To correctly price a plumbing job, many calculations need to happen, with figures, measurements, and other information that may vary from job to job.
Suppose you find yourself getting frustrated with remembering all of the different formulas you need. Or you’re running into inaccuracies and mistakes that are affecting your business. Or you simply want to streamline your process. In that case, you should be looking into a reliable plumbing calculator.
Plumbing calculators are specific programs or apps built for plumbers and can handle and remember all the math required for different plumbing jobs. They’re capable of much more than the calculator app on your phone or laptop.
Plumbing calculators can be more specific and sophisticated, and can help you with a broader range of plumbing measurements, formulas, and conversions to calculate estimates faster, with less hassle.
Your phone is an essential tool before, during, and after a plumbing job and can be made even more useful with the addition of a plumbing calculator app. With them, you can take measurements and notes and solve tricky formulas on the fly while ensuring your calculations’ accuracy. Below are our recommendations for plumbing calculator apps that are easy and convenient to use.
Plumbing Formulator: Plumbing Formulator is an app that's packed with over 120 plumbing-specific formulas. These range from calculating areas and weights of different pipes, water temperature and pressure, and pipe expansion. It even includes conversion formulas, from turning square feet into square inches into pounds per square inch! Everything you do in Plumbing Formulator can be emailed or printed out, so you can share the information with your team or clients, and you can favorite your most used formulas for easy access during your next job. If you’re using a business management app like FieldPulse, this means you can easily attach printables to customers and jobs inside the app.
Contractor Calculator: FieldPulse’s Contractor Calculator app is an essential app for any contractor. It can handle many different projects and calculations at once and features trade-specific formulas that can be hard to search for online or in other apps. All of your calculations can be saved to specific jobs, so they are easily referenced when a client has a question and can be shared through the app with teammates or employees.
FieldPulse: The FieldPulse app makes it simple to create complex invoices and estimates in the field in seconds. Store commonly used supplies and labor rates, then insert them into estimates and invoices and adjust and calculate prices on the fly. FieldPulse automatically calculates subtotals, taxes, discounts, square footage and can pull labor hours from job duration or timesheet totals directly from the app.
Construction Master Pro App: The Construction Master Pro App is an incredibly powerful trade calculator. It has all the tools you need to get your measurements and calculations figured out quickly and accurately, and there’s a built-in user guide if you see something that you’re unfamiliar with. You can hold down the button you’re confused about, and a clear definition will appear alongside an example of when and how to use it. The Construction Master Pro App also includes an Advanced Tape feature, which allows you to save your calculations into easy-to-read PDFs that you can then send along to your clients or save inside to customer profiles and jobs inside the FieldPulse app.
Pipe Trades Pro App: The Pipe Trades Pro App is ideal for plumbers. It’s designed explicitly for plumbing jobs, featuring essential calculations for pipe layout and design, weight/volume conversions, and flow rates. The Pipe Trades Pro App even includes options in its formulas to include pipe material and type, so your calculations are as accurate as they can be.
Quick Plumber: Quick Plumber is an app that focuses more on efficiency, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. It’s a plumbing calculator that primarily features quick options for calculating offsets and rolling offsets. Quick Plumber is a simply designed app that’s user-friendly and convenient for quick calculations during a plumbing job.
Code Snap UPC: Code Snap UPC allows you to access the Uniform Plumbing Code while on a job quickly and features commonly used formulas with the option to save your calculations and measurements within the app. It also features interactive layout maps, inspection guides, and ADA standards for public spaces. Code Snap UPC is a reference guide and a calculator all in one!
Pipe and Fitting: The Pipe and Fitting app is a handy tool when using formulas that depend on specific pipe dimensions. The app has information on a variety of different pipes and pipe materials and measurements for clamps, flanges, and gaskets. There’s also the option to switch between metric and standard US units of measurement and easy-to-reference pictures and guides.
