers. All the contractors in our network undergo a thorough background check.

 

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.