How much does it cost to hire a plumber?
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Plumbing Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Plumbing is an important and integral part of every home. Your plumbing carries water to your home, feeding it to every faucet, fixture, and water appliance. It also carries wastewater from these sites. There will always be moments when you need to call a plumber whether you are building a new home or have lived in the home for years.
Plumbers work on the areas supplying water to your home. This starts at the water main and ends at each faucet and fixture. Call a plumber if your toilet is clogged or your water main is leaking. Plumbers charge for their work in several ways. They may charge hourly, at a flat rate, or by the square footage for full plumbing installations. This leads to a range of costs.
The national average rate for hiring a plumber is $75 to $150 an hour. Most homeowners pay an average of $90 an hour for a journeyman plumber for most projects. The low cost for hiring a journeyman plumber is around $45 an hour for a plumber working on small projects at a slow time of year. The high cost is $200 an hour for a master plumber working on a complex project.
Cost to Hire a Plumber
|National average cost||$90|
Plumber Cost per Hour by Expertise
The total average cost rate for plumbers ranges from $45 to $200 an hour, but most pay between $75 and $150 an hour. The hourly rate of an apprentice is lower. However, remember that they should be supervised by a journeyman or master plumber. Although you hire an apprentice, you will usually pay the hourly rate of the supervisor. Costs vary by region and how busy the plumbers are, with slow times having lower rates than busier times.
The plumber’s training and experience also impact the cost. Plumbers begin as apprentices before becoming licensed as journeyman plumbers. Some continue and take a licensing exam to become a master plumber. The plumbing company you may call may employ all three, which may impact the cost. You can also contract directly with any of the three levels of plumber, but this is not always recommended for apprentices, who should work under the supervision of a licensed plumber
|Plumber Grade||Average Costs per Hour|
|Apprentice||$20 - $40|
|Journeyman||$45 - $90|
|Master Plumber||$70 - $200|
Apprentice Plumber Hourly Rate
Apprentice plumbers have an hourly rate of $20 to $40. An apprenticeship, under the guidance of a journeyman or master plumber, is the first step for a plumber. This on-the-job training period lasts 2 to 6 years and requires study and practical experience. An apprentice cannot perform plumbing jobs without the direct supervision of a journeyman or master plumber. You can hire an apprentice or handyman to fix simple jobs, such as a clog, but it is not recommended. Rest assured that if your company sends an apprentice, they are supervised during the work, while you may pay a lower rate.
Journeyman Plumber Hourly Rate
Journeyman plumbers charge an hourly rate of $45 to $90. Once a plumber completes classroom and practical education, they must pass state-mandated exams to become licensed as a journeyman. Once licensed, a journeyman can work alone and command a higher pay rate. Most journeyman plumbers can handle everyday plumbing jobs, such as installing toilets, troubleshooting water heaters, and installing shut-off valves. They do not typically handle complex projects and, in some states, may be required to work with a master plumber on certain projects. For most everyday plumbing jobs, a journeyman plumber is a good fit.
Master Plumber Hourly Rate
A master plumber’s hourly rate ranges from $70 to $200 an hour. A plumber can pursue a master plumber certification after 2 years as a journeyman. While the specific exams vary across states, a plumber with a master plumber certification in any state has, through examination, exhibited an expansive base of knowledge and a high level of practical skills. Master plumbers usually handle complex jobs and installations. They install your new jetted tub or oversee the plumbing of an entire home. Master plumbers are not necessary for every job but may come in on a supervisory basis.
Plumbing Flat Rate Pricing
In addition to hourly costs, some plumbers have flat or fixed-rate pricing. This means several things, depending on the company. Some have a flat rate fee for the first 2 hours of a job, after which hourly pricing kicks in. For example, installing a new water heater may have a flat rate of $400. If it takes more than 2 or 3 hours, the hourly rate applies to the remaining time.
