Plumbing demands a wide range of capabilities and a heap of technical knowhow as it’s one of the most varied of all the trades. Much more than just connecting pipes, plumbers are called on to solve a huge range of different problems – everything from leaking taps to installing new appliances.
If you’re having a new bathroom or kitchen fitted, a professional plumber is a crucial cog in the process, ensuring all pipes and plumbed connections are in the right place. That means everything can fit easily, as well as ensuring the best water flow throughout your home. Plumbers will also install radiators and common appliances like dishwashers and washing machines – again making sure that waste pipes and taps are precisely where they need to be.
Then there’s the nightmarish scenario of burst pipes, or the irritation of dripping taps and blocked shower heads that need seeing to. A plumber can come to your rescue here and resolve these more immediate issues with a repair or replacement. Most plumbers tend to charge an hourly rate for the work they do.
The average cost of fixing a burst pipe is £160–£310, depending on how easy it is to access the pipe.
Burst pipes don’t just result in a flood of water – they can lead to an outpour from your wallet too. Even the most modest leaks can cause damage to your property and possessions, meaning fixing the immediate pipework could be the least expensive of your problems. That’s where the value of an experienced and reliable emergency plumber comes in handy – calling on their expertise to solve the most awkward (or urgent) of pipe-based problems.
The telltale signs of leaking pipes vary – from a loss of water or boiler pressure, to damp patches on walls and ceilings. A burst pipe will be more obvious, with water gushing out – especially if your home has a pressurised system. While burst pipes are usually the result of freezing temperatures, the majority of pipe leaks are due to small fractures and pin-prick holes that occur with age.
Whether it’s a plastic or copper pipe, the solution in most cases will involve replacing the length of the pipe that’s damaged. Fixing a burst water pipe that’s easy to access will cost around £160. With no visible access, the job is trickier and that can set you back £310 on average. Those hard-to-locate leaks are where a plumber’s expertise comes in all the handier.
For minor leaks, repairs to the afflicted area may be possible. But, if an older pipe is damaged in one area it’s likely to fail again in another. So, replacing the whole pipe is usually the best option.
The average cost of fixing a radiator is £230.
Leaking radiators mean your central heating won’t be working as efficiently as it could. Plus, you risk damaging your décor (like your carpets, curtains, sofas, and more) if leaks are left unattended. Signs of leaking radiators aren’t all that dissimilar to a leaking pipe – and they may even be easier to identify. You might notice drips or damp around the pipes or at the base of the radiator, and your boiler pressure may drop too. An experienced plumber should be able to repair a leaking radiator fairly quickly, but it can be a fiddlier job to solve if the leak occurs in pipes beneath your floorboards. However if the radiator is leaking from the panel it cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced.
Fixing a leaky single radiator will cost around £230 on average. Swapping out an old radiator for a new unit of the same size is around the same price and should take around one day to complete. The price of a more involved job (more radiators, or installing a larger or more compact model) will depend on the time required to move pipes, and you can expect to pay upwards of £300 for this work.
Consider having the radiators in your home checked annually, or at least every other year. Radiators work far more efficiently if they’re bled regularly – something you can do yourself, and most plumbers will be happy to show you how. A well-maintained system keeps your house warm and will save you money on energy bills.
The average cost of fixing a sink, basin or tap is £145.
Dripping taps are irritating. And while you might be able to tolerate the sound of those drips, what you probably won’t be able to bear is the thought of all that water you’re wasting – costing you money with every droplet.
Calling out a plumber and having the repair work completed early could save you from having to replace your tap. In most cases, your plumber will have the parts needed for a repair in their van. If they can’t complete a repair and a replacement is required, installing a new tap will set you back an additional £50–£140.
Your tap isn’t the only reason you might find water on the floor around your basin or sink. The culprit could be a crack or a segment of faulty pipework in the basin or sink itself. A plumber should be able to resolve this issue fairly quickly, provided they can access the mains water pipe and the waste pipe or u-bend. Blockages and basins becoming detached from the wall are common issues too, and there’s usually a relatively simple solution there. Repairing a basin or sink should cost you £150 on average.
The main problems that affect your toilet are usually clogging, overflowing, or the flush not working properly. If you’ve tried using a plunger on the toilet bowl or reattaching the flush mechanism and that doesn’t solve the problem, then you’ll need to call a plumber out pretty sharpish.
Expect to pay an hourly rate for a plumber to repair your toilet. As it’s usually a straightforward job for an experienced tradesperson, they should be able to locate the problem quickly and use the standard parts they’ll carry in their vans to remedy the issue. Blockages are generally easy to resolve but the problem becomes more time-consuming and more expensive if there’s a fault with the drain or the outlet to the sewer.
The average cost of unblocking a shower or bath is £85.
Baths and showers can suffer from a range of issues and each specific problem carries its own price tag – from leaks through to problems with heat and water pressure. A plumber should be able to help with any issue you encounter, but for some problems it’ll be important they’re registered to work on a gas system – assuming that’s what your central heating runs on.
Blockages in bath or shower plugholes and pipes can be cleared by a plumber. If this is something you’ve already tried to resolve and have been unable to fix, a professional should have specialist drain and plughole unblocking equipment to sort the problem quickly and simply.
Resolving water temperature that’s too hot or cold could be as simple as making some small adjustments to your boiler. Your tradesperson can also investigate problems with your water pressure – looking at your mains supply and central heating system to see what’s causing a slower flow than usual.
Leaks and drips from your shower or bath can be the result of faulty taps, shower heads or shower hoses. In most cases your plumber will be able to repair these parts or advise on reasonably-priced replacements that will resolve the situation. If the shower tray or the doors are at fault, the necessary areas can be resealed, repaired or adjusted.
If you have a bathtub that’s in need of repair, the amount of time that a plumber takes to resolve this problem may depend on how your tub is fitted. If your bath is tiled in, then it can take more time to carefully investigate and repair than a freestanding tub, or one with a uPVC panel. Scratches, chips or scrapes in your bath can be fixed by a plumber in many cases, but they may require the knowhow of a specialist bath repair expert if the damage is extensive.
|General plumbing work costs|
|Fixing a burst water pipe with easy access||£100||£160||£250|
|Fixing a burst water pipe with no visible access||£260||£310||£360|
|Repairing a single radiator||£200||£230||£260+|
|Repairing a double radiator||£220||£250||£300+|
|Repairing a tap with easy access||£100||£145||£195|
|Repairing a tap with no visible access||£195||£240||£290|
|Repairing a sink||£120||£150||£200|
|Repairing a water basin||£200||£250||£300|
|Replacing a shower valve||£195||£365||£585|
|Replacing shower doors||£180||£300||£540|
|Replacing shower tray||£400||£500||£600|
|Re-surfacing a conventional bath||£250||£300||£350|
|Re-surfacing a free-standing roll top bath||£350||£450||£500|
|Complete restoration of roll top bath||£650||£750||£1,000|
|Replacing a faulty valve in toilet cistern||£80||£100||£120|
|Replace a standard cold water tank||£350||£400||£450|
|Replace a standard hot water tank||£500||£600||£660|
|Appliance repair with easy access||£60||£85||£100|
|Appliance repair with no visible access||£100||£150||£200|