Emergency Plumber Cost

Last updated 16th January, 2024

Do you need to know plumber call out fees?

Here we discuss everything you need to know about emergency plumbing repairs, what is considered an emergency repair and how much emergency plumbers cost. We also look into the timeframes of different jobs as well as the supply costs.

For more information keep reading!


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How Much Does Emergency Plumbing Cost?

The cost of hiring an emergency plumber varies according to the issue at hand, the complexity of the work involved, your location within the UK and the additional materials needed in order to complete the work.

Typically, a standard plumber would charge in the region of £200 - £350 a day in labour, with a standard call-out fee in the region of £40 - £60.

In contrast, an emergency plumber call-out fee is charged at 2.5 to 3 times the rate of a standard call-out charge – in the region of between £100 - £180 and tends to cover the first 30 or 60 minutes of work, depending on the company used.

Emergency Plumber Prices

Emergency callouts tend to happen when an issue occurs without prior warning, causing inconvenience and potential hazard to you and your property, leaving you with no choice but to find a plumber immediately to fix the issue.

It’s recommended that if you suspect an issue is occurring with your plumbing that you contact a plumber to investigate as soon as possible to avoid having to pay premium emergency fees in the future. Listed below is the average plumber price list for their call-out charge and hourly rate:

Call out type Average cost
Standard (non-emergency) call-out charge £40 - £60
Emergency call-out charge £100 - £180
Hourly rate thereafter £40-£60

Any plumbing incident that needs attending to outside of standard ‘working hours’ will usually incur an emergency call-out fee; this can even include, depending on your plumber, weekends and bank holidays. Call-out charges usually include the first 30 minutes of labour and additional charges will be made thereafter in either hourly, 30-minute or 15-minute increments.

Some of the more common emergency call-out work required and estimate costings are indicated here:

Job Description Estimated Time Estimated Cost
Boiler breakdown 30m – 2 hours £100 - £240
Loss of boiler pressure 30m – 2 hours £100 - £240
Blocked toilet 30m – 4 hours £100 - £250
Blocked sink 30m – 1 hour £100 - £180
Blocked external drains Up to 2 hours £200 - £300
Gas leak Dependent on the location and cause of the leak £100 - £1000

It should be noted that the actual cost and timescale of the work involved will vary from case to case, so where possible it’s best to get multiple quotes to ensure the best price and professionalism to complete the work.

What Are the Costs for Emergency Plumbing Materials?

If your plumbing requires parts to be replaced as part of the fix, the materials are likely to incur an additional charge to the plumber’s labour costs. Outlined below are some of the more common replacement elements and the prices you can expect to be charged for their supply, depending on the quality chosen:

Item Estimated cost
Copper pipes (15mm) £3 - £6 p/m
Steel pipes £2 - £4 p/m
Radiators £45 - £250
New toilet £30 - £150
New sink £30 - £150

Boiler issues are relatively common emergency issues, so as a guide you can expect the following costs for replacement parts, without labour:

Item Estimated cost
New boiler £600 – £2,000
Boiler heat exchanger £300 – £500
Boiler diverter valve £10 – £15
Boiler magnetic filter £130 – £220
Boiler gas valve £4 – £10
Boiler heating pump £90 – £200
Boiler air pressure switch £15 – £80
Boiler flue £100 – £200
Boiler timer £55 – £80
Boiler control panel £60 - £250
Boiler expansion vessel £20 - £80

The above table assumes that you are paying for the items to be supplied yourself and not as part of an insurance claim.


How Much are Emergency Plumber Call Out Charges?

Emergency plumbing costs are difficult to estimate as there are a number of factors to consider that will affect the overall costing of repair:

  • Your location within the UK can have an effect on the cost of hiring an emergency plumbing service. London and the surrounding boroughs tend to be more expensive than other parts of the country.
  • Your property location in relation to the emergency plumber’s location will also have an effect on costing, with further distances between the two usually incurring a cost of mileage on-top of the call-out fee.
  • The time of the work being undertaken; a blocked toilet may take between 30 minutes for an easily access issue, or up to four hours if the blockage is within the waste pipes and cannot be easily accessed.
  • The call-out charge will typically depend on the urgency of the issue; an emergency such as a burst pipe will quickly need attending to and your plumber may have to reschedule other appointments to accommodate for your needs.
  • Materials are usually charged at an additional cost to labour, and the charges for materials will vary on whether the plumber is supplying them themselves or you are required to purchase them from elsewhere.

