Plumbing Pipe Repair

Find a plumber near East Palo Alto, CA

Find a plumber near East Palo Alto, CA

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much do plumbers charge per hour?

Depending on the service you need (unclogging a drain, fixing a pipe, installing new pipes, etc.), plumbers charge anywhere from $45-$165 per hour. Plumbers often operate on a fixed rate model, too. Some won’t charge hourly rates because the variables involved in their work makes it less practical to do so. 

Plumbers will scope out the work, calculate the cost of parts, and roll it together with other fees to give you an estimate for the job. They may even offer standard flat rates for things like installing a toilet or a sink. Reach out to plumbers near you to get an accurate cost estimate for your project or repair.

How long is a water heater supposed to last?

Your water heater is an essential part of your home, heating water for showers, dishwashing, laundry and more. On average, a traditional water heater will last 8-12 years. The general consensus is that it’s better to replace your water heater with a new one than to repair one that’s 10 years old or more. Older models are less energy-efficient and thus more costly to run than newer models with better technology. Here are some indicators of when it may be time to replace an old water heater instead of repairing it:

  • Leaks: If leaking is not caused by loose connections, the water may be seeping out through slight fractures in the metal of the tank that have formed over time.
  • Strange noises: Clanking, rumbling and other noises can mean that sediment has formed on the base of your tank, contributing to fissures leaks, and inefficiency.
  • Age: If it’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to replace.
  • Discolored or rusty water: Have a pro check it out; if the problem isn’t resolved by draining and cleaning, you’ll want to replace the heater.
  • Lack of hot water: Inconsistent heating and hot water supply that runs out too quickly likely means it’s time for a new unit.

What happens when a water pipe bursts?

When a pipe bursts, the water can cause indoor flooding and damage your home. If the pipe is in an accessible location, you will likely notice puddles of water right away. However, if the pipe is underground or behind a wall, it may cause reduced water pressure, a sulfur smell or discolored water. All of this can cause significant (and expensive) damage, which is why you should always contact a plumber near you if you suspect your pipes are leaking.

Can a leaking pipe burst?

Yes. A leak in your pipe can build up pressure and wear through the material. Left unchecked, this pressure can cause the pipe to burst. This is why it’s so important to fix your pipes and contact a plumber as soon as you notice a leak — no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. 

Smaller leaks are easier and inexpensive to fix, saving you time and money in the long run. In addition, many insurance policies will not cover water damage for pipes that burst due to gradual leaks.

What do you do if you have a burst pipe?

First, switch off the water supply to reduce the water damage. You should also turn off the electricity for the part of your home that has sustained the leak, as it can be extremely dangerous if the water comes into contact with an electrical socket. Next, drain the remaining water from your faucets so it doesn’t freeze inside the pipes. 

Once you’ve done all of this, search for qualified plumbers in your area and ask them to provide you with a quote. 

What are the signs of a burst pipe?

If your water pressure has suddenly dropped or your sink and toilet have unexpectedly started clogging, you may have a burst pipe. Other tell-tale signs include watermarks on the wall of your bathroom or laundry room, drips or puddles in your home or basement, or water from your faucets that have suddenly turned brown. You may also notice a strange rotten-egg smell or the sound of gurgling water in your home.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a plumber near you to fix your pipes immediately.

Does insurance cover a broken pipe?

Sudden water damage may be included under most homeowners’ insurance policies, but it’s typically not covered if the damage could have been avoided with proper maintenance.

For example, if a pipe in your laundry room suddenly bursts and causes damage to the flooring and walls, that is usually covered by insurance. But if a pipe under your sink has been leaking for months and causes your wood floors to rot, your policy won’t cover that damage.

Always double-check with your insurance agent (or another expert)  to see what your policy covers.

How much does it cost to repair a broken pipe?

The national average cost to repair broken pipes ranges from $120 to $170. Prices can vary depending on the type of damage, whether the pipe is easily accessible, the materials needed and where the pipe is located. For example, an exposed pipe under the sink will likely cost much less than a pipeline in your yard that requires digging. 

Your overall cost will also depend on the hourly rate of the contractor. Most plumbers charge between $60 and $65 per hour for standard pipe repair, and up to $95 per hour for complex plumbing work. 

Contact the best pipe repairers in your area to find out how much it will cost to fix your pipe(s). 

To learn more about pricing factors, read “How much does pipe repair cost?

Do plumbers offer remote or virtual services?

If you see a profile that states the plumber is offering remote services, contact the plumber before hiring them to see what those services include. Although plumbing is a job that has to be done in-person, you can ask them if they offer virtual consultations or an online walk-through. 

How much does it cost to install a hot water heater?

You’ll know when it’s time to install a new water heater. Water heater installation costs average between $360 and $780 nationally, with rates increasing depending on the project. The total project cost will be higher when you include the cost of the heater itself. Select your new water heater based on the number of occupants in your home and the number of gallons of capacity you’ll need. Installation costs can vary based on the type of water heater you are removing and the type you are installing, any necessary repairs, regional cost of labor, and whether disposal of the old heater is included. Natural gas water heaters retail on average between $650 and $900 for standard models. Electric water heaters range between $300 and $700 for standard models. Tankless electric water heaters retail on average between $250 and $700 for standard models. Tankless gas water heaters retail on average between $200 and $1,300.

