What is the Cost for Repairing a Main Water Line?

In this article we try to give you a range of cost, although it will depend on the problem, the plumbing company, the geographical area, and the time frame that the work needs to be completed. To get a more precise estimate call a professional plumber in your area.

At Make it Drain Plumbing & Rooter, we understand that repairing your home’s primary water service line can be a significant expense. On average, residential plumbing service for this type of repair can range from $340 to $1,600, with the typical expense being around $1000. You can expect to pay between $70 and $150 per hour for labor, in addition to the cost of materials required for the job. These materials may include new pipe sections, valves, and bushings.

This article focuses on the repair of your home’s main water service line, which is a crucial component of your residential plumbing system. It is essential to note the difference between the terms “water main” and “home service line,” as they are not synonymous.

  • A water main is a pipeline located beneath public property, generally running alongside or beneath a street. The city is responsible for maintaining and repairing water mains.
  • A home’s “main” water service line, on the other hand, connects your residence to the water main. As a homeowner, you are typically responsible for any repairs needed up to your property line.

Water Main Leak Repair Expenses

The cost of repairing an underground water line ranges from $150 to $3,000. Simple, accessible repairs typically cost between $150 and $700, while more complex repairs or those requiring the replacement of large pipe sections may cost up to $3,000. An experienced plumber of broken pipe replacement and repairs, will be able to address any of the three main types of issues:

  • Valve replacements
  • Pipe breaks
  • Corrosion solutions


Replacing Main Water Line Segments

The expense of fixing broken underground pipes falls between $100 and $200 per linear foot. Repairs involve excavating the ground around the entire broken area. Your experienced plumber will then remove the damaged section and replace it with a new pipe. In cases of old or corroded pipes, plumbers might suggest replacing the entire length. The average cost for a complete water main replacement can range from $600 to $2,500.

Repair or Replacement of Corroded Main Water Line

The cost to repair a corroded pipe ranges from $600 to $5,000. All corroded sections must be removed and replaced, which typically involves replacing the entire pipe. Corrosion often occurs due to aggressive soil conditions, such as acidic or resistive dirt. It is advisable to replace the soil surrounding the water line, although it may become acidic again over time.

Main Water Line Valve Repair

The cost of replacing a valve can range from $150 to $300, depending on its location. Most water lines do not have buried valves. These valves are typically found right outside your house in a valve box or exposed in a crawlspace or basement.

Factors Affecting Main Water Line Repair Costs

Apart from the specific issue you’re dealing with, various factors influence the cost of repairing your main water line:

  • Trench or trenchless repair methods
  • Landscaping restoration
  • Type of pipe material
  • Labor costs

Trench vs. Trenchless Repair

Trenched, or open trench water line repair, entails using heavy digging machinery to expose the sections of pipe that need attention. In contrast, trenchless repair involves creating only one or two small holes, or sometimes none at all.

Since trenchless repair doesn’t necessitate large excavations in your yard, it is more time- and cost-efficient than open trench repair. However, there are instances when trenchless repair isn’t feasible, making an open trench the only alternative.

The best plumbers in your area can help you decide on the best approach by conducting a video inspection to evaluate the nature and extent of the damage.

Additional costs to consider include landscaping restoration, various pipe materials, and differing hourly labor charges among plumbers.

Estimated Average Costs for Water Main Leak Repair in California:

  • National Average = $1,200
  • Typical Range = $370 – $2,000
  • Low End to High End = $170 – $5,200.


These cost estimates are based on actual project costs reported by homeowners using online calculators in the Los Angeles, California region. Please note that these figures are only rough estimates call us for a more precise estimate

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