Cost Advisor

How Much Do Water Main Leak Repairs Cost?

June 6, 2019

Any pipe that goes beyond the water meter is the homeowner’s responsibility. So if you have a split, corroded or damaged water main pipe, you will have to shoulder all costs to fix it. That’s not to mention that you have to pay for the water lost through the leaking pipe, as any water flowing from the water meter to your house will be billed to your account.

Water main issues need prompt attention so you don’t have to pay excessive water bills and you can prevent further damage to your pipes. Euro Plumbing can help you figure out whether water main leak repairs or replacement is a more cost effective solution for you.

Checking for water main leaks

Some water main leaks are obvious and therefore easy to fix, but others will require the use of a specialist leak detection device. If you hear the sound of running water or a humming noise coming from the pipes, that’s a sign of a leak. The leaking water creates vibrating sounds which are audible long before the leak becomes visible. This sound is even more audible at night when the house quiets down. Here at Euro Plumbing, we use acoustic leak detection devices to pick up these sounds and find the exact location of a leak. It’s a less obtrusive and cheaper method than excavating your lawn to locate the problem.

Contrary to popular belief, you wouldn’t experience a drop in water pressure if there’s a leaking pipe on your property. This will only happen in extreme cases where the service line is ruptured or if the tap connection has been dislodged from the mains supply.

A more obvious sign would be a sudden spike in your water bill even when your water usage pattern remains unchanged. Your water meter will measure all the excess water leaking from the pipes, which will show up on your monthly bill. To confirm, do a 10-minute check on your water meter. If you turn all taps and appliances in and around your home but the dial on your water meter continues to spin, it means water is flowing out of the pipes somewhere.

If you think you have a leaking water main, here’s what to do next: First, shut off the water flow valve to prevent wastage and/or damage. The shut valve is located near the water meter. Once you’ve cut the water flow, call Euro Plumbing to investigate the leak.

Do I need to repair or replace it?

Once the pipe has deteriorated, it will continue to break and leak periodically. We can repair a damaged pipe now, but it might break again in a year or so. In such cases, it will be cheaper to replace the pipe rather than attempt to replace it.

The best option varies from one property to another. If the water main is a simple job, we will likely recommend a replacement which can sometimes work out cheaper the locating the leak and repairing the pipe. A replacement would be much preferred in older homes where pipes are typically made of galvanised steel that have likely deteriorated or ½-inch copper that may have been dented over the years. Older pipes also tend to be undersized for modern-day demands, making them vulnerable to splitting or cracking due to the increased pressure. Some clients would take the opportunity to upgrade their old pipes to polyethylene (PE) pipes to get their leak issues over with.

If the leaking pipe is located under a driveway or an immoveable object, we usually apply a technique called pipe thrusting. It’s a quicker, cheaper and less disruptive method for installing a new water main as it does away with the need to excavate or cut the concrete. In other cases, we may need to dig a trench to lay in a new service pipe.

Costs to repair your water main

Now to give you an idea of what water main leak repairs and replacement cost, we made this handy table:

Services Price (excl. GST)
Callout and inspection $125
Leak repair $175+
Leak detection $180+
Water main connection $40/connection
Water meter testing $65
Water main leak test $88
New water main On quote basis
Thrusting water main On quote basis
Pipe and fitting On quote basis


A bit expensive? The good thing is that Watercare offers a leak allowance for homeowners who fix their leaks within two weeks from detecting it. The rebate will help you to recoup some of the costs of your water main repair or replacement. While Watercare will not give you cash back, they will credit the allowance to your account and deduct it on your next bill.

Don’t put up with a water main leak. Give us a ring on 0800 832 638 if you suspect one on your property.


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