Other times, plumbers charge a flat rate for small jobs that take under an hour. They may do this to include the transportation cost and area inspection. An example of flat rate pricing is $150 to unclog a drain or $120 to replace a toilet.
Plumbing Service Call Cost
When you call a plumber to conduct repairs or investigate a problem, the plumber may charge an initial fee for the service call that ranges between $50 and $300. The price covers diagnosing the problem, inspecting the area, and conducting minor repairs with limited materials. Some plumbers charge for mileage or trips to the plumbing supply shop but often include these charges in their standard service call rates.
If your problem is minor and takes a few minutes to repair, you may only need to contend with the initial service call cost. The service call rate ensures the plumber receives adequate compensation for traveling to your location and performing the work, even if the job only takes 15 minutes. Your plumber may begin charging by the hour once the project runs beyond the first or second hour or if it looks like the problem requires a significant repair.
Your service call rate depends on whether your plumber is a journeyman or master plumber. Journeyman plumbers start on the lower end with rates between $50 and $150. Master plumbers charge $150 to $300. Some plumbers waive the initial service call fee when you hire them for a major project and are not calling them for a repair. Other plumbers charge a fee for the initial consultation and quote but waive that fee when you hire them for the work.
Plumbing Prices by Type of Installation
The cost to install specific plumbing types varies by project because of different hours, complexities, and material costs. Some projects are easier than others, and all have a range of associated costs from outside factors. The following are the average costs involved in installing some of the most common plumbing projects.
|Garbage Disposal||$250 - $400|
|Kitchen Faucet||$300 - $800|
|Toilet||$400 - $800|
|Sink||$400 - $1,000|
|Gas Line||$500 - $2,000|
|Water Heater||$800 - $2,500|
|Bathtub||$1,500 - $5,000|
|Main Water Line||$1,500 - $12,000|
|Shower||$7,000 - $12,000|
Plumber Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal
The average cost to have a garbage disposal installed by a plumber ranges from $250 to $400, including labor and the unit. Garbage disposals are useful additions to many kitchens. They install beneath the sink before the trap. They come in several sizes, materials, and installation types. Garbage disposals can be retrofitted into sinks that have not had them before. These factors impact the project’s final cost.
Cost for a Plumber to Install a Faucet
The average cost to have a plumber install a faucet is $300 to $800, including labor and material. Faucets can be installed in several areas, including the kitchen, bathroom, bar, and laundry room. Faucets come in different sizes and configurations that may make installation simple or complex, explaining some of the cost range. Bathroom faucets come in single-hole, mini-spread, 4-inch, and 8-inch installations. Kitchen faucets may be single-hole or widespread and may have separate or pull-down sprays. Some newer faucets also have toe-kick or touchless activators, increasing the project cost and complexity.
Cost for a Plumber to Install a Toilet
The average cost to install a toilet is $400 to $800, including all materials and labor. Toilets come in several shapes, sizes, and configurations. Most are floor mounted, but you can also mount them in the wall. They can require pressure to flush or may vent through a stack line in your wall to siphon waste away. The labor cost portion of a toilet installation is close to $120, assuming the lines and drain are in place. New toilet installations have much higher costs.
A Plumber to Install Sink
The cost to install a sink and its plumbing averages $400 to $1,000. Sinks can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and bar areas. They come in many sizes, from tiny pedestal sinks in the bathroom to oversized three-bowl kitchen sinks. Sinks can also be installed in several ways, from wall mounting to countertop undermounting. Sinks must also be hooked to a waste pipe. Each state has regulations on sinks, including the sink material, drain type, whether it needs an overflow, and drain or trap size and type. Speak with your plumber before purchasing a sink or drain to ensure it meets the local code.
Average Cost to Install a Gas Line
The cost of a gas line installation averages $500 to $2,000. Plumbers typically install piping, including gas lines. While the gas company handles the supply off of your property, it becomes the work of your plumber once it crosses your property line. The cost to run the line depends on the length and if it is a main line or branch splitting off for a small side area. The pipe’s size and accessibility play a role in the final costs. Gas lines also come in several materials, which may impact your final cost.
