How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a Water Service Line?

by Lauren Leazenby
cost guide, wsl

Your water service line is the underground pipe that carries water from the public water main into your home and out of your faucets and other fixtures. When something goes wrong — whether it be aging pipes, invading tree roots or digging in the wrong spot — all that water can end up flooding your yard and damaging your home.

This May Also Interest You: What’s an Exterior Water Service Line?

A common misconception is that someone else will pay for those repairs. However, that’s not usually the case. You are likely responsible for repairing or replacing your water service line should it break. Think of the system as having three main components: the water distribution main, the private service line and the public service line.

graphic visualization showing a cut-away of a home exposing its rooms and home systems specifically focused on the water service line

The Bucks Start Here...

The water distribution main is the community water supply. It’s owned by the municipality and brings water within range of your home, usually by running under the street in front of your house. Water enters your home through your private water service line, which connects to the distribution main and runs under your property to your water meter and main shutoff valve.

When something goes wrong with your private water service line, you’re on the hook for repairs. Depending on your municipality, there may also be a public portion of the service line, which is buried under city land, like a sidewalk. As soon as the pipe runs under your property line, however, it’s your responsibility.

Deeper Ain’t Cheaper

Water service lines are buried as deep as local building codes require — but usually the depth is determined by the frost line in your area. The frost line is the level to which the soil typically freezes during the winter. In the South, frost depths can be as shallow as 5 inches. In northern states, harsher winters push the frost depth to over 5 feet.

Water service lines aren’t buried at the frost level; typically, some space is left to account for deeper freezing in a nontypical winter. In warmer climes, water service lines are buried less than 3 feet deep for this reason. In the coldest areas, they may be buried over 8 feet deep.

Pipe depth affects the cost to repair or replace. Think about it: The technician has to get to the broken line in order to work on it, so the deeper they have to dig, the more time and effort is spent in the process. That drives up the price.

A graphic visualization of a residential water service line buried several feet into the ground to protect against ground freezing.

What’s This Gonna Cost?

A small leak may be fixed by repairing or replacing just a small section of pipe. A clog or a fully compromised pipe may need to be replaced entirely. To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your water service line repair or replacement, HomeServe has calculated the average costs, both nationally and state by state, for comparison. Keep in mind that while these are the average prices, in some cases, costs can be much higher. In order to determine what’s wrong with your system, you’ll have to call someone out to diagnose the problem, which comes with its own cost. We’ve calculated that average, as well. As we mentioned, the depth of your pipes has a bearing on cost, so we’ve listed the average depth here, too.

There are several factors that figure into the cost to replace a water service line, so check out our state-by-state replacement cost guide for specifics. Or, go to our state-by-state repair cost guide to learn more about what goes into repair prices.

Below, you’ll find the average costs for water service line repair and replacement in your state, plus the average depths the water lines are buried. All figures are based on aggregated HomeServe data reported by our network of thousands of contractors across the nation. Where insufficient data was available to determine a verifiable average, we’ve noted so.

(At the time of this publication, another factor dramatically driving up costs was pandemic-precipitated materials shortages, impacting home maintenance, repair and construction sectors across the board; those supply-chain issues are generally expected to be temporary and are not reflected here.)

Nationwide

  • Diagnosis: $222
  • Repair: $1,039
  • Replace: $3,581
  • Service Line Depth: 4.58 feet

State by State

1. Alabama

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $721
  • Replace: $2,961
  • Service Line Depth: 2.49 feet

2. Alaska

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

3. Arizona

  • Diagnosis: $190
  • Repair: $742
  • Replace: $2,654
  • Service Line Depth: 2.82 feet

4. Arkansas

  • Diagnosis: $230
  • Repair: $931
  • Replace: $2,687
  • Service Line Depth: 3.67 feet

5. California

  • Diagnosis: $168
  • Repair: $865
  • Replace: $3,062
  • Service Line Depth: 3.17 feet

6. Colorado

  • Diagnosis: $152
  • Repair: $797
  • Replace: $4,423
  • Service Line Depth: 6.16 feet

7. Connecticut

  • Diagnosis: $150
  • Repair: $972
  • Replace: $4,088
  • Service Line Depth: 7.32 feet

8. Delaware

  • Diagnosis: $152
  • Repair: $1,020
  • Replace: $3,125
  • Service Line Depth: 4.45 feet

9. District of Columbia

  • Diagnosis: $98
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Replace: $1,431
  • Service Line Depth: 4.00 feet

10. Florida

  • Diagnosis: $179
  • Repair: $742
  • Replace: $2,731
  • Service Line Depth: 2.53 feet

11. Georgia

  • Diagnosis: $287
  • Repair: $713
  • Replace: $3,125
  • Service Line Depth: 3.08 feet

12. Hawaii

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

13. Idaho

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $1,151
  • Replace: $3,484
  • Service Line Depth: 4.95 feet

14. Illinois

  • Diagnosis: $159
  • Repair: $854
  • Replace: $3,435
  • Service Line Depth: 5.26 feet

15. Indiana

  • Diagnosis: $143
  • Repair: $889
  • Replace: $2,971
  • Service Line Depth: 3.83 feet

