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Visit Which? Trusted Traders to find local traders who have been checked and assessed by our trading standards professionals.

How much does it cost?

We contacted Which? Local-recommended traders to find out how much standard jobs should cost and how quickly they should be completed. Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident about hiring traders and be better equipped to spot when things aren't right.

Issue 12 - Plumbers: how much should you pay?


We surveyed recommended plumbers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete.

Shower head with water

We asked Which? Local recommended plumbers to complete a survey about the cost and completion time for 12 standard plumbing jobs.

Armed with this information, you'll know what questions to ask, roughly what price you can expect to pay and how long jobs should take when hiring a plumber.

Plumbing prices and completion times

All of our prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.

JobDetailsTypical price quotedPrice rangeTypical time to complete job
Survey conducted in July 2012
Fit a new pedestal basinRemove and dispose of old basin. Install a new basin in the same position, assuming that no new pipework is needed. Customer supplying own basin.£100£80-£1402–4 hours
Fit a new toiletRemove and dispose of old toilet. Install a new toilet in the same position, assuming that no new pipework is needed. Customer supplying own toilet.£115£80-£1502–4 hours
Fit a new bathRemove and dispose of old bath. Install a new bath in the same position. Customer supplying own bath.£185£150-£2493–6 hours
Replace kitchen mixer tapRemove old tap. Supply and fit a standard chrome mixer tap.£120£75-£1501–2 hours
Replace faulty ball valve in toilet cistern-£63£55-£751 hour
Fix leaky kitchen tapTo fix a standard mixer tap that is dripping constantly.£50£45-£601 hour
Install outside tapExterior wall behind kitchen sink. £95£80-£1201–2 hours
Fix burst water pipeAssuming pipes are easily accessible and call-out to an emergency. Includes call-out fee, labour and materials.£90£70-£1201–2 hours
Fix/unblock toiletIncludes call-out fee, labour and materials.£80£60-£901–2 hours
Power flush standard gas central heating systemThree-bed semi with 10 radiators. Include labour and all chemicals and equipment needed.£370£350-£4501 day
Replace a standard cold water tankIn an average three-bed semi-detached house. Assuming replacing like with like. Includes cost of labour and materials.£250£200-£3500.5–1 day
Replace a standard hot water tankIn an average three-bed semi-detached house. Assuming replacing like with like. Includes cost of labour and materials.£460£395-£5500.5–1 day

Plumbing jobs: trader tips

In addition to the pricing and completion time information, our recommended plumbers also shared some helpful advice.

Research methodolgy

In July 2012, we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Plumbers category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

151 plumbers responded to the survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of popular plumbing jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

Read more about the methodology

Job: fit a new bath
It's possible that tiles around the bath could be damaged when the old bath is removed. If tiling needs to be repaired or replaced then this job could take longer and cost more.

Job: fix burst water pipe
If you are unlucky enough to experience this problem, keep your fingers crossed that your pipes burst during working hours. Some plumbers don't offer a 24-hour service. Others charge more (often double) to visit outside of normal working hours.

Job: powerflush standard gas central heating system
Some unscrupulous traders will have you believe that a power flush cures everything! It's not always the answer. Power flushing is good for removing sludge that has built up throughout the central heating system. But, if there's just one blockage, the trader should be able to remove it quickly and easily.

The time taken to perform a power flush depends on how dirty the system is. But a typical power flush should take around one day. If a trader says they can do it in an hour or two, be wary.



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