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What Do Most Plumbers Charge Per Hour?

by | Oct 29, 2023

Are you curious about how much plumbers charge per hour? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will discuss the average hourly rate most plumbers charge for their services. Whether you’ve got a leaky faucet or need a complete bathroom overhaul, understanding the cost of hiring a plumber can help you plan your budget accordingly. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of plumbing rates!

What Do Most Plumbers Charge Per Hour?

Factors Affecting Plumbing Hourly Rates

Experience and expertise

One of the key factors that can affect plumbing hourly rates is the plumber’s experience and expertise. Plumbers who have been in the industry for a longer time and have acquired significant knowledge and skills tend to charge higher rates. This is because their vast experience allows them to efficiently and effectively complete plumbing jobs, resulting in a higher level of quality and customer satisfaction. So, when hiring a plumber, it is important to consider their level of experience and expertise in order to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.


Location is another factor that can affect plumbing hourly rates. Plumbers in densely populated areas or cities where the cost of living is higher often charge higher rates compared to those in rural areas. This is because the cost of operating a plumbing business, including rent, taxes, and utilities, can be significantly higher in urban areas. Additionally, plumbers in remote locations may charge higher rates to compensate for the time and travel expenses involved in reaching your property. So, if you live in a major city or a remote area, it’s important to consider the impact of location on plumbing rates when hiring a plumber.

Time of day and urgency

The time of day and urgency of the plumbing job can also affect the hourly rates charged by plumbers. plumbing emergencies that require immediate attention, such as burst pipes or sewage backups, may incur higher hourly rates due to the plumber needing to prioritize the job over others. Additionally, plumbing services provided during weekends, holidays, or after regular business hours may also come with higher rates. This is because plumbers may charge overtime rates or factor in the inconvenience of working outside of normal working hours. So, if you have a plumbing issue that needs immediate attention or require services outside of regular hours, be prepared for potentially higher hourly rates.

Type of plumbing job

The type of plumbing job you need to be done can also influence the hourly rates charged by plumbers. Some jobs require specialized skills or equipment, which may command a higher hourly rate. For example, jobs such as installing or repairing water heaters, sump pumps, or sewer lines may require additional expertise and specialized tools. On the other hand, smaller jobs like unclogging a drain or fixing a leaking faucet may have lower hourly rates. So, it’s important to provide detailed information about the plumbing job when seeking quotes from plumbers in order to get accurate estimates.

Average Hourly Rates for Plumbers

National average rates

The average hourly rates for plumbers vary across the country. According to industry data, the national average hourly rate for plumbers ranges between $45 and $150 per hour. However, it’s important to note that these rates can fluctuate depending on various factors, such as those mentioned earlier. When looking for a plumber, it’s always a good idea to research and compare rates in your specific area to get a more accurate understanding of the local average rates.

Rates by region

Plumbing rates can also vary by region. In areas with a higher cost of living or where the demand for plumbing services is high, such as major cities, the hourly rates may be higher compared to less densely populated regions. For example, in metropolitan areas like New York City or Los Angeles, the hourly rates can be towards the higher end of the national average range. However, in rural areas or smaller towns, the hourly rates may be lower. So, it’s important to consider the regional differences in plumbing rates when budgeting for your plumbing needs.

Rates by experience level

Another factor that can affect plumbing rates is the experience level of the plumber. Generally, plumbers with more years of experience and a higher level of expertise tend to charge higher hourly rates compared to newcomers in the industry. This is because experienced plumbers have built a reputation and have proven their skills through years of delivering high-quality work. However, that doesn’t mean that hiring a newer or less experienced plumber is always a bad idea. They may offer competitive rates and bring a fresh perspective to your plumbing job. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and choose a plumber whose rates align with your budget and who you feel comfortable entrusting with your plumbing needs.

Additional Costs Associated with Plumbing Services

Materials and supplies

In addition to the hourly rates, there are additional costs associated with plumbing services that you may need to consider. One of these costs is the materials and supplies used for the plumbing job. Depending on the nature of the job, the plumber may need to purchase various pipes, fittings, valves, and other materials to complete the work. The cost of these materials can vary depending on factors such as quality, brand, and quantity. It’s important to discuss these additional costs with the plumber and consider them when budgeting for your plumbing project.

Travel expenses

Another potential additional cost is travel expenses. If you live far away from the plumber’s location or if the job requires the plumber to travel a significant distance, they may charge additional fees to cover their travel expenses. This can include costs such as fuel, tolls, or even accommodations if the job requires an overnight stay. It’s important to clarify these travel expenses with the plumber beforehand to avoid any surprises when it comes to billing.

Emergency call-out fees

For plumbing emergencies that require immediate attention, plumbers may charge call-out fees on top of their hourly rates. This fee is to compensate for the plumber’s availability and the prompt response to your emergency. It is important to inquire about emergency call-out fees before hiring a plumber for urgent situations. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan and know what to expect in case of a plumbing emergency to avoid unnecessary stress and panic.

Permit fees

Depending on the nature of your plumbing job, you may need to obtain permits from your local municipality or building department. These permits ensure that the work is carried out according to the local building codes and regulations. It’s important to check with your plumber if the job requires any permits and consider the associated fees when budgeting for your plumbing project. Failure to obtain the necessary permits can result in fines or even having to redo the work, so it’s crucial to comply with the local regulations.

