I Have A Burst Pipe, Why Is It So Expensive To Repair?

I Have A Burst Pipe, Why Is It So Expensive To Repair?

So, you have a burst pipe?

Your neighbour told you their burst pipe cost RXXX.XX to repair and your plumber has quoted you RXXX.XX + R1000.00.

Why the discrepancy in the prices? Surely a plumber is a plumber?

The working reality is there are two main factors in any plumbing job.

  1. The labour time required to complete the job, start to finish
  2. The materials required to complete the job


Every job carries a labour component. In the case of a burst pipe – how long will it take to expose the burst pipe? Is the pipe in a wall or is it underground? Does the plumber need to lift paving to expose the pipe? How deep is the pipe? What obstacles will be met in the digging process? – rocks or concrete. These factors, and more, will determine the labour component of any plumbing job.

Material Choice:

In our example of a burst pipe, a repair or replacement of the pipe is required. There are many different types of pipes and pipe sizes and each different type and size carries a different price. The main types of pipes we encounter are:

  1. Galvanised – old technology, time consuming to work with, difficult to install
  2. Copper – Most common is newer houses, easy to work with & repair, most expensive
  3. Polycop (Polypropylene) – suitable for outdoor use, expensive fittings, cannot be used for hot water
  4. HDPE – suitable for outdoor use, cannot be used in walls or indoors, cannot be used for hot water
  5. Multilayer/plastic – many varieties, each with their own fittings


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