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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. 

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. 

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.

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 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?

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.

Reviews for Ashburn plumbers
Sri k.
Affordable plumbing is friendly and he replaced toilet flush kit quickly and made sure there is no dripping. He even fixed diaper connection, over all happy with his work. Pricing is reasonable and will call him for my next plumbing project.
Affordable plumbingAffordable plumbing
Thumbtack Customer
Quick response, perfect service. Satisfied customer. Highly recommend to every one in need of plumbing related service.
Frankies PlumbingFrankies Plumbing
Leigh A.
Dennis was incredibly helpful and honest about the work that needed to be done. We plan to use him again for any future plumbing needs!
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
Hira K.
Kelvin is professional, timely, and very knowledgeable about his work. I have used him twice for plumbing issues and will continue to use him for our homes future needs!
Gifted HandsGifted Hands
Shweta P.
Frankie did a good job, he knew what needed to be fixed based on the picture I shared when requested quote. I would definitely work with him again in case there is a plumbing need in future.
Frankies PlumbingFrankies Plumbing
Thumbtack Customer
Frankie did a great job removing and replacing a toilet in our guest bathroom. He was respectful of our home, careful not to make a mess and cleaned up thoroughly before leaving the premises. We will definitely consider Frankie for other plumbing related jobs.
Frankies PlumbingFrankies Plumbing
Thumbtack Customer
Mr. Archondo did a fantastic job of fixing my plumbing issues. He charged me exactly the same price as he had estimated over the phone. His work was clean, quick, and very effective. He also helped me make a routine maintenance plan.
RJA FloorsRJA Floors
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
Saji A.
Chris came to help me fix a clogging issue. He was informed, polite, respectful and above all he respected social distancing and followed CDC guidelines such as masks and gloves. The issue was addressed very quickly as well. I will recommend Chris for any plumbing work you might have. Thanks
CA Plumbing & Drain LLCCA Plumbing & Drain LLC
Vikas J.
Julian is amazingly fast in response. I had water heater issue during peak winter. He immediately responded on thumbtack and next day he replaced it and finished the project. He is very respectful and professional in dealing. Also, highly transparent in pricing. In all, amazing team and I will highly recommend Plumb Agent.
Plumb Agent, LLCPlumb Agent, LLC
Louise C.
Jean was very responsive and quickly scheduled an appointment for us. He was knowledgeable and happy to explain why our pipe setup wasn’t working (we had a little leak). The work wasn’t cheap (though it never is), but Jean knows his stuff and is enthusiastic about his work. We would definitely contact him again for any plumbing problems.
GOOD GUYS HOMECARE LLCGOOD GUYS HOMECARE LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Outstanding. I was in town and needed some plumbing work done on my rental. Posted on Thumbtack and within a few minutes Dennis had responded. This was on a Friday afternoon. I needed 2 toilets replaced and a new garbage disposal installed. And i needed them done Saturday. Dennis said not problem. Provided a reasonable quote, called when he said. Was responsive and very helpful. Dennis went out of his way to help me haul the materials and parts from the local Lowes and hauled away the old junk. He was thorough, meticulous and expeditious in moving from job to job and room to room. Net/Net - i'd recommend Dennis for any handy man work you may need complete. I'd use him more if he was local to where I lived. Thanks Dennis!
Just Call Dennis Handyman ServicesJust Call Dennis Handyman Services
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