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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
Crystal G.
Joshua and his team did an great job on my plumbing repair. He was professional, courteous, and left the work site clean and tidy. Would hire him again for my plumbing needs.
Joshua EdwardsJoshua Edwards
Kim L.
Eckers plumbing did a great job repairing my shower!
Eckers plumbingEckers plumbing
Alex K.
Fast and professional service and did a great job of fixing the issue. Will use again for future plumbing issues.
Langway BrothersLangway Brothers
Rodney J.
Brian is awesome. My new plumber. Listen if you need plumbing work please strongly consider Brian. Very fair prices and very knowledgeable.
Brian Rogers ServiceBrian Rogers Service
Kimberly C.
Kelvin arrived on the day we agreed and completed the work the same day at the set rate we agreed upon. I would recommend him for your plumbing needs.
Gifted HandsGifted Hands
Ryuji M.
They were very quick to respond and come out for a free estimate for a kitchen sink and bathroom vanity installation. Also had a drain snaked. Quote was competitive and the work was top-notch. Would easily use again for any plumbing needs.
Save The Day Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, LLCSave The Day Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, LLC
Luther T.
I can't say enough good things about James Lewis. I was a little skeptical about hiring someone from a web site but I'm really happy I selected James. I hired him to replace the faucet on a basement utility sink. He did a fantastic job and at a fraction of the price several plumbing firms wanted. The firms had clearly exaggerated what was involved to maximize their price. In talking to him, I found out he also does electrical work so I had him replace a double light switch that had gone bad. It was a real pleasure to meet and spend time with James. If you need plumbing or electrical work done HIRE THIS GUY!
James lewisJames lewis
Ed M.
They referenced a free estimate 3 times(below) prior to coming out. Once there they wanted to charge us $100. What happend to the free estimate??? Plumbing Pipe Repair See project details Wednesday, Nov 25th Hi! Ed, Good morning. How are you? I see you need help with your Plumbing Issue (Leaking pipes Issue). We can help. We can come out NOW/TODAY or any day you preferred to come and give you a FREE estimate. If you like our Price we can do SAME-DAY Service or the day you choose. If you do not like our Price we will walk away. We will not try to persuade you to like what you don't like! We are Professional Plumbers. We can bid any price if you show with a written estimate. Hope to hear from you soon. Phone: 410-921-9995 Company text message: 443-720-7509 Thank you, 24/7 Plumbing & Drain Dear Ed, Thank you so much for reading our message. Do you want us to come for a FREE estimate today or Tomorrow? If you like our price we can do SAME-day service or any day you want. If you don't like our price we will walk away. Hi! We can send out a tech for you today for a FREE estimate. Do you want us to come?
24-7 Plumbing & Drain, LLC - Maryland24-7 Plumbing & Drain, LLC - Maryland
Alex C.
Ricardo and his partner arrived on time and ready to fix my plumbing issue. They were professional and explain to me exactly what the problem was and how they’re going to fix it. It turned out to be more serious than they expected and they had to go to the nearest Home Depot to pick up extra supplies. Throughout the entire process they were informative, respectful, and working hard to do the job correctly. Would definitely recommend to anybody who needs a plumber!
3 Brothers Home Renovation3 Brothers Home Renovation
Todd T.
I sent a request for a plumbing repair with pictures to Thumbtack on Sat evening. The next day Langway Bros and 2 other pros visited and gave prices. Langway gave the most extensive assessment and a reasonable price. Their personnel were on-time, professional and as additional issues were identified they provided creative solutions to fix. The manager is always response any questions I may have. The 1st job is not totally complete but I'm already asking for an estimate on additional work. Great job!
Langway BrothersLangway Brothers
Katelyn B.
Paul was super fast to respond when I was freaking out and assured me that everything was going to be okay. He made himself available within a couple hours notice to come check out what was wrong and immediately need the problem and solution he gave me a very fair price and lower than some of the other estimates that I received. While Paul was here there were a couple other problems found that he took care of no problem. I will always use them for any plumbing issue I have, highly recommend!
Langway BrothersLangway Brothers
Andre C.
Excellent job by Tony Work Quality A+ Responsiveness A + Punctonality. A Excellent job by Gods Workers Love the name. Very knowledgeable guys who take pride in their work. Im not going to nitpick about what shoes they were wearing like some of the other reviews Anybody that can do plumbing work in Air Jordan’s must be really good because I would be scared to get them dirty Also I called them &received same day service which is rare They fixed the toilet upstairs & made a adjustment to the other to prevent running water Excellent job Keep up the good work God Bless !
Gods WorkersGods Workers
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