A company may charge approximately $1,000 to replace a 50-gallon tank-style electric water heater (not including any upgrades required by building codes). Replacing a gas-powered water heater might cost $1,100 (not including code upgrades). Some companies roll the disposal of an old heater into the overall cost of the new water heater installation. Other professionals charge an additional removal fee that can range from $35 to $150.

Reviews for East Palo Alto plumbers
Viviane L.
Jose did great job installing all 3 toilets. Would recommend for any future plumbing needs.
Platinum PlumbingPlatinum Plumbing
Kevin M.
Antonio is the best plumber I worked with. Professional and responsible. Always wear shoe bag in my house. Nice plumbing work.
Plumbing & Rooter Service (Antonio Cárcamo ReyesPlumbing & Rooter Service (Antonio Cárcamo Reyes
David S.
Best Bay Plumbing & Rooter did a great job replacing my kitchen faucet and water line to toilet in a bathroom. They were running late for the appointment but did email me to let me know what time they would be arriving. Martin was very knowledgable about what needed to be done. They completed the job on a timely basis. Will use them again for any plumbing needs.
Best Bay Plumbing & RooterBest Bay Plumbing & Rooter
Mikhail K.
Kevin was friendly and did an excellent job fixing the toilet plumbing issue at my house replacing 4 toilets kits . Kevin was highly knowledgeable, professional and dedicated to solving the issue. He was quick to respond to my job request. He was flexible and worked with my work schedule to fix my toilet plumbing issue in a very timely manner. I will use him again in the future and highly recommend him.
K&M  ServicesK&M Services
John H.
Nar arrived on time and did a great job replacing a 34 year old (non functioning) faucet. I would hire him again with any plumbing or electrical project.
David L.
Justin did a great job installing various faucets in our home. He also helped us with other smaller plumbing issues that came up. I would definitely hire him again.
Thumbtack Customer
Kevin was knowledgeable, courteous, respectful and did the two jobs in a timely manner. Would definitely be calling Kevin for any future plumbing or handyman jobs, as will my landlord who was also suitably impressed. Thank you Kevin!
K&M  ServicesK&M Services
Anuj P.
I had issues with a clogged bathtub. Nick responded immediately, and was so kind to drop by the same evening. He was very friendly, and fixed the issues. Next time I have drain/plumbing issues, I will definitely be calling Nick.
Nick's Quick FixNick's Quick Fix
Taures J.
Working with Plumbtree Plumbing and Rooter was a great experience. They were prompt in responding to my service request and showed up on time ready to work. They were very professional and their repair work was efficient and quick. I would definitely use them again!
Plumbtree Plumbing and Rooter, Inc.Plumbtree Plumbing and Rooter, Inc.
Really professional service , solved the plumbing blockage! They also helped me look at my fireplace and got it back to working in no time! I would choose again! For future viewers, it cost $450 to have a kitchen sink unblocked using motored snake.
Plumbtree Plumbing and Rooter, Inc.Plumbtree Plumbing and Rooter, Inc.
Brennan O.
Kevin replaced a touchless faucet in our kitchen sink that was no longer working. He did a great job at a fair price and was very helpful informing me during the job and pointing out things for us to keep aware of around our plumbing. Very happy and will call him again.
K&M  ServicesK&M Services
Carol C.
Fernando is fantastic! He responded to my request in 10 minutes and showed up immediately. He is very knowledgeable and professional. He helped get the parts and fixed our plumbing leaking problem quickly. We would like highly recommend him to anyone and will not hesitate to contact him in future.
Taures J.
The experience with Eric went very well- arrived on time, explained the problem and solution, quoted a very reasonable price and fixed my toilet in 10-15 mins. I also appreciated the quick response and scheduling on a Saturday. I would definitely use them again for my plumbing needs.
Thumbtack Customer
My experience with Kevin was outstanding. He executed a challenging job (replacement of a high-end bathroom sink fixture) with skill, patience, thoughtfulness and thoroughness. He communicated effectively throughout the process, including a follow-up call to confirm that the new fixture was operating properly. I will have no hesitation in retaining Kevin for future plumbing jobs.
K&M  ServicesK&M Services
Ana R.
Strongly recommend Frias LLC. Responsive, punctual, effective. We were in a kind of urgent situation. They managed to show up the next morning, fix the draining issue in our bathtub, and even do the same for our other shower, all for the same price. Everything was extremely efficiently done, and Frias did it all for the price lower than what other plumbing companies that I contacted asked for.
Frias service llcFrias service llc
Prashant D.
Martin is super awesome. Definitely calling him for future plumbing needs and referring him to friends. Had a bad clog with toilet backed up to shower and filled with gray water. Martin was easy to communicate, and showed up on time as promised on Sunday! After seeing the mess, he skillfully started with easier techniques. When none of them worked, he worked his way up to fix the clog. Thanks, Martin!
Universal plumbing & rooterUniversal plumbing & rooter
Jim V.
I hired Kevin, using Thumbtack, to change two kitchen faucets, two soap dispensers, and two water filter cartridges. He was responsive, prompt, and stood by his estimate. The job of installing two faucets proved to be much harder than what he expected, but, he stood by his estimate. And he did a first class job. I would hire him again for plumbing jobs around my house, that for sure.
K&M  ServicesK&M Services
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