Emergency Plumber FAQs
How much do plumbers charge for emergency calls?
Depending on the location in the UK, plumbers charge on average between £40 and £80 as call out charge for the first hour for emergency calls. The average is £70 for the first hour and £60 per hour thereafter excluding VAT. Self-employed plumbers are affordable and may not charge VAT.
In major cities like London, call out charges for the larger plumbing services companies could start from £110 to £180 for the first hour and £120 for each hour thereafter. This excludes VAT which most larger plumbing companies charge.
Is a leaking pipe an emergency?
Any problem that results in long-lasting damage to your plumbing system or property is considered an emergency. If you can isolate the leak and have running water at the same time then it may not be an emergency. However, if isolating the leak means no running water and no hot water, then it counts as an emergency.
If you find a leak. Don’t delay. Turn off your water from the mains or stopcock immediately and contact an emergency plumber. Delaying or ignoring a leak can lead to long term damage to your property.
The stopcock looks like a tap without an outlet spout. It is situated between two lengths of pipes.
Do plumbers charge more on Sundays?
Plumbers generally charge higher rates for out of business hours than they charge for normal business hours. Weekend, nights, after-hours work and holidays may come at a higher hourly rate or even a flat fee.
Besides, some plumbing services companies operate with a reduced workforce on weekends especially Sunday which makes it harder to find a plumber with more competitive rates as there is a limited pool to choose from. Generally, Sunday is considered a day for rest and family for most people so getting a plumber can be challenging.
How much should I pay a plumber per hour?
How much you pay your plumber per hour depends on the type of service they are providing. For home improvement jobs, plumbers may charge a fixed fee or a day rate to complete various tasks to get your plumbing system working. It could be installing a boiler, piping systems for your bathroom or kitchen etc.
For repairs or emergency call outs, most plumbers charge per hour and per day if the job will take longer. This is the labour cost and does not include materials.
The non-emergency hourly charge could range from £20 to £60 depending on your location and income levels in the area. For instance, major cities like London or Manchester may have higher charges compared to smaller towns. Emergency call-out charge per hour could range from £40 to £80.
If you engage a plumber to do work that may take longer, the day rate option is better as you’ll have an idea of the total expected cost. For smaller jobs, the hourly charge works out better.
Why do plumbers charge a call-out fee?
A call-out charge covers the cost of the plumber coming to you especially for emergencies. It is usually separate from the cost of repairs or service. Emergencies could be out of hours work on weekends, holidays, late in the night etc.
Some plumbers charge call-out fees during business hours as they do not want to spend time giving quotes to customers without covering their costs. In some cases, the call-out charge is deducted from the total service cost you pay if they are hired to do the job. Plumbers prefer to diagnose a plumbing problem and be hired to fix the problem.
In any case, when you call a plumber ask them if they have a call-out fee before they visit your property to avoid any surprises. It means each party has clear expectations. If you agree on a call-out fee then you are bound by it.
Do plumbers bill you?
If you need to fix a dripping tap, install a new shower or repair your boiler the first thing that comes to mind is the cost of the service.
There are 3 common ways plumbers bill you
Per hour billing should be adopted for smaller jobs which should not take more than an hour. E.g. replacing a tap, float valves or toilet seats. Most plumbers charge a minimum of an hour for any job otherwise it may not be worth their time.
Per job, billing is adopted for specific tasks that may take longer than an hour. An example is repairing or servicing a boiler. It is hard to say if it will take an hour or two and it works well for the customer to have a set cost when engaging the plumber.
Per day billing is great for home improvement projects that involves multiple tasks and it is difficult to fix a price for each task without going overboard. It could be fitting a bathroom or plumbing systems in an extension. From speaking to more than one plumber you can gauge how long the service will take and agree to the per day billing method.