The national average cost of outdoor plumbing repairs is $65 to $215. The cost to repair an outdoor plumbing issue depends on the type of damage, how invasive it will be to repair, and any permits you need to acquire. Common outdoor plumbing issues include:
- A clog or leak in your sewer pipe, also known as a sewer line
- Frozen or burst pipes
- Frozen outdoor faucets
- Leak in your outdoor faucets
- A leak in your outdoor pool
- Problems with your hose bib
- Leaking or damaged sprinkler system
- Water main leaks
Homeowners may experience a plumbing issues indoors, like a clogged sink, shower drain, or toilet that won't flush. However, the issue may actually stem from outside—like leaking, cracked, or clogged pipes between your house and the main sewer line. Fortunately, you don't have to be an expert in plumbing to locate and fix the issue. Outdoor plumbing repair companies specialize in plumbing problems that originate outside.
If the location of a leak is outside, it's smart to hire a plumber with experience working on sewer systems. These plumbers will have the right equipment for assessing the nature of the problem with a pipe camera and, if necessary, the equipment to dig a trench to access and repair underground pipes.
Before you hire a contractor specializing in outdoor plumbing services, get an estimate of how much your plumbing project may cost.
What's in this cost guide?
The price to fix a leak, a clog, or other damage in your plumbing outside will depend on the exact problem, whether you need to dig a trench, pipe location, permits, and whether or not you need a camera inspection before your plumber gets started.
Below are the average costs for common repairs on your outside plumbing:
|Plumbing repair||Average cost|
|Broken faucet replacement||$150 - $300|
|Clearing a clog or obstruction in outdoor pipes (i.e. sewer pipes or your main line)||$200|
|Water line repair||$400 - $700|
|Water line replacement||$3,000 - $6,000|
|Sewer line replacement||$4,000 - $14,000|
|Swimming pool repairs||$390 - $600|
While the average cost of an outdoor plumbing repair ranges from $65 - $215, that generally covers something small—like water leaking from your outdoor faucet.
Homeowners generally pay more for bigger problems like a burst pipe or leak in your sewer line. Issues with your water line (the pipes that run water between your house and the public water main) or pipe replacements will cost more than fixing an easy to access clog. Pipe repair or replacements that require your plumber to dig a trench to access the problem area increases the cost.
For example, the cost to replace a water line that runs from the water meter to the house can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000. A sewer line replacement or repair from the house to the street can run $4,000 to $14,000. If you think you're experiencing problems with your sewer line, it's a good idea to hire a sewer line specialist to help.
Small repairs, like fixing or replacing a leaky faucet, will be comparable in cost to minor indoor plumbing repairs. Clearing clogs and other obstructions in outdoor pipes typically cost a bit more, with prices averaging around $200. Note that many plumbers have a minimum charge of about $75–$100, which they will apply to the first hour of work.
The deeper, longer, and wider a trench must be to access the faulty pipe, the more expensive a repair is likely to be. A Thumbtack pro and experienced plumber based in Chicago, IL says sewer pipe replacements that require digging three feet to lay new pipe start at $1,850. A job where they have to dig a trench that's four feet or deeper might cost $2,800–$3,200.
While not an option for every homeowner, some properties will allow themselves for a trenchless sewer line repair. A trenchless sewer line repair costs less than a traditional repair, at an average of $80-250 per foot of pipe. Using a trenchless style of repair also means accessing your sewer pipes will damage your yard less.
The location of your pipe will also impact costs, particularly if you need to access an underground main line or sewer pipe. In general, digging a trench to access underground pipes in a yard covered by lawn or landscaping will cost less than the same repair under cement or wooden decking. A Thumbtack pro in Orting, WA says his team can usually unclog an accessible sewer line for $195. Underground or hard to access pipes cost more to repair or replace.
If the pipes in your sewer line extend under a city street, the cost increases because of the permits required to close off the street to traffic and the equipment and manpower needed to access the pipes underneath the asphalt.
Many plumbing contractors who specialize in outdoor plumbing use cameras to inspect pipes before creating a job cost estimate and beginning work. A Thumbtack pro in Roy, WA charges $199 for a camera inspection. However, the Chicago based Thumbtack pro offers a free camera inspection on jobs that involve a main sewer line so that everyone can see the clog.
If a camera inspection shows a blockage from tree roots or debris and sewage, there are two ways to clean the pipe: hydro-jetting, for which a Chicago based plumbing expert charges about $400, and power rodding, which costs $200–$250.
Hydro-jetting uses pressurized water to blast away blockages and cut through tree roots that might be growing into the pipes. Sometimes chemicals are added to suppress root regrowth and prevent further damage.
Rodding uses a flexible metal cable that threads into drain systems. A rotating cleaning head with sharp teeth is attached to the end of the cable, and as the cable movers through the pipe, it cuts away roots or other materials clogging the line.
Certain problems, like a sewer line replacement, may require city permits before you can start repairs. The cost of city permits is not usually included in most plumbers' initial estimates because they vary so widely from city to city. It's a good idea to find out whether the plumber will help you acquire the necessary permits or if he or she will file the necessary paperwork on your behalf.
Whether you have an issue with the pipes connecting your house to the sewer, or just a pesky leaky faucet, here are some ways you can save money on your plumbing repairs—without skimping on quality:
Bundle multiple plumbing repairs. Most plumbing service companies that repair outdoor plumbing problems can help with indoor issues too. If your plumber is able to take care of multiple plumbing services at once, most plumbing companies will offer discounts.
Avoid emergency plumbing calls. A plumber will charge more to come to your house on a weekend, holiday, or last-minute. If you're dealing with a pipe bursting, this might not be an option, but if you can, schedule your plumber during normal working hours to avoid an additional fee.
Check to see if your insurance will cover repairs. Water damage from a burst pipe, both indoor and outdoor, is commonly covered by homeowner's insurance. Before you hand over your credit card, check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if it covers repairing your pipes and any damage caused by the burst.
If you've gotten a suspiciously high water bill, or noticed signs of a leak or potential damage to your pipes or outdoor faucets, you'll want an experienced plumber to help. To get started, find an outdoor plumbing contractor near you on Thumbtack and ask for a free estimate.