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

by Lauren Leazenby
cost guide, wsl

Winter’s a brutal time up there in New England, and you guys in Massachusetts are no strangers to a wicked snowstorm. The first thing you likely think about when a Nor’easter rolls through is which piece of patio furniture you’re going to use as a space-saver in your shoveled-out parking spot. But what you should really be thinking about is your water service line. Even though it’s buried underground, this pipe is susceptible to damage during deep freezes. Unfortunately, water service line repair prices are higher in the Bay State than the national average. But if your whole system needs to be overhauled, you’ll be relieved to know Massachusetts replacement prices are, on average, lower than what the nation pays.

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Your exterior water service line carries water from the public water main into your home. But make no mistake: Once the pipes run under your property, they’re your responsibility — so you’re likely on the hook for any repair or replacement costs.

How deep your pipes are buried deeply impacts the price you pay for these services. 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. And the deeper the technician must dig to get to your broken or otherwise compromised line, the higher the cost.

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

The nationwide average water service line depth is 4.58 feet, and Massachusetts water lines are right about there — 4.79 feet. For context, in f-f-f-freezing Minnesota, pipe depth is more than 8 feet.

Repair and replacement costs also vary depending on where you live. The national average for diagnosis is $222, for repair is $1,039 and for replacement is $3,581.

Below, you’ll find average service prices based on aggregated HomeServe data reported by our network of contractors across Massachusetts, which should give you an approximation of how much you’ll pay to fix your out-of-commission water service line.

Water Service Line Diagnosis: $158

Before any work can begin, the technician will need to come out and run some tests to see what’s wrong with your system. In Massachusetts, the fee for this is 29% lower than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $1,171

A whole host of things can cause trouble with your exterior water service line — from invading tree roots to clogs to general wear and tear. Whatever’s up with your system, the repair process will likely start with excavation to expose the pipe. Depending on your situation, the technician may need to clear a blockage, find a leak or fix the pipe — and, of course, fill the hole back in.

Massachusetts’ average repair price is about 13% higher than the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $2,493

Small sections of leaky or broken pipe can be repaired, but massive clogs or fully compromised pipes might necessitate a full replacement. Water service line replacements cost Bay Staters 30% less than the average American.

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Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: