London Plumbing Costs – Hourly & Day Rates for Plumbers

A plumber fixing under the sink

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September 5, 2023

A good plumber is well worth holding on to, especially one who charges a decent rate, whether by the hour or daily.

If you’re in London and on the hunt for a plumber for your project and wondering just how much they charge per hour, then read this article. Then you’ll have a much better idea of what your own project – or the repair work you need done – costs at today’s rates.

That’s because we’ve broken it down into regional variations, the reasons why you need the plumber in the first place and even the cost of specific plumbing jobs. For instance, it may be that you need a leaky pipe fixed, a broken toilet repaired or a shower plumbed into a new en-suite bathroom.

How Much Do Plumbers in London Charge?

Like most tradesmen in London, plumbers will cost more than they do in other areas of the UK. This is related to the additional costs in the capital and it’s something most residents are used to by now.

Having said that, some London plumbers will charge more than other tradesmen in the professional for the same job, so it’s always worth putting the job out to tender (especially if it’s for a big project) and getting at least three quotes. That way you’ll find an average when it comes to working out just how much plumbers charge per hour. It may be that they work on a daily rate basis. Then again, if it’s a big job, such as a bathroom or kitchen remodel, then your plumber could prefer to charge a per-project rate.

The reason some plumbers charge more per hour or day for their work could be because they have the experience and skills to justify those higher rates. Or, it could be because they have agreed to complete the job in a short time-scale. Bear in mind that the lowest rate isn’t always the one to go for; it could be the price is low because the plumber is inexperienced. If it’s just for a small job that’s fine, but if you’re looking for an entire bathroom to be replumbed then it’s probably best going for the more experienced tradesperson.

Most plumbers and heating engineers will have qualifications, such as a City and Guilds certificate or NVQ. They may also belong to an organisation such as the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. If a member of the CIPHE then they will have standards to uphold, giving you more peace of mind when you hire.

Average Hourly Rates

So, to get back to the specific topic, which is how much do plumbers charge per hour? On average you can expect a plumber in London to charge around £50 per hour. That equates to a day rate of around £350.

Hourly rates are used if the job is expected to take just a couple of hours or less. Most smaller jobs such as fixing a leaking tap or blocked sink will come into this category. Some plumbers will also add in a call out charge, but this should be made clear to you when you initially call or email them.

Day Rates

Day rates are charged for jobs which are more complicated. This can be for replumbing a boiler which has been moved from one area of the home to another. Or, it may be that there is a complicated leak, which needs addressing and old pipes changing. On the whole, though, a rate of £350 per day certainly isn’t unusual in the capital.

A boiler on a blue wall

Emergency Call Outs

There are times when you may need a plumber right away. A burst pipe in your home is certainly one of those occasions. So too is a toilet that won’t stop flushing or is filling up when it should be emptying. In these instances, it is wise to phone for an emergency plumber.

Due to the nature of an emergency which can be in the middle of the night, in the early morning or during a holiday season, such as on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day etc emergency plumber costs are more than normal.

In other words, you will pay extra for the inconvenience to the plumber. In fact, a tradesperson in this situation will usually charge twice the normal rate – even if it’s just for being called out on a weekend when he or she would normally take the day off to spend with family.

The problem with an emergency though is that if it’s left then the water problem can become severe, ruining areas of your home and costing far more money in the long run if you have to replace carpets and other items.

In addition to a more expensive hourly charge, emergency plumbers can also end up charging double the call out fee, as much as £110 on average. The cost for the work will often be on top of that.

Costs for Common Plumbing Jobs

When we talk about common plumbing jobs, we mean fixing a burst pipe, repairing a leaking tap, installing a radiator or unblocking a toilet. In fact, unblocking pipes, drains and toilets is one of the less pleasant jobs a plumber is asked to undertake.

A bathroom sink with white tiles around it

Getting back to the cost though… in addition to the call out fee and the time taken to complete the job, there may also be charges if the plumber needs to use materials to fix the problem. New piping, for instance, is often required. He or she may then add VAT on top of this.

