Main Water Line Installation Cost

How much does it cost to install a main water line?

The water main line is one of the most important parts of your home - this is the source of water for your entire house. On average, to install an average 6-foot copper water line costs $1500-$2000. Although it is possible to install a main line on your own, it is definitely recommended to hire a professional due to the difficulty and importance of the project.

Cost breakdown

  • Materials: there are different pipes available, but the most common material is copper. On average, copper piping costs $10-$20 per square foot, for a total cost of $150-$300 for materials. PVC piping is lower quality, but it is much less expensive at $3-$4 per foot.
  • You may also need to rent an excavator to dig a path for the water line, which can add another $200 per day.
  • Labor: plumbers typically charge $45-$65 per hour. Some plumbers also dig the hole, but in many cases you'll need to hire a contractor at $50-$60 per hour. Altogether labor can take two to three days (16-24 labor hours), for a total cost of $1000. The plumber or contractor will also need to restore the area after the pipe is installed, which includes filling in the hole and restoring landscaping or anything else in the area.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • If your plumbing is old and no longer in code, you may need to replace the piece that connects the city pipe to your private pipe, known as the tap. Tap replacement adds an average $300.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Copper pipes are the more popular option and are especially good for cold climates, but they are more expensive. PVC pipes are much less expensive but are lower quality.
  • Main lines that are more difficult to access, such as those underneath large trees or cement, may require the use of heavier machinery, which can potentially add up to $2000 more to your total.
  • If your home is further away from the city water line that runs down the street, your costs could increase by $600-$1600 because of the extra material needed to get the main line to your property.
  • Installing a main water line almost always requires permits and city approval. In some areas, these permits may be more expensive and can add extra costs to your project. Talk to your plumber for local details.
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Cost to install a main water line varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Asheville, NC
-18%
Athens, AL
-40%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Daly City, CA
+51%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Duarte, CA
+9%
Eastpointe, MI
+13%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Gaffney, SC
-17%
Hamilton, OH
-3%
Hialeah, FL
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kent, WA
+9%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lawton, OK
-38%
Leander, TX
+4%
Lewisburg, KY
-43%
Littleton, CO
+2%
Macon, GA
+20%
Madison, OH
-15%
Melbourne, FL
-16%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Newport News, VA
-12%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%

Labor cost in your zip code

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Methodology and sources