Cost for a Plumber to Install Water Heater
The cost of a new water heater installation ranges from $800 to $2,500. Water heater installations frequently need a master plumber’s oversight during installation, particularly for complex setups. Water heaters come in several types and configurations. They may be powered by gas, propane, oil, or electricity, and they may be tank-style or in-wall on-demand units. They may need lines run to them, depending on the location, and a nearby fuel source hookup. This leads to a range of costs, depending on the project. Bear in mind that there are also indirect water heaters that may increase the costs for installation, as those units are a bit more expensive than the rest.
Cost for a Plumber to Install a Bathtub
The average cost to install a bathtub is $1,500 to $5,000. Bathtubs come in many sizes, styles, shapes, and configurations. Simple bathtubs are often installed in alcoves and plumbed for shower use. You can also install stand-alone tubs or tubs in larger decks that can be plumbed for jets or air. Tub installations can be simple or complex, depending on the tub’s features, size, and weight. The tub filler and drain are also considerations that impact the final cost.
Install a Water Main
The cost of having a main water line installed ranges from $1,500 to $12,000. The main water line brings water from the street to your home. It begins where your property line does - anything moving into the street is the municipality’s property. Water main lines vary tremendously in length, depending on how far back from the road your house is positioned. They also come in several materials and installation methods. Each job can have a wide range of costs to consider.
Install Shower Plumbing
The average cost to install shower plumbing averages $7,000 to $12,000. There are many ways to plumb a shower. The simplest involves a pressure-balancing valve and the showerhead. Complex setups may require multiple valves and showerheads, pressure balancing loops, and body sprays. The cost of the valves and materials is included in the labor. Many plumbers also install the base or a prefab shower surround. The more complex the installation, the higher the total costs.
Plumber Rates by Type of Replacement
You may have existing plumbing in your home that wears out. Water, mineral build-up, overuse, and age causes valves, faucets, and toilets to wear. When this happens, you may want to hire a plumber to replace the worn parts. The cost of replacement varies depending on the fixture or faucet, its condition, and whether the surrounding plumbing should be updated at the same time.
|Outdoor Spigot||$50 - $100|
|Pipes Under a Kitchen Sink||$150 - $325|
|Valve||$150 - $800|
|Garbage Disposal||$275 - $450|
|Toilet||$400 - $800|
|Kitchen Faucet||$400 - $900|
|Sink||$450 - $1,050|
|Gas Line||$575 - $875|
|Water Heater||$600 - $3,500|
|House Plumbing||$4,000 - $12,000|
Cost for a Plumber to Replace Outside Spigot
The average cost to replace an outdoor faucet is $50 to $100. Outdoor faucets come in several styles, configurations, and materials. They may wear more quickly than internal faucets because they are exposed to the elements. This is particularly true in freeze/thaw areas if the faucet is not winterized properly. The costs to replace include removing and disposing of the old faucet and the new faucet and installation. Costs range depending on the location and faucet type.
Replace Pipes Under Kitchen Sink
The cost to replace your kitchen drain or the pipes beneath the sink is $150 to $325. Beneath your sink is the trap. It may be referred to as a P or S-trap and come in different sizes, depending on where you live. This connects the sink drain to the rest of your house’s plumbing. The most common time to replace or install a new trap is when you replace or install a new sink. However, this pipe may wear and need replacing before the sink.
Plumber Cost to Replace a Valve
The cost to replace a valve ranges from $150 to $800. Your plumber may replace many valve types. Your faucets have valves beneath the handles, which can wear and require replacing. Your shower valve can also leak or wear, requiring replacement before the rest of the plumbing. Your home has valves at each water source and a main valve for the house. The cost to replace a valve depends on the valve and how easy it is to access.
