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  • Writer's pictureHandsome Hank

How Much Should A Plumber Cost?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

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There are many common misconceptions about how much money plumbers charge.


A lot of people believe that plumbers overcharge and price gouge.

This post is designed to dispel some myths and allow the reader to see the other side and make a better and informed decision.

Thomas fixing a leak at Ontario Sustainable Agriculture


Grudge Purchases

Nobody wants plumbing issues and they always seem to happen at the worst times! Like at night or on the weekend. Often these problems are messy and damaging. NOBODY likes it! And after all is said and done, you are no farther ahead than before the problem, your wallet is lighter, and your possessions are damaged. You didn't even get something new or improved to enjoy out of it.


We call this a grudge purchase. Basically money you didn't want to have to fork out to fix something that brings you no joy. Think Marie Kondo. NO JOY. Leaves you angry that you had to spend you heard earned money on crap. Maybe literally, depending on the issue. Even if it's not an expensive fix, it's money you had for something else and you feel ripped off. No one likes this, including the plumber. So before you decide how much is too much, lets look at the service side so you have a better idea of the costs associated with running a plumbing business.


Experience and Education

A licenced plumber requires 3 semesters of in class study at college, 10,000 hours of apprenticeship training, and requires government regulated tests to qualify (Certificate of Qualification). In short, your plumber spent 5 years doing an apprenticeship to earn their trade. This education has value to both the plumber and the customer. It can dramatically reduce the time required to to diagnose and correct problems as well. Amatures may be cheaper but could take 3 times as long and may not even know what they're doing. Potentially leaving you with major headaches and bigger more expensive problems and repairs in the future.


Tools, Tools, and more Tools.

The dollar value of a tradesperson's tools is staggering over a lifetime.

-Multiple vehicles

-Purchase, maintenance, and replacement of hand tools

-Purchase, maintenance, and replacement or power tools

-Gas, solder, paste, fittings to have on hand

-Drain Machines

-Office equipment, computers and admin costs

-Disposal bins

-Labour costs of additional employees

-PPE (Personal protective equipment)


The list goes on and on. These are just a few depending on the trade, and the company can spend hundreds of thousands of over the lifespan of their career.


Office and Overhead

So after a long day of playing in your poop, or clearing drains, or fixing faucets, The local plumber gets to go to the office or shop and clean all the fecal matter, dirt and grime off of their very expensive tools and out of the vehicles. Then start in on paperwork or pay someone to do his paperwork, in an office space that needs to be rented, with all the additional costs associated with that, insurance etc. It all adds up.



Vehicles

Well stocked, reliable, properly maintained vehicles are a huge expense. Think about commercial insurance, wear and tear on the vehicle, and at least $300 a week in gas with rising gas prices.


Health Hazards

Entering peoples living spaces and dwellings and their sewage system exposes tradespeople to many viruses, bacteria, and diseases. Including but certainly not limited to hepatitis, COVID, E-coli, etc. Despite using gloves and other PPE there is still a very good chance of catching a life changing or even life ending illness. Ask yourself, would you touch someone else's fecal matter for $100?


Employees

A typical non-union licenced plumber can expect to be paid approximately $30-$40 per hour. If he has an apprentice with him for jobs that require more than one set of hands, you can expect another $10-$25 per hour. Put another way, if your bill is say $200, plus parts it will break down something like this:


Total Cost of Repair

$200

Labour

-$80

Truck, gas, insurance

-$30

Office overhead

-$15

Advertising

-$10

Profit

$65

A whopping $65 worth of profit for 2 hours work hardly seems worth it to do it for a living.


In Summary

So the next time you get a quote for $150 an hour, ask yourself, how much are they really making after they've paid all of their expenses and factored in time getting to and from the job? Probably not all that much. The tendency when presented with a seemingly large invoice and you see an hourly rate, the urge to say to yourself, $150 an hour? What? Why? Most people don't make that in an hour! Why should I hire this plumber? Bottom line, you get what you pay for. Reliable, licenced plumbers come with a cost and can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars by avoiding future nightmares by hiring someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Check out our blog on how to find a reputable plumber near you.


A plumber is the only guy I know who can take a leak, and fix it also!

-Unknown



Through consistent improvement and upright intentions, we strive to forge lifelong relationships which benefit our community.-Megan Drew Plumbing









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