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How Much Do Plumbers Charge?
The national average for a plumber’s service call is $150 to $500. In areas where the labor rate is less, expect to pay between $150 to $200. In large cities, the cost can be around $800 or more.
Plumbers usually charge $50 to $200 per hour.
If the service call is an emergency and requires an off-hours trip, expect to pay a $50 to $100 per hour premium over the normal hourly rate.
Clogged Drains & Stopped Up Toilets
These are the most common reasons to hire a plumber. In some cases, a little perseverance with a plunger could clear the clog. Yes, you can use a plunger in the sink and shower drains. There are also multiple eco-friendly drain cleaners sold at many of the big box stores.
First, you might try a home remedy consisting of two cups of baking soda, four cups of boiling water, and one cup of white vinegar. Remove standing water, pour one cup of baking soda in the drain, then two cups of hot water, repeat, and then add the vinegar.
Another option is to buy a drain snake at a hardware store for $5 to $10. Slide the snake down the drain and rotate it to loosen the blockage or debris. Then, slowly pull it back out so you get most of the debris on the snake’s bristles.
When a plunger, home remedy, or snake does not relieve the clog, it’s time to call a plumber. Expect to pay the full price of a service charge plus whatever is needed to clear the clog. The average charge for a plumber or drain expert to unclog a drain is $385.
Sometimes, a clogged toilet could be a sign the septic tank needs to be emptied or replaced. If it’s been at least a year since your last service, you may want to contact your septic company for help.
Leaks & Burst Pipes
Usually, when a pipe bursts, it is because it froze, but leaks can develop for many reasons. The most significant expense for a burst pipe or a significant leak is cleaning up the water damage.
A burst pipe is normally apparent, but finding and fixing the leak usually costs around $300 if the leak is in your home. If the leak is on your main line, expect costs to rise to $1,500 to find and repair.
You may also need to repair the drywall or other water damage, and you might also need to add insulation. Check our drywall repair cost guide, but the average cost to repair water damage in drywall is $300 to $700.
Much like using a plunger to solve a clog, toilets are often fixed by removing the lid and looking for the problem. For older toilets, the most common issue is often the chain falling off the stopper. Typically, when you push down on the handle to flush, the chain attached to the handle arm lifts the stopper, which keeps water in the tank.
Occasionally, the “S” hook comes off the chain. Just hook it back up and flush. When the “S” hook is broken on either end, you can replace it with a paperclip. There are some other DIY fixes in the tank; you just have to open it and look. Plus, you can buy a DIY kit to repair the inside components at the hardware store.
Newer toilets, however, often have “towers” that contain the flushing mechanism, making it harder to identify the issue. For these, if you have done everything you can, and it’s still not working, it is time to call a plumber. The cost for toilet repair is typically between $150 and $300. Some plumbers will break out the price they paid for parts and a separate charge for labor; others will charge a flat rate for a service call.
Water or Gas Main Repairs
Everyone in the family old enough to turn a knob should know where the shutoff for these two is, because when water is spraying everywhere, there is no time to look for it. If you can smell gas, get out because any little spark could set it off.
A new valve for the water main shutoff is $150 to $600 to replace. Replacing the gas valve is usually up to the gas company, but repairs to a line on your property may cost $300 to $750 on average.
Water Heater Replacement or Repair
Water heater repairs are typically $500 on average. However, new high-efficiency water heaters are $1,300 to $5,500, and the tankless variety costs $1,200 to $3,500 to install, depending on the brand.
Septic & Sewer
Repairs to sewer lines can cost upwards of $60 to $250 per linear foot, which makes short line repairs around $2,500 and longer line repairs up to $25,000. There can be additional costs to this repair, such as repairing lawn, landscaping, and, in some cases, public roads.
Cleaning or pumping out a septic system is about $300 to $600. Repairs to the septic tank are about $250 to $400, in addition to the pump, while an entire septic system replacement will cost $5,000 to $50,000.
The average cost to fix a sump pump is $400 to $550, while replacing an existing model can average about $500 to $1,200, depending on the model.
However, if you are having a new one installed, expect costs between $4,000 and $12,000.
Shower, Bath, & Surround Replacements
The installation of a new bathtub will cost $1,300 to $10,000, depending on the tub, hardware, and surround you choose. You might pay a little more for a shower and enclosure, $7,500 on average, depending once again on the material, hardware, and enclosure.
Pipe Leaks Within a Concrete Slab
When a leak occurs under a concrete slab, it might be necessary to jackhammer the concrete slab. These leaks also occur within the floor where radiant heat pipes run. Either way, the first thing the plumber will need to do is find the leak.
These leaks can get expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000. This project will require finding the leak, repairing it, and then repairing everything that got torn up in the process.
Get as many estimates as possible and check their references. Check our concrete slab removal and repair guide to get an idea of the different charges that are possible.
How to Find a Plumber
If you have the time, we suggest asking friends and family for references for plumbers they have worked with in the past. We can also help you get free estimates from licensed professional plumbers in your area.
Before starting any new or remodeling building project, check with your local building inspector. It might be necessary to get a building permit. These are usually $20 to $100 for smaller projects. Your plumber will also be able to let you know if you’ll need a permit for the work and will advise you on the costs.
Before you hire a plumber, check our other plumbing, heating, and cooling resources.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.