How much does an emergency plumber cost?

Before we dig deep into the question and come out with an estimate, we first need to establish what an ‘emergency plumber’ is.

There are 2 categories of plumbers:

The normal plumber who does your everyday plumbing jobs. They work on a schedule and have a sign off time. This might be 5 pm or 6 pm. Some might work on weekends for a few hours, but only if the job has been pre-booked beforehand.

You can’t just call them and expect them to book you in the next hour. Normal plumbers won’t do that. You would need to pre-book beforehand.

The second type is the emergency plumber. It is important to note that every emergency plumber is a plumber, but not every plumber is an emergency plumber. In any given area, you will only find a handful of plumbers who do emergency call outs.

Those who fall into the second category tend to work 7 days a week, including holidays. If you call one, they will book the job there and then and aim to get out to you within at least an hour or so. They drop what they are doing and make your emergency a priority.

Some even work 24 hours a day and are called 24 hour plumbers. But these are even harder to find as many turn off their phones at 8 or 9 pm. Those who operate 24 hours are not only hard to find but also will charge a higher rate– especially during winter months.  

So how much does one cost?

The answer is that it will vary. It will depend on the following factors

  • Where you live
  • The market value
  • Time of day
  • The distance the plumber is from you

Where you live: If you live in poorer region of the country, chances are people will do it for a lower rate. But still expect to pay anything up to £150 for an emergency engineer to come out on short notice

The market value: Goes hand in hand with where you live. Do you have plenty of expensive properties in your area? Are many professional living there? The market value will dictate the prices to be higher, and you could pay anything up to £300.

Time of day: This goes without saying. A plumber at 10 am in the morning will cost less than one at midnight. So be prepared to pay more during the night and early hours of the morning. I wouldn’t say price will double, but you could pay an extra £40 to £100.

Distance: Since there aren’t many plumbers who do emergency call outs, you will most likely find someone who is further away from your home. They might have to travel 10 or even 20 miles to get to you. And this will influence the price.


So the above are the rough estimates. But remember that plumbers are self employed and can quote what price they deem fit. So always check prices before you call out an emergency engineer.

The prices for an emergency plumber can be high, but you need to think from the plumbers perspective. They could be spending quality time with their family and your call comes through. They will leave them behind and come to bail you out. So no one will come out for a discounted price because they are sacrificing their valuable time, usually at out of hours.

There is another important point that you need to keep in mind. When you call an emergency plumber, make sure you clarify the price beforehand. Unfortunately – though not surprising – some companies charge ‘hidden’ fees.

Some even go one step further – they deliberately quote a lower price in order to secure the job over the phone – and then charge a higher rate once the jobs done. This practice is mainly carried out by call centre staff who then pass the jobs on to plumbers and take a cut as the ‘middle man’. We won’t name these companies in this post, but you have been warned.

This post was contributed by Jay, from

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I’m agree with your key point that plumber is cost effective in the morning but expensive in midnight. Nice!

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