16. Iowa

  • Diagnosis: $184
  • Repair: $861
  • Replace: $3,021
  • Service Line Depth: 5.97 feet

17. Kansas

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $937
  • Replace: $3,103
  • Service Line Depth: 4.68 feet

18. Kentucky

  • Diagnosis: $150
  • Repair: $1,100
  • Replace: $2,471
  • Service Line Depth: 3.75 feet

19. Louisiana

  • Diagnosis: $199
  • Repair: $799
  • Replace: $2,973
  • Service Line Depth: 3.81 feet

20. Maine

  • Diagnosis: $170
  • Repair: $612
  • Replace: $3,330
  • Service Line Depth: 5.00 feet

21. Maryland

  • Diagnosis: $112
  • Repair: $1,020
  • Replace: $2,974
  • Service Line Depth: 5.11 feet

22. Massachusetts

  • Diagnosis: $158
  • Repair: $1,171
  • Replace: $2,493
  • Service Line Depth: 4.79 feet

23. Michigan

  • Diagnosis: $208
  • Repair: $978
  • Replace: $3,413
  • Service Line Depth: 6.07 feet

24. Minnesota

  • Diagnosis: $174
  • Repair: $901
  • Replace: $5,369
  • Service Line Depth: 8.27 feet

25. Mississippi

  • Diagnosis: $241
  • Repair: Insufficient data
  • Replace: $2,493
  • Service Line Depth: 2.52 feet

26. Missouri

  • Diagnosis: $126
  • Repair: $924
  • Replace: $3,437
  • Service Line Depth: 5.15 feet

27. Montana

  • Diagnosis: $206
  • Repair: $780
  • Replace: $5,211
  • Service Line Depth: 5.64 feet

28. Nebraska

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $715
  • Replace: $4,818
  • Service Line Depth: 5.80 feet

29. Nevada

  • Diagnosis: $92
  • Repair: $274
  • Replace: $1,439
  • Service Line Depth: 3.50 feet

30. New Hampshire

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $1,254
  • Replace: $5,809
  • Service Line Depth: 5.00 feet

31. New Jersey

  • Diagnosis: $123
  • Repair: $855
  • Replace: $3,343
  • Service Line Depth: 5.04 feet

32. New Mexico

  • Diagnosis: $188
  • Repair: $998
  • Replace: $2,712
  • Service Line Depth: 3.96 feet

33. New York

  • Diagnosis: $137
  • Repair: $1,039
  • Replace: $4,790
  • Service Line Depth: 5.02 feet

34. North Carolina

  • Diagnosis: $205
  • Repair: $834
  • Replace: $3,218
  • Service Line Depth: 3.89 feet

35. North Dakota

  • Diagnosis: $198
  • Repair: $474
  • Replace: $5,243
  • Service Line Depth: Insufficient data

36. Ohio

  • Diagnosis: $268
  • Repair: $935
  • Replace: $2,899
  • Service Line Depth: 5.76 feet

37. Oklahoma

  • Diagnosis: $138
  • Repair: $973
  • Replace: $2,568
  • Service Line Depth: 2.90 feet

38. Oregon

  • Diagnosis: $185
  • Repair: $964
  • Replace: $3,359
  • Service Line Depth: 4.05 feet

39. Pennsylvania

  • Diagnosis: $159
  • Repair: $964
  • Replace: $3,154
  • Service Line Depth: 4.62 feet

40. Rhode Island

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $937
  • Replace: $5,294
  • Service Line Depth: 6.00 feet

41. South Carolina

  • Diagnosis: $308
  • Repair: $687
  • Replace: $2,596
  • Service Line Depth: 2.68 feet

42. South Dakota

  • Diagnosis: $153
  • Repair: $866
  • Replace: $4,487
  • Service Line Depth: 6.30 feet

43. Tennessee

  • Diagnosis: $195
  • Repair: $830
  • Replace: $2,716
  • Service Line Depth: 3.07 feet

44. Texas

  • Diagnosis: $211
  • Repair: $859
  • Replace: $2,382
  • Service Line Depth: 2.93 feet

45. Utah

  • Diagnosis: $94
  • Repair: $789
  • Replace: $2,200
  • Service Line Depth: 4.16 feet

46. Vermont

  • Diagnosis: Insufficient data
  • Repair: $1,240
  • Replace: $2,933
  • Service Line Depth: 4.00 feet

47. Virginia

  • Diagnosis: $209
  • Repair: $1,062
  • Replace: $3,175
  • Service Line Depth: 4.58 feet

48. Washington

  • Diagnosis: $243
  • Repair: $968
  • Replace: $3,530
  • Service Line Depth: 3.18 feet

49. West Virginia

  • Diagnosis: $252
  • Repair: $1,058
  • Replace: $3,020
  • Service Line Depth: 3.88 feet

50. Wisconsin

  • Diagnosis: $123
  • Repair: $876
  • Replace: $4,801
  • Service Line Depth: 6.82 feet

51. Wyoming

  • Diagnosis: $164
  • Repair: $737
  • Replace: $4,032
  • Service Line Depth: 6.37 feet

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