9 Reasons Why Plumbing Is So Expensive & How You Can Pay Less

Wondering why plumbing is so expensive? There are some good reasons for this.

Have you ever had to call a plumber in the middle of the night for a burst pipe? You may have been surprised by how much they charged. It’s understandable to be startled by plumbing costs.

9 Reasons Why Plumbing Is So Expensive


In this article we present the main reasons why plumbing is so expensive plus some simple ways to lower those costs.

Paying a large amount of money for your plumbing services will still be uncomfortable. However, you will understand what goes into that huge bill.

  1. Plumbers are often called outside business hours

How do plumbers charge? Each plumber has their own way of charging, but being called at an unusual hour certainly adds to the invoice.

Plumbing issues never happen at the right moment. We all know that emergency services cost, and calling someone at an odd hour often comes with an additional fee.

Even if the problem does not occur late at night or early in the morning, plumbers are still called outside business hours.

Most clients are busy with their own work during the day. So, they will obviously make appointments for the evening or for the weekend, and this will cost them more.

  1. Plumbing is time-consuming

Ever asked yourself – how do plumbers charge? Their fees may depend on the amount of time they spend fixing your problem.

Supposed you had a major defect in your plumbing system, this takes time to diagnose and repair. The plumber will charge accordingly, as we all know that time is money.

To this add the amount of time they spend traveling to and from your address.

It becomes easy to understand why plumbing is so expensive.


  1. Plumbing requires parts

Those working on a computer at home or having an office job can be surprised by how much tradesmen charge. Unlike a situation you can solve with a few clicks and a phone call, plumbing is totally different.

Many times, the plumber will need to replace various parts which come with their own costs. Unless you buy those parts separately, their price will reflect in the overall plumbing costs.

Solving a plumbing problem rarely consists of just unclogging a drain. Common plumbing parts that you need to pay for are pipes, fittings, connectors, appliances, hardware, valves, etc.

  1. Plumbing requires tools

Plumbers have to own and carry with them a wide range of tools and supplies. This enables them to deal with all kinds of unexpected situations and problems.

Not all those tools are found at your local hardware store. Those widely available tools are often made for DIY-ers and follow a one-size-fits-all approach. A professional plumber will use tools that are available at professional plumbing tools suppliers and they are not cheap.

  1. A good plumber needs both training and experience

Becoming a licensed plumbers needs years of studying and training. Moreover, trade schools are not cheap.

Plumbing companies could cut expenses by hiring less-knowledgeable plumbers, but this will ultimately reflect on the quality of work. If you want a skilled local technician that delivers the highest quality of service, you will have to pay more. The hundreds of hours of training and licensing exams are anything but cheap.

The advantage of paying a highly-skilled plumber is significant though. Your property and family will be safe and comfortable, and you will avoid frequent plumbing expenses.

  1. Plumbers need to pay insurance

Plumbing can be a dangerous job, so this is why they need to pay insurance, just like you do. Do you feel like your plumber charged too much?

Being aware of insurance costs can change your perspective.

The insurance is required by law, but with a good reason. Plumbers come in contact with harmful substances every day, such as toxic chemicals, bacteria, sewage, and mold. They need to take extra precautions to stay safe and healthy. There is also the problem of physically dangerous tasks.

So, in case plumbers fall ill or get injured, they need to rely on insurance to compensate for potential losses. And this reflects in client bills.

  1. There is a high demand for plumbers

Worker shortage is a well-known problem in various geographical areas, including the US. Many professionals are near retirement age and not enough young people are considering a career in the trades.

As a result, a shortage in the number of professional plumbers is expected in the near future.

This means that existing plumbers will have a lot of work and will filter their clientele by raising charges. The price per hour and the plumbing prices per fixture will probably continue to increase, making plumbing services more expensive.

  1. Plumbing includes travel expenses

Every service that is delivered at the customer’s place costs more. With plumbing, it’s impossible to provide service unless you travel to the job site.

This means that the cost of transport is included as well in the final bill. In a busy day, a plumber may have to travel as much as 100 miles. Travel expenses include the cost of fuel, stocking the van, ensuring maintenance, and paying various vehicle-related taxes. So, it is easy to understand why transportation adds to plumbing costs.

  1. Plumbing companies have various overhead costs

Overhead expenses of a business refer to costs to run the business, such as rent, insurance, and utilities. These costs are not directly related to labor and production and are generally fixed.

These costs attract payments that cannot be avoided, even if no production takes place. Companies can review these expenses regularly and cut back on overhead, but they cannot be eliminated completely. Depending on the size of these expenses, they will reflect on your plumbing services bill.

Bonus: 5 ways to lower plumbing costs


Now that you know why plumbing services are so expensive, it’s time to answer another important question. How can you lower those expensive plumber costs? After all, you have all kinds of expenses to cover each month and will be more than happy to save some money. It takes a little bit of diligence to avoid major plumbing work at your home, but it’s not impossible:

  1. Fix small problems yourself

Many plumbing repair projects are easier than you expect. Fortunately, there are lots of useful resources on the Internet, and you can learn how to fix a clog or a small pvc leak yourself.

Calling a professional to fix a small problem means you will pay little for the actual repair. The problem is you will pay a lot more on additional plumber costs (qualification, travel, insurance, etc.) So, things like water hammers could be solved as DIY repair.

  1. Don’t ignore maintenance

Make sure your appliances such as water heater and your pipes are in good working order. Changing large fixtures in and around your house can involve large costs. It is preferrable to schedule maintenance appointments than to solve a plumbing disaster.

  1. Get quotes from several plumbers

Don’t settle for the first plumber that you find. Get quotes from different plumbers, including hourly rates and plumbing prices per fixture.

When the plumber charged too much you usually notice too late, by comparing their prices with prices from the competition. Especially when you have a major plumbing project to complete, shop around to make an informed decision.

  1. Use the latest technology

Following the latest trends is not just a fad. Let’s take touchless faucets, for instance. This type of faucet needs fewer repairs as there is less wear and tear from mechanical factors. More than that, using touchless fixtures helps to limit the spread of germs.

  1. Take good care of your drains

When a drain backs up, everything else connected to it is affected, in a domino effect. You need to ensure a proper maintenance plan for all the drains at your home. This is part of preventative measures that enable you to avoid costly plumbing repairs later.

Good maintenance of your drains is even more important if we are talking about an office or a commercial building. In these cases, there is less control on how people use plumbing fixtures. Your drains can quickly become clogged without you even knowing.

Bottom Line

There are multiple reasons why plumbing is so expensive. From training costs to paying insurance, plumbers have to cover all kinds of expenses themselves.

Add a high level of skills, and you will understand why calling the plumber will be no joy ride. The good news is you can lower those expenses by taking good care of your plumbing systems.