In some cases, such as social working hours, you may only be charged the standard call-out fee depending on your service provider. Materials needed to complete the work will generally be supplied at an additional charge on top of labour.

It should also be noted that depending on whether you use an independent plumber or a company, you may pay a fixed rate for the services and repair or may be charged in 15 or 30-minute increments after the initial hour. – and depending on the nature of the issue, you may require two tradespeople to complete the work

Cost Factors of Emergency Plumbing

There are multiple factors that can affect the costs of emergency plumbing repair work, each of which you will need to consider before hiring your tradesperson.

Company or Tradesperson You Choose

Whilst there are ‘averages’ or expected fees, the charges of services are down to the individual or company you choose to hire to complete your work. Larger companies may charge per job, whereas independent plumbers may charge at an hourly rate. You should enquire about pricing structures and estimated timescales before committing to get a better understanding of the prices you can expect to pay.

Type of Job

The type of job being undertaken will affect the overall costing both in terms of materials and in terms of time. A blocked toilet that can be fixed using a plunger or toilet snake is going to cost you considerably less in time and money than having to have your home boiler replaced. More complex jobs that need completing generally take longer than straight-forward fixes, and this too will have an impact on the cost of repair.

Ease of Access

Accessibility also plays a role in work costings. Repairs that are easily accessible such as a leaky tap are going to be quicker to rectify than, for example, a burst pipe beneath floorboards.


Plumber's Location

The distance plumber has to travel can add to the cost of a call-out. Most plumbers operate within a certain area which will be covered in their charges – repair technicians requiring to travel further afield may charge a surplus for additional mileage.

Specialist Equipment Needed

If specialist equipment or materials are needed to repair or fix plumbing issues, like requiring drain jetting to unblock a waste pipe, additional charges and services may be required.

Solution Implemented

The solution implemented for the repair will affect the cost of the work; a short-term fix, or patch job, may be necessary whilst essential parts are gathered for a proper repair. If this is the case, you should check with your service provider how this will affect the overall cost of work.

Home Insurance

The cost of repairs may be covered by your home insurance. You should check your policy and what it covers – in some cases, depending on excess, it may be cheaper to pay for the repair yourself, or for larger issues making an insurance claim could help ease the costs.

What Are Plumbing Emergencies?

Plumbing emergencies are generally defined as plumbing issues that cannot be left unattended and requires immediate attention, either because of the issues they pose to the health and wellbeing of the household or the risk of damage to your property. You will need to assess your plumbing issue and decide if it constitutes an emergency or not.

Blocked Toilet

Blocked toilets are a common plumbing emergency, often posing the risk of damaging pipework if left unattended and causing inconvenience, particularly in homes with only one WC.


The signs:

  • The toilet may not flush at all.
  • The toilet may not refill after flushing.
  • The toilet water levels may rise too high.
  • The toilet may be very slow to drain.

The causes:

  • Trapped air in the system.
  • Foreign items in the toilet system such as toys, sanitary products or nappies.
  • Trying to flush too much material at once.
  • Build-up of limescale and waste materials.
  • A crack in the pipework.

How it can be prevented:

  • Clean your toilet regularly using toilet cleaners.
  • Do not flush inappropriate items down the toilet.
  • Do not try and flush excessive amounts of toilet paper at once.
  • If you notice a change in the efficiency of your toilet, try using a plunger to dislodge stuck items and improve the water flow.

Cost of Repair

Depending on the nature and severity of the blockage the costs can vary. Using a plunger or toilet snake a plumber can usually dislodge a blockage in the toilet bowl or u-bend in under 30 minutes, with a cost of around £100 for an emergency service cost.

