Whether you need to get new plumbing installed in your building, or you want to repair a damaged plumbing fixture, one primary consideration you make is the cost. Therefore, you want to know the total cost of hiring a plumber — his flat hourly rate and the cost of any purchases he will make for the job. Professional plumbers perform a wide variety of different tasks, including:
- Installation of pipes and various plumbing fixtures
- Plumbers look at and inspect equipment and operate test equipment such as pressure gauges to localize the area of interest
- They clear obstructions from sink drains and toilets
- They also troubleshoot problems and decide how to fix them
- Repair pipes and plumbing fixtures
- Estimate costs of installations and repairs
- Present recommendations and related pricing to customers
The plumbing system in your home is most likely an extensive network of pipes and other plumbing fixtures. Localizing and correcting faults in the plumbing system is no easy task. If you’re going to hire a plumber, you have to be willing to accept the cost.
Average Hiring Cost of a Plumber
The average cost of hiring a plumber ranges from $175 to $450. This cost is usually calculated in one of three ways:
- The plumber’s hourly rate — two-hour minimum
- Flat fee for service call + the plumber’s hourly rate
- Flat price per job, often payable in milestones for a large job
A plumber’s hourly rate usually ranges from $50 to $200 per hour. Emergency plumbing service outside work hours, weekends, and holidays usually attract a premium fee, depending on the plumber.
The Average Cost of Standard Plumbing Jobs
|PLUMBING REPAIR||AVERAGE COST (approximate)|
|Drain clog clear||$50 – $450 for simple obstruction|
|Faucet repair or replacement||$125 – $475|
|Garbage disposal repair||$125 – $180|
|Plumbing leak repair||$140 – $210|
|Toilet clogs clear||$65 – $250 +|
|Toilet repair||$50 – $200|
|Toilet replacement||$150 – $600 for standard toilet|
|Water heater repair||$100 – $160|
|Water heater replacement||$830 – $1100|
|PLUMBING INSTALLATION||AVERAGE COST (Includes Fixture + Labor)|
|Bathroom sink install||$250 – $500|
|Bathtub install||$1000 – $4500|
|Dishwasher install||$550 – $770|
|Garbage disposal install||$290 – $390|
|Kitchen sink install||$180 – $320|
|Septic tank install||$2500 – $7000|
|Shower install||$1000 – $5000|
|Water heater install (electric or gas)||$750 – $1000|
|Water heater install (tankless)||$1500 – $1850|
Here’s the breakdown of the costs
- Labor Costs: Different plumbers have different hourly fees. The main factors that influence labor costs are experience and expertise. Some plumbers specialize in only certain areas. For example, a plumber specializing in sprinkler systems installation will have an hourly rate than a plumber who only unclogs pipes.
A few other costs may or may not be included in the cost.
- Plumbing supplies: The costs of plumbing fixtures and supplies are not a part of the hourly rate for a plumber, although the flat fee for an installation or replacement may include them. Usually, using higher quality plumbing materials will attract a higher cost. This cost will depend mainly on what you’re comfortable spending on your plumbing.
- Additional labor: Plumbers sometimes need to hire entire crews to help with a plumbing job. Sometimes they need to hire a .garbage disposal crew to clean up and repair water damages and waste. Also, the services of drywallers, electricians, carpeting pros, and painting contractors could be necessary.
- The initial estimate for a plumbing installation, which may include an onsite inspection, is usually free.
Why Does Plumbing Cost So Much?
The price of a service is usually dependent on the cost of training to perform that service. For example, it costs more to get quality health care than getting your shoes shined.
Why? The cost of training.
Plumbers go through several years of training and practice to become Master Plumbers. Plumbing requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise. In most cases, plumbers are trained in technical schools and community colleges. Afterward, they go through an apprenticeship program where they get hands-on experience under Master Plumbers.
Typical Cost of Plumbing Training
An online plumbing training program can cost anywhere between $800 to $1000. Alpha Tradesmen Academy also offers plumbing training for aspiring plumbers. It is a great way to get started on your plumbing career.
Apprentice to Journeyman to Master Plumber
Plumbers go through this three-step journey to become certified Master Plumbers. This process usually takes years to complete. When you hire a plumber, you aren’t just paying for his services at that moment. You are also paying for his years of experience in his craft.
Hiring an apprentice costs anywhere between $20-$40 per hour, although we do not recommend hiring one. Apprentices are not supposed to perform plumbing tasks without the direct supervision of a Journeyman or Master Plumber. Therefore, it is always better to hire either a Journeyman or Master Plumber.
Potential Drawbacks of hiring Untrained/Inexperienced Plumbers
- Time wasting: You might be trying to save a few extra bucks by hiring untrained personnel to fix your plumbing, but you will potentially lose a lot of time trying to fix the bigger mess they created.
- Potential dangers: Hiring a non-certified plumber could be dangerous. Likely, such plumbers do not know about the health and safety codes necessary to keep both plumber and client safe.
- Property damage: There is no neatness in people’s work when they don’t know how to fix plumbing problems correctly. Some only work in the plumbing industry only for the sake of making money. If you choose an unskilled plumber, there’s a good possibility they won’t take the proper precautions while working. In addition, sloppy work frequently results in property damage. They may burst a pipe, loosen a plumbing connection, or damage your home’s structural parts.
When hiring a plumber, the cost is a significant point to consider. But do not let your desire to save money cause you to compromise on quality and safety. Go for plumbers that are certified and professionals. It will be the right decision for you in the long run.