Most plumbing jobs are predictable, giving you time to get quotes and make arrangements for the plumber to come to your home during normal operating hours. Sometimes you don't have time to wait, though. How much is an emergency plumber going to cost you? Knowing in advance can save you money.
How Much Does an Emergency Plumber Cost?*
If your emergency plumbing job happens during normal working hours and you can wait for the plumber to fit you into his schedule that day, you'll probably only have to pay their call out fee plus materials and the time spent on the job. Call out fees can vary between $50 and $150, with $85 being about the average. Very few plumbers do not charge call out fees and unless you know them well, it's best not to trust a plumber who does not charge one. The call out fee covers their travel time and other expenses. A plumber who does not charge a call out fee may not have insurance or an up-to-date licence.
If the emergency occurs outside of normal working hours, you will have to pay an emergency call out rate. Emergency call out rates can vary enormously. Some plumbers charge around $150 as an emergency call out rate while others charge $250 or more. If they have to stay to finish a difficult job, the charges can become very high because their hourly emergency rate will also be higher. It's not uncommon to find a job that might cost $350 to $450 during normal working hours costing $850 or more if it has to be done outside of normal working hours.
How to Save on Emergency Plumbing
When an emergency arises, you don't have time to shop around and find the best rates. Rather than be forced to take the first service you can find at 2 a.m., prepare in advance by finding 24/7 emergency plumbers
in your area and keeping their contact details handy. A simple precaution like this can save you hundreds of dollars later, when an emergency arises.
Another way to avoid emergency plumbing costs is to get those plumbing problems taken care of before an emergency arises. For example, if your drains are partially blocked and home remedies don't work, get them cleaned rather than wait until they become completely blocked.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 28 May 2015 to reflect current market pricing.