Plumbing Pipe Repair

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best type of pipe for plumbing?

The best type of pipe for plumbing depends on your needs and concerns. For example: 

  • PVC lasts indefinitely and is easy to install.
  • PEX is easy to install and isn’t subject to corrosion.
  • Copper is durable and slightly more expensive.

Talk to your plumber about all your options, which may include other types of pipes (CPVC, polyethylene, ABS, polybutylene, etc.)

How much does it cost to install piping?

Installing piping in your home will likely cost between $450 and $1,000 per fixture. However, it’s important to always get cost estimates from plumbers so you can properly budget for this project. Several factors will drive the cost to install new plumbing in your home.

For example, the size of the house and the number of fixtures will impact costs. And the type of pipe material also has a significant impact, with copper piping being the most expensive. Piping located in difficult-to-reach areas also drives up the cost, as does wall repair and add-ons like water softeners.

Learn more by reading our piping installation cost guide.

How do I replace the pipes in my house?

The best way to replace old pipes in your house is to hire a licensed plumber to do the fix. You and the plumber can start the assessment by figuring out when your pipes were installed and if they’re in poor condition. If the plumbing in your home needs to be replaced, the plumber may need to remove drywall or ceiling materials to access the pipes and perform the job.

How often does plumbing need to be replaced?

How often your plumbing needs to be replaced depends on several factors, but the primary one is the type of piping installed in your house. Different materials (copper, steel, plastic, etc.) have different lifespans. How well you treat your piping also affects how often it needs to be replaced. 

Here are additional signs you may need to replace your piping:

  • Your pipes need constant repairs and attention
  • There are signs of water decay, discoloration and leaks
  • Your drains lines endured damage from tree roots or severe weather
  • You’re remodeling your home

When in doubt, always ask a plumber for their expert opinion.

How long do pipes last in a house?

The lifespan of pipes in a house depends on the type of piping, according. Here’s a breakdown of how long pipes last, depending on the material: 

  • Plastic pipes (PVC, CPVC, etc.): Indefinitely
  • Copper pipes: 50+ years
  • Brass pipes: 40-70 years
  • Galvanized steel pipes: 20-50 years

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.

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.

Reviews for Ashburn plumbers
Junwen C.
The technician came and fixed the leaking pipe right away! Reasonable price. Well equipped and prepared.
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Aman G.
The plumber was nice and kind. His plumbing work was good. Just wish he could also patch the wall which he cut to access the pipes.
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Bruce S.
Dennis made suggestions that made the final piping installation better. He was on time. He completed the work professionally and exceeding our expectations. I will definitely hire him again.
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Stephanie L.
Drake did a great job fixing the pipe behind our bathroom sink. He was able to take care of the situation with skill and professionalism. I will be calling Bestway again if I run into any other plumbing issues! Thanks!
Bestway plumbing and drainBestway plumbing and drain
Ah S.
He did an amazing job on my frozen pipe, he replaced it patched the wall and painte, pretty much restored everything as if its new, plus he gives you a free estimate which is pretty much put no obligation on you. Strongly recommend hia business
H2O Plumbing & Remodeling Services, LLCH2O Plumbing & Remodeling Services, LLC
Kevin B.
Paul responded to my emergency extremely quick, the night before Easter at 8:30pm. Within an hour of arriving he completed the job of repairing an old leaky pipe in my HVAC room. Will highly recommend Paul for any plumbing work! Friendly and professional - Paul and his team are rockstars!
Langway BrothersLangway Brothers
Troy L.
Quality work. Very professional, punctual, and communicative. Fair price! Don’t let Jason’s limited reviews fool you - he is new to Thumbtack but not new to plumbing or customer service. Lucky for us, he was able to accommodate us today (a Saturday), which was the same day we contacted him. He was the only Pro who offered weekend work (although we didn’t ask) and we contacted a few. Jason showed up quickly, assessed the problem and gave us a very fair quote. We accepted and he went to work. He finished really quickly and gave us thorough instructions on when we can turn the water back on (CPVC piping). Once we turned the water on we could see all was functioning perfectly, as promised. I can’t recommend Jason more highly. A consummate professional, an all around nice guy, and a high quality plumber. His number goes into my contacts as my go to plumber in the future. Don’t hesitate to contact him for your plumbing needs!
J.H. Wright Plumbing and Drain LLC.J.H. Wright Plumbing and Drain LLC.
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