How to Start a Plumbing Business


Our guide on starting a plumbing business covers all the essential information to help you decide if this business is a good match for you. Learn about the day-to-day activities of a plumbing business owner, the typical target market, growth potential, startup costs, legal considerations, and more!

The plumbing business is a necessary business because consumers and businesses generally are incapable of maintaining their own plumbing systems. Plumbers ensure that potable and sewer water pipes are well-maintained and up to local building codes. Customers are usually living in residential properties. However, some plumbers obtain corporate or commercial contracts and work exclusively with businesses.

Who is this business right for?

This business is ideal for individuals who enjoy working with their hands, aren’t afraid to get dirty, and have flexible work hours. Some plumbers are called into a job site on emergencies and must work late or even work on weekends. Plumbers, and a Jeff’s KBB Plumbing company, may also have to work on holidays.

What happens during a typical day at a plumbing business?

Day-to-day activities of a plumbing company include checking customer logs, fixing and maintaining plumbing lines, and billing customers for services rendered. Some companies also spend considerable time designing and building new plumbing systems if they work on new construction projects.

Plumbers also spend considerable time assembling pipe sections, tubing and fittings, using clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvents and caulking, solder and soldering guns, couplings, and welding equipment.

Plumbers also have to routinely do complex calculations on job sites which determine the safety and longevity of the plumbing they design, install, and maintain.

What is the target market?

Clients are usually either commercial or residential customers. Plumbers usually get business either through referrals or targeted marketing, like direct mail. The easiest way for plumbers to get business is to buy a mailing list of individuals who have previously done business with plumbers or used plumbing services within the past 6 months to a year. Then, mail those people with an offer for promotional services.

How does a plumbing business make money?

Plumbing companies charge a flat rate (sometimes plus materials) for jobs. However, they may also charge per hour or premium surcharges for emergency, rush, or off-hours service.

What is the growth potential for a plumbing business?

A plumbing business can typically be started with one plumber. As demand begins to exceed the plumber’s ability, additional plumbers can be hired as employees or as independent contractors. Most plumbers maintain a local clientele, though some have managed to expand operations beyond their region.