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Question DetailsAsked on 7/9/2014

How do plumbers charge for work? By hour or the job? Which is best?

Some plumbers charge by hour, some by job, for example: to replace a 12 inch flexible metal water line accessible under the kitchen sink, one plumber charged $250, including parts, and was there for 1 hour. Also, what is the going rate per hour for a plumber? Thanks for your opinions.

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Voted Best Answer

There are several responses right below this one on typical plumber rates.

You are almost always better off with an hourly rate - certainly for something that is well-defined up-front as to scope of work, as opposed to say tracking down a leak or troubleshooting something where a firm price up front would have to be padded with all types of contingencies.

Unelss you are in a major city where the unions have jacked the rates way up (I have heard of as high as $250/hour in NYC, for instance, and 1 hour minimum charge), $250 sounds pretty high for this job. Parts for the flex tubing about $5, additional $10 or so if the shutoff valve had to be fixed, and normally about 1/2 hour work though could go to 1 hour if really tight conditions or taking the tubing off broke the faucet lead tubing so it had to be reflared or cut and a new compression fitting put on - so would normally be minimum service call charge of maybe $75-150 (1 hour charge) plus about $5-15 parts.

So, sounds maybe 50-100% high to me unless in extreme cost area like NYC, Chitown, Beantown, Frisco, etc

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Boy oh boy - good thing I review my comments after they are posted - should have said that you are almost always better off with a firm bid rather than an hourly rate, not the way it turned out at all - I must have accidentally deleted a few words. Always try to get a firm price for a defineable scope of work - ties price down to something you can decide based on, and removes incentive to pad the job by taking longer than needed (or billing for more hours than it actually took).

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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