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What is the Average Cost to Install a Water Main?

In new construction, one of the bigger expenses you might come across is the installation of a water main. Essentially, a water main is a way to connect with a primary water source, which may be along the main road or just next to the house. Since it is a significant project, and one that requires the skill and knowledge of a trained plumber, it is something best left to professionals. Discover more about the costs commonly associated with installing a water main and what you should know before you begin.

National Install a Water Main Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 1988 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Install a Water Main Costs
Average reported cost $1,385
Number of Cost Profiles 1988 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $60
Maximum reported cost $3,989
Most homeowners spent between: $846 to $1,525

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Average Cost of Installing A Water Main

One of the first things you should realize before planning to install a water main is that costs can vary significantly from project to project. The type of pipes used and the distance between the water supply and the home plays a large role in the final expenses, and you should focus on your specific project when planning for the budget. However, you may find it helpful to know that, on average, the cost of installing a water main runs between $2,061 and $2,833.

Determining the Appropriate Pipe Material

As mentioned above, the type of pipe used to convey water between the water supply and the home is something important to consider. If you live in a warmer climate where freezing temperatures are less of a concern, for example, then PVC pipes are the most affordable option. Copper is another popular material, but it can't be used for piping in places where certain elements in the soil cause corrosion. 

Applying for Permits Before You Begin

Before you begin any step of the installation process, you or your professional team will need to apply for a water main permit. Generally, these are based on the length of the water main, which means that the further you are from the water supply, the more expensive the permit will be. The smallest water mains, measuring 200 feet, may only cost $150 for the permit, but longer main permits can cost as much as $1,400 in some locations.

Additional factors to keep in mind might include obstacles between the water supply and your home and whether there is any concrete or pavement in the way.

Last updated on Jan 12, 2017

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