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, though, emergencies crop up and you need a plumber now. Whether it's during normal working hours or in the middle of the night, an emergency plumbing job will probably cost more. How much more is the question.
How Much Does an Emergency Plumber Cost?*
At the bare minimum, you'll have to pay the plumber's normal call-out fee of between $50 and $85. Expect to pay this only if you call during normal working hours and the plumber doesn't have to disrupt his schedule. Call-out fees are usually the equivalent to the plumber's hourly rate and they charge this whether they are at your home for 10 minutes or an hour, to compensate for travel time.
If you call a 24/7 emergency plumber after hours, the call-out fee is likely to be much higher -- as much as double or even triple their usual hourly rate, depending on the time or the plumber. Plumbers who advertise their 24/7 emergency services are often more reasonably priced than those who don't, who most likely want to discourage emergency call-outs.
If you need an emergency plumber, it's usually because of a burst pipe or other immediate problem that can't wait. In some cases, the plumber will only provide a temporary fix if it's a big problem and then return during normal working hours to carry out necessary repairs. They will then charge their normal rates for the repairs.
Prevention is the best way to avoid high emergency plumbing costs. Too often, a minor problem is overlooked until it becomes a sudden major problem. If there are signs of a blocked drain, for example, have it looked into by a reputable, licensed plumber before it becomes an emergency.
You won't have time to get quotes for emergency plumbing if the emergency is upon you. 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.
*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.