Pipefitter Tools: The Pipefitter Tools app is another app that features both references and calculations in one easy-to-use spot. There is a Resource Book that includes definitions, acronyms, and all sorts of data and standards specific to plumbers. The app calculator portion is useful for things like unit conversions, pipe weight calculations, and even sheet metal calculations. While it does offer a premium (paid) option, the free version of the Pipefitter Tools app is an excellent resource for plumbers during a job.
PHCC Water Supply Calculator App: The PHCC Water Supply Calculator app is a one-stop resource for plumbers when you need quick calculations involving water supply fixture units and other associated measurements. This calculator allows you to input a fixture unit demand. The app will show you all the information you need regarding that unit, from suggested pipe size to possible water pressure drop. And yes, it’s from that PHCC— the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, so you know it’s an accurate and professional resource for you and your plumbing business.
Now that you have all of your on-the-go calculating needs met, we can focus more on the calculating you do while sitting at your desk in front of your computer. You don’t always need your phone to access helpful plumbing calculator apps—many programs can be found on your desktop or laptop for anything that needs to be done before or after a plumbing job.
Diameter Velocity & Flow Rate Ultra Calculator: This online calculator lives up to its “ultra” name. The Diameter Velocity & Flow Rate Ultra Calculator allows you to choose among a large variety of units for your calculations. Where other calculators can be limited to accepting measurements that are only in inches, the Ultra Calculator is more versatile and therefore more convenient when handling whatever measurements your team is provided with or uses.
Pipe Volume Calculator: The Pipe Volume Calculator is a simple tool used for estimating the volume of a pipe and the mass of the liquid in it. It has a very straightforward, easy-to-use design and has helpful tips and information farther down on the page regarding pipe volume measurements and calculations.
Pipe Sizing Calculator: The Pipe Sizing Calculator is another simply designed online calculator for calculating the correct pipe size needed for a job. You just fill in the form with the measurements and information you have, and the calculator tells you the precise pipe size you need.
Pressure Drop Online-Calculator: Another online calculator that does exactly what the title says—the Pressure Drop Online-Calculator figures out the pressure drops in flowing liquids through pipes. The calculator is straightforward, with a variety of unit options and an easy-to-understand interface.
Pipe Flow Calculations: This website is one of the more thorough options for plumbing calculators online. Pipe Flow Calculations has 16 calculators available to use for everything from pipe dimensions to pressure drop and references and resources accessible through the relevant calculators or links on the homepage.
Vcalc: The vCalc online calculator has many formulas and calculations grouped under useful headings. There are four main categories to choose from, and then within those are smaller sub-headings that will help you narrow down and find the exact formula you need.
Plastic Pipe Calculator: The calculators listed above typically focus on metal or steel pipes, but there are times when you’ll be working with plastic pipes, and this can change some of the measurements involved with certain calculations. The Plastic Pipe Calculator was built especially for those jobs. It takes the material into consideration and factors into its formulas, giving you a more accurate result.
BCD Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator: This online calculator is also specific to plastic pipes. Created by the Plastic Pipes Institute, the BCD Plastic Pipe Design Calculator does calculations involving pipe weight and volume and water pressure. The results can then be printed or emailed for easy sharing between employees or teammates.
Technology is great and has come a long way in its uses and capabilities, but nothing compares to a physical calculator’s feel and power. You’ll need more sophisticated machines than the ones you’ll find at an office supply store, so we have two recommendations for you:
Pipe Trades Pro Calculator: The Pipe Trades Pro calculator has everything you need to get the most accurate calculations at your plumbing jobs. It features the calculator standards (all the numbers and basic math symbols are there!) and includes plumbing-specific buttons for calculating angles and offsets, and even has an option to input pipe sizes and material right there on the calculator.
Construction Master Pro: The Construction Master Pro calculator is a more advanced contractor calculator that can handle more advanced formulas and measurements. It’s ideal for construction-based jobs and has options for calculations involving things like stairs and right angles, and has a built-in conversion calculator for different building dimensions.