The national average cost for a pipe repair project is $120 to $170, with hourly rates ranging from $60 to $65 per hour for standard pipe repair, or $95 per hour for plumbing pipe work such as replacing sewer lines.
Anyone who has ever dealt with plumbing repairs knows just how much damage can be done in a short amount of time. These are not projects to ignore, especially not on an emergency basis. While your local hardware store or Home Depot will have basic supplies, there is a lot to be said for experience and skill in pipe repair. Plumbing costs are usually worth what they'll save you in headaches and water damage cleanup. Let's have a look at what's involved and where you should start when finding the right pro to take care of this for you.
What’s in this Cost Guide?
- Common Plumbing Repairs
- Hourly Rate vs. Flat Rate
- Free Plumbing Cost Estimates
- Copper Pipe Repair Costs
- Copper Pipe Pinhole Repair Cost
Common Plumbing Repairs
Professional plumbers provide pipe repairs for homes, multi unit buildings, businesses or offices, and commercial spaces. Common plumbing system problems include leaks, frozen pipes, burst pipes, noisy pipes, clogged drains, broken pipes, slow drains, unpleasant odors, flooding and water damage. These issues can affect toilets, sinks, garbage disposals, showers or bathtubs, dishwashers, refrigerators, or washing machines.
The two most common plumbing pipe materials are copper and crosslinked polyethylene (PEX), which is a flexible plastic. Repairs may be minor or may be an emergency or flooding situation. We'll outline several factors that affect the cost of plumbing pipe repair.
Hourly Rate vs. Flat Rate
Most pipe repair professionals charge by the hour plus materials, but some charge a flat rate for specific services. Pipe repair work involves many variables. That’s why many pros work on an hourly basis—each job is wildly different. Some plumbers have different hourly rates for different tasks, based on the level of complexity.
A.C.E. Plumbing in Poway, California, charges $60 per hour for pipe repair work. Accurate Service Co. in Carson, California, charges $65 per hour for standard pipe repair work and $95 per hour for plumbing pipe work, such as replacing sewer lines.
Some plumbers charge additional fees or a higher hourly rate for after-hours, weekend or emergency jobs. Smaller repairs or very slow water leaks can sometimes wait until morning or the next business day, but if you've ever had a pipe burst, you know some things can't wait. An after hours fee may be unavoidable, but it's good to ask about any additional costs when you call so you are prepared.
Free Plumbing Cost Estimates
Many plumbers offer free cost estimates. With so many variables involved in quoting a project, it’s best for the professionals to see the problem before setting a price. Even if they knew the replacement cost of the pipe or material you have an issue with, they'll need to see what exactly the problem is and how difficult it might be to fix before they quote. You'll need them to check to see if it's simply a pipe repair issue on your property, or a larger issue with water lines, line repair, or sewer repair happening in your area. These larger issues are why it's a good idea to call a pro instead of simply trying to go it alone.
Copper Pipe Repair Costs
The average price of copper plumbing pipe ranges from $2.50 to $10 per foot. In contrast, PEX pipe ranges from 25 cents to $1.50 per foot. So for a 10-foot replacement, copper pipe could cost $100 for materials, while PEX for the same replacement would cost only $15.
Copper repairs must be soldered (welded) in, which typically takes more time, thus adding to the overall price. Some people prefer copper for health reasons, and it is better suited for outdoor applications.
Copper Pipe Pinhole Repair Cost
According to A.C.E. Plumbing, expect to pay $150 to repair a pinhole leak on a half-inch copper line and $240 for a 1-inch copper line—including labor and materials to cut out the faulty piece of pipe and solder in the new pipe. Plumbers can repair pipes with pinhole leaks by cutting out the damaged section and inserting new pipe into the area. Pros use a variety of techniques to locate pinhole leaks, including cameras, smoke and more. The use of different types of technology can affect the cost for services as well.