Plumbers charging a ballpoint figure of £50 an hour may seem a lot of money to pay but, remember what you are getting for your cash. And that is a skilled individual, whose knowledge is backed up with many years – and often decades – of experience. In other words, how much do plumbers charge an hour? The answer is a rate based on experience, skill, your location and other variables, which we will go on to explain.

Smaller jobs

You can expect to pay anything in the range of £80 to £150 for a plumber to unblock a toilet. If your problem is a burst water pipe then, depending on the size, cause and location of the leak, you’re looking at a repair cost of from £50 to £200. It’s less expensive to fix a straight-forward leak, with this coming in at from £80 to £130. Of course, the cost to fix a leak and burst pipe will change if, as we mentioned earlier, it’s at a weekend, evening or during a holiday period.

Installing a radiator can come in at around £150 to £180, while replacing a burst or leaking water tank is much more consuming so could set you back anything from £360 to £450. The water tank is often an emergency situation, due to the fact your home will have no hot water or heating until it’s fixed.

Larger jobs

Individual projects, such as installing a new bathroom shower, sink, toilet etc, is usually the type of job which is charged by the job. The same is for the installation of pipework for a new kitchen sink, and for which your plumber will have to be Gas Safe qualified as he or she will be encountering gas pipes too. This is also the case for working on pipes relating to the central heating system and water supply. Often, once the kitchen or bathroom is finished, the plumber has to return to the job to double check nothing has interfered with his or her original work.

The following is a quick summary of the type of labour costs you can expect to pay a plumber for individual job type:

 

Job Avg. Cost
Cost to replumb a house £4,000
Fixing a leak £250
Blocked toilet £100
Blocked sink £100
Shower installation £700
Replacing a shower booster pump £300
Toilet replacement £100
Bath replacement £200
New kitchen sink £100
Mains water supply pipe replacement £400
Boiler installation £1000
Install a washing machine or dishwasher £100

Factors That Affect Plumbing Prices

A newly fitted bathroom

Location

Where you live in the UK will affect the price of the average hourly rate for your plumbing job. In large cities, such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast etc charges will be higher (although not as expensive as they are in London). There is less competition in villages or smaller towns, where local plumbers tend to get work by word of mouth recommendations. In larger cities it’s more likely to be via an internet search. The plumber’s own costs won’t be as high outside the city eg they won’t pay as high rates for their office, and often this will be reflected in their costs for those who hire them.

Complexity and time

The more complex a job is, the longer it will take to complete, and the more expensive the bill, as a result. This is often the case when a plumber turns up for one job ie to fix a burst pipe and then discovers the adjoining pipe work is rusting and needs upgrading.

Materials

In the case of the entire pipework needing replaced, or a faulty water heater, then obviously the plumber will also have to add on the cost of materials to the bill. A problem with the pipework, or radiators, may mean having to drain the entire system before he or she can even get to work on the original issue.

Finish

It may be that you want your plumber to carry out the entire en-suite bathroom fitting. That could mean him or her also completing tiling work, or painting. Regardless of whether he or she does the plumbing work themselves or outsource it, the cost will, of course, also be added on to the bill.

So, as you can see from the above, the amount plumbers charge per hour, is not always clear cut.

Doing the Job Yourself

It may be that you are tempted to cut back on costs by not calling out a plumber and doing the job yourself. That’s all very well if the difficulty doesn’t require a lot of skill to sort out ie you have to change the washer on a tap to stop a leak. Or, you may need to unblock the toilet.

Installing the plumbing for a whole new bathroom is a different matter entirely however. So too, is installing a new water tank. Both jobs require the skill and experience of a plumber with plenty of experience under his or her belt.

That’s because, these are such complicated jobs that the likelihood of an amateur making a mess of the project is very high. And when that happens, not only will you require a plumber to do the job in the first place, you will also require the same person to fix the mess that you’ve made. The end result is your plumbing costs will be far higher than if you’d just gone ahead and handed over the work to the professional in the first place.

Where to Find a Plumber

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We will then supply you with a curated list of tradesmen specifically suited to your job. That way you will be able to get quotes from several plumbers to find the one that best suits your budget and specifications. He or she will also be within easy reach of your locale.

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