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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
Joe R.
Bestway plumbing is responsive, proactive, and professional. Michael’s expertise and efficiency are greatly appreciated and we will keep Bestway on speed dial for our future plumbing needs. I consider myself to be somewhat handy but certain jobs call for the professionals, especially when water is involved. Highly recommend Michael and Bestway plumbing.
Bestway plumbing and drainBestway plumbing and drain
Dolfred M.
Dakota VanCleve did an excellent job in replacing a garbage disposal unit. We appreciate his professionalism and attention to detail. We will be certain to contact VanCleve Plumbing for future plumbing issues. Thanks.
VanCleve PlumbingVanCleve Plumbing
Darryl L.
My plumbing problem was quickly diagnosed and fixed at a reasonable cost.
Pro-line Piping and HeatingPro-line Piping and Heating
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
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
Kelly R.
Veterans Plumbing Services was fantastic. I reached out and heard back in a few minutes. My shower was fixed in under an hour and it is so much better! Jim was so helpful and professional. I would recommend everyone hire Veterans Plumbing Services.
Veteran Plumbing ServicesVeteran Plumbing Services
Michael W.
I chose KM plumbing to replace a toilet and they did an excellent job. They took all necessary precautions (mask & shoe covers) before entering the house. They proposed a very fair price and performed the work in a timely manner. I will use KM plumbing in the future.
Km plumbingKm plumbing
Leena S.
I highly recommend Langway Brothers for your plumbing needs. Excellent service and superb quality work!!
Langway BrothersLangway Brothers
Vamshi B.
Dakota was professional and got the work done as promised. I would recommend him for any plumbing related work.
VanCleve PlumbingVanCleve 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
Domagoj Don T.
Choosing VanCleve Plumbing was a home run. I had ordered a new water heater online, with accompanying equipment. All I needed someone to install. The equipment they sent was totally wrong but Dakota was awesome... he went out and got the right parts, and worked the whole job (and through the complications) with a smile. Will def hire again for any plumbing needs. Great value and highly recommended.
VanCleve PlumbingVanCleve 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
Stefan B.
Calvin showed up and quickly assessed my plumbing issue with the faucet. The information he provided was very helpful. He was very professional and personable. I had a new faucet to replace the old one instead fixing it. Calvin worked very quickly to change out the faucet. I am glad I chose Veteran Plumbing. An additional note If you are a veteran they also offer a discount.
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
Elijah k.
Responded super quickly! And even came out the next morning which was a holiday too. Expert service, knowledge, and great pricing. I highly recommend for any plumbing service.
Mariam A.
I don’t write reviews often because people rarely meet my expectations, but I really wanted to write this review for MC Plumbing because Jose and his team have done an amazing job on a few projects. He is a highly skilled plumber who really enjoys his work and it definitely shows in the quality of his work. I wholeheartedly recommend MC Plumbing for anyone who holds honesty handwork and professionalism at high value.
MC  PlumbingMC Plumbing
Riccardo D.
VanCleve plumbing was quick to provide me a fair price and got the job done despite some unforeseen issues with the countertop. Would highly recommend and we will be using them again in the future!
VanCleve PlumbingVanCleve Plumbing
Rick j.
Sailo was excellent! I called and he was over at my home in 30 minutes to install a new plumbing fixture. Very professional person. We have found our new plumber. Thank you.
Masterpiece plumbing & drain llc.Masterpiece plumbing & drain llc.
Heather J.
We were incredibly happy with Veteran Plumbing. After being cancelled on by another plumbing company 3 times for a small toilet repair, we switched to Veteran and I’m so glad we did. Veteran came out the next day and fixed my toilet in less than thirty minutes without needing any special parts. The other company wanted to order a whole new piece and install it for three times the cost. I highly recommend Veterans for their honesty, and their fast response time. I will absolutely use them in the future.
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
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
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
Yasi F.
I honestly cannot say enough about Dave’s quality of work, honesty and dedication to resolving your issue. We are so grateful to him for resolving a major plumbing issue for us that took him over 4 hours. He was so positive and optimistic throughout the entire process (while we were freaking out). Highly recommend Dave!!!!!!!
ActFast Drain & Jetting SolutionsActFast Drain & Jetting Solutions
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