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

by Matt Schmitz
cost guide, wsl

A word to the wise on water, Tennessee homeowners: There’s no point in all that fastidious tending to those prized tulip trees and irises if your water service line bursts and they get washed away by the new eastern branch of the Mississippi River suddenly flowing through your lawn. If your underground water line starts leaking, you’ll want to be prepared to pay the price for repair or replacement — and fast. On the bright side, the job generally doesn’t force Volunteer State residents to dig too deep into their pockets. From Memphis to Nashville to Knoxville, Tennesseans pay significantly less on average than their fellow Americans for water-line work.

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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 Tennessee’s on-the-milder-side climate — with its lowest average winter temperature troughs not quite getting down to freezing — allows pipes to be buried significantly shallower, at just 3.07 feet on average. For further context: Way up in f-f-freezing Minnesota, average pipe depth is 8.27 feet, the deepest 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 Tennessee, 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 Tennessee, the fee for this is 12% lower than the national average.

Water Service Line Repair: $830

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.

Tennessee’s average repair price is about 20% less than the nation’s.

Water Service Line Replace: $2,716

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 Tennesseans 24% less than the average American.

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Video produced and directed by Eric Rossi: