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

by Lauren Leazenby
cost guide, wsl

The Treasure State seems like a great place to strike it rich with the likes of gold, silver and sapphires. But if you're digging in your yard — for riches or just garden-variety landscaping — you might want to take it easy, Montanans. Your water service line is under there, and over-enthusiastic digging can spell trouble for that crucial pipe. Thankfully, Montanans pay less than the average American for repairs. But when the technicians are digging up your yard to replace your line, you might hope they find some buried treasure while they’re down there. Water service line replacement costs in Montana can be Rocky Mountain steep.

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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, but in Montana, these lines are buried a little deeper, at 5.64 feet on average. 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 Big Sky Country, 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: $206

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 Montana, the fee for this is 7% lower than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $780

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.

Montana’s average repair price is about 25% lower than the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $5,211

Small sections of leaky or broken pipe can be repaired, but massive clogs or fully compromised pipes might necessitate a full replacement. Due in part to how deep your pipes are buried, water service line replacements cost Montanans about 46% more than the average American.

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Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: