How Much Does A Plumber Cost?

Average National Cost
? All cost data throughout this article are collected using the RS Means construction materials database.
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$180 - $400

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Updated On

February 16, 2024

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The network of pipes, drains, and fixtures distributed throughout our homes is often something we take for granted. They run smoothly, providing all the water we need — until they don’t. And when something goes awry, leaving us without water, many of us turn to a plumber for assistance.

But how much does it cost to hire a plumber? We spent costless hours and compiled real quotes from plumbers nationwide and aggregated this data to provide you with the most up-to-date costs for plumbers near you. This article explores plumber costs and factors that affect these costs to help prepare you for what to expect. 

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Highlights
  • Most homeowners pay around $315 for a plumber’s services.
  • Plumbing repair costs vary drastically based on factors specific to the situation, including the project’s difficulty, your location, and your plumber’s experience.
  • Plumbing projects range from DIY-friendly to complex ones that require the expertise of a professional plumber.

How Much Does a Plumber Cost?

The cost of hiring a licensed plumber varies drastically based on the project you hire them to complete. On average, most homeowners pay around $315 for a plumber, although costs often range between $180 and $450

Of course, some projects are substantially more expensive than these estimates, as certain projects require extensive time, effort, and expertise to complete. 

LowAverageHigh
$180$315$450

How Do Plumber Costs Differ By Repair Type? 

Plumbers handle dozens types of repairs and installations, from a standard faucet installation to repairing a major water line leak. The project they handle plays a key role in the price you pay for their services. 

Simpler projects, like faucet replacements and garbage disposal repairs, are less expensive. In contrast, significant repairs, including burst pipes and water main leaks, often carry a high price tag. The chart below outlines common plumbing services and installation costs.

Repair Type Average Cost Range
Faucet replacement$150 – $600
Garbage disposal repair$100 – $300
Clearing clogs and drains$100 – $500
Pipe leaks$150 – $450
Main water line repair$500 – $4,000
Ceiling pipe$500 – $2,500
Burst pipes$1,000 – $4,000
Sink installation$200 – $800
Radiator repair$100 to $600
Plumbing reroute$700 – $1,500
Toilet leak repairs$100 – $300
Toilet installation $300 – $800
Water heater repair$150 – $750
Water heater installation$800 – $2,000
Water softener installation$200 – $500

How Do The Project Details Affect Plumber Prices?

The details surrounding your plumbing project play a vital role in determining the number you see on your final project bill. The project’s complexity, urgency, permitting requirements, and necessary materials all contribute to the cost. 

Difficulty 

The complexity of the plumbing project is a key detail that impacts the final total of your bill. More complicated projects, like major leaks in the water main or sewer line, usually require more time and effort. This drives labor costs higher and raises the number on your final bill. 

Generally, simpler projects and new plumbing demand less time, resulting in lower costs. For the most part, you can expect to pay more for your plumbing project when it’s more complex and takes extra time and labor, which corresponds with your plumber’s hourly rates.  

Permits Necessary 

Some plumbing projects require permits before you can complete them. If your project requires a permit, your plumbing company will usually help you obtain it. Permits often cost a specific amount, although these costs vary based on the type of permit you need and where you live.

Materials and Supplies

Nearly every plumbing project requires at least a few tools, materials, and supplies. For example, if you need to replace an old, leaky faucet or showerhead, you’ll need to pay for the replacement fixture. On top of that, you’ll incur costs associated with materials necessary to install it, including Teflon tape, caulk, and other essentials. 

Some projects, such as a simple leak, might be fixable with no more than a wrench and some caulk. However, it all hinges on the type of repair and materials necessary to complete it. 

Urgency 

Many plumbers offer after-hours emergency services, as some plumbing problems arise outside of business hours. Generally, these visits cost more, as you’ll probably pay a flat rate emergency fee and a higher hourly rate to compensate the plumber for working on an off day. 

