If you own a home, there’s probably an underground water line that makes it possible for your family to enjoy hot showers and cook their favorite meals. As with anything that is underground, however, these lines are subject to damage from tree root growth, shifting of the earth and other forces beyond homeowner control. If caught early enough, many of these issues can be repaired with minimal costs. But what happens when the damage is too severe?
For instances of underground water line damage that can be repaired, there are some simple steps that homeowners can take to minimize the cost. If you suspect your waterline is damaged, call a plumber immediately and ask him or her for an inspection.
Water line repair can be a costly venture, depending on the nature of the damage and the scope of the repairs. If a water line is damaged by a break or leak, the price to fix it will likely be higher than if the damage is less severe. In some cases, the entire water line may need to be replaced, which can result in a significant increase in the cost to complete the renovation.
The National Average Cost to Fix a Broken Water Pipe Underground
The average national cost for repairing an underground water line is between $4,000 and $7,000. This average breaks down as follows: tearing up and replacing 300 square feet of lawn to expose the line runs around $3,000; for a project involving one section of water line, the cost is about $4,000. Repairs to two sections runs approximately $5,500 and repairs to three or more sections will likely need at least $7,000.
Most companies that repair underground lines also offer one-time maintenance visits, which can cost $60 to $70. For a yearly inspection and a 15-foot lateral replacement, homeowners should expect to pay between $200 and $300.
Oftentimes, plumbers will charge by foot for repairing broken underground pipes. The typical cost is between $100 – $200 per linear foot.
If you have extensive damage to your underground water line, the worst-case scenario is that you will have to replace it entirely. Replacing an underground water line can be a costly process. For example, if you have ten sections of your line that need to be replaced, it will cost about $7,000 for professional installation.
When Should You Just Replace Your Entire System?
If you are not sure whether or not you should repair or replace your underground water line, there are a few things you can consider. The first is the cost of the repairs. If the repairs are going to be more than 50% of the cost of replacing the line, it may make more sense to simply replace it.
Keep Costs Down With Regular Maintenance
To keep your water line repair costs down, you should regularly conduct inspections. The best time to do this is in the fall when leaves and other debris have fallen off of trees and shrubs.
If you want to protect your home from damage due to a faulty underground water line, one option is to call a plumber for a one-time maintenance visit. This visit will include an inspection of your line and the installation of a backflow prevention device, if necessary.
No matter what, homeowners should always be prepared for the possibility of underground water line repairs. By taking the time to educate themselves on the average costs and available preventative measures, they can avoid the costly process of premature line replacement.
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