Installing a new water main involves adding a new pipe from the water meter to the home. While the process is usually straightforward, a few problems sometimes slow it down and increase the cost. Since the main connects to the city water line, it has the potential to cause problems for everyone on the line, so the work often requires a professional. The average cost of replacement as of 2015 is between $641 and $2,160.
The home location affects the pipe replacement process. Polyvinyl chloride is an inexpensive and long-lasting choice in many areas. However, in regions where there are heavy freezes, PVC cannot withstand the low temperatures. The depth of the frost line determines how deep the contractor must dig to replace the main.
A homeowner's landscaping choices also affect the water main replacement. Trees that grow surface roots make digging the trench for the new line more difficult. If the main passes under a concrete sidewalk or driveway, the contractor must break and replace the concrete to install the new line. The length of the line directly affects the cost to replace it.
Most municipalities require a permit to replace the water main. The cost and difficulty of obtaining the permit vary by jurisdiction.