Plumber Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal
Replacing a garbage disposal costs $250 to $450. Although replacing a garbage disposal includes some electrical work, the average plumber can deal with any minor electrical work required by the garbage disposal replacement. Garbage disposals last about ten years, so you may want to consider a replacement if you experience repeated service calls to fix your old disposal.
Plumber Cost to Replace a Toilet
Replacing a toilet takes as few as two hours when the plumber is not dealing with any broken pipes or upgrades and ranges from $400 to $800. Installation timelines and costs increase when there are unforeseen issues like leaks under the floor or the plumber has to replace items like the water valve because of a leak. Replacing the toilet is one of the first places to start when you want to reduce water usage in your home. Your replacement costs could be higher if your toilet is wall-hung because the wall must be opened to access the hanging hardware. This can add finishing costs to the final project. Toilets come in many sizes and configurations, accounting for most of the cost range.
Plumber Cost to Replace a Kitchen Faucet
The average cost to replace a kitchen faucet is $400 to $900. This includes the cost of removing and disposing of the old faucet and installing the new faucet. Costs vary depending on the faucet’s configuration. Kitchen faucets may be single-hole or widespread. They may also have a side spray or an attached pull-down spray. Some have toe-kick or touchless activators, which can increase the faucet’s cost.
Replace Kitchen Sink Plumbing
The average cost to replace a kitchen sink and plumbing ranges from $450 to $1,050. Most of the time, the plumbing for your sink is replaced with the sink. This includes the sink’s drain and sometimes the trap. Sinks come in many styles and configurations. They can be made of many materials and may be installed in several ways. For this reason, there can be a wide range of costs for this project.
Gas Line Replacement
The cost to replace a gas line in the home averages $575 to $2,500. Replacing a gas line has a range of costs, depending on several factors. These include the removed material, new gas line material, and how long the line is. These costs assume an average 25-foot gas line. If your line is longer or shorter, your costs could be different. Gas line replacement costs also vary depending on whether the line being replaced is indoors or outdoors and whether it is a main or branch line.
Plumber Cost to Replace a Water Heater
Replacing a water heater costs between $600 and $3,500. Your costs should range between $600 and $3,000 when you replace your water heater with one of the same type. For example, you might replace a gas water heater with another gas water heater for the most affordable replacement option. However, your costs may increase if you decide to go from a gas water heater to an electric water heater. The average range when you change your water heater type is $800 to $3,500.
Replace Plumbing in a House
The cost to replace the plumbing in an average size house of 2,000 sq.ft. is $4,000 to $12,000. The cost range is wide because many factors impact the project. The first is how accessible the pipes are. If you are only replacing the “visible” or outside plumbing, your costs are lower than replacing all the plumbing. Your costs vary depending on which pipe types you previously had installed and how hard they are to remove. The material you replace your pipes with also plays a role in the final cost.
Plumbing Repair Cost by Type
Sometimes, an existing fixture or appliance can be repaired, avoiding the costs of a full replacement. Not all plumbing can be repaired, but many areas have easy fixes to stop leaks, remove clogs, and prevent other issues. The costs of each repair are determined by the water appliance or pipe and condition.
|Repair Project||Average Cost|
|Toilet||$60 - $200|
|Garbage Disposal||$65 - $150|
|Leaky Shower Faucet||$75 - $200|
|Unclog a Drain||$100 - $500|
|Shower||$100 - $600|
|Leaking Pipe||$150 - $350|
|Unclog a Kitchen Sink||$150 - $500|
|Water Heater||$150 - $750|
|Unclog a Toilet||$200 - $700|
|Unclog Sewer Main||$350 - $650|
|Water Main||$500 - $2,000|
|Septic Tank||$750 - $3,000|
Plumber Toilet Repair
The cost to have a plumber repair your toilet averages $60 to $200. Toilets have many moving parts that may fail. Some common repairs include replacing the wax ring beneath the toilet bowl and replacing the flapper inside the toilet tank. Both issues are the most common sources of toilet leaks. Sometimes, the seal on the side of the toilet may fail, or the tower inside the tank may come unseated in newer toilets. Repairs are usually fast and easy and often cost less than a new toilet.
Average Cost of a Garbage Disposal Repair
The average cost of garbage disposal repair is $65 to $150. Garbage disposals have many small issues that are easily repaired. Clogs and leaks may occur. Repairs may be as simple as repairing or replacing a worn seal, or they may be as complex as replacing a motor. It is less expensive to repair a garbage disposal than installing a new one. The sooner you call to have the issue repaired, the simpler the solution often is.
Plumber Cost to Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet
The cost to fix a leaky shower faucet ranges from $75 to $200. Your shower’s faucet is controlled by a few types of valves. The most common is a pressure balancing valve, while some showers may combine thermostatic valves and volume controls. Leaks occur because of a worn valve stem in a pressure balancing valve or volume control in most cases. Replacing this valve can quickly fix the issue. Sometimes, there may also be a broken seal or gasket that may be replaced to solve the issue.
A Plumber to Unclog a Drain
The average cost of having a plumber unclog a drain ranges from $100 to $500. Clogs occur in many areas along a drain. It may be close to the drain in a sink or shower or much farther along the line. Clogs are caused by the natural build-up of oil, soap, and hair, or they can be caused by deteriorating pipes. The farther down the line the clog is located, the higher the cost is to free it. Costs can be higher if the plumber needs a camera to navigate the pipes and investigate the clog.
Plumber Shower Repair
Shower repair costs range between $100 and $600. Corrosion and holes in the pipes that feed the shower may require repairs on the more expensive side. Conversely, getting rid of a clogged shower drain costs on the lower side of the range. Mineral deposits and excess hair from people taking showers may clog a drain. It is essential to contact a plumber immediately if you see water backing up into your shower because of a clog to prevent potentially catastrophic problems.
Leaking Pipe Repair
The average cost to repair a leaking pipe is $150 to $350. Pipes run everywhere through your home, carrying water. They can be made of many materials, from flexible tubes to copper or iron. The stress of carrying water, mineral build-up, and temperature changes can cause a pipe to leak. Some pipes can be fixed by soldering on a patch to the leaking area. Others may be fixed with putty inside a leaking joint. You may need to remove and replace the pipe to solve the issue.
Price for a Plumber to Unclog a Sink
The cost to have a plumber unclog a sink averages $150 to $500. Kitchen and bathroom sinks are at risk for clogs. Oil, soap, hair, and food debris build-up in pipes cause slow drainage and clogs. The cost to remove the clog largely depends on how close to the drain the clog is located. Clogs close to the sink are usually removed easily, while those farther down the line may require more work. The longer the plumber needs to spend clearing the drain, the higher the costs.
Water Heater Repair
Most homeowners pay between $150 and $750 to get a malfunctioning water heater repaired. Water heater repairs include fixing hoses, valves, or the thermostat. Problems like leaks, rust buildup, and strange noises may require the replacement of certain parts in and around the water heater. Repairs usually make more sense than replacement unless the water heater is more than 20 years old.
Plumber Cost to Unclog a Toilet
The average cost to have a plumber unclog a toilet is $200 to $700. Many things may cause a clogged toilet. Newer toilets rely on lower amounts of water than previous generations, which can make it more difficult for some toilets to force waste down. If the stack line above the toilet becomes covered, it can cause clogs. Using too much toilet paper or flushing items not meant for the toilet can also cause clogs. The larger the clog and the farther down the line, the higher the cost to remove it.
Unclog a Main Sewer Line
You will pay between $350 and $650 to unclog a main sewer line. Plumbers have various tools to repair lines that include the use of chemicals, snakes, rods, and hydro-jetting. In some cases, the clog might require the replacement of a small section of pipe. Anything that requires welding and pipework costs more, while a simple clog is less expensive to fix.
