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Plumbing Cost

Plumbing Cost

National average
$45 - $200
(plumbing cost per hour)
Low: $125

(replace a toilet fill valve)

High: $4,000

(gas tankless water heater installation)

Cost to hire a plumber varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from plumbers in your city.

The average cost to hire a plumber is $45 - $200 per hour.

In this guide

Common plumbing jobs
Flat rate vs. hourly fee
Extra charges
Apprentice vs. journeyman vs. master plumber
How to choose a plumber
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to hire a plumber?

The plumbing in your home is an extensive network, most of which exists unseen behind the walls. As a homeowner, you will come to appreciate how invaluable the skills of a trained plumber are, and the importance of quality plumbing work. Even small leaks that are undetected or improperly repaired can wreak havoc on the integrity of your home.

Depending on where you live and the experience level 1 of the plumber that you hire, hourly ratesfor a plumber range between $45 and $200 per hour, with the average rate being $120 for common projects, such as toilet repair.

Hire a plumber costs

Hire a plumber costs
National average cost$120
Average range$45 - $200
Minimum cost$45
Maximum cost$200


Common plumbing jobs

Plumbing jobs in your home can be as simple as replacing an S hook in your toilet tank, or as complicated as a complete bathroom remodel. The complexity of the plumbing in your home is such that many things could potentially go wrong, and the location of the event may or may not be easily accessible. For instance, replacing a kitchen faucet is a much easier and quicker job than locating and repairing a leaking pipe inside a wall or beneath a floor.

Common repair or installAverage cost
Toilet repair$100
Outdoor spigot install $225
Unclog sink$300
Garbage disposal install$300
Kitchen faucet install$350
Gas line install$350
Toilet install$350
Unclog toilet$400
Electric or gas water heater repair$450
Solar water heater repair$475
Unclog septic tank$600
Water main repair$800
Drain line repair$825
Sump pump install$825
Electric water heater install$1,035
Kitchen remodel plumbing$1,700
Outdoor kitchen plumbing$3,385
Gas tankless water heater install$4,000
Steam shower install$6,000
Bathroom remodel plumbing$13,600


Flat rate vs. hourly fee

Plumbing service costs can be difficult to accurately estimate due to a myriad of factors that can determine the length of time for specific projects. For instance, if you call a plumber because your sink is backing up, there could be several unknowns. The location and magnitude of a clog and the age of your pipes will factor into how long the job will take. Additionally, the experience level 1 and expertise of the plumber will be a factor in pricing.

Throughout the country, hourly rates for plumbers can range from $45 to $200 per hour. Depending on the type of job, plumbers in your area may offer flat rate pricing. This appeals to many consumers because they are aware of the final cost before work begins. However, more often than not, on more complicated jobs, or those that could potentially present issues beyond the initial diagnostics, plumbers will offer an estimated cost of hourly labor and materials.

Often, plumbers may charge a set service call fee, typically an hour of labor ($45 to $200) or require a minimum of two hours of labor regardless of how long the call takes. In situations when you are having numerous jobs done at once, as in the case of a remodel, the plumber may charge per fixture.

Extra charges

In addition to an hourly rate or fixed rate per job, plumbers may charge extra if your home is outside of their usual service area. Often they will perform work outside of their service area for an additional trip fee, average fixed $150, or an average of $1 per mile.

For work needed on weekends, holidays, after-hours, or for emergencies, plumbers will often charge an additional premium charge of $50 to $100 per hour, and/or $150 flat rate.

Apprentice vs. journeyman vs. master plumber

While the cost of hiring a plumber may seem high, it is important to understand the years of training that go into a plumbing career. An apprenticeship, under the guidance of a journeyman or master plumber, is the first step for a plumber. This on-the-job training period takes anywhere from two to six years and requires a lot of study and practical experience. An apprentice ($20 to $40 per hour) cannot perform plumbing jobs without the direct supervision of a journeyman or master plumber. You can hire an apprentice or handyman to take care of something that you think is a simple job, such as a clog, however, it is not recommended.

Once a plumber completes classroom and practical education, they are required to pass state-mandated exams to become licensed as a journeyman. Once licensed, a journeyman can work alone and command a higher rate of pay ($45-$90 per hour). The types of jobs that a licensed journeyman can contract, and their ability to pull permits varies from state to state. For instance, Minnesota and Indiana require that journeymen work under the guidance of a master plumber and California does not allow journeymen to perform jobs in excess of $500.