You also may encounter higher costs during business hours, as emergencies may require plumbers to change their schedules to accommodate your emergency. Busy seasons are another time when you might pay additional costs, as plumbing services are in higher demand. 

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Which Factors Impact Plumber Cost Estimates?

The cost of a plumber’s services varies based on additional factors, including their expertise, the extent of the damage, and your location.

Plumber’s Expertise

Your plumber’s experience is a significant factor contributing to the number on your final plumbing bill. Apprentice plumbers often have the lowest hourly rates, but they usually need to have supervision from a coworker with more experience. In most cases, you can’t hire an apprentice alone, as they aren’t well-versed in their craft yet. 

More experienced plumbers usually charge more due to their ample knowledge and expertise in the industry. These plumbers, which some states recognize as master plumbers, often charge between $75 and $200 per hour. 

You could also hire a journeyman plumber that works independently, as these plumbing contractors can handle most standard plumbing jobs. They usually charge between $50 and $100 per hour.

Watch this video for tips on finding a good plumbing pro:

Damage

The extent of the damage associated with a repair is another key factor determining the price tag of the project. Plumbing projects involving significant damage, such as extensive water damage or badly burst pipes, often require extra time and expertise to handle. 

The extra time necessary to thoroughly handle the project drives the price up, resulting in a higher cost overall. On top of that, additional materials and supplies might be necessary to complete the job, further contributing to the cost. 

Location 

The cost of living in some areas is higher than in others, often resulting in higher labor costs overall. For example, if you live in a big city with an exorbitant cost of living, there’s a good chance your plumber will charge more per hour or job than a plumber residing in a rural town with a low cost of living. 

On top of that, plumbing costs are often higher in areas with high demand. This is common in larger cities, particularly those with an extensive network of plumbing. 

On the other end of the spectrum, people residing in rural areas may encounter travel fees to cover the plumber’s travel costs. 

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Plumber?

Hiring a plumber is a wise idea in many scenarios, as they can provide various benefits that make hiring them a worthwhile venture. Here are a few of the most notable benefits of hiring a plumber.

Permanent Fixes

Sometimes when we DIY a plumbing fix it solves the problem temporarily, but it’s far from a permanent solution. In the ensuing months and years, we find ourselves returning to the problem to put another temporary fix in place to limp along for a few more months. 

When you hire a professional plumber, you get a permanent fix. These repairs are made to last, withstanding regular use with ease. While you’ll pay more upfront for a plumber to fix the problem, you’ll get a repair that lasts. 

More Advanced Diagnostic Capabilities

Troubleshooting problems can be aggravating without the right tools or skill set. You could spend hours trying to figure out why your home’s drains aren’t draining properly, but without a camera capable of wiggling through the pipes to pinpoint the clog near the end of the plumbing system in your home, you might never find it. 

A plumber has these diagnostic tools and knows the correct steps to follow in these situations. This proves to be particularly beneficial with more complex plumbing problems, offering a quicker path to pinpointing the source of the issue. 

Years of Experience

When you hire a plumber, you get the benefit of skilled expertise. Even when you hire an apprentice plumber, there’s usually a skilled plumber at their side for guidance. This is particularly helpful for complicated jobs such as burst pipes or major water leaks. 

With such expertise, there’s no guesswork involved. Professional plumbers thoughtfully choose the right decision based on years of hands-on experience. In contrast, when you DIY a plumbing project without any plumbing experience, there’s often a lot of guesswork and confusion involved. This can lead to costly and potentially dangerous mistakes, so hiring a plumber is a wise idea. 

Correct Equipment

Some plumbing projects require expensive, specialized tools that you might not use often enough to justify the cost. While you could purchase these tools and DIY the job, hiring a plumber is often the more logical option. 

Plumbers have all the tools and equipment necessary to complete various plumbing projects, eliminating the need for you to go out and buy specialized tools that you’ll only use once in a blue moon. This can actually save you money, depending on the repair and tools necessary to complete it. 

