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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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. 

How do I hire an electrician?

Go online to find a list of the best electricians in your area. View each individual electrician’s profile and learn more about their services and expertise. Then, read reviews from satisfied customers as well as any issues they may have encountered. This will help you find one with the right experience to work safely in your home.

You should also spend some time researching what qualifications and credentials they have. You might find information about their license on their profile, or you might need to check your local and state government’s website to verify their license. 

Once you’ve done a bit of research, ask to receive free estimates from several electricians in your area. Ultimately, hire the most qualified electrician who can complete your project at a reasonable price.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with an electrician during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up an appointment or consultation with an electrician during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure that you are performing as much of the process digitally as possible. The best way to begin is by conducting an online search for local electricians. Ask if they can perform consultations over a phone or video call to comply with social distancing mandates. You should also discuss a strategy for how to complete the project during social distancing or whether the project should be completed once the pandemic has ended.

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 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.

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.

Do electricians do free estimates?

Yes, they do. Whether you’re looking for new electrical work or wiring repair, the electrician should offer you a free estimate. 

Go online to find the best electricians near you. After researching and finding a few pros who seem qualified for your job, go ahead and request a quote to find out how much those electricians will charge you.

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 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.

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?

Reviews for Ashburn home repair specialists
Dolfred M.
Chris and his team at Miller Integrity Construction were excellent in addressing our multiple issues around our home. The quality of the work and the professionalism was top notch. I appreciate the return visit to fix the replacement bathroom lights. Thanks Chris, much appreciated and hope to engage with you soon, for our home repairs/modifications. Dolfred.
Miller Integrity Construction, LLCMiller Integrity Construction, LLC
Ida B.
Mo and Nayif did an AWESOME job with completing various repairs in my home!! All jobs were completed in a timely manner and they made sure that I was completely satisfied with their work. They were also very professional and pleasant. I am definitely a life time customer!
Pristine HomesPristine Homes
Katherine C.
I hired these gentleman to install 4 new doors in my home, move the location of my recessed lights and install pendants. They were early and ready to get to work. I didn't have all the materials needed so they made a trip to Home Depot and provided me with the receipt. Electrical work and drywall repair was required. I am so very pleased with the tasks they completed and will definitely be hiring them for other work.
Five Stars ContractorsFive Stars Contractors
Ida B.
Roger and his son did an AWESOME job with installing two ceiling fans and fixing electrical issues in my home!! They both were very professional and pleasant to speak with. Roger took time to explain the cause of my electrical issues and the solutions. I will definitely hire them again if additional electrical repairs are needed.
Roger Professional Electrician!!Roger Professional Electrician!!
Agatha I.
Needed repairs after my living room and kitchen were flooded which required replacing dry wall and flooring. Working with Byron took the stress out of a very stressful situation. He listened to my concerns. He and his team were very professional and highly knowledgeable, working with me to restore my home in a very cost effective way. I will be working with him again.
Handyman & MoreHandyman & More
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