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

by Lauren Leazenby
cost guide, wsl

Through the power of word association, we can say “New York” and “underground” in the same sentence and you will, likely, think about the New York City subway — the heart and veins of the City That Never Sleeps. But even this marvel of engineering has its weak points. (Remember earlier this year when Hurricane Ida came through and flooded the place?) Similarly, your water service line — the underground pipe in your own front yard — is also susceptible to malfunctions. When it comes time to fix it, you should know that New York State residents spend about the same or more on repairs and replacements compared with the average American.

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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 New York, these lines are buried a little deeper, at 5.02 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 the state of New York, 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: $137

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 the Empire State, the fee for this is 38% lower than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $1,039

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.

New York’s average repair price is the same as the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $4,790

Small sections of leaky or broken pipe can be repaired, but massive clogs or fully compromised pipes might necessitate a full replacement. This is where it gets a little more expensive; water service line replacements cost New Yorkers about 34% more than the average American.

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Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: