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Plumbing is an integral part of your home. Your kitchen, bathroom, boiler – all these places need a functioning plumbing system to keep your life running smoothly. And yet, you probably never think about it… until something goes wrong.

The trouble is that when things do go wrong, you’re often left having to deal with a big mess and frantically trying to get a hold of a plumber. Not to mention that this little treat can end up costing you an arm and a leg.

So, if you do end up in need of such services, it helps to know what plumbing prices to expect. And we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll go over what the current plumber rates are in Australia, plus give you some helpful tips on choosing the right specialist for the job.

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So, if you:

  • Are planning on doing some renovation work at home;
  • Will be re-plumbing your house, or plumbing a newly built one;
  • Want to know what costs to expect during your renovation,

Then you’ve come to the right place!

What tasks can plumbers do?

Before we get into it, we need to answer the question “What do plumbers do?”. A plumber can perform a wide variety of tasks. Apart from plumbing your entire house, they can also take care of:

  • Electric boiler installation, servicing, and repair;
  • Fixing or replacing leaking taps, pipes, toilets, sinks, etc.;
  • Installing and repairing bathroom fixtures (sinks, showers, baths, toilets);
  • Repairing or replacing indoor/outdoor pipes;
  • Installing or repairing heating systems and radiators;
  • Unblocking clogged toilets and drains;
  • Installing washing machines and dishwashers.

Basically, the work that needs doing is related to your pipes, a plumber’s got you covered.

How much does a plumber cost in Australia?

Now you know what sort of work a plumber can help you with. But how much does plumbing cost ultimately? Does the technician charge by the job or by the hour?

Well, it’s not easy to give a concrete answer. That’s because plumbing prices can vary wildly, depending on multiple factors. These include:

  • Your location
    Your local plumber’s rates can be different, based on where you live. For instance, you can expect to pay more for plumbing services in Sydney than you would in Melbourne.
  • The type of job
    Naturally, the more extensive and complicated the work, the more it will cost. If you only need to fix a leaking sink, you can expect to pay a lot less than you would for plumbing an entire bathroom.
  • The plumber and their experience
    You’ll probably want to hire an experienced, trusted plumber to carry out any work in your home. However, a Master Plumber or a highly certified one often charges more than an independent local tradesman. Choosing the right plumber will depend on the work you need (which we’ll talk more about below).
  • How the service is charged
    Some plumbers will have a fixed price for certain jobs, while others charge by the hour. Knowing how you’ll be charged is essential to determining your budget. A plumber will also usually charge a call-out fee.
  • Materials and equipment
    If the plumber needs specialised tools and materials to carry out the task, you can expect to pay a little extra. And, while it’s not really a part of the service cost, you’ll also need to factor in the price of any fixtures and fittings that you want to have installed.
  • Emergency appointments
    You never know when something’s going to break. That’s why many plumbers offer emergency services, available 24/7. Still, they come at a price, sometimes double what you would pay during regular hours.

Even if you get an initial quote, some additional work may come up. This normally comes at an extra charge, so it’s important to ask your plumber questions before they start. This way they can keep you informed on what they need to do and how much it will cost, eliminating unpleasant surprises.

With that said, here are some common plumbing jobs and how much you can expect to pay for them:

TaskCost
Unclogging a drain$150 – $180
Unclogging a sewage line$300 – $500
Unblocking a toilet$150 – $180
Fixing a leaking faucet, sink, toilet, etc.$80 – $120 per hour
Fixing a leaking pipe$80 – $120 per hour
Installing or replacing bathroom fixtures (toilet, bath, shower, sink)$160 – $260
Replacing or installing a boiler (electric or gas)$220 – $300
Installing a showerhead (with hidden pipes)$160 – $200

Now, let’s get into a bit more detail on plumbing prices and what they consist of.

Plumber call-out fees

We mentioned before that plumbers will typically charge you a call-out fee. However, you might not know exactly what that means.

A call-out fee for a plumber is a charge that covers their visit to your home. This is a fixed amount and varies depending on where you are and who you hire. The average call-out charge in Australia ranges from $80 to $120.

Keep in mind that this normally comes in addition to the price of the service. While the labour cost covers the work itself, call-out fees cover the time it takes the plumber to come to your home and assess the situation, plus their skill and expertise.

Plumber rates per hour

Apart from the call-out fee, the main part of plumbing prices is the labour cost. In Australia, it’s more common for plumbers to charge an hourly rate. Still, it depends on the job at hand and the plumber, as some will charge a fixed rate, either in general or for specific tasks.

So, how much does a plumber cost per hour?

The average hourly rate in Australia ranges from $70 to $100, but it can vary based on your location.

  • In Sydney, you can expect an hourly rate of $100 – $135.
  • In Melbourne, the average plumber rate per hour is $80 – $90.
  • In Perth, hourly rates range from $90 to $100.
  • In Brisbane, expect a charge of around $90 per hour, give or take $5.

Emergency services

As we mentioned earlier, you can expect a higher plumber cost if you need urgent help or a visit during odd hours. Hourly rates can often double for emergency services, and call-out fees can jump up to $150 – $250, depending on your area.

