Plumbing Pipe Repair

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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.

Does a plumber need to enter my home?

A plumber will need to enter your home to fix plumbing issues like dripping faucets, clogged sinks or toilets and leaky pipes. They might not need to come into your home if the faulty appliance is located outdoors or in the garage. Before you begin the project, contact plumbers near you to find out they will need to enter your home.  

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. 

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?

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.

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.

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

If possible, it’s best to set up a virtual consultation or phone call with a plumber near during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can send a message to a professional plumber near you and ask if they are available to video chat or have a phone call. Use that time to discuss the work that needs to be done. Make sure to ask any questions you have about the project. And lastly, ask the plumber how they handle payments and whether they have any specific safety precautions in place to comply with social distancing. 

Can I use digital payments to pay for plumbing services?

Some plumbers accept digital payments -- Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, etc. -- for their services. Before you hire a plumber, ask them if they accept your preferred online payment. Many also feature digital payment options on their profiles. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital payments are typically considered safer than cash and credit cards.

Reviews for Ashburn plumbers
Thumbtack Customer
Prompt - professional - experienced plumber.
Eagle Home Solutions  inc. (Walt . L)Eagle Home Solutions inc. (Walt . L)
Kristy S.
The plumber was helpful, professional and honest
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Khalid A.
I have hired a lot of different plumbers to fix clogged drains but he went above and beyond to fix the issue.
Carrington PlumbingCarrington Plumbing
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
S. P.
I highly recommend Atil for your plumbing needs. He is a master plumber who is knowledgable and professional. His prices are also extremely fair. I will not hesitate to call him for any future plumbing needs.
atilplimbing llcatilplimbing llc
Mohit C.
James was responsive and called immediately after posting. He gave me a rate which I think is probably the best I have seen after trying multiple Plumbers in the last few years. I am going to use him for all my plumbing needs for future.
Rehoboth Plumbing & Drain LLCRehoboth Plumbing & Drain LLC
Varun V.
Excellent customer service. Jim showed up right at 8am after I requested an urgent visit due to potential flooding in kitchen faucet. He fixed it during his estimate visit and didn’t charge a penny. Would definitely be my go to plumber service. Now I’ll be requesting to install a handheld shower in my bathrooms which I was worried about being too expensive!
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Aijun P.
James responded my request promptly and arrived at my home a couple of hours after I sent the request. He is very experienced and quickly identified the problem - a blockage in the water faucet that had prevented water from coming out. He fixed it in no time. Nicely done! In terms of price, I hope it could have been a little less, but I haven’t compared his price with other companies. A good plumber is worth more.
Rehoboth Plumbing & Drain LLCRehoboth Plumbing & Drain LLC
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Everything you need to know about plumbers.

When you have a water leak or a malfunctioning toilet, sink or shower, your first call should be to a plumbing company near you. There are many types of plumbing services, so it's crucial to find a company that can solve your specific plumbing problem — in a timely manner. 

Common plumbing services.

When you hire a plumber near you, they can resolve many typical household problems, such as:

  • Clogged drains, sinks and toilets
  • Clogged bathtub and shower drains 
  • Garbage disposal issues
  • Leaky faucets and pipes
  • Leaking hose bib
  • Low water pressure
  • Running toilets
  • Sump pump issues
  • Water heaters issues

For more complicated tasks (installing in-ground sprinklers, designing home plumbing systems, joining new plumbing to an existing system, etc.), you may need to hire a plumbing contractor near you. 

What’s the difference between a plumber and a plumbing contractor?

When you have a sink that won't drain properly, a clogged toilet or a faucet that leaks, a plumber can help solve your problem. Your plumber may work for a plumbing contractor, or they may own their own business. 

A plumbing contractor has more extensive training so that they’re equipped to handle more complex plumbing issues. They typically deal with new construction, renovations and remodeling projects. 

For example, a plumbing contractor often works with septic systems and the water supply. They may also handle gas connections, serve as consultants during new home design or a renovation and construct a waste disposal system. You might also hire plumbing contractors near you to install water softening equipment or gas control valves that may be part of your home's water system.

When to hire a plumber.

The plumbing systems in your home can be complicated. You may have a problem that can escalate quickly and cause more damage to your home. Even though you could handle many plumbing issues on your own, it's unlikely you have the specialized tools and experience to solve a problem quickly and easily — without creating other issues. 

Hire a plumber when any of these conditions apply to you: 

  • You suspect you have leaky pipes.
  • Your drains are severely clogged.
  • You don’t have access to hot water.
  • You notice there’s low water pressure.
  • You need to hook up gas lines.
  • Your pipes are frozen.
  • You’re replacing your water heater.
  • Your water line is damaged.
  • You’re experiencing a plumbing emergency.

Questions to ask plumbers.

The first question to ask your plumber is whether they can handle your plumbing issue and meet your needs. Here are more questions to ask plumbers before you set up an appointment:

  • Are you bonded, insured and licensed?
  • Have you addressed this problem in the past?
  • Is my issue or problem one of your specialties?
  • Can you offer a range of solutions and cost estimates for fixing my plumbing issue?
  • Will you need to shut off the water in my home to make the repair?
  • How long does the repair or installation take?

How to get cost estimates from plumbing companies.

Many plumbers near you offer free estimates to new and existing customers. If you can quickly and briefly explain your problem or issue, you should receive a price quote for that type of service. 

For example, if you have a toilet that runs constantly, it may need a new toilet kit. An experienced plumber can estimate how much time it will take to replace the kit and get your toilet back on track. 

In some cases, you'll need to schedule an on-site consultation with a plumber or plumbing contractor. There may be a flat fee for this service, but ask the plumber or plumbing contractor to confirm.

How to choose the best plumber near you.

When evaluating plumbers near you, be sure to read their reviews and ratings. Get cost estimates from a few plumbers before you make a decision. Always be sure that the plumber or plumbing contractor you hire has enough experience handling tasks like yours.

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