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How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Broken Water Main?



Your water main line is the pipe that connects your home’s plumbing to your community’s public water system. It usually runs underground and is the main source for your house’s water. Don’t confuse your main line with your sewer line, which transports used water out to a septic system or a municipal sewer line.  

When the main line breaks or fails in some way, it can be a complicated, labour intensive fix, so it is recommended that you consult a professional plumber right away, to help you figure out what’s going on. But how much does it cost? This article will help clear that up for you. But first let’s talk for amount about why your water main broke in the first time.


Why do water mains break?

External corrosion from soil conditions and frost can cause holes or cracks in water lines over time. These pipes are under a great amount of pressure, so when these fractures happen, the water will flow from the pipe and eventually make its way to the surface where it will pool on your lawn, on the street, or in your basement. 

Note: This type of flowing water can cause contamination in your home, so it is important that your tap water is not consumed while this is happening.


What does it cost to fix a broken main line?

So, you know that your main line is broken. What now? Your next big question is most likely: what will it cost me to fix it? 

The first thing we need to assess when determining cost is where and how severe the damage is. We can pinpoint the location of the break using a ground penetrating radar, and dig down to the spot so we can properly assess the condition of the line and the damage. 

Ideally, the damage will be minor, and we can do a spot repair for about $1,000. However, in order to prevent future leaks from happening, it is often decided that the installation of a new main line is the best and most cost-effective option in the long run; usually this will be the case if the main line is older and is degrading.

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Main water line replacement options

Dig by hand: This option is the simplest and the cheapest, but it will only work if the soil is free of rocks and the line is of a manageable distance. The downsides of this option are that it is labour intensive and will disturb your lawn if you have one.

Dig with an excavator: This is a faster option for digging, but it is also more expensive. It will also cause potentially heavy damage to your lawn or property.   

Directional drilling: This is the most expensive option, but it is the quickest and least invasive to your property. 

Directional drilling uses a horizontal boring machine to create a hole without digging or trenching. The drill can change directions to avoid underground barriers, and it can begin and end at predetermined spots, with the installation being completed underground. This option may be a more cost-effective option if you have expensive landscaping that will need to be replaced or repaired after trenching. 


If you think you have a problem with your water main, your first call should be to Ashton Service Group; our professionals will quickly be on hand to assess the damage and get a quote to you right away. Call us today to get started. 

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