Water Main Repair
The cost to repair a water main ranges from $500 to $2,000. Water mains carry water from the municipality supply to your home. They are typically located beneath the ground on your property and terminate at your water meter. They may break down and leak, which can cause a drop in water pressure or higher water bills. Repairs can be made by sliding a sleeve inside of a leaking pipe or replacing an affected area. Because the water main is located beneath the earth, you may have costs associated with uncovering it.
Septic Tank Repair
The cost to repair a septic tank is $750 to $3,000. Your septic tank sits within a leach field on your property and holds your household waste until it is pumped. If it fails, this can cause serious issues for your household and property. Repairs can range from small, such as replacing a baffle, to large, where sections of the leach field may need to be removed or replaced. The faster you address a septic tank problem, the easier the repair is. Leaving septic tank problems for too long may necessitate replacing the tank or field, which can be more costly.
Cost of Plumbing a House per Square Foot
The general cost per square foot of plumbing for an entire home is between $2 and $6. Costs are affected by the material, home age, and how accessible the plumbing is. In general, the larger your home, the higher the project cost. You will pay $1,600 for plumbing in an 800 sq.ft. cottage with affordably priced PEX pipes. You will reach $18,000 for a 3,000 sq.ft. house that uses high-quality plumbing materials like copper pipes. Costs may rise even higher for larger homes.
In addition to house size, ease of access, and the material used for the pipes, local building codes affect the cost to plumb a house. Sometimes, a home's plumbing does not need any significant changes, and plumbers may proceed with straight replacement without any modifications based on codes. In other cases, the city might require the plumber to make specific updates to match modern code standards. As a homeowner, you will learn about these code requirements from your plumber when they pull permits for the job.
|House Size||Average Cost|
|800 sq.ft.||$1,600 - $4,800|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$2,000 - $6,000|
|1,200 sq.ft.||$2,400 - $7,200|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$3,000 - $9,000|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$4,000 - $12,000|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$5,000 - $15,000|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$6,000 - $18,000|
Cost to Hire a Plumber by Type of Remodel
You often need to hire a plumber for a larger remodel. Sometimes, your general contractor or builder hires the plumber. Your costs could be higher in this case because the contractor takes a cut before paying the plumber. Hiring the plumber directly for remodeling jobs helps avoid added fees. Below are the average costs for typical remodels, assuming the most common sizes of each.
|Type of Remodel||Average Cost|
|Laundry Room||$70 - $800|
|Bathroom||$2,000 - $10,000|
|Basement||$2,500 - $5,000|
|Kitchen||$4,000 - $8,000|
Plumbing Cost for a Laundry Room Remodel
The plumbing costs for a laundry room remodel range from $70 to $800. The lowest cost is for running a new line to the laundry room for a faucet. Other costs include running the line, installing a new faucet, and a new hookup for the washing machine. Not all laundry room remodels need a plumber. If you leave the washer and dryer where they are and only make cosmetic or storage updates, a plumber may not be necessary. A plumber is necessary when moving your washer or adding a faucet and sink.
Plumbing Cost for a Bathroom Remodel
The average plumbing costs for a bathroom remodel are $2,000 to $10,000. This includes materials, labor, and installation. Plumbing is integral to every bathroom remodel. Even if you leave your fixtures where they are, you still need a plumber to install new fixtures and faucets. If you do a complete remodel down to the studs, a plumber must rough in the new water appliances and install them. Costs vary because of the number of things you can add. The more features the space has, the higher the final plumbing costs are.
Plumbing Cost for a Basement Remodel
The costs of plumbing for a basement remodel average $2,500 to $5,000. Not all basement remodels require plumbing. When finishing an existing basement and the pipes do not need to be moved, a plumber may not be necessary. However, if you add a basement kitchen or bathroom, add a bar, or reroute or relocate pipes, a plumber is necessary. The total costs depend on the level of work done during the remodel. The more features you add to the basement, the higher the total.
