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

by Matt Schmitz
replace water sewer line

As their New England coastal state is just 48 miles long and 37 miles deep, even the most inland-dwelling Rhodians enjoy life by the sea. But when your front lawn springs a bubblah that turns into a veritable o_cean state_, time to do a spit take with your coffee milk because you’ve got big trouble in Li’l Rhody. A likely culprit is damage to your home’s underground water service line that could’ve been caused by anything from encroaching tree roots to wild temperature swings to overzealous yard work. Cross your fingers Rhode Island residents: If you just need a repair, your bill is going to be less, on average, than that of your fellow American; a full replacement, on the other hand … that could be wicked pricey.

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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. In Rhode Island, these lines are buried nearly a foot and a half deeper 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 Rhode Island, 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: $195

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 Rhode Island, the fee for this runs around 12% less than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $937

A whol 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.

Rhode Island’s average repair price is about 10% lower than the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $5,294

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 Rhode Islanders a whopping 48% more than the average American.

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Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: