How Much It Costs To Repair A Burst Pipe

Dealing with a burst pipe that's wreaking havoc in your home is never fun, especially if you have no idea how much it will cost to repair. Fortunately, we can help. First, you should definitely check to see if the job — including potential water damage that might have occurred — will be covered by your homeowner's insurance. Next, you'll want to get a general idea of the overall expense. The answer to that isn't exactly straightforward but, in general, the price should land in the area of $150 to $5,000.

Why such a wide range? That has to do with the fact that there are a lot of details that can keep the price of repairing a burst pipe relatively affordable or make it skyrocket. For instance, if you bring a professional in to help, then you could end up paying a fair share for their expertise. However, if the job is on the smaller side or you can handle the work on your own, then you might only end up having to budget $150 for supplies and such. On the other hand, if the repair job is more complicated, then the costs can rise a considerable amount, even into the thousands, as mentioned.

You can figure out what end of the price scale you might be on by considering a few specific factors and the related costs of each.

Location and type of burst pipes affect repair costs

Although you usually can't see the pipes in your home, they run behind walls, under floors, and are even buried under the building before traveling under lawns and yards. This also means that they can sometimes only be accessed by working in tight spots, cutting holes in drywall, or digging up dirt or concrete. The more difficult it is to reach the pipe, the higher the price will be to replace one that has burst.

Next, there's the matter of the pipes themselves. The amount of pipe that needs to be replaced will obviously factor into the resulting cost as will the type of pipe that will be used. PEX or cross-linked polyethylene is a relatively popular option and for every linear foot can cost between $0.50 to $2. Do a little math, and you'll find that means it'll cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for a complete rehaul of old or damaged pipes if you live in a home that's 1,000 square feet. Copper pipes are also a choice you might be interested in; however, they cost quite a bit more at $2 on the low end all the way up to $10 for each linear foot. That takes the budget up to $2,000 to $10,000 for a 1,000-square-foot home.

But wait! There's another key cost that you may need to factor in when having a burst pipe repaired.

Paying a professional to repair your pipes can be worth it

Repairing a burst pipe may be as simple as turning off the water, popping out damaged bits, and installing new ones. If you're someone who's handy, then you might be able to do this yourself and save some money. However, if you don't really know what you're doing, then it might be worth it to bring in a professional to make sure the job is done right.

In this case, you'll want to ask about additional fees before you hire someone. Frankly, the bulk of the bill may be related to labor. That will likely include basic fees, such as the pro's hourly rate, which can be anywhere from $45 to $200, according to Mr. Rooter. Note that some companies go by flat fees, however, while others combine flat fees for services, such as repairing a pipe, with an hourly rate.

As for specific fees, for a burst pipe, your location and the time of year might matter, especially if it's winter and the pipe is frozen and will require additional prep work. The distance traveled for the pro may also factor into the overall cost, along with whether or not it's an emergency (which, in the case of a burst pipe, likely is).

This said, although it may seem like it's pricey to hire a professional, you might want to consider how much more it will cost if you mess up a DIY repair of that burst pipe and end up having to deal with an even bigger plumbing problem.