Plumbing Cost for a Kitchen Remodel
The average costs for plumbing a kitchen remodel is $4,000 to $8,000. Plumbing is always integral to the kitchen. Appliances like refrigerators with water dispensers and dishwashers must be installed and hooked up by plumbers. Adding sinks, drains, faucets, pot fillers, and hot water dispensers also requires a plumber. If you change the kitchen layout and need water lines, drains, and gas lines moved, the project cost rises. Simple cosmetic updates are often the least expensive because they do not touch the plumbing and only swap fixtures and appliances.
Rough-In Plumbing Cost
The cost to rough-in the plumbing in a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room averages between $450 and $650 per fixture or faucet. The plumber may ask for partial payment when they complete rough-in plumbing and then request the rest of the payment after they return to complete the final installation work. The rough-in plumbing locates the area where the fixture or faucet should be installed. It brings the line to this area and readies it for the fixture or the faucet’s final installation. Generally, in a rough-in, the pipes are brought through the floor or wall, capped, and left until the area is finished. Once the wall or floor is finished, the fixture is installed on top of the roughed-in plumbing, and the area is finished.
Work on the project may need to pause after the plumber finishes rough-in so that other trades like electricians, drywall installers, or cabinet installers can complete their work during a remodel or other comprehensive project. Your contractor may require partial payment after rough-in is complete, with the remaining balance paid when the job is finished.
Reroute Plumbing Cost
The cost to move plumbing varies depending on what you are doing. When moving fixtures in a bathroom, the cost is $450 to $1,200 per fixture to move more than 3 feet. When plumbing lines to free up a wall you are about to move, the cost is roughly $150 to $600 per line you move more than 3 feet. This can add up quickly if you are doing a major renovation that moves an entire bathroom or takes down several non-load-bearing walls. Costs also vary depending on whether you can reuse pipes or if you need new ones.
Plumbing Inspection Cost
The average cost of a plumbing inspection ranges from free for small troubleshooting jobs to $400 for a full home inspection where the pipes may be difficult to access. Most inspections cost $100 to $225. Plumbing inspections are typically recommended every two years to prevent small problems from becoming large disasters. Full inspections are not required if you are only making a few small repairs or updates. The inspector examines the drains, pumps, valves, and pipes and tests the equipment and fixtures in the home that use the pipes.
Projects that require a permit may also need an inspection when work is finished. However, that inspection happens with a city or county representative. The inspector confirms the job meets all required plumbing codes and gives the project a pass or fail grade. Official inspections do not usually cost anything, although your plumber might charge a small fee for their time if the city requires their presence during the final inspection.
Emergency Plumber Cost
The cost to hire an emergency plumber has many variables. In most cases, you pay a higher rate per hour, with $150 being the standard. You also likely pay a transportation fee of $50 to $200 and a flat fee for the emergency call-out of $200 to $300. You may need to call an emergency plumber if you see an active water leak you cannot stop, you find a burst pipe, or you notice sagging in the ceiling, wall, or floors. Costs also vary depending on the time of day and year. Middle-of-the-night or holiday calls are charged at a higher rate than if you need someone immediately in the middle of a day. Some plumbers also charge additional fees if you call on a busy night, such as a very cold night when many furnaces or water heaters have broken.
How to Choose a Plumber
When you hire a plumber, you should do several things to ensure you are getting the best fit. The first is to contact at least 3 to compare. This means getting at least 3 quotes for the job and ensuring you can get all the relevant information from each, including license, insurance information, references, and a portfolio of recent work if relevant.
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.
It is also important to hire a plumber with adequate liability coverage. As with licensing, liability insurance and bond coverage for plumbers vary across states. However, due to the nature of the work and damage caused by sub-par plumbing work, it is recommended to seek out a plumber who is adequately insured and bonded regardless of local regulations.
