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Why are Plumbers so Expensive?

A good plumber will educate homeowners on how to keep their plumbing system healthy. With a diverse skill set, years of training and experience, as well as other services and equipment, a plumber provides more value than you may realize.


You may have heard or even stated this yourself, “Plumbers must make as much money as my doctor, for goodness sake!” While this may be a common perception, it’s far from the truth. In fact, most plumbers go through an intense training period, and make less than half of what most doctors make. Why does a plumber need so much training? And why would his or her income not be comparable to that of a physician?

Plumber as doctor

Your plumber makes house calls. The plumber shows up at your home, in uniform, in a fully stocked truck with all the tools to handle nearly anything your home may throw at him or her. The plumber is fully insured from the truck to your doorstep and also within your home (your most valuable asset).

The plumber is treating your home’s health — and ensuring your own at the same time. If your water heater is emitting carbon monoxide, he’ll correct that; if sewer gas is entering the home or a gas line is leaking, he’ll fix that, too.

Your plumber is a general practitioner. A plumber can do many things such as repair a faucet, diagnose flow or pressure issues, install, repair or replace any of your gas lines, sewer or indoor and outdoor water systems. The plumber’s skill set must be deeply diverse; most of your home is made up of plumbing systems and the possible scenarios can be daunting. No house is built or plumbed the same.

A plumber brings skills and expertise to your home

The average home is made up of many plumbing systems:

  •  Waste and vent systems in the walls, below your home and penetrating the roof.
  •  Gas lines in the attic, walls and at appliances.
  •  Water lines snaking through the home and out the street and irrigation.
  •  Toilets, faucets, water heaters, tubes, valves and pumps.

But, because you can’t see these systems on a daily basis, “out of sight, out of mind” is exactly where most of your plumbing falls.

Plumbers offer more than just experience

Plumbers offer a wealth of resources. The plumbing company must provide a warehouse of parts both on his truck and at the shop location to replenish the truck, or for specialty parts.

They maintain a detailed database, much like your doctor would. Like your medical record, the company should maintain documentation of  a detailed description of what was found and done at your home.

The company also most likely provides a 24-hour service, ensuring a plumber can be dispatched at a moment’s notice when you need one.

A good plumber is a crucial resource

The plumber always comes to you (saving you the considerable inconvenience of dropping your home off for a repair).

A plumber may not be as respected as a physician … but when it comes to your day-to-day well-being and that of your home, the important services that plumbers offer are sometimes underappreciated or undervalued.

If you’ve ever attempted a plumbing repair yourself, you may have a new appreciation for what your plumber does. Most people admit that they will never try to tackle that plumbing project again!

If you hire the right plumber, you might only need to see him or her every 4 to 6 years, saving you money in the long run. Much like a good doctor, an experienced plumber stresses prevention and educates you on what symptoms to look out for, and how to keep your plumbing system healthy.