When a water line inside your home breaks, it usually doesn’t take long to know it. The gush of water is immediate. Fittings and connections in supply lines are a common culprit in such instances, and so are things like nails from construction projects or vibrating pipes caused by air. The tough ones to find are those that are minor leaks and those that are underground, either under a home’s foundation or between the street or well and the house. Those leaks are typically caused by deterioration from age or damage caused by the settling of the house or earth. In rare cases, the break is caused by freezing. Where an earthquake occurs, water line breaks are common. This house repair guide will focus on the tough-to-locate damaged water lines. Such repairs are typically made by plumbing contractors and can take from a few hours to a few days.
We offer tips for finding broken water lines underground or beneath the foundation as well as give several options for making the repair. Water line repair costs are included whether you attempt the repair yourself or hire a contractor for the work. There are tips for saving money on the job, whether you do it yourself or have a professional make the repair. Finally, resources for finding and repairing broken water lines include videos and more step-by-step instructions.
These tips are designed to show you the scope of the job and decide whether to attempt the repair or to call a plumber. Let’s get started.
There are many variables affecting the cost of broken water line repair. If the repair is in your home, the broken or burst piece of pipe may be replaced with the use of new pipe and connectors. This is true for copper, iron and PVC pipe. Outside, PVC line can be replaced in the same way. Here are average costs for broken pipe repair whether you do the work or hire a professional.
DIY Broken Water Line Repair: PVC pipe is the easiest and cheapest to repair. You’ll need a hacksaw to cut the pipe, fresh pipe, PVC pipe glue and the connectors. If the pipe is exposed or if you can dig to it by hand, your total repair cost might be less than $30. The cost goes up for copper and steel because the material is more expensive. However, a sleeve that fits around the pipe and is tightened with clamps might cost as little as $20. If you rent a backhoe to reach the pipe, expect to pay a minimum of $250 per day for the rental. The cost of hauling the machine might be extra. Trenchless pipe repair isn’t a DIY project because the equipment needed costs $15,000+.
Professional Broken Water Line Repair: The cost for repairs to pipes above ground can be as little as $100 to $200. For underground pipes, including those under your foundation, expect costs between $2,500 and $10,000 depending on the complexity of the job. Most jobs cost in the range of $3,000 to $5,000.
How to Save Money on Broken Water Line Repair
Doing as much of the work as possible will cut down on your costs. For example, if the yard is going to be trenched, do the digging yourself.
When hiring a plumbing contractor, you’ll find the lowest water line repair costs by getting three or four estimates from contractors that know they are competing for the job. During the process of getting estimates, be sure to discuss the type of repair the contractors are offering and what type of warranty is provided.
Applewood Plumbing Heating and Electrical – Here’s a page from a local plumber’s website that talks about the causes of damaged pipes and how pipes can be examined with a video camera.
Harris Water Main and Sewer – A local plumbing contractor provides good information and a video in this article on leaking water lines and mains.