Furthermore, for liability and bond coverage to be effective, ensure your plumber provides you with a detailed estimate before beginning work.
Plumber vs Handyman
You may have small plumbing jobs you want to be done quickly for cheap. At such times, you may want to hire a handyman. A handyman is not a licensed plumber but an individual with several skill sets that allow them to install a sink or faucet or put together a small bathroom remodel.
However, not every handyman has the skills for every job. Anything that requires a permit and inspection should be handled by a licensed and insured plumber. Another thing to consider is certain states restrict the project size that a handyman can work on. For example, in some areas, you cannot hire a handyman to accept projects costing more than an amount dictated by state law. For example, anyone who bids or works on a construction project in California for more than $500 must be licensed with the Contractor’s State Licensing Board (CSLB). In other areas where plumbers are too busy to take on small jobs, a handyman may be your best bet to get something done quickly.
In any case, ensure the person you hire is capable of the job. Get references, check licenses, and make sure they are fully insured.
|Professional||Average Hourly Rate|
|Plumber||$45 - $200|
|Handyman||$50 - $100|
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Plumbing permits. Many large projects require a permit and inspection, such as remodels and installations of hot water tanks. Your plumber can advise you on this and pull the permit if necessary. Always speak with your plumber before the project begins to find out more.
- DIY. You may want to handle some plumbing projects yourself. Removing clogs and installing faucets are generally within reach of most homeowners. However, larger projects should be handled by a licensed plumber. Anything that requires digging into the walls for pipes or using power tools is more swiftly and safely accomplished by a plumber. Plumbers are aware of building codes and permitting requirements.
- Commercial vs residential plumbers. Commercial plumbers work with equipment and building codes that are not relevant to most homeowners. Residential plumbers generally have the knowledge and expertise you need to complete your home projects. However, there is an occasional crossover between commercial and residential projects for some plumbers. Commercial projects usually cost more than residential because of the increased complexity of commercial jobs and the higher cost for materials.
- Cleanup. Most plumbers clean messes they made on the job and make minor drywall repairs. However, they generally do not complete finish work, such as significant patching, crack repair, or drywall replacement. Finish work usually falls to the homeowner to arrange for a drywall professional to help at the end of plumbing work.
- Union fees. Plumbers who belong to a union must pay union dues. They increase their costs to compensate for dues and other costs like insurance, pensions, and state licensing fees. Those fees are generally included in their standard project costs. Homeowners who hire union employees may benefit from union-backed warranties on the plumber’s work.
- How to save money. Consider eco-friendly devices when replacing your toilets, faucets, and water heaters. They save you money in the long run on your water bills. Hire a licensed plumber for large jobs to reduce the risk of shoddy workmanship and unexpected problems. Buy your own appliances, devices, and equipment at your preferred price point and hire the plumber to handle the installation.
- What do plumbers charge per hour?
The total cost range for plumbers is $45 to $200 an hour. Most pay around $90 an hour for the work.
- Why do plumbers charge so much?
Plumbers must train for several years to reach master status and often work for low pay during their training. Their fees help them recoup the costs associated with training and the purchase of equipment. Plumbers also perform dirty work under houses, in dirty crawlspaces, and in difficult conditions, which justifies their costs.
- How much does it cost to put plumbing in a house?
Installing plumbing in a house varies based on the piping material used and the size of the house. A small cottage or house of 800 sq.ft. costs around $1,600 for plastic pipes. A large house of 3,000 sq.ft. costs up to $18,000 for the most expensive metal pipe option.
- What are the plumbing systems in a typical house?
Most homes have plumbing that supplies water to kitchens and bathrooms, hot water tanks, and water appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers. Some homes also have gas lines, which fall under the plumbing category in some instances.
- How long does it take to install plumbing in a new house?
Assuming no delays, it takes roughly 3 to 5 days to plumb a new house. The larger the home, the longer this project takes.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.