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Main Water Line Replacement Costs

Main Water Line Replacement Cost Guide [Updated 2022]


Every homeowner dreads the day when they have to replace their main water line. The main water line is the pipe that brings water into your home from the city water supply.

A broken or damaged main water line can cause major problems for your home, including flooding, water damage, and a loss of water pressure. If you’re facing a main water line replacement, the cost will vary depending on a few factors.

In this article, we will help you understand everything you need to know about replacing your main water line, including the cost and the factors that can affect the price. So let’s get started!

How Much Does It Cost To Replace the Main Water Line?

broken main water line

The national average cost of replacing a home water supply line is $2,000 – $4,000. Actual costs will vary depending on the length of water line needing to be replaced and the type of pipe buried underground.

The cost of an underground water line per foot is typically between $50 and $250, although it can be more depending on the type of pipe utilized. The most common type of pipe that is used for water lines is PEX, which is a strong and durable material that is resistant to corrosion.

There are also additional costs that come with replacing a water line, such as permits and city inspection fees. These additional costs can add up depending on your location.

New Water Main Cost by Material

The main factor that will affect the cost of replacing your main water line is the type of material that is being used. Let’s take a look at the average cost of each type of material.

PVC Water Main Pipe Cost

PVC Pipes Average Cost

The most common type of pipe that is used for water lines is PVC, which is a strong and durable material that is resistant to corrosion. PVC pipes are the most affordable option, with an average cost of $0.50 to $5 per linear foot.

This type of pipe is often used in new construction because it is easy to install and does not require any special equipment. PVC pipes are also low-maintenance and have a long lifespan.

On the other hand, PVC pipes are not as durable as some of the other options and can be damaged by chemicals or roots. PVC pipes are also not recommended for cold climates as they can crack if it gets too cold.

PEX (Polyethylene) Water Main Cost

PEX Pipes Average Cost

PEX or cross-linked polyethylene, is a newer type of pipe that is made from high-density polyethylene. These pipes are more flexible than PVC pipes, which makes them easier to install. It also has a higher resistance to freezing and bursting.

The average cost of PEX pipes is $0.50 to $2 per linear foot. PEX pipes are a good option for homes in cold climates as they are less likely to freeze and burst. PEX pipes are also more durable than PVC pipes and can last up to 50 years.

On the downside, PEX pipes are not as strong as copper or steel pipes and can be damaged by chemicals. PEX pipes are also not as easy to repair as PVC pipes.

Copper Main Water Line Cost

Copper Pipes Average Cost

Copper pipes are the most popular option for main water lines because they are durable and have a long lifespan. This type of pipe is also less likely to freeze and burst in cold weather. The average cost of copper pipes is $2 to $10 per linear foot.

Copper pipes are more expensive than PVC or PEX pipes, but they are also more durable. If they are properly maintained, copper pipes can last up to 100 years.

On the downside, copper pipes can develop leaks over time. This is due to the fact that copper pipes are susceptible to corrosion. If you live in an area with hard water, your copper pipes may need to be replaced more frequently than the proposed lifespan.

Trenchless Water Main Replacement Cost

an example of a trenchless water main replacement method

On average, trenchless water line replacement costs are around $75 to $250 per linear foot. This water line replacement method is a less invasive and disruptive approach. This type of replacement does not require digging a trench, which can save you time and money.

Trenchless water main replacement is a good option if your main water line is leaking or needs to be replaced. This type of replacement can be done faster and with less disruption than traditional methods.

There are a few methods of trenchless water main replacement, and the most common are pipe bursting and pipe relining.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is a method where a machine breaks up the old pipe and replaces it with a new one. This method is often used when the old pipe is made of clay or cast iron. The guide head of the machine bursts the old pipe while simultaneously pulling a new HDPE pipe into place.

If you want to know more about Pipe Bursting, here a complete guide: What is Pipe Bursting? Learn Everything You Need to Know About This New Technology

What is The Cost to Hook Up and Connect to City Water

As mentioned above, there are a few additional costs when you decide to repair or replace your main water line. The most common additional costs are the city inspection and the permit costs.