If the blockage is located further down the wastepipe and cannot be accessed directly, the time can increase to around 4 hours of work and can cost up to £300 if an emergency plumbing rate is used. In some cases, you may be able to unblock your toilet yourself DIY with a plunger or by putting hot water in the toilet bowl and allowing to sit for 15 minutes.

Toilet Replacement

Sometimes a toilet can be damaged beyond repair and a replacement is necessary in order to regain functionality.


The signs:

  • You frequently experience toilet blocking issues.
  • You frequently need your toilet repairing.
  • Your toilet is unstable and wobbles.
  • Your toilet has cracks in it.
  • You experience water pooling near your toilet.

The causes:

  • The toilet is old.
  • Wastepipes are an insufficient size.
  • Excessive build-up of waste materials.
  • Damage to the toilet system.

How it can be prevented:

  • Clean your toilet regularly with toilet cleaning chemicals.
  • Take care when sitting on older toilets, trying to minimise moving around once positioned.
  • If you notice faults occurring in your system, try and have them rectified as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of needing an emergency repair.

Cost of Repair

Assuming you are able to supply a new toilet bowl yourself, costing between £30 - £300, a plumber should be able to install it for you in around 2-3 hours assuming no additional pipework is needed for a cost of around £200 for labour.

If the pipework needs adjusting or replacement valves are required, then this time can increase to around 6 hours, costing in the region of £500, or more if they are supplying the replacement toilet themselves.

Blocked Sink

A blocked sink can have a number of causes, causing inconvenience and often bringing an unpleasant smell along with it. It’s important to have a plumber investigate the issue if you cannot resolve it yourself as left unattended, a blockage can cause severe damage to pipework.


The signs:

  • You sink is draining slowly.
  • You hear gurgling as the sink drains.
  • The sink fails to drain at all.
  • You notice an unpleasant odour.
  • Fluids are backing-up into your sink.

The causes:

  • Build-up of residue such as soap scum, grease, food or hair.
  • Mineral build-up such as limescale.
  • The pipework is too narrow or damaged.

How it can be prevented:

  • Regularly clean your sinks and drains.
  • Run hot water down the sink after every use to flush items and discourage material build-up.
  • Avoid putting foreign objects down your sink such as hair or oil, which are notorious for causing blockages.
  • Purchase a drain snake (average cost of around £5 for a multipack) to remove built-up hair and deposits as a means to unblock your sink.
  • Don’t dispose of cooking oil or grease down the sink; put them in an empty bottle and place in your regular household waste bin.
  • Purchase a sink strainer, or drain strainer, to catch debris and stop it from going down your drains. They can be purchased from as little as £2, making them a cheap and effective measure to prevent sink blockages.

Cost of Repair

Much like unblocking a toilet, the time it takes to unblock a sink depends on the severity and location of the blockage. Typically sink unblocking takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the location, costing around £100 - £150 if completed as an emergency request, though depending on your service provider the cost may be capped at a lower rate.

The plumber will usually try to dislodge the blockage using either a plunger or draining rods or may opt to remove the u-bend connection as a means to unblock the sink.

Tap Replacement

A leaking or damaged tap may not seem like an issue, but when you consider the annual cost that this issue can occur (assuming 120 drips a minute, causing a wastage of around 45 litres a day, at a cost of roughly £55 per year) you’ll see it is literally pouring money down the drain. Taps and faucets are known to degrade over time as their components are worn down.


The signs:

  • Your taps drip consistently.
  • Your taps are difficult to turn.
  • Your taps are noisy during use.
  • Your pipework is noisy or ‘clank’ during use.

The causes:

  • Damage to the valve seat.
  • Water pressure in your home may to too high.
  • Your home pipework may be damaged.
  • Worn O-rings.
  • Your washers or gaskets may need replacing.
  • General wear-and-tear over time.

How it can be prevented:

  • Wash your taps to avoid mineral and residue build-up.
  • If replacing your taps, consider an upgrade as the components will likely be of a better quality.