So, if you can hold out until the 9-5 window, wait and call a plumber during regular hours. But if you need an emergency service, expect to pay more.

Cost to install or replace the plumbing in an entire house

Now that we’ve covered the smaller plumbing jobs and their prices, let’s talk about large-scale projects.

If you’re undertaking a large home renovation or building a house from scratch, then you’re talking about tonnes of pipes, fixtures, time, and labour. So, it’s only natural that you’ll want to know how much it costs to plumb a new house.

Once again, it’s hard to put an exact number on it. The same factors that determine your one-off job’s price will also affect your full plumbing installation. Plus, you need to take into account the size of your property and the number of fixtures and appliances you want to have installed. As a general guide, plumbing a 150m2 house can cost you between $10,000 and $20,000.

Let’s go over some specific tasks in detail.

  • Rough-in plumbing
    This refers to the installation of all pipes in the home, but doesn’t include any fixtures or appliances. Depending on your location, your plumber, and the size of your property, you can expect a price of $2,000 -$15,000.
  • Kitchen and bathroom
    Plumbing a new kitchen or bathroom, based on the time, amount of work, and choice of fixtures and appliances, can cost you anywhere from $600 to $2,000 per appliance.
  • Water heater
    Installing a new boiler can usually cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • Heating and cooling systems
    To install a heating/cooling system – air conditioning, for example – you can expect to be charged between $7,000 and $12,000.

When it comes to re-plumbing your home, as opposed to plumbing a new build for the first time, it can cost you anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000.

How to find the right plumber for you

Now, we mentioned quite a few times that plumbing prices will depend on the expert you hire, among other things. But do you know how to find a plumber you can trust? What are you supposed to look for, anyway?

Worry not – we’ve got a few tips to help you find a plumber that’s right for you.

Look for a licensed plumber

Just like other types of tradespeople, plumbers need to have a license to be able to do any work in your home. Most jobs require a standard plumbing license. However, if you need anything gas-related, the technician will need to be licensed and certified specifically for gas work, too.

Apart from being licensed, plumbers are required to give you a compliance certificate, as well. This document states that any work done on your property has been carried out in line with all standards and regulations.

Know what kind of plumber you need

Sometimes, you need a specific type of tradesman to do the job you need. When it comes to plumbing services, you can find two types of specialists: service and contract plumbers.

  • Service plumbers are typically your local service providers or independent workers. They’re the ones you call for any issues, repairs, or other smaller plumbing tasks around your home.
  • Contract plumbers specialise primarily in full plumbing installations in new houses. They mostly work with builders and construction companies and won’t be available to quickly fix a running toilet.

So, if you just need small repairs or installations, a service plumber is the way to go. But for large renovations, call a contract plumber.

During your search, you’ll probably find a few Master Plumbers, too. This refers to a specialist that’s a member of the Master Plumbers Association. They often provide a high-standard and high-quality service and are familiar with the latest industry expertise.

This usually means you can expect to pay more for a Master Plumber’s services. However, when it comes to licences and qualifications, they have the same ones as other industry professionals.

Compare quotes

Naturally, you’ll want to get a few quotes and compare prices. And you definitely should! Experts recommend that you get at least three quotes before settling on a plumber. However, keep in mind that the cheapest option is not always the best.

First, you need to understand what’s included in the quote. Some plumbers will give you a cost estimate that includes the call-out fee and any materials needed. Others will only quote you for the labour cost. So, make sure you clear that up before you shake hands with the service provider.

Second, you’ll benefit from a home inspection for larger projects. If you need more than just to install a new showerhead, an inspection prior to the service is important. This way, you can get the most accurate time and price estimate.

Sometimes, the plumber will need to do more work than expected, even for smaller jobs. That’s why an inspection can always be helpful. If the expert can assess the issue, they can let you know if any extra work is needed and give you an estimate before they get started.

Useful questions to ask your plumber

If you’re not sure where to start and what to look for when choosing the right plumber, take a look at this list of essential questions to ask:

  • Are you licensed and what is your license number?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • Do you have any references or examples of your work?
  • Do you charge a call-out fee?
  • Can you give me a written, itemised quote?
  • Does the quote include any supplies and materials?

Takeaways

  • A plumber can take care of any task in your home that’s related to your piping, including repairs and installations.
  • Plumbing rates are different around Australia depending on where you live, with the Sydney area being the most expensive.
  • Most plumbers will charge a call-out fee in addition to the labour cost, which is between $80 and $120 on average.
  • Jobs can either be charged by the hour or as a fixed price per job. The hourly rate varies based on your location, but is between $70 and $100 on average.
  • If you need an emergency service, you can expect to pay more, sometimes double the price.
  • Plumbing an entire house from scratch can cost between $10,000 and $20,000 for a 150m2 property.
  • Re-plumbing a house can range from $6,000 to $12,000.
  • When choosing a plumber, always get at least three quotes. Look for a licensed technician, know what type of plumber you need for the job, and remember that the cheapest is not always the best.

Need the help of an expert plumber? Find a specialist today to take care of your property!

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We hope you found this plumbing price guide helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments!

  • Last update: December 8, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Home Improvement