How Much Does Water Main Installation & Replacement Cost?

Typical Range:

$611 - $2,605

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 4,727 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated December 14, 2021

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Water Main Installation Cost

House service water main installation costs $1,600 on average with most paying between $611 and $2,605. You’ll spend anywhere from $50 to $250 per linear foot, depending on length, material, depth and accessibility. You’ll need a city permit which varies in price from location to location.

In most places, it’s the main pipe in a system of pipes that distributes water throughout a municipality. It’s the one running under or next to a street on city property that then has feeder lines to homes. The line feeding your home is called a “private water service line” or “house service water main”, which is what we’ll discuss in this guide. Don’t confuse the two since you’re usually only responsible for the line until it hits your property line, after that, the city owns it and usually maintains it.

Average Cost to Install or Replace a Water Line

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National Average $1,600
Typical Range $611 - $2,605
Low End - High End $195 - $4,700

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 4,727 HomeAdvisor members.

Water Main Installation Cost Per Foot

Water main installation costs an average of $50 to $150 per linear foot. However, some areas, and hard-to-access lines might run up to $250 per linear foot. The type of material you choose also affects the price since copper costs 4 to 7 times that of PVC.

Whether it’s 15 or 500 feet, your private pipe connects your home to the city line and you’re responsible for it. At the property line, the city often takes over responsibility, but you can often get a permit for repairs to the main line.

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Cost to Replace Main Water Line

Replacing a water line costs anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more. You’ll spend anywhere from $50 to $250 per linear foot to replace the pipe.

The main difference comes from having to dig out and dispose of the old line. Old lines from the 1980s or earlier probably have little life left in them, requiring replacement or slip lining.

Trenchless Water Line Replacement Cost

Trenchless line replacement costs $50 to $250 per linear foot. It’s the current gold standard because it’s quick and doesn’t destroy landscaping or yards. There are two common methods:

  • Pipe Lining: $100-$250 per linear foot. This method pushes an epoxy lining into the pipe which fills cracks and essentially creates a new pipe from the old one.

  • Pipe Bursting: $50-$200 per linear foot. This method uses an auger to drill out and “burst” the old pipe in place while dragging in a new pipe to replace it.

Cost to Replace a Water Line from the Street to the House

Replacing a line from the street to your house, the private main water line, costs $600 to $2,500. However, you’ll need to determine who’s responsible – you or the city – for the portion that extends past your property line to the city’s supply.

Cost to Hook Up and Connect to City Water

Connecting to city water costs anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for permits and inspections.

  • Inspection: $150-$500. Some cities offer this for free to make sure it all meets code requirements.

  • Permit: $100-$500. Almost every municipality requires a permit. Check with your local building code enforcement agency for your local requirements. Usually, your contractor pulls these as part of the job’s budget.

"On top of pulling permits, your plumber or contractor also needs to have adequate insurance coverage,” says Jeff Botelho, plumber and Expert Board Review member. “Connecting to the city water distribution system is NOT a DIY project."

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Cost to Run Water Line

Labor makes up 35% to 40% of the final cost of most installations. The rest comes from machinery, travel, overhead, permits and materials. However, trenchless projects take less time, but require specialized machines. In this case, labor can make up closer to 60% of the total price.

Water Main Replacement Cost Factors

While most water main replacement costs remain constant from home to home, a few factors might make the price fluctuate a little, including:

  • Any obstructions that make it difficult to reach the pipe, like trees or a concrete pad, increase the cost.

  • The deeper you install it, the longer it takes to dig, increasing cost.

  • Location and Material. You can’t use copper in some rare soil conditions, and you must bury it below the frost line to avoid it freezing and bursting.

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DIY vs. Hire a Water Main Installer

Always hire a professional for this job. Not only does the project require interacting with city owned water lines, but repair fees for a burst pipe can reach into the tens of thousands. In many places, municipalities require a licensed professional to do the work. Find a local plumber for a free consultation today.

FAQs

How much does it cost to connect to city sewage?

A city sewage connection costs anywhere from $500 to $20,000 depending on local regulations and how long of a sewer line you need. Rural connections might run up to $50,000. Septic tank installation costs $3,000 to $10,000, often far less than connecting to sewer.

How do you switch from well water to city water?

To switch from well to city water, you’ll need to run a private main service line from the nearest main city line to your home.

How much does it cost to replace the main water shut-off?

Main water shutoff valve replacement costs$1,500 to $4,000.

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