How much does it cost to repair frozen pipes?

Knowing the cost before getting an estimate can equal big savings

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If you live in an area with cold winters, you know that forgetting to turn off your water and drain your pipes can have serious consequences. Frozen pipes can be a major inconvenience that leaves you without running water. They can also lead to a higher-than-average water bill and costly repair fees.

Read on to learn some helpful tips on how to get the most cost-effective coverage for your pipes.


Key insights

The average cost to replace frozen or burst pipes is $500.

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The cost of repairs and replacements depends on the type of pipe.

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Replacements can cost anywhere between $150 to $5,000.

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Frozen pipe repair costs

You can expect to pay between $150 and $5,000 for frozen pipe repairs. The average cost is typically around $500, but costs vary depending on the type of pipe and labor. The plumber may just thaw your pipe if it is frozen but not burst. If it’s leaking, it may cost more to repair. The price also depends on the location of the frozen pipes. If they are underground or in water due to leaks, pumping and excavation fees may cost closer to $5,000.

Frozen pipe repair costs by type

Water pipes come in various grades and materials that affect how long they will last and what they can handle. The average cost of replacing a pipe alone is $0.50 to $30 per linear foot. The average price per linear foot is $150 to $250 with labor.

Additional frozen pipe costs

Frozen pipes can damage other components connected to the water line, such as joints, outdoor faucets and hoses. However, these parts are typically inexpensive and easy to repair. Most joints cost under $15, and outdoor hoses and faucets cost around $15 to $60.

Frozen pipes can also damage sprinkler systems. Repairs for bursts and leaks usually cost around $150 to $350 for parts and labor.

Can you DIY a frozen pipe repair?

If you aren’t afraid to get dirty, you can try repairing a leak from a frozen pipe yourself. It is relatively simple, and all you will need is a new section of PVC or copper piping, joint connectors, a pipe wrench and plumbing flux. You can also try applying pipe clamps, epoxy putty, Teflon or plumber’s tape to the hole to fix the leak temporarily.

If getting under your house isn’t for you, calling a professional may be the way to go. It usually costs around $100 for a plumber to thaw out your pipes, but if they burst or have a leak, it can cost anywhere from $250 to $500. You can also expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $200 an hour in labor fees.

When should a frozen pipe be replaced?

If you notice any cracks, leaks, rust or corrosion after your pipes thaw, it’s probably time to have them repaired. Copper pipes also stretch to prevent leaks when freezing, so it might be time for a replacement if your pipes look swollen or stretched.

Does your home warranty cover frozen pipe repair or replacement?

Many home warranties include plumbing and cover pipe repairs. Plumbing is usually included in the systems plan, and the home warranty covers frozen pipes, leaks, stoppages and ruptures. However, if your pipes were damaged by a natural disaster such as a blizzard, you may need to check your homeowner's insurance to see if it covers the issue.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    How long do pipes in your home last?

    Each type of pipe in your home has a different lifespan and needs to be repaired accordingly. Typically, the lifespan of pipes are:

    • 70 to 80 years for copper pipe
    • 80 to 100 years for brass
    • 70 years for PVC
    • 80 to 100 years for galvanized steel
    • 10 to 15 years for polybutylene
    Do I need to have my home’s pipes serviced regularly?

    Yes, you should have your home's pipes inspected once every two years to ensure there are no leaks, damages or corrosion. Homes over 40 should be inspected yearly to ensure everything is running properly.

    Does plumbing have a warranty?

    When contractors finish a plumbing repair or replacement, they typically provide an extended warranty on the work performed. This means they will give a discounted rate or no service fee if they have to return for the same repair. Home warranties also cover plumbing if the contractor doesn’t provide an extended warranty.

    Bottom line

    Frozen pipes can leave you without running water and with a higher-than-average water bill. Replacing frozen pipes yourself can be relatively easy, but if you decide to call a professional, expect to pay $45 to $200 an hour. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, you could also see if your home warranty plan covers frozen pipe repairs.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. ProFlo Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, “How Long Do Different Types of Pipes Last?” Accessed April 16, 2024.
    2. Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, “How Often Do You Really Need Plumbing Services? Let’s Answer That.” Accessed April 16, 2024.
    3. Plumbing Dynamics, “Pros and Cons of Plumbing Warranties.” Accessed April 16, 2024.
    4. Angi, “How Much Does a Burst Pipe Cost to Repair?” Accessed April 16, 2024.
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