Friday, April 12

How Much Does a Residential Plumber Cost Per Hour?

Running toilet, low water pressure, leaky faucet – every homeowner has experienced the most common plumbing problems at some point. Sometimes, an average person can fix the problem with little knowledge. 

However, hiring a residential plumber is the safest option. Trying to DIY an issue can lead to detrimental problems down the road.

Some people find their fees out of their budget, though. How much does a plumber cost per hour, anyway?

Are you dealing with a plumbing problem? Do you want to know whether you can afford a plumber? Keep on reading to learn more about their hourly rate.

How Much Does A Plumber Cost Per Hour?

Recent data suggests homeowners pay an average of $327 or anywhere from $175 to $480 for a plumbing project. The hourly fees range from $45 to $200.

Why is the average plumber cost per hour too broad? Getting an accurate estimate is difficult since it can be far from the actual rate. Plumbing is a catch-all term for anything related to pipes, tanks, and fittings. The jobs vary, and so do the fees.

Factors Affecting The Plumbing Costs

Try to reach out to contractors directly to get a more accurate quote for your project. Google “plumbing service near me” to get a list of people you can contact.

That said, you can learn about some factors that might affect the hourly rate. Here are examples of what plumbers consider.

Level Of Expertise

What level of skills are you looking for in a plumber? Most would want the cheapest option available, but it means paying for less experience.

First, we have an apprentice at the start of their plumbing career. They charge less than an experienced plumber.

Apprentices are usually the cheaper option, but you risk paying more if they mess up the job the first time. Apprentices often lack a license, so you’re taking on more risks.

A plumber may have a journeyman license, proving they have the necessary knowledge and skills to work without supervision. They can handle all basic plumbing jobs, such as installing a fixture and troubleshooting problems. They may charge around $45 to $90 per hour.

Master plumbers are the most expensive, charging around $70 to $200 per hour for labor. They have the highest level of experience and education. Hire these people for complex plumbing jobs and large construction projects.

Their experience also plays a role in their rates. Plumbers working for 15 years will charge more than someone who has only been in the game for five years, even if they have the same license. 

The Complexity Of The Job

The complexity of the job affects the plumber’s rates. The harder it is, the more they’ll charge you.

For example, unclogging the drain is the cheapest job. A leak may have a simple solution, so you pay less, as well. However, installing a fixture can run thousands of dollars.

Some plumbers charge a flat fee, instead. That way, you can compare prices more easily and manage your budget better.


Where do you live? The cost of living in your area factors into the hourly fee. A plumber in Los Angeles, for example, would charge more than one in Nebraska.

Date And Time

Do you need an emergency plumbing service on Christmas eve? That’s going to cost you extra.

Plumbers may charge more than usual rates based on your timing. Evening calls usually cost time-and-a-half, while it can double on the weekends. Expect to pay triple if your pipes burst on Thanksgiving.

Minimum Hours And Call-Out Fees

The hourly rate or flat fees aren’t the only costs of calling a plumber. These only cover the labor part of the job.

A plumber’s work involves traveling to and from the client’s home and the supply house. As such, most professionals require minimum hours or call-out fees. These fees would cover the time it takes to reach your property and any travel expenses.

If a plumbing contractor has a minimum of two hours for every job, for example, you’re going to pay for two hours of the time even if they finished within the first hour. A plumber with a call-out fee charges it as part of their hourly rate or a flat fee.

Union Fees

If the plumber is part of a union, they may pay 20% to 25% of their wages. As such, they usually charge more than one who doesn’t have to pay any membership fees.

Why should you hire a union plumber? These organizations provide ongoing education, insurance, and drug screening.

The plumbers are safer in a union. Plus, homeowners can get peace of mind, as well.

Other Expenses

Hourly rate aside, expect to pay for more expenses. For example, you may have to replace your old pipes after an inspection ruled them faulty.

Some plumbing jobs can’t proceed if your pipes have an issue. Aside from paying for the materials, like the pipes, you have to pay for more hours.

Depending on the project, you might have to get other services. For instance, you need a clean-up after a sewer issue.

Fixing water damage requires more than a plumber. You might need an electrician and a contractor for drywall repair. These costs are outside the hourly fees.


Some plumbing jobs need a permit from the local authorities. Examples are water heater installations or any project involving the sewer line. The fees depend on the location, but the average is about $75.

Contact A Reputable Plumber Near You

Do you find the plumber cost per hour too expensive? You’re not only paying for knowledge and experience. You’re also paying for your peace of mind.

When safety is on the line, you have to get the best you can afford. Contact reputable plumbing contractors near you and compare their prices.

Did you find this guide helpful? To learn more tips, check out our other posts today.