Learn what factors affect the cost of plumbing call outs and service in Canberra so you can better understand the estimates you get from the pros – and find the best value for your money.

Budgeting is an important factor for any homeowner or renter.

After all, it helps you spend appropriately while also saving along the way for things like vacations and retirement (or a few extra drinks on the weekend). But not all expenses are as straightforward as others.

You can have a clear sense of your utilities from recurring bills. You probably buy a similar amount of food each week and can budget your shopping. You can walk into a store and see the listed price for goods and products.

You might be putting off a repair or considering a renovation project, but there’s no clear cut way to know what you will be expected to spend.
That’s partly because most projects are unique to each home and situation. Things might be more complicated than first imagined, or your new bathroom renovation could be more complicated or intricate than a neighbour’s upgrades. In turn, most plumbers provide estimates for their work on an individual basis, and these can vary from professional to professional.

Here, we’ll delve into the factors that affect the costs of plumbing jobs in the ACT so you can better understand the estimates you are given along the way and ask more targeted questions as you consider which professional to choose for your project.

Prefer to compare the prices? Check out our Ultimate Plumbing Price Guide

Understanding when you need a plumber in the first place

Unfortunately for even the most ambitious of homeowners in Canberra, most projects are required to go through a licensed, professional plumber. That means very few opportunities for weekend warriors ready to DIY until dusk.

Here are the few and far between tasks you can try to tackle on your own:

(We warned you that the list was small!)

But perhaps you feel comfortable managing these smaller tasks on your own. When is it, then, that you’ll have to call out a plumber? In most cases, consider anything that has to do with installation or repair of the parts and piping that affect your drinking water and sewer system.

Some of the most common specialists you can call are general, bathroom, and kitchen plumbers. These include:

  • Low water pressure
  • Leaky faucets and pipes
  • Burst pipes
  • Difficult clogs
  • Running toilets
  • Hot water failure
  • Fixture installation

What influences plumbing cost estimates

The list above is a rather diverse list of projects, and that should be the first sign that not every call out is going to be priced the same.
Let’s take an even closer look at the factors that affect calculating plumbing costs and what you might expect.


How long a project takes is the number one factor that will impact any quote you receive for the work. Most plumbers charge a flat fee for the call out (this covers their trip to and from your home) and then an hourly rate for however long it takes to get the job done.

Now you can quickly see that swapping out a sink faucet, which can take up to an hour tops, will naturally be much cheaper than fixing a hot water failure or installing a new hot water heater, which can take 4-6 hours.


The parts that are needed to do the repair work are also going to factor into the equation here. A burst pipe might require new parts to replace the section. A new faucet will incur the cost of the faucet itself.

Depending on your project, you might be able to purchase some items, like the faucet, at a home improvement store and have the plumber just charge for the installation. In other cases, you’ll be buying parts as part of the package.


For a licensed and professional plumber, there’s no task they can’t do. But that doesn’t mean that some aren’t more difficult than others. This often has less to do with expertise and a lot more to do with how accessible or involved the project itself is.

For example, a leaky pipe might mean cutting into a ceiling or sheetrock in order to access the offending section of pipe, all work that requires time and effort and precedes that of the actual work.


Somewhat related to difficulty is the amount and scope of equipment needed to get the job done right. In special cases, a company might charge for diagnostic services and use of tools such as CCTV inspection cameras to spot the cause and location of a leak before one pipe or wall is even cut.
The costs for the use of this equipment, and the time it takes to use it, will be factored into any estimate you receive.


This is a tricky one to spot sometimes, but there can be newer or less experienced companies that try to gain business by lowballing the competition.
Be on the look out for prices that are too good to be true. They probably are. Get multiple estimates for your project and be sure to ask for exactly what is included so you aren’t surprised by hidden fees or add-on costs that weren’t disclosed from the start.

Finding an experienced, reliable plumber in Canberra

So what does it mean to find an experienced plumber?

To start with, don’t be shy about asking how many years they have been in business and worked specifically in your area. That will give you a sense of how familiar they are with local regulations as well as how deeply they might understand how to perform crucial projects in your home.

But there are other signs of experience than just a number of years in the biz. Don’t ever work with a plumber that isn’t licensed and insured AND willing to show you proof of this. It’s critical for your safety, their safety, and the integrity of any work done in your home.

Beyond that, ask for references. If the company doesn’t have any or isn’t willing to offer some, that could be a sign of lack of experience or, worse, poor credibility. Take to Google and search the company.

Do they have a positive online presence? Do they have a professional looking website? Are their former customers taking to Google and Facebook with positive or negative feedback?

This research step alone might be enough to warn you off of some of the less experienced, more problematic plumbers in the area.

Request an estimate today

The best way to budget for any project is to get a specific estimate from a licensed, insured plumber. This way, the requirements for your project will be taken into account, and you can get the most accurate picture of what the job will cost you in the end.

To calculate plumbing costs, it’s always best to let the pros price them out for you and then compare across different quotes and service offerings to choose what’s best for you.

For a fast and accurate quote for your project, call us. We’re a family run business right here in Canberra that cares about the work we do in every home and business we service. We also have a 5 star rating on Google and Facebook and are happy to share customer stores and more information about how we approach every project.

All of our team members are fully licensed and insured professionals. We also offer 24/7 service because we know that piping emergencies don’t wait until it’s convenient for you. You can call us on 9331 6633 today for an estimate today!