Plumbers Hourly and Day Rates (in 2021)

Last updated: June 8, 2021

From installing a new bathroom to an emergency call out due to a burst pipe, a plumber should always be your go-to when water and heating issues need an expert hand. And getting any problems fixed sooner than later could well save you significant expense in the long run.

Having a reliable plumber in your contacts book is always a good thing to have, as is an idea as to the current rates and the cost of different types of plumbing jobs. We take a look at the most common jobs plumbers are called out for and what to expect in our handy guide to a plumber’s typical hourly and day rates.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Common Plumbing Jobs

Not all plumbing jobs are equal and there are a host of factors that will influence just how much a plumber will charge for the most common jobs and repairs. These pricing factors include:

Where you live

A plumber’s rate can vary, depending on where you live in the country, with London and the south east seeing some of the highest rates when it comes to tradespeople. So, plumbers in London typically charge more for their daily, hourly and call out rates than in many other locations around the UK.

Whether it’s an out of hours call

The urgency and timing of the job will also impact on the overall cost, which means weekend, Bank Holiday and 24-hour call outs are going to cost you more for an emergency 24/7 plumber.

The time it will take

The longer a plumbing or heating job takes to complete, the higher the labour costs will inevitably be. Accessibility can also be a factor, as the harder the repair area is to reach, the longer the job will be, even if it is less complex issue to repair.

And its complexity

Straightforward and accessible plumbing jobs will understandably cost less than a situation where there are a number of issues or more of your plumbing or central heating system is involved. Additional preparation tasks, such as draining the system, will also add to the hours to be billed.

The cost of the parts needed

On top of costs for labour, you will also need to factor in any necessary replacement parts when it comes to your plumber’s final bill. And while some repairs or projects are relatively easy and cheap to complete, more complex jobs may need new or whole replacement parts, such as a new hot water tank, new shower installation or even a central heating system or new boiler.

The finish required

Especially when it comes to bathroom renovations or replacements, the level of finish you require will impact on the final bill. For example, you may want the core shower and fittings completed by a plumber, but you plan to do the rest of the bathroom furniture yourself. But be aware of looking to do some of the finish yourself, unless you have the right level of skills, as you could find it costing you much more in the long run.

How Much Do Plumbers Charge?

Your local plumber will price your job based on an hourly, daily or even project rate, as well as having initial call out fee as well as a specific out of hours rate, in case of an emergency. While most plumbers will give a final job price once they have called out to assess the work, it’s important to ask for their basic rates right at the start.

To give you an idea of general costs, we take a look at what are currently the typical charges you can expect from a plumber, so you are able to compare any quotes or work out your total budget for the plumbing job that needs to be done.

Plumber Cost Per Hour

The average plumber will normally give you their hourly rate upfront, which on average is around £40 an hour, but can vary between £25 and £60, depending on the location and duration of the project. The average cost in London comes in between £60 and £80 an hour.

A plumber can also charge a call-out fee which is normally twice their hourly rate, but they will typically include an hour’s labour as part of the fee. Your starting cost will normally be at least the plumber’s hourly or call-out rate, even if the job takes less than an hour.

And it’s important to remember that the hourly rate of a plumber is their minimum cost per hour and will depend on the type of job they are quoting on, and it doesn’t include additional costs such as parts.

Plumber Day Rate

As well as an hourly rate, which is a great starting point for the quicker and easier jobs, a plumber can also quote a day rate for issues that may take longer to fix, or more in-depth projects. And for longer jobs, a day rate can actually work out cheaper than paying per hour.

Day rates can also be flexible, depending on the nature of the job and how long it will take, with jobs lasting one to two weeks typically attracting a lower day rate than a job of a couple of days. With this in mind, the average day rate is between £250 and £550, depending on where you live. But this figure may reduce for longer block jobs so do speak directly to your plumber if you have a substantial project to price for.

And remember, this day rate is to cover the plumber’s labour costs, with all parts and supplies extra.

Weekend or Emergency Plumber Cost

While it is something we all hope to avoid, there could be times when you need a plumber urgently, for example a burst pipe or a serious flood in your home. And such plumbing emergencies can happen ‘out of hours’, as well as over the weekend or during public holidays. Emergency plumbing services will make themselves available 24/7 and for this availability at short notice you should expect to pay a premium, which will be, on average, two to three times more than the plumber’s standard hourly rate.

Emergency plumbers will typically charge an initial call out fee too – on average this comes in at around £100, or around £200+ if you live in London as a minimum charge. This fee usually includes one hour of the plumber’s time, after which you will then be billed their out of hours hourly rates plus any necessary parts and subsequent plumbing costs.

Common Plumbing Jobs

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay, we’ve put together some of the most common plumbing jobs and the typical quote estimate range plus the overall average cost for the work or repairs, excluding parts, supplies and VAT.

Plumbing jobEstimate repair costAverage cost
Repair burst water pipe£50-£140£95
Unblock a toilet£75 to £150£112.50
Fix leaking pipework£75 to £140£102.50
Install an outside tap£95 - £130 £100
Install a radiator£150 to £300£200
Removing a cold-water tank£200-£350£275
Gas Safety check/certificate£45 to £150£80
Install an electric shower£120-£293£193

How To Find A Cheap Plumber

To get the best price for your plumbing job, it is always a good idea to get several quotes so that you can compare and if necessary, go for the cheapest one. You could also use one of the ‘find a tradesperson’ websites, where you can post your job and invite local plumbers to competitively quote. Alternatively, word of mouth, whether that’s via friends, work colleagues or your local builders’ merchants could put you in touch with a good plumber who also offers a good price.

But when looking for a professional to take care of your home plumbing jobs or central heating issues, cheap isn’t always the best as you also need a fully qualified professional who will satisfactorily complete the job. And whoever you use, always ensure that they are Gas Safe registered.

Can I Tackle Plumbing Issues Myself?

While some jobs – unblocking a toilet, bleeding a radiator or thawing out a frozen condensate pipe, for example – can be attempted as a DIY job, most plumbing jobs will need a level of skill and expertise that you are best paying for. And there are some issues such as a broken boiler or burst pipe that you should never attempt, as you could cause further damage and even invalidate your warranty or home insurance.

So, the takeout on this one is always call out a plumber for emergencies, central heating and boiler repairs and all but the easiest of jobs otherwise you really could find yourself in hot water. And even with these ‘easier jobs’, if you are in any doubt, you are best leaving it to the experts.