How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Plumbing Leak?

Do you need have a plumbing leak repaired? If the answer is "yes," you can expect to pay from $225 to $325, typically, for your plumber's labor and supplies.

The cost to repair a plumbing leak can vary quite a bit, though, depending on a number of important points:

  1. the severity and cause of the leak
  2. its location and accessibility
  3. in the case of an outdoor leak, whether it is above ground or underground
  4. any water damage to fixtures and structural elements such as walls, flooring, or foundation

Signs that You Might Have a Plumbing Leak

Some plumbing leaks are obvious. "Gusher leaks," stemming from a burst or separated pipe, spew out a major amount of water. However, other types are harder to detect. Stay alert and use your eyes, ears, and sense of smell to tell you when your plumbing is leaking. Here are some possible signs:

  • strange noises from your plumbing system like hissings, gurglings, or the sound of endlessly running water
  • discolored, bubbling, peeling, or damp patches on ceilings, walls, or floors
  • a "hot spot" on your floor which may indicate a hot water leak below
  • water anywhere it shouldn't be: on the bathroom floor after a shower (even though you had the shower door or curtain closed), around the base of your toilet, inside an under sink cabinet, or beneath your water heater
  • cracking, buckling, or loose flooring material
  • a musty odor which could indicate mold
  • a water meter that registers usage even when no water source is turned on
  • an inexplicably muddy section of your yard, with greener grass than on the rest of your lawn

Cost Breakdown

  • Materials -- Replacement pipe, couplings, solder for copper pipes, and similar materials are included in the cost to repair a plumbing leak. If a fixture such as a toilet or sink needs replacement, that will add to the expense.
  • Labor -- Your plumber is likely to charge you by the hour to repair your leak, with a minimum. Expect the fee for an emergency service call at night or on weekends and holidays to be higher. Other pros may need to be called in, to fix drywall, floors, and so on, at an additional cost.

Get the Most for Your Money

Take care of leaks right away. Usually the cost to repair a plumbing leak is fairly reasonable when it is caught quickly. Compare that to the hassle and expense of fixing up your home after serious water damage from an unchecked leak.  

Don't waste your plumber's (expensive) time by making him or her search high and low for the leak. Instead, try to track it down yourself before you phone for help. Note the exact location and take photos.