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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 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.

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.

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
Kimberly S.
Edward Redding did an excellent job! I was very please with the plumbing job he had completed on a short notice.
Thumbtack Customer
Had the best experience with Nick plumbing. He was on time and educated me as to the whole situation. I'd highly recommend them!
Nick's PlumbingNick's Plumbing
Responsive, honest, informative with excellent communication and customer service. Von Drain & Contracting LLC will be my on call plumber for all my properties plumbing issues.
Von Drain & Contracting LLCVon Drain & Contracting LLC
Donica W.
David is the real deal! I have called him on two separate occasions , one for a water spigot outdoors and next for a toilet leak. Both jobs l am more than pleased with the work performed. He kept me informed every step of the way and was super pleasant. I will definitely use David and GSC plumbing again!!!! I would HIGHLY recommend David and GSC for all plumbing needs!
GSC Plumbing, LLCGSC Plumbing, LLC
Joshua G.
Not a big job but I was scheduled the day after I contacted him. Service done well. Above and beyond on the details. I will use again on any plumbing jobs.
Adams drain cleaning llcAdams drain cleaning llc
Dawn K.
He was easy to converse with about the problem and gave me advice on how to keep it from happening again. I would definitely hire him again for all my plumbing needs.
Nita J.
David showed up on time and was very professional and told me upfront my plumbing issue, in addition to costs. His prices are fair and I will be referring him to family/friends, and using for future mishaps.
ActFast Drain & Jetting SolutionsActFast Drain & Jetting Solutions
Thumbtack Customer
Nick was great! He came out right away and immediately got to work. He worked hard and got our drain unclogged fast. Really nice guy! He will be the one I call if I ever have another plumbing issue!
Nick's PlumbingNick's Plumbing
Dilpreet M.
Extremely kind and responsive to each of our plumbing projects this past weekend. From an emergency leaking pipe, leaking kitchen faucet and blocked toilet, he really helped solve our problems for a reasonable price. Thank you so much for your professionalism and care for each detail.
Pro-line Piping and HeatingPro-line Piping and Heating
Deanne J.
Eddie was very responsive and I was impressed that he was able to come on a holiday weekend. I was also relieved that he was able to fix my garbage disposal without replacing it. He was very professional, friendly, and kind and I would definitely hire him again for future plumbing issues!
Felicia W.
We had several plumbing issues and he was so efficient that we were shocked with how quickly he was able to complete them. We have zero complaints and received excellent service. We will be repeat customers. We now have a family plumber and will be sharing our experience with friends and family.
Cody W.
Edward is a nice guy and did the work fast. Highly recommend if you need some plumbing done to use him his prices beat all other plumbers i talked to. He was flexible with scheduling to work around my work day. My job was just the drain from a sink i needed him to fix the drain coming out of the wall.
Cheryl S.
Moe was awesome, my kitchen sink had filled up on me and would not go down and I felt nothing in the drain. I contacted him and he scheduled a quick appointment. He had to go deep into the pipes to get to fix the problem, he was very professional and reasonable. I highly recommend him and will be using him for my plumbing needs.
Moes MechanicalServicesMoes MechanicalServices
Robert M.
I summoned Moe’s Mechanical Services to replace an outdoor water hose bib. The company arrived on time, explained how my problem will be executed, the cost and even used shoe covers. Moe was honest, professional, knowledgeable and just a great person from the time he arrived. I would definitely recommended this company to you for all your plumbing work. They will now have a long life customer now. Awesome, job Moe. God blessed us all with talent and he has definitely blessed you my brother. Continued success!!! Enjoy that special day. I wasn’t asked by Moe for a review. I took it upon myself to let the world know my awesome experience with this company.
Moes MechanicalServicesMoes MechanicalServices
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