No Safety Concerns

Hiring a plumber eliminates any safety concerns surrounding your completing the plumbing task. Some jobs, like installing a tankless water heater, can be dangerous. They may expose you to natural gas and other elements that can be hazardous if you don’t know how to handle them. 

When you pass the project to a professional plumber, this issue becomes a thing of the past. Plumbers have the expertise necessary to get the job done safely. If you hire an apprentice, they’ll usually have a seasoned coworker at their side for guidance, ensuring safety is a priority. 

Professional vs. DIY Plumbing

While some plumbing projects are DIY-friendly, others are best left to the professionals. For example, installing a faucet is a project many homeowners don’t have issues completing. However, other projects, like repairing a leaky main water line, are usually out of the realm of possibility for a homeowner without plumbing experience. 

Doing Plumbing Yourself

Some plumbing projects are 100% DIY-friendly. They involve simple, easy-to-follow steps that most homeowners don’t have any issues handling. For example, a clogged garbage disposal is a common problem. With a bit of troubleshooting (hello, vinegar, and baking soda), many homeowners can work through simple clogged drains without professional assistance. 

Homeowners with some plumbing experience can even tackle more complex plumbing projects, like installing a new faucet outdoors or indoors, or installing a sink. However, unless you have extensive plumbing experience, most complex projects are best left to the professionals. 

Hiring a Professional Plumber

When facing complex plumbing problems requiring intricate repairs, it’s usually best to default to an experienced plumber. Failing to properly address issues can open the door to more problems, some more dangerous than others. 

So, when in doubt (even for simpler projects), it’s best to hire a professional plumber. Here’s how to hire a plumber:

  1. Look for local experts: Do a quick internet search to find plumbing professionals in your area. Alternatively, check with family and friends for recommendations. 
  2. Obtain quotes: Get personalized quotes from a few of your top picks. 
  3. Compare: Use the quotes you receive to compare your options and select the fit that best matches your needs. 
  4. Contact the plumber: Once you select a plumber, contact them to schedule an appointment. 
Get Free Estimates From Professional Plumbers
Match with a plumbing expert to help you with installation or repair.

So, Is a Plumber Worth It?

Hiring a plumber is often a worthwhile venture, as it saves you the time and stress of tackling plumbing projects yourself. Plus, you get a fix that lasts, and you don’t need to worry about it failing prematurely. While you’ll spend more to have a professional handle your plumbing project, it’s an excellent option for homeowners without plumbing experience. 

Of course, you can always DIY the project yourself, provided you have the experience and skill level to complete it. Some plumbing repairs, like fixing a constantly running toilet and using a drain snake to remove a clog, are quite simple. On the other hand, increasing water pressure, replacing a toilet, and unclogging your sewage line usually require more skills and experience. When in doubt, hiring a professional plumber is the best option. 

FAQs About Plumbers

Do you tip plumbers?

Most plumbers don’t expect a tip after completing a service call. However, many will happily accept a tip that shows your appreciation for their services, provided their company allows them to. 


Why is a plumber so expensive?

Plumbers are highly skilled professionals that have extensive experience dealing with messy situations. Like many professionals, they must maintain liability insurance, keep up with overhead costs, and pay for the services of any subcontractors they hire. The combination of these factors translates to a higher cost of hiring a plumber. 


What do most plumbers charge per hour?

The hourly rate of a plumber hinges on their skills and experience. Apprentice plumbers usually charge less, whereas more experienced plumbers charge more. On average, you’ll pay between $50 and $200 per hour for a plumber’s experience. This may be in addition to a service fee or a trip fee (usually a flat fee), depending on the local plumber. 


What is the national average cost to replace a toilet?

Installing a new toilet usually costs between $300 and $800, although some projects are pricier than others. The cost of your toilet replacement will hinge on the project’s difficulty and the model you choose. 


Editorial Contributors
avatar for Jonathon Jachura

Jonathon Jachura

Contributor

Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.

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photo of Lora Novak

Lora Novak

Senior Editor

Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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