Cost of Repair

The average plumber will charge in the region of around £180 in labour charges to fit taps in an emergency situation, which typically takes between 1 – 2 hours, with the additional cost of materials ranging from between £25 to £125 for taps depending on the model and design, and whether they are being supplied by the plumber or you have sourced them from elsewhere.

Blocked/Overflowing Drain

Apart from being unsightly, overflowing or blocked drains can be an indicator that you have a severe issue on your hands that will need to be corrected before costly damage is caused.


The signs:

  • Water and waste are overflowing from your drains.
  • You can see a blockage in your external drains.
  • A foul odour may be present.
  • Your toilet may fail to flush.
  • You may notice gurgling sounds when your sinks drain.

The causes:

  • Debris such as leaves may be present in your drains.
  • Your drains may be misused, for example flushing sanitary products or for oil disposal.
  • Your drains may be too small for purpose.
  • There may be damage in your drains or sewer connection.

How it can be prevented:

  • Only use your drains for their intended purpose and be careful not to put inappropriate materials down them.
  • Clear debris such as fallen leaves from your external drains.
  • Try to avoid excess hair escaping down your drains.

Cost of Repair

In the event of a one-off blockage, you may be required to employ a drain cleaning expert to rod or jet your external drains, costing around £300 for materials and labour in an emergency call-out situation. Most jetting and rodding services take around 2 hours to complete.

If drain blockages are a persistent issue, it may be an indication that there is a more severe issue such as a collapsed pipe, in which case it is recommended that you have a CCTV survey of the pipework to determine the condition of the pipes, location of the offending blockage and whether damage is present. A CCTV survey will also help ascertain who is responsible for the cost of repair; whether it is yourself, a neighbouring property or your local water board. CCTV surveys usually cost around £250, though some companies may offer them as a free service providing you purchase an unclogging service from them.

You may be able to claim on your insurance for the cost of the survey and required unblocking method, though you should check your policy details.

Leaking Radiator

Left unattended, a leaking radiator can cause damage to your furnishings and floors in your home which can be difficult to mend and may even result in having to be replaced if left unchecked.


The signs:

  • Water pooling around the radiator.
  • Your boiler may lose pressure.
  • Hissing, gurgling or knocking sounds when radiators are in use.

The causes:

  • Valves may not be sealed properly.
  • There may be damage to the connecting pipework.
  • The spindle may be loose or damaged.
  • Rust or corrosion to the system.

How it can be prevented:

  • Make sure valves are correctly sealed.
  • Try not to bump or knock radiators.
  • Consider bleeding your radiators.

Cost of Repair

Depending on the nature and location of the leak, you can expect a repair to take around 30 minutes to repair a seal or spindle, though replacing damaged or rusted pipework can take considerably longer, up to 2 hours depending on accessibility.

You should budget a minimum of £120 for the initial call-out which will cover the first 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the company used, with additional time charged at the plumbers’ standard hourly rate thereafter.

Radiator Replacement

In the colder months effective home heating is essential for both your own health and your property’s health – with the risk of damp causing major concerns for many homeowners and property tenants. Having an old, damaged or ineffective radiator replaced may be necessary in order to keep your home habitable.


The signs:

  • Your radiators require frequent bleeding.
  • Your radiator frequently leaks.
  • Your radiator requires frequent repair work, making it expensive to maintain.
  • Your radiator does not reach adequate temperatures.

The causes:

  • The radiator may be old.
  • The radiator may not work effectively with your home heating set-up.
  • The radiator may have been disturbed (for example dropped for decorating) and has been caused damage.

How it can be prevented:

  • Only move radiators when necessary.
  • Take care when handling your radiators and connecting pipework.
  • Ensure your boiler is compatible with your radiator types.

Cost of Repair

Replacing a radiator typically takes a tradesman between 2 – 3 hours, including removal of the old radiator, install the new radiator and efficiency checks once in place to ensure no leaks are present.

As an emergency installation, you can expect to pay roughly £180 – £240 in labour charges, plus the cost of a replacement radiator in the region of £50 – £200 depending on the style and size chosen.

TRV installation

A fault with your thermostatic radiator valve can be frustrating, particularly during the colder months when homes require heating.


The signs:

  • Your radiators do not change temperature correctly.
  • If you feel no resistance when turning the valve.

The causes:

  • TRVs may get stuck in an on or off position, particularly if they have been left in position for a long period, such as during the summer.
  • If your TRVs are not bidirectional, it may have been installed on the wrong side.

How it can be prevented:

  • Check your TRV positioning and adjust occasionally, even during the warmer months.
  • Avoid knocking or dinging your radiators and TRVs.
  • Make sure your boiler is compatible with TRVs.
  • Although most TRVs are bidirectional, it is generally recommended that they are installed on the flow side, rather than the return.

Cost of Repair

In an emergency situation where you cannot wait to have your TRV repaired or replaced, you can expect a charge in the region of £180 including a replacement TRV; this assumes that the radiator will need to be emptied and will take roughly 1 – 2 hours to complete the work.

Hot Water Tank Repair

There are a number of indicators that your hot water tank may be failing and needs replacing in order for it to operate effectively and efficiently.


The signs:

  • If your hot water tank is over 10 years old, it may need replacing, though they can last for up to 30 years.
  • Discoloured water is an indication that rust is present in your tank.
  • Cloudy or unpleasant smelling water an indicate a build-up of mineral sediments in the tank.
  • Leaking from the tank.
  • Insufficient hot water is produced.

The causes:

  • General wear-and-tear / life expectancy of the tank.
  • Sediment build up in the tank.
  • Excessive internal pressure.
  • Valves may be stuck.
  • Thermostat may be broken.

How it can be prevented:

  • Regularly flush your hot water system to avoid mineral build up.
  • Test the pressure-release valve is working correctly,

Cost of Repair

The nature of the issue will affect the cost of repair, but typically you can expect a cost of between £300 - £450 to replace a broken water tank, usually done in around 3 hours by a pair of plumbers – but in all likelihood you will also need to have your boiler replaced or upgraded to accommodate for this, as it is unlikely you will be able to swap your tank for a like-for-like model, and should budget accordingly.

Leaking Boiler

No-one wants to be faced with a boiler emergency, and a leak in the boiler will need to be attended to quickly to avoid serious damage to your property.


The signs:

  • Visible water pooling near your boiler.
  • Excessive or unusual noise when the boiler is in operation.
  • Slow water heating.

The causes:

  • Poor installation.
  • Corroded pipework.
  • Excessive pressure within the system.
  • Loose connections.

How it can be prevented:

  • Check your pipework for signs of corrosion.
  • Regularly check the pressure in your boiler.

Cost of Repair

Depending on the location and cause of the leak in your boiler, you can expect the problem to be resolved in 30 minutes to 1 hour, at an average emergency call-out cost of around £120.

Depending on the age and state if your current boiler, your plumber or gas engineer will be able to advise you if you will likely need a replacement boiler shortly in the future.

Boiler Repair

With so many components in a boiler that can go awry, a boiler emergency cannot always be avoided and should be attended to quickly when issues arise. Failing to do so could result in serious damage to your property and could cost you a lot more in the future as more issues arise.


The signs:

  • Rising heating bills.
  • Noisy during operation.
  • Leaking or hissing.
  • Water not heating correctly.
  • Radiators not operating correctly.
  • Unable to control temperatures.

The causes:

  • Broken components.
  • Components not operating correctly.
  • Incorrect installation.

How it can be prevented:

  • Have your boiler serviced annually to check for faults.
  • Bleed your radiators at least yearly.
  • Consider having your central heating flushed.
  • Make sure your pipes are correctly insulated.
  • Run your heating frequently.

Cost of Repair

There are numerous components in a boiler that can fail to operate, so the cost of repair varies from job to job. Assuming only one component has failed then in most cases boiler repair can be undertaken in 1 – 2 hours and will cost around £100 – £240 in labour.

Replacement parts can be bought from as little as £4 for a replacement gas valve to upwards of £500 for a new heat exchanger as an additional cost.

Common repair work on boilers include:

  • Heat exchanger replacement.
  • Diverter valve replacement.
  • Magnetic filter replacement.
  • Gas valves replacement.
  • Fans replacement.
  • Heating pump replacement.
  • Air pressure switch replacement.
  • Installing a new flue, or replacing the old one if it is not in an optimal location.
  • Timer replacements.
  • Replacement circuit boards.

In some cases you may find that it is more cost effective to have your boiler replaced entirely rather than replacing certain elements, particularly if your current boiler is old, requires multiple repairs or frequently fails to operate correctly.

Burst Water Pipe

A burst pipe can wreak havoc on your home, causing risk of damage to your property and potentially cost thousands in repair work if not dealt with quickly.


The signs:

  • You have noticed an unexpected increase in your water bill.
  • You notice puddles of water in your home.
  • You may notice damp patches in your home, or bulging in your ceiling.
  • You can hear water dripping.
  • Your water supply looks or smells wrong.
  • Your pipes have started to make noise.

The causes:

  • Incorrect water pressure in your home.
  • Cold weather can cause water to freeze in pipes, causing a blockage.
  • Your pipes may have been knocked or punctured during tasks.

How it can be prevented:

  • Ensure your pipes are correctly insulated.
  • Run your central heating frequently, even on low.
  • Have your central heating serviced annually.

Cost of Repair

Typically, you can expect a burst pipe repair to cost in the region of £100 - £300 for emergency labour and materials and depending on the location of the burst and how much pipework needs to be lay could take between 1 – 4 hours to complete.

You should bear in mind that in addition to a plumber, you may also need to redecorate or re-plaster areas of your home, or even have your ceilings repaired after the work has been completed, depending the pipe location and what measures were undertaken to access the leak in the first place; all of which will incur an additional cost if you are hiring a professional to complete the work for you.

Gas Leak

A gas leak is a serious issue that will need to be addressed immediately at the first suspicion. Gas is notoriously dangerous and can result in a fire or explosion, causing serious damage to your property and has the potential to cause major health damage or even death.


The signs:

  • You may notice a gas leak smell (usually a sulphuric or rotten egg smell).
  • You notice a hissing sound near gas lines.
  • You may feel dizzy or have unexplained headaches and nausea.

The causes:

  • Poorly fitted appliances.
  • Old, worn out appliances.
  • Damage to the gas pipework.

How it can be prevented:

  • Have your gas boiler serviced at least once a year by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
  • Check your gas-operated appliances frequently for signs of damage.
  • If you live in a rented property, your landlord has a legal responsibility to provide you with a copy of your gas safety certificate and ensuring checks are frequently made.

Cost of Repair

If you suspect you have a gas leak you should immediately shut your gas supply off (if safe to do so), open doors and windows in your property to air it out and leave the building. You will need to call the National Emergency Gas Service on 0800 111 999 (for England, Wales and Scotland), preferably from a mobile phone away from the property.

Do not attempt to use electrical appliances or operate switches as they may spark, igniting the gases, and do not smoke in the area. Extinguish any open flames you have in operation, such as a hob.

The National Gas Emergency Service will send a gas technician to your property to shut off your home gas supply and assess where the leak has originated from. You will not be charged for calling the service or charged for any repair work that needs to be undertaken to the gas line on the outside of your meter connection.

If the fault is on your property, after the gas meter connection, you will likely incur a charge to have the fault fixed by a professional, who will need to sign off to say that the fault has been repaired correctly before your home gas supply can be reconnected. The cost of repairing an internal; gas leak will depend on a variety of factors including the location and could take anything from 10 minutes to a day to locate the source. You should budget a minimum of £200 to have your gas leak fixed.

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DIY Emergency Plumbing Repairs

In the majority of emergency cases you should not attempt a DIY and instead should hire a qualified professional to rectify the issue, who has the training and experience necessary to complete the work correctly. You won’t want to hire a plumber that will be responsible for rectifying your DIY mistakes in addition to the problem at hand, which will likely cost more than initially expected.

You should never attempt to rectify issues with your gas supply or boiler yourself; these should always be left to a trained professional. If you suspect you have a gas leak you should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. There is no gas leak call out charge for this service.


In some instances it may be acceptable to attempt a DIY approach to your plumbing needs, such as attempting to unblocking a toilet or sink yourself, before calling a plumber to reduce your costs, however, you should be careful to take adequate precautions before you begin, such as wearing protective gloves and covering exposed flooring, and you should never force anything down your drains as you may end up causing more damage and having a steeper repair cost than you would have for the initial problem.

If you do need to hire an emergency plumber it’s recommended that, where possible, you turn you water off at the mains to minimise the risk of causing further damage by built up pressure or leakage. Similarly, if you require a gas engineer, where safe to do so, you should turn your gas off at the supply valve until your professional arrived. Your gas and boiler will need to be signed off by a professional to ensure they are in correct working order before they can be reconnected.

Am I Covered for a Plumbing Emergency?

Whether you are covered for emergency plumbing will depend on your insurance policy.

Home emergency cover typically covers events such as burst pipes, electrical failure, boiler breakdowns, faulty heating and the like for the cost of the call-out, labour, parts and materials. In contrast to standard home insurance which, depending on your policy, may not cover emergency repairs and instead will cover the cost of damage to your home and your belongings.


The cost to add emergency cover to your home insurance will vary according to your provider, but as a general indication, the average cost in the UK is roughly £50 a year (which works out just over £4 a month) on top of your usual insurance cost.

It’s recommended that you check your insurance policy to check what is and is not covered under the cost of your insurance.


The cost of emergency plumbing varies depending on the nature of the work involved, your location within the UK and the time of day that you require the services. Typically, emergency plumbing call-out charges start at around £120-£180.
Whether you need an emergency plumber or not will usually depend on the type of issue you suspect you have and the severity of it; for example, if you suspect a gas leak or have a ruptured pipe in your home, you should call an emergency gas engineer immediately as there is a large risk to yourself and your property.
On the other hand, if you suspect an issue may be occurring but that is not a risk immediately, such as a mildly blocked drain, you can usually call a standard plumber who will still visit you as soon as possible, without incurring an inflated call-out charge.
It’s important to pay attention to your home; detecting issues early on and taking action to rectify them as soon as possible (either by yourself or with the assistance of a plumber) is always recommended – before they become a bigger problem with a bigger cost to fix.
There are a number of factors that influence the cost of emergency plumbing, such as the time of the call-out, the distance the plumber needs to travel, the issue you have at hand and what needs to be done to rectify it.
Emergency plumbing is needed in an emergency – which by its nature suggests it is urgent and cannot be ignored. Premiums can therefore be charged because the timing can be inconvenient to your worker and because you are, effectively, paying to ‘jump the queue’.
Whether your appliances are on or off, you should not be able to smell gas and is a good indication that you have a leak. You should turn your gas supply off at the valve, air out your property and call the National Gas Emergency Service number 0800 111 999 immediately, ideally from a mobile phone away from the property.

How to Find and Hire an Emergency Plumber

Because plumbing is an integral part of the home, you should make sure that you are hiring a qualified professional to undertake the work needed to fix your issue. There are a number of things to consider before hiring someone:

You should check that your plumber is covered under liability insurance, and preferably is able to offer a warranty on their work so that, if future issues occur with the fixing solution they have employed, they will be liable for the cost of repair.

There are a number of qualifications that your plumber may have, which are a good indication that they are well trained and experienced to deal with the plumbing issue you need attending; ask if they are accredited with any of the following:

References and proof of similar work are also a good indication that the plumber is experienced and professional; you should ask your friends, neighbours and relatives if they have had similar work undertaken and if they would recommend their service provider to you.

Whilst it may be tempting to go with the first plumber you come across, or the cheapest plumber you can find, it’s recommended that you get at least three quotes (available here) to get a good indication of the cost and timeframe of the work needed.

For any works involving gas, it is crucial that you hire someone that is Gas Safety Registered. You can check whether an individual or company is registered on the HSE website here.