How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a WSL in Minnesota?

by Matt Schmitz
cost guide, wsl

No state can be pigeonholed to just one attribute, but if we were to sit here and pretend that one of Minnesota’s defining attributes isn't its bone-chilling winters for the sake of avoiding stereotypes, we’d be lying through our chattering teeth. It’s the third-coldest state in the Lower 48 (with the No. 1 worst winters, by some measures), and although a certain classic film filled with iced-over landscapes was named after Fargo, N.D., the vast majority of it actually took place in the next state over to the east. For our purposes, here, what that means for North Star State homeowners is that your underground water service line that supplies your house with fresh water is buried deep — the deepest, as it were. And the deeper the pipe, the deeper you’ll generally have to dig into your pockets if a problem arises — for example, the Land of 10,000 Lakes’ ten-thousand-and-first lake forming in your front lawn due to a pipe damaged during that last cold snap. It’s not all bad news, though; compared with the average water line job across the U.S., Minnesota residents from the border with our proverbial “neighbors to the north” on down to the top of Iowa pay a little less for repairs — though that number snowballs when it comes to replacements.

This May Also Interest You: How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a Water Service Line?

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, but in f-f-freezing Minnesota, water lines, understandably, are nearly twice as deep on average, at 8.27 feet. For further context: Way down in Alabama with its Gulf Coast climate, pipe depth is just 2.49 feet, the shallowest in the U.S.

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 Minnesota, 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: $174

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 Minnesota, the fee for this is 22% lower than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $901

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.

Minnesota's average repair price is about 13% less than the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $5,369

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 Minnesotans a whopping 50% more than the average American.

More Related Articles:

Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: