Some of the most common plumbing issues a person may encounter at home include clogged drains, poor water pressure, and leaking pipes. While you may think a slow drain isn’t serious enough to call for a plumber, it may be a sign of something much more serious.
One reason a person may avoid calling a plumber is the cost. After all, it’s much more affordable to buy a plunger and some toilet drain cleaners from your local store. However, a professional comes with years of experience and expertise.
So how much does a plumber cost, and what exactly are you paying for?
What Is a Plumber?
A plumber is a type of tradesperson who specializes in the systems involving your home’s water supply and sewage. Most people know about their work on things like your sink, toilet, and shower. However, plumbing also involves servicing malfunctioning septic systems, gas pipes, and more.
Some of the responsibilities of a plumber include:
- Interpreting blueprints for plumbing installations
- Installing and maintaining plumbing systems
- Fitting and repairing appliances such as showers
- Working with pipes, tubes, and fittings
- Inspecting plumbing systems
At the bare minimum, your plumber should have completed plumbing school and worked as a plumbing apprentice. They need a valid license which can be acquired through multiple years of experience and by taking an exam.
Most plumbers must work for up to ten years as a journeyman until they can acquire master plumber status. These are the professionals that are qualified to provide expert knowledge on building codes and other large-scale projects. Homeowners may end up paying a lot more for their assistance if they’re doing major renovations.
Difference From Other Similar Occupations
One thing to keep in mind is that not all plumbers offer the same types of services. Additionally, there are similar occupations that work and charge differently than a plumber.
For example, you may have a normal plumber that you can call on to deal with any of your toilet issues. However, they may not have the necessary experience or qualifications to completely renovate your bathroom or help you install a new one.
Similarly, most plumbing services cannot help with things like emptying out your septic tank. In that situation, you’d utilize a septic service.
Another reason to hire a plumber other than experience is that they have the right equipment for the job.
Aside from the standard tools you may own, plumbers make good use of hand augers, snake machines, flow rate calculators, and pipe volume calculators. A plumber may also have specialized equipment like drain inspection cameras and hydro jetting machines to help clear out your drain.
How Much Does a Plumber Cost?
So what is the plumber hire cost you should expect if you need their services?
Depending on the job, you could end up paying as much as $15,000 for an extensive plumbing project. However, the national average to install a plumbing system is only about $4,080.
Keep in mind that most plumbing jobs are much smaller in scope and often include repairs or routine maintenance. It also depends on how much the plumber charges and how long the job takes.
Size of the Job
First of all, why do you need a plumber? Hiring the best plumber isn’t a set cost. It varies widely based on the size of the job and what it requires.
For example, something like repairing a clogged drain or installing a faucet is relatively cheap. Installing new plumbing pipes or a shower requires much more work that could take multiple days. The same goes for installing a water main or installing a new water heater.
Another factor that can affect the cost of a plumber is if they need to buy materials to repair a broken pipe or install new piping. Newer types of piping are much more affordable than older ones, but they’re not always compatible with every existing system. Additionally, they can sometimes require specialized tools to install them.
Other considerations that can affect your plumber’s cost include inspection charges, emergency hours, and trip fees.
Most plumbers charge you just to inspect your home and your pipes. This is partly because they may need to dig up the pipes or gain access to them through your walls.
A plumber may also charge more if they have to work on holidays or weekends. Just because they offer emergency hours does not mean it comes with the same rates.
Finally, there’s the cost of showing up. This is most common if you live in a rural area and they need to travel further to reach you.
When You Need to Call for Help
There are some common plumbing problems that most homeowners can fix with a little bit of research and time. However, there’s no shame in reaching out to an expert if you need help or think there’s more to the issue.
Frozen pipes, major leaks, and sewage backups are all reasons to call for an emergency plumber.
Frozen pipes can burst if left for too long. Major leaks can cause some serious water damage. Sewage backups are unsanitary and may not be solved with store-bought drain cleaners.
Just to be safe, you’ll also want to call for a plumber if you’re installing new bathroom appliances.
Hiring Plumber Tips
You can save money on your next plumbing job in a few different ways.
First, always make sure to ask questions before you hire anyone. You want to make sure that they’re a licensed plumber that knows what they’re doing. They can also tell you their fees upfront, but you’ll want the estimate in writing just in case new problems pop up.
You’ll also want to look for a plumber before things get too bad. It’s much easier and cheaper to solve a clogged drain than a burst pipe.
Finally, avoid trying to fix the problem yourself unless you have experience in that area. It’s all too easy to make the issue worse, even if you’re following a plumber’s guide.
A Professional Worth the Cost
A lot of DIY homeowners think that they have the skills and knowledge to handle plumbing jobs without paying for a professional. However, some problems require long snake tools or going in through a wall to fix a pipe. When that happens, it helps to hire a plumber who has more experience.
My Guys Plumbing Experts has over 40 years of experience in dealing with heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and more. We can handle your running toilets, drain cleaning, and weak water pressure. Contact us to schedule a visit.