Plumbing Pipe Repair

Find a plumber near Durham, NC

Find a plumber near Durham, NC

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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.

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 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.

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 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 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.

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 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?

Do plumbers offer remote or virtual services?

If you see a profile that states the plumber is offering remote services, contact the plumber before hiring them to see what those services include. Although plumbing is a job that has to be done in-person, you can ask them if they offer virtual consultations or an online walk-through. 

Why is the water in my house not getting hot?

If the water in your house is not getting hot, it may be time for water heater repair. Nationally, the average water heater repair cost ranges between $120 and $200, although prices can range up to $400, depending on the problem and materials. Competent homeowners may also be able to try DIY fixes, whether they have a traditional gas or electric water heater or a tankless gas or electric heater. Troubleshooting the different issues that can arise with each of the styles requires some knowledge of how they operate and what red flags to look out for. For a natural gas water heater, the first step is to check whether the pilot light has gone out. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions if you want to relight it yourself. If you smell gas, stop everything and call your gas company — the smell could signal a dangerous gas leak. If your household’s water is not getting hot enough, you can try increasing the temperature on the water heater’s front dial above the standard setting of 120 degrees; for safety, always turn off electricity to the unit before adjusting temperatures. If you keep running out of hot water, your household may simply need a higher-capacity water heater, so consider upgrading. Quick professional fixes include replacing the thermostat or heating elements and cleaning and repairing the thermocouple.

Reviews for Durham plumbers
Shirley B.
Everett at Specialized Plumbing will be my go to plumber. He is professional, very skilled and responsive. I highly recommend Specialized Plumbing.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Derrick W.
This is the second time I’ve used Specialized Plumbing. This will be my only plumbing professional. He is amazing and trustworthy. I would definitely recommend to you if you are weighing different options.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Thumbtack Customer
Mr.Butler was very professional & knowledgeable of my plumbing issue. He gave me a quick written quote of my future plumbing needs. I was very impressed & will definitely call him again.
LAB PlumbingLAB Plumbing
Denice F.
Highly recommend specialized plumbing…responded quickly and was punctual and professional.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Thumbtack Customer
Rynos plumbing did an excellent job. Was very timely. Ryne was a great person to work with.
Ryno's Plumbing and Backflow IncRyno's Plumbing and Backflow Inc
Dan H.
Will was great. Replaced my leaky faucet and offered advice on how to keep my plumbing in good working order.
Wilsons Home ImprovementsWilsons Home Improvements
Thumbtack Customer
Mr. McDowell was punctual and very pleasant. I'm very pleased with the plumbing work he done and will certainly be referring him to many others. His price was very reasonable considering all the work he did. I highly recommend him to anyone for their plumbing needs. Thanks again Mr. McDowell!!!
Todd McDowellTodd McDowell
Thumbtack Customer
Todd was prompt, courteous and very helpful with a couple plumbing projects at our house. We'll be using him again!
Todd McDowellTodd McDowell
Jennifer C.
Everett helped us with a tricky plumbing issue that stumped another professional, was pleasant to work with, and charged us fairly.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Lisa M.
Fixed my toilet at a reasonable price. I will definitely use their service again for any of my plumbing needs.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Ryan G.
Very flexible. Diagnosed issue on two toilets within minutes. Extremely friendly. Will use again for any future plumbing needs.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Rachel B.
I can not say enough good things about Specialized Plumbing!! We had a fairly urgent plumbing issue, and they responded promptly to my online request. When they heard what was going on, they went the extra mile and came out on a weekend to address the issue. They were professional, prompt, and very knowledgeable. They fixed the issue, and gave us some helpful tips to help prevent clogs in our old pipes in the future. A five star experience for sure. I will definitely be calling them for all future plumbing needs, and would recommend them to anyone who needs a plumber!
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Lee M.
What a great experience. He was down to earth, upfront and very reasonably priced. Will definitely be calling him for any plumbing needs in future.
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
McAlister G.
Such a great experience! We contacted Specialized Plumbing to install a new toilet, and he was also able to install two faucets we hadn't gotten around to installing. AND we had a leaky faucet that we asked him just to take a look. He diagnosed the issue, went to get the missing part for it, and fixed it without charge. We are incredibly grateful and will use them again for future plumbing needs!
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Andrea G.
This will be our go-to for plumbing services from now on. We are so impressed with professionalism, access to information, transparency, pricing, punctuality — absolutely everything. Thank you, Jacob!
Jones Plumbing ServicesJones Plumbing Services
Lourdes L.
KC was extremely responsive & answered all the questions I had about my plumbing needs. He efficiently assessed & fixed all that needed to be done! Appreciated it all.
Redco PlumbingRedco Plumbing
Becca B.
Redco plumbing was excellent! They were able to come same day. The technician was friendly and considerate and got the job done quickly. I would definitely call them again!
Redco PlumbingRedco Plumbing
Dana R.
Fill valve and flapper and something else replaced in tank. Everett was awesome! Great quality. Great price. Kind and professional. I’ve found my preferred plumbing provider!
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Amanda G.
Quick to respond to my request. Didn’t have to wait long for an appointment. Quick to finish the job. I’ll be hiring Rest Assured again for future plumbing needs. Great job!
Rest Assured Plumbing LLCRest Assured Plumbing LLC
Kenric G.
Will use this company for all future plumbing needs. Arrived early and fixed our issue promptly. After looking over the job decreased project amount. Great customer service!
Specialized PlumbingSpecialized Plumbing
Jason H.
Todd was great! He fixed my plumbing problem real quick. He showed up on time. The parts he used were a good value. I highly recommend him.
Todd McDowellTodd McDowell
Christina M.
Arrived quickly for urgent repair need. Went above and beyond and fixed issue in under an hour. Very reasonable price and friendly! Would absolutely recommend the anyone needing plumbing repair.
Todd McDowellTodd McDowell
Rodney B.
I would like to say if you're in need of any plumbing repairs.Wilson done a awesome job of showing up on time and getting the job completed in a timely manner I highly recommend.
Wilsons Home ImprovementsWilsons Home Improvements
Sheri S.
Post the installation of bathroom vanity granite countertops, Todd installed the new faucets, reconnected and tested the plumbing. All work was done efficiently and effectively even though the granite installers had removed some of the parts that Todd needed to complete his work. Todd was able to provide these parts at no additional cost. I really appreciate his professionalism and flexibility and getting the job done in a very timely fashion. I will certainly engage him for any and all future Plumbing work.
Todd McDowellTodd McDowell
Ryan H.
Shawn was fantastic. He explained my options, didn't sell me on more work than I needed, and did a great job all around. I highly recommend C3PO plumbing
C3 Plumbing Operations (C3PO)C3 Plumbing Operations (C3PO)
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