How Much Does A Burst Pipe Cost

When the temperature outside drops, you may encounter a burst pipe problem. Trapped water inside the pipes usually freeze and since there is not much space inside the pipes to welcome the expansion made by freezing water, the pipes usually burst. When this happens, leaking pipes will be a big problem. As much as possible, immediate attention must be given to repair burst pipes.

The Cost Of A Burst Pipe Repair

The typical cost to fix a burst pipe is $50 to $500.

This price refers to hiring a plumber to do a spot repair on the damaged pipes. This estimated price, however, refers to a plumber repair service in a non-emergency basis.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of A Burst Pipe Repair

Access. The cost of a burst pipe repair can basically be affected by how easy it is to access the problem pipes. Easily accessible damaged pipes cost around $50 to $250 to fix while less accessible burst pipes cost around $400 to $1,500. This is especially true for pipes that are inside a wall or under the ground. In fact, burst pipes under a concrete slab foundation can go up to a thousand dollars or even more because of how difficult it is to access them.

Emergency. The above mentioned estimate refers to a spot repair of a burst pipe on a non-emergency basis. If the plumber is called for an emergency work, burst pipe repair costs will start from $300 to $600 and can go even higher.

Extent of damage. If there are more than one burst pipe in your property, expect that the cost to fix all of them will be higher as compared to only having one instance of a burst pipe.

Pipe’s condition. Some burst pipes cannot be fixed by a spot repair anymore. This is especially true for older pipes. A spot repair on an old pipe can just put extra pressure on the other pipes and can lead to more damage in the end. With such kind of pipes, replacing everything is the much better approach in fixing the problem. This only means that the cost to repair burst pipes of this kind will be a lot more expensive than those that can be fixed by a simple spot repair.

Plumber. The cost of a burst pipe repair can also vary depending on the plumber you hire for the job. Amateur plumbers basically charge lower as compared to experienced ones.

DIY. There are DIY burst pipe emergency repair kits that can be purchased in the market for a DIY repair. A DIY repair is basically the cheaper approach since most burst pipe repair kits run only from $6 to $30. Some DIY kits have pipe repair clamps and rubber gaskets while others have water-activated fiberglass tape, which works to harden in place to fix a burst pipe.

Additional Costs

A burst pipe is often associated with water damage. This is especially true if the water leaks have been present for a long time already. Water damage repair costs can run from $5,000 to $7,000 and can go even higher depending on the extent of water damage to your property.

In any case that some pipes are frozen, it is possible to thaw them to prevent them from bursting and causing additional problems. You can use portable space heaters, heating pads, electric blow dryers, or electric heating cables. These pipe thawing tools can cost from $20 and can go up to $700.

Tips Before You Repair A Burst Pipe

When there is a burst pipe, shut off the main water supply immediately. Then, let the pipe drain out water by turning on all the taps and flushing all toilets. Water leaks will basically stop once there is no more water in the pipes. This is one thing you have to remember to do to ensure that the burst pipe will not cause any further water damage to your property.

Talk with your home insurance provider to check whether or not burst pipe repair can be covered under your policy. However, take note that some insurance policies will not cover the cost of burst pipe repair. If this is the case, you can consider getting a claim for water damage repair instead. Just make sure that you follow all instructions and requirements as needed by the insurance company.

Always look for an experienced, licensed, and insured plumber to do the work for you. Get referrals or recommendations to give you an idea of who the best plumber is to trust in your situation.

Get price estimates from at least three different plumbers in your area. Choose one that will offer you a good price in exchange for a good quality service.

To save on the cost of a burst pipe repair, try doing temporary repair on the burst pipes so you don’t have to call a plumber for an emergency basis. Look for the break in the pipes and do an immediate repair. A tiny crack in the pipes can immediately be patched up. You may also need to place a bucket to catch drips of water.

If you are considering a DIY burst pipe repair, make sure to turn off the water supply first and then cut out the burst out section of the pipe. Use a hacksaw to do this. Then, clean the pipe’s interior and slide a slip coupling over the exposed pipe. Tighten the coupling nuts to ensure that there will be no leaks once the water is turned on.

That's not good!
Photo by ROSS HONG KONG

Prevent frozen or burst pipes in the future

It truly is a lot of hassle to have burst pipes. The headache starts from the actual repair work up to the costs involved with the repair. The great news for homeowners like you is that there are some things you can do to prevent pipes from bursting and all these revolve around preventing pipes from freezing during the winter. Here are prevention tips you have to keep in mind:

  • Insulate all pipes as well as the sides of the water tank and the attic. Take note that exposed pipes in the attic and the crawlspaces are those most prone to freezing. You can do this by wrapping the pipes with a heat tape.
  • Inspect your home to check for leaks where cold air might be coming in. Seal these leaks right away because during the winter, the cold air coming from a tiny opening can be strong enough to freeze pipes already.
  • Maintain the basement temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit all the time.
  • Open kitchen cabinet doors under the kitchen sink to let warm air in. This must be done especially when the pipes under the kitchen sink aren’t insulated.
  • In case you are traveling during the winter, set the heating system on a low temperature and allow it to be activated twice a day just so the temperature inside the house stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If freezing pipes is a usual problem in your house, a good and simple solution is to let the water run when the temperature goes too cold. You can leave a faucet slightly open with the dripping water just with the same diameter as a pencil.
  • When constructing a house, proper placement of the pipes is essential to avoid freezing and bursting. Placing pipes only in heated spaces and not in the attics and crawlspaces will do the trick.
  • You may ask a plumber to reroute pipes that are at risk to freezing. Rerouting pipes to protected and heated areas during the winter can be a good trick to prevent freezing pipes.

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