Most Chicago plumbers charge a flat rate based on the job not an hourly rate.
If you’ve ever wondered how plumbers in Chicago set their prices, wonder no more.
We decided to ask local plumbers about pricing after Angie’s List member Susan M. of Chicago recently posed this question: "What is the average hourly rate for a plumber in Chicago?" Their answer might surprise you.
“That’s a misnomer,” says Scott Thompson, owner of highly rated J&S Plumbing in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. “There is no hourly rate. Please make sure to tell your members this.”
In fact, a survey of Chicago’s highly rated plumbers revealed that nearly all charge a flat rate, based on the job type and not by the hour. While an hourly rate may be factored into the cost of a particular job, so are things like warranties, parts, fuel costs and dispatch fees, they told Angie's List.
“All of our plumbers work at a different speed,” says Tyler Diciolla with Lifeline Plumbing Heating and Cooling in Elgin. "We feel it would be unfair to our customers if one person has to pay more than another for the same job. When we base our pricing in our price guide, we base it off of $145 per hour. We charge a $29 service call fee to come to the home during normal business hours.”
Prices for different plumbing jobs vary slightly between plumbers based on a number of factors, including overhead costs like insurance and what the plumber finds once he starts the job. For most basic jobs, though, you shouldn’t find large variations in pricing, says Mickey Owano with Tritan Plumbing in Joliet.
“If you need a garbage disposal install, we charge $350 for our basic install,” he says. “A water heater, 40 gallon gas or electric, is $799 for a basic install.”
Costs soar, however, when you make that 2 a.m. service call. Most Chicago-area plumbers offer 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service, but emergency fees of up to $150 just to show apply, according to the plumbers surveyed.
Still hoping to score a deal on your plumbing project? Check out the plumbing Big Deals in your city to see what specials are currently available.
How much do plumbers charge in your city or town? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on July 10, 2014.