You were bracing for the worst when that pothole in your driveway turned out to be caused by a leaking underground water line. The chances of having to replace the pipeline running beneath your property are slim, but you can consider yourself fortunate when just a small leaky section needs to be repaired. You still have a lot of wet work ahead, but it won’t break the bank. According to HomeServe data, the average cost to repair an exterior water service line is under $1,000 – a substantial savings over a replacement that will run more than $3,600.

 

You’ll have to take several variables into consideration when figuring out how much you will end up paying for repair work on your exterior water lines. The contractor you call will almost certainly charge you for showing up and figuring out what’s wrong, not to mention what needs to be fixed. So, you’ll need to factor in a $222 average diagnostic charge. Moreover, the problem will likely result from a combination of factors – the clog, multiple leaks, etc.-, the need for individual solutions, etc. Together, these costs contribute to the national average, but keep in mind that your final price will also vary based on where you live.

A Word on Water Lines

If there is a problem with your exterior water service line, you probably won’t even realize it exists. From the public main, water is carried into your home through an exterior water service line. To get to your faucet, water has to travel along three main paths:

  • a water distribution network owned and maintained by a local government agency that provides water to the entire community
  • Water service lines on public ground belong to a local government and, as such, are maintained by the local government
  • You, the homeowner, are responsible for maintaining the private water service line, which carries fresh water from the main line into your home through an underground pipe.

What’s the Problem?

You may experience problems with your exterior water service line for the following reasons:

  • Pipe aging
  • Corrosion
  • Ground shifting
  • Extreme temperature swings
  • Fallen trees
  • Tree roots
  • Clogs
  • Careless digging or too-forceful yard work
  • Earthquakes
  • General wear and tear
  • Lack of maintenance

Signs of Trouble

It is still possible for your water line to be damaged even though it is buried under the ground. A compromised water service line can cause the following problems:

  • Dirty, rusty or bad-smelling water
  • Unusually high water bills
  • Puddles in the front yard
  • Soggy, wet patches that don’t go away on their own
  • Damp spots on floors, walls or ceilings
  • Mold
  • Low water pressure
  • Potholes or sinkholes in your driveway or sidewalk
  • There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of running water, constant dripping, a delicate stream, or even a softly babbling brook, even when none of your water-using appliances are running

What Needs to Be Done?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to call a professional to repair your water service line because it can’t be done by yourself. Your hired contractor may also perform the following work:

  • Excavation to expose the pipe
  • Pipe repair
  • Clearing blockage
  • Fitting external valves
  • Fusing
  • Welding
  • Pipe cutting
  • Locating a leak
  • Backfilling

The cost of repairs may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. Generally, it does not, so you should be prepared for this expense. The cost of digging up your water line will likely be the biggest portion of the total repair cost, as it is buried beneath your lawn.

What’s This Gonna Cost?

As a comparison of what you can expect to pay for water service line repairs, HomeServe has calculated the average costs, both nationally and state-by-state. You’ll need to hire someone to diagnose your system, which comes with a price tag. Those numbers have also been calculated. You’ll also find here the average depth of your pipes, which has an effect on cost.

We’ve put together a cost guide which shows pricing averages at a state-by-state level for both repairs and replacements of water service lines; check it out. And for a deeper dive into what factors into how much you’ll pay to get your water service line replaced outright, go to our state-by-state replacement cost guide.

The table below shows the average costs for water service line repair in your state, along with the average depth at which the water lines are buried. The data is compiled from aggregated reports of HomeServe contractors around the country. Whenever insufficient data was available to compute a verifiable average, we noted it.

(At the time of this publication, pandemic-precipitated materials shortages were affecting home maintenance, repair and construction sectors across the board, but those issues are generally expected to be temporary, and are not reflected here.)

Nationwide

  • Diagnosis: $222
  • Repair: $1,039
  • Service Line Depth: 4.58 feet

State by State

1. Alabama

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $721
  • Service Line Depth: 2.49 feet

2. Alaska

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Service Line Depth: Insufficient data

3. Arizona

  • Diagnosis: $190
  • Repair: $742
  • Service Line Depth: 2.82 feet

4. Arkansas

  • Diagnosis: $230
  • Repair: $931
  • Service Line Depth: 3.67 feet

5. California

  • Diagnosis: $168
  • Repair: $865
  • Service Line Depth: 3.17 feet

6. Colorado

  • Diagnosis: $152
  • Repair: $797
  • Service Line Depth: 6.16 feet

7. Connecticut

  • Diagnosis: $150
  • Repair: $972
  • Service Line Depth: 7.32 feet

8. Delaware

  • Diagnosis: $152
  • Repair: $1,020
  • Service Line Depth: 4.45 feet

9. District of Columbia

  • Diagnosis: $98
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Service Line Depth: 4.00 feet

10. Florida

  • Diagnosis: $179
  • Repair: $742
  • Service Line Depth: 2.53 feet

11. Georgia

  • Diagnosis: $287
  • Repair: $713
  • Service Line Depth: 3.08 feet

12. Hawaii

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Service Line Depth: Insufficient data

13. Idaho

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $1,151
  • Service Line Depth: 4.95 feet

14. Illinois

  • Diagnosis: $159
  • Repair: $854
  • Service Line Depth: 5.26 feet

15. Indiana

  • Diagnosis: $143
  • Repair: $889
  • Service Line Depth: 3.83 feet

16. Iowa

  • Diagnosis: $184
  • Repair: $861
  • Service Line Depth: 5.97 feet

17. Kansas

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $937
  • Service Line Depth: 4.68 feet

18. Kentucky

  • Diagnosis: $150
  • Repair: $1,100
  • Service Line Depth: 3.75 feet

19. Louisiana

  • Diagnosis: $199
  • Repair: $799
  • Service Line Depth: 3.81 feet

20. Maine

  • Diagnosis: $170
  • Repair: $612
  • Service Line Depth: 5.00 feet

21. Maryland

  • Diagnosis: $112
  • Repair: $1,020
  • Service Line Depth: 5.11 feet

22. Massachusetts

  • Diagnosis: $158
  • Repair: $1,171
  • Service Line Depth: 4.79 feet

23. Michigan

  • Diagnosis: $208
  • Repair: $978
  • Service Line Depth: 6.07 feet

24. Minnesota

  • Diagnosis: $174
  • Repair: $901
  • Service Line Depth: 8.27 feet

25. Mississippi

  • Diagnosis: $241
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Service Line Depth: 2.52 feet

26. Missouri

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $924
  • Service Line Depth: 5.15 feet

27. Montana

  • Diagnosis: $206
  • Repair: $780
  • Service Line Depth: 5.64 feet

28. Nebraska

  • Diagnosis: $92
  • Repair: $274
  • Service Line Depth: 5.80 feet

29. Nevada

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $715
  • Service Line Depth: 3.50 feet

30. New Hampshire

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $1,254
  • Service Line Depth: 5.00 feet

31. New Jersey

  • Diagnosis: $123
  • Repair: $855
  • Service Line Depth: 5.04 feet

32. New Mexico

  • Diagnosis: $188
  • Repair: $998
  • Service Line Depth: 3.96 feet

33. New York

  • Diagnosis: $137
  • Repair: $1,039
  • Service Line Depth: 5.02 feet

34. North Carolina

  • Diagnosis: $205
  • Repair: $834
  • Service Line Depth: 3.89 feet

35. North Dakota

  • Diagnosis: $198
  • Repair: $474
  • Service Line Depth: Insufficient data

36. Ohio

  • Diagnosis: $268
  • Repair: $935
  • Service Line Depth: 5.76 feet

37. Oklahoma

  • Diagnosis: $138
  • Repair: $973
  • Service Line Depth: 2.90 feet

38. Oregon

  • Diagnosis: $185
  • Repair: $964
  • Service Line Depth: 4.05 feet

39. Pennsylvania

  • Diagnosis: $159
  • Repair: $964
  • Service Line Depth: 4.62 feet

40. Rhode Island

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $937
  • Service Line Depth: 6.00 feet

41. South Carolina

  • Diagnosis: $308
  • Repair: $687
  • Service Line Depth: 2.68 feet

42. South Dakota

  • Diagnosis: $153
  • Repair: $866
  • Service Line Depth: 6.30 feet

43. Tennessee

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $830
  • Service Line Depth: 3.07 feet

44. Texas

  • Diagnosis: $211
  • Repair: $859
  • Service Line Depth: 2.93 feet

45. Utah

  • Diagnosis: $94
  • Repair: $789
  • Service Line Depth: 4.16 feet

46. Vermont

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $1,240
  • Service Line Depth: 4.00 feet

47. Virginia

  • Diagnosis: $209
  • Repair: $1,062
  • Service Line Depth: 4.58 feet

48. Washington

  • Diagnosis: $243
  • Repair: $968
  • Service Line Depth: 3.18 feet

49. West Virginia

  • Diagnosis: $252
  • Repair: $1,058
  • Service Line Depth: 3.88 feet

50. Wisconsin

  • Diagnosis: $123
  • Repair: $876
  • Service Line Depth: 6.82 feet

51. Wyoming

  • Diagnosis: $164
  • Repair: $737
  • Service Line Depth: 6.37 feet

 

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