City Inspections Costs

The average cost for city inspections is $100 to $500. City inspections are required in some areas when you replace or repair your main water line. Inspections are done to ensure that the job is done properly and that the new pipe meets code requirements.

Permit Costs

All you’ll need to do is obtain the necessary permits from your city or county. The permit fees will vary depending on your location, but they typically range from $100 to $500. You can ask a local plumber or contractor to help you with this process.

Water Main Replacement Cost Factors

water main replacement contractors

Location and market 

The cost of replacing a water line will vary depending on the location and market. Costs will be higher in larger metropolitan areas than rural areas. This is due to the fact that there is more competition in larger cities, which drives prices up.

In addition, the cost of living is typically higher in larger metropolitan areas, which also contributes to higher prices.

Depth of installation

The depth of installation is another factor that will affect the cost of replacing your water line. In most cases, the depth of installation is about 3 to 4 feet, but it can reach up to 8 feet in rare cases.

The deeper the pipe is buried, the more expensive it will be to replace. This is because it’s harder to get to deeper pipes and takes more labor and time to replace them.

Rocks and other obstacles

Rocks and other obstacles can make it more difficult to install a new water line. In some cases, these obstacles can add to the cost of replacing your water line. If your property has a lot of rocks or other obstacles, it will be more difficult to replace the pipe. This is due to the fact that these obstacles can make it difficult to dig a trench or access the pipe.

Trees

Trees can also be a factor that will affect the cost of replacing your water line. If you have trees near your water line, their roots can grow and break through the pipe. This will cause damage to your water line and it will need to be repaired or replaced sooner.

Driveways and sidewalks

Driveways and sidewalks can also make it difficult to replace your water line. In some cases, the old pipe may be located underneath these features. This will require the contractor to dig up these features in order to access the pipe. This can add to the cost of replacing your water line because it will take more time and labor to replace the pipe.

Landscaping 

Landscaping can also affect the cost of replacing your water line. If you have a lot of landscaping, the contractor will need to take extra care not to damage it. In addition, the contractor will need to take extra time to replace the pipe so that the landscaping is not disturbed. This can add to the total cost of replacing your water line.

How to Find a Plumber to Install Your Next Water Main

a water main replacement contractor

Now that you know the average cost of replacing a water line, you need to find a qualified contractor to do the job. There are a few ways to find a qualified contractor to install your next main waterline:

Ask for referrals from friends or family

One of the best ways to find a qualified contractor is to ask for referrals from friends or family. If you know someone who has had a water line replaced, they can give you the name of the contractor they used.

Search online

Another way to find a qualified contractor is to search online. You can search for “water line replacement contractors near me” or “main water line replacement company in (your location)” to find a list of contractors in your area.

Check online reviews

After searching online, you can also check online reviews to find a qualified contractor. Checking online reviews will help you weed out the bad contractors from the good ones. You can search for their business on Google or Facebook and read the reviews that come up. Visiting their website for testimonials is also a great way to get an idea of what others think of their work.

Check for licenses and insurance

You should also make sure that the contractor is licensed and insured. This will protect you in case of any accidents or damage that may occur during the project.

Conclusion

Replacing your water line can be a big project, and it is important to know the average cost to replace a water line before you begin. There are many factors that can affect the cost of replacing your water line, such as those mentioned above.

When you are ready to replace your water line, be sure to find a qualified contractor to do the job. You can ask for referrals from friends or family, search online, or check online reviews to find a good contractor. Be sure to also check for licenses and insurance before you hire a contractor.

If you are from the Lower Mainland Canada and in need of a water line replacement, feel free to contact us at Your Guy Plumbing. Our company is highly recommended and trusted by homeowners in the area. With over a hundred reviews, we have a 5.0/5.0 rating on Google and Facebook. 

You can also check our page: Trenchless Water Line Replacement Service for more information about water line replacement.

John Relampago

About the author

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