After two years as a journeyman, a plumber can pursue a master plumber certification. While the specific exams vary from state to state, a plumber that has a master plumber certification in any state has, through examination, exhibited an expansive base of knowledge and a high level 1 of practical skills.

The cheapest option is usually the person with the least experience. In most states, a journeyman can be self-employed and work independently, but they are not allowed to own a plumbing contracting business. Journeymen are trained and qualified to handle most common household installs and repairs, however, if you have a large job, a major renovation, or multi-faceted remodel, for instance, paying a bit more for a licensed master plumber is ideal.

A plumber fixing a sink in a kitchen


How to choose a plumber

You should never hire a plumber if they cannot show you proof of their license. In addition to the journeyman or master license, membership in professional trade organizations is a plus — specifically, the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Also, it is important that you hire a plumber that has adequate liability coverage. As with licensing, liability insurance and bond coverage for plumbers will vary from state to state. However, due to the nature of the work, and the damage that can be caused by sub-par plumbing work, it is recommended that regardless of local regulations, you seek out a plumber that is adequately insured and bonded.

Furthermore, for liability and bond coverage to be effective, always make sure that your plumber provides you with a detailed estimate prior to beginning any work.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Plumbing permits. Your local county or city's building department oversees permitting. A licensed plumber will be able to direct you on when a permit is necessary, how to go about purchasing one, and may even take care of that for you. Generally, smaller jobs, like replacing accessible fixtures, do not require permits. All work with sewer drains 2, inaccessible pipe replacements, new plumbing, and water heater installations, and moving existing plumbing will need a permit. While they differ from state to state, the average cost of a plumbing permit is $75.
  • DIY. Some clogged drains and minor repairs may be considered DIY if you are an avid DIYer. However, plumbing is intricate, and it is always advisable to seek the help of a licensed professional.
  • Commercial vs residential plumbers. Commercial plumbers will have an advanced set of knowledge and skills that aren't required of residential plumbers. For instance, commercial buildings often have motion sensing toilets and faucets that one would not find in a home. Also, commercial plumbers would be more adept at diagnosing and repairing issues in a restaurant, healthcare facility, or schools with large kitchens and high volume lavatory use.
  • Cleanup. After a plumber does his job, the house can get kind of messy, and cleaning services or other professionals might be needed. While you should expect a professional plumber to leave the area clean after a simple job, some larger jobs may require a professional cleaning crew ($25 per hour), drywall replacement ($180), or water damage restoration ($2,700), among others.

FAQ

  • How much does a plumber charge per hour?

A licensed plumber will charge $45 to $200, depending on experience and location.

  • Do plumbers give free estimates?

Plumbers may offer free estimates. Let's note, however, that the difference is made up in other areas when a tradesperson provides a free estimate.

  • How much does it cost to hire a plumber to replace a toilet?

Hiring a professional plumber to replace your toilet with a high-efficiency, 12” rough-in, 15” rim height toilet will cost an average of $350.

  • How much does it cost for a plumber to replace a faucet?

The average cost for a plumber to replace your kitchen faucet with an 18” commercial-style dual function spray kitchen faucet is $350.

  • How much does it cost for a plumber to snake a drain?

Hiring a plumber to unclog a common household clog using a snake or auger 3 will cost an average of $300.

  • How much does it cost for a plumber to fix a leak?

Depending on the location of the leak and accessibility, a repair could cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000.

  • How much does new plumbing cost?

New plumbing, installed by a qualified plumber, for a bathroom or kitchen remodel may cost from $1,800 depending on the size of the job and the number of fixtures.

  • How much does a plumber charge to replace a valve?

To replace mainline shut-off valves will cost, on average, $150 to $250.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Level: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
glossary term picture Sewer Drain 2 Sewer drains: Exit-point for the removal of waste materials from a home or building
3 Auger: A thin, pliable tool used to clear difficult clogs in plumbing systems

Cost to hire a plumber varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Plumber repairing leaking pipes

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clarksville, TN
-13%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fairfax, VA
+18%
Fairfield, CA
+5%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Glendale, CA
+14%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Henrico, VA
+6%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Irving, TX
+10%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Lancaster, KY
-35%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Banos, CA
-25%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Manchester, PA
+1%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Moreno Valley, CA
-6%
Murfreesboro, TN
-7%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Newport News, VA
-12%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources