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If you’ve ever wondered why plumbers charge a call-out fee, we thought we’d explain: A plumber generally charges a fee for each new maintenance job that he attends and put simply, it’s necessary to keep him in business. Call out fees in the Brisbane area currently, start at $85 and on weekends or after hours can reach as high as $300 which doesn’t include the cost of labour or materials.

What the call-out fee covers

This fee is designed to cover the following costs to the business:

  • The time it takes to reach your property
  • The time it takes to put specific equipment in the vehicle that may be required for a specific job type.
  • The fuel required to get to the property.
  • Costs involved in the car upkeep.
  • Relevant insurance cover to protect you and the tradie.
  • A plumber doesn’t live off the call out rate instead they are paid by what they earn an hour.

Plumbers are notoriously targeted by the tax office in Australia because they have a tendency to over-claim on expenses and not declare all of their income. Reputable plumbers will employ a good accountant to make sure they claim for the right expenses and to make sure that all income is declared. The cost of the accountant is also included in the charge out fee.

Should a customer be worried about how a plumbing business is being run?

In short, yes! And here’s why.

Unlicensed or uninsured

Firstly if a call-out fee is extremely low or non-existent, or the plumber is quoting a lot less than others, it could be that the plumber is not paying all their business expenses and this could include up to date licenses and insurances. So you could be using a plumber who is unlicensed or uninsured and in the event of any damage being done to your property this fact will render your house insurance to be void.

Inferior materials/shoddy work

‍Secondly, if the plumber is charging too little then he/she could be using inferior products or non-compliant materials, or they could do as little as possible to fix your plumbing issue which may result in you having to call out another plumber to properly repair the original problem.


Finally, should the plumber go out of business in the middle of your bathroom renovation, then you’ll have to pay for another plumber to finish the job and usually this will often cost more than your original quote. Some customers pay upfront for the entire job as part of a ‘contract’ and in this case, they’re left without a bathroom and facing a long appeal process to try and recoup their money.

It always pays to hire a professional company with a good reputation. It’s far better to pay a bit extra for quality than risk paying more in the long run because you were trying to save money in the first place.

Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage have built up a rock-solid reputation in Brisbane and much of our work is from referrals. It doesn’t get much better than that. If you need a quote for any plumbing or drainage work then give us a call. We’re a fully licensed and insured plumber you can trust.