Plumbers are one of the most hired trades in Australia, they’re integral to ensuring essential water supplies in your home are in good working order. From repairing toilets and unblocking drains, to installing solar hot water systems and new plumbing for kitchens, chances are you’ll need to call in a plumber from time to time.
While changing a tap washer may be within the realm of most DIY handymen, fixing or installing most plumbing jobs will need to be completed by a licensed professional. As Domain says “the fines for illegal work are dizzying and your insurance company certainly won’t cough up if there’s evidence of illegal plumbing work.”
So if you’ve established you need to get in a plumber, here are the kinds of costs you’ll be looking at.
How Much Does a Good Plumber Cost?
The first charge you’ll be looking at is the callout fee. This can cost anything from $60 to $150 + GST and may or may not include the first hour’s work. Depending on the plumber’s skill level, and where you live, the hourly rate can vary markedly, but $100 to $120 p/h is standard.
Paying by the hour means you’re not always sure how much the final bill will be and, if parts are needed, you’ll pay for those as well. Some plumbers offer flat rate charges for standard plumbing jobs so customers know how much they’ll pay.
Some of these charges can include:
- Unclogging a drain - $150 approx.
- Fixing a leaking pipe - $180 approx.
- Replacing a broken tap - $120 approx.
For non-standard jobs such as replacing a hot water system, replacing a drainage system or re-plumbing an entire house, you’ll be looking at thousands of dollars instead of hundreds.
Always check your quotes for extra charges and question anything that you’re not sure of, and beware of plumbers that seem to cheap to be true. Always check that a plumber can issue a certificate of compliance, which you’ll need for insurance purposes if anything breaks and causes a flood.
Cost of Emergency Services
Speaking of floods, sometimes with plumbing jobs speed is of the essence, especially if a tap has broken or it’s a full blown leak. Getting it repaired asap is crucial. You should easily be able to get a plumber who responds to emergency callouts but be aware, if it’s a weekend or odd hours you may pay extra than the normal callout fee.
With emergency callouts you may end up paying quite a high fee regardless of how long the plumber was on the property to fix the issue, i.e. even if he was only there for 10 minutes.
How to Choose a Plumber
Word of mouth is a good way to find a reputable plumber with reasonable rates. Ask around your friends, family and neighbours for anyone they’ve had dealings with. But don’t forget any plumber they recommend will need to be legal for insurance purposes.
Your 70 year old neighbour may be a retired plumber and happily providing his services to the neighbourhood, but if he’s not licensed then you could run into problems down the track.
Another way to find a plumber in your area is to simply list your project or job on Bricks+Agent for free. Get at least three fully itemised quotes before you commit to hiring anyone (to compare price and level of service), and ask for references that you can follow up.
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