Tips for Hiring a Plumber

Research and compare multiple plumbers

When looking to hire a plumber, it’s important to spend some time researching and comparing multiple plumbers in your area. Take advantage of online platforms, such as websites or directories, to find reputable plumbers nearby. Look for plumbers who have positive reviews and testimonials from previous customers. By comparing multiple plumbers, you can get a better understanding of their rates, expertise, and customer satisfaction levels. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the best plumber for your plumbing needs.

Check for licenses and insurance

Before hiring a plumber, always check if they have the necessary licenses and insurance. Licenses indicate that the plumber has met the required training and education standards set by the state or local licensing board. Insurance, on the other hand, protects you and your property in case of any accidents or damages that may occur during the plumbing job. Hiring a licensed and insured plumber gives you peace of mind and ensures that you are working with a qualified professional.

Read customer reviews and testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into a plumber’s reliability, quality of work, and professionalism. Take the time to read reviews from previous customers to get a sense of their experiences. Look for plumbers with consistently positive reviews and testimonials, as this indicates a high level of customer satisfaction. It’s also a good idea to check if the plumber has received any awards or recognition for their outstanding service. Reading customer reviews and testimonials helps you gauge the plumber’s reputation and reliability.

Get written estimates and contracts

To avoid misunderstandings and disputes later on, always get written estimates and contracts from the plumbers you are considering. A written estimate should outline the scope of work, the materials and supplies needed, and the estimated total cost of the project. It’s important to ensure that the estimates are detailed and itemized. If there are any changes to the scope of work or additional costs that arise during the project, make sure to get them in writing as well. A written contract protects both you and the plumber and provides clarity on the agreed-upon terms and expectations.

What Do Most Plumbers Charge Per Hour?

Negotiating Plumbing Rates

Discuss the scope of work in detail

When negotiating plumbing rates, it’s important to discuss the scope of work in detail with the plumber. By providing as much information as possible about the job, you allow the plumber to accurately assess the time, effort, and materials required. This enables them to provide a more accurate estimate. Be clear about your expectations and any specific requirements you may have. Effective communication and collaboration can help establish a mutual understanding and potentially lead to more favorable rates.

Get multiple quotes from different plumbers

To ensure that you are getting a fair and competitive rate, obtain multiple quotes from different plumbers. This allows you to compare the rates, services, and proposed solutions. Getting multiple quotes also gives you a negotiating advantage as you can leverage one quote against another to potentially secure a better rate. However, it’s important to consider other factors such as experience, reputation, and customer reviews alongside the quotes. The lowest quote may not necessarily mean the best choice if the plumber lacks the necessary credentials or has poor customer reviews.

Consider hiring plumbers during off-peak hours

If your plumbing job is not urgent and can be scheduled flexibly, consider hiring plumbers during off-peak hours. Plumbers may be willing to offer discounted rates during quieter times when business is slower. By being flexible with scheduling, you can potentially save on the hourly rates without compromising on the quality of work. This approach is especially beneficial for non-emergency projects or renovations where timing is not critical.

Offer to provide some materials or labor

Another tactic for negotiating plumbing rates is to offer to provide some of the materials or labor yourself. If you are comfortable and capable of purchasing certain materials or assisting with non-specialized tasks, this can reduce the overall costs. However, it’s important to discuss this with the plumber beforehand to ensure compatibility with their work and any warranty or liability considerations. Offering to contribute some materials or labor can demonstrate your willingness to collaborate and may result in more favorable rates.

Additional Considerations

Plumbing rates for commercial properties

It’s important to note that plumbing rates for commercial properties may differ from residential rates. Commercial plumbing jobs often involve more complex systems, larger-scale projects, and unique industry requirements. Due to these factors, the rates charged by plumbers may be higher for commercial properties compared to residential properties. When seeking plumbing services for a commercial property, it’s crucial to hire a plumber with experience in commercial plumbing and to consider the additional costs associated with such projects.

Plumbing rates for specialized services

If you require specialized plumbing services, such as installation or maintenance of specific systems like solar water heaters or water filtration systems, the rates may vary from standard plumbing services. Specialized services often require additional training, certifications, and specialized equipment. Therefore, plumbers offering these services may charge higher hourly rates. It’s important to find a plumber with the necessary expertise and experience in the specific area you require and to inquire about the rates for specialized services.

Plumbing rates for emergency services

In the case of plumbing emergencies that require immediate attention, plumbers may have different rates compared to non-emergency services. Plumbing emergencies often disrupt daily routines and require immediate intervention, which may entail higher costs. Plumbers may charge higher rates for emergency call-outs, especially during non-working hours or holidays. It’s important to be aware of these potential emergency service rates and to weigh the urgency of the situation against the associated costs.

What Do Most Plumbers Charge Per Hour?


When it comes to plumbing hourly rates, several factors come into play, including experience, location, time of day and urgency, and the type of plumbing job. Researching and comparing multiple plumbers, checking for licenses and insurance, reading customer reviews, and getting written estimates and contracts are essential steps in the hiring process. Negotiating plumbing rates can be done by discussing the scope of work, obtaining multiple quotes, considering off-peak hours, and potentially offering to provide some materials or labor. It’s important to keep in mind additional costs such as materials, travel expenses, emergency call-out fees, and permit fees. Special considerations should also be taken into account for commercial properties, specialized services, and emergency services. By considering these factors and following the tips provided, you can make informed decisions and find a reputable plumber who offers fair rates while delivering quality work.


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