What It Really Takes (and Can Cost) to Make In-Home Plumbing Repairs

Many homeowners take the plumbing in their homes for granted – until something suddenly goes wrong. The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water it takes to wash 270 loads of laundry.1 The cost and hassle of finding a credible and licensed plumber for in-home repairs can be daunting – especially if you’re unprepared. And, typical homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover the repairs – meaning the responsibility of fixing and paying for the issue falls on you.

Without the right services and support, handling in-home plumbing repairs – such as leaks, clogs and breaks – can make you feel like you’re in over your head. Here is some insight into what repairing an in-home plumbing problem can entail from master plumber, Nick Robles. Nick is a Contract Network Manager for the leading national in-home plumbing repair experts, American Water Resources. He has been a licensed Master Plumber for 15 years and has managed the entire in-home plumbing repair process. His experience will help you understand the hassles and potential costs of in-home plumbing problems.

The Most Common In-Home Plumbing Issues

The most common in-home plumbing repairs performed by American Water Resources’ sourced plumbers include:

  • Leaking interior water lines
  • Leaking shutoff valves
  • Blocked or clogged drains

Leaking water lines or shutoff valves can result from old age or wear and tear. Leaks can cause big messes, potentially resulting in damage to floors, walls, ceilings and/or personal effects in the home.

Clogged or blocked drain lines in the home can create serious inconveniences, as they may limit or completely disable the use of the affected drain. Clogging can cause pipes, such as those from washing machines, showers or sinks, to drain slowly. Blocked drains cause even bigger problems, as they prevent water from filtering through the pipe at all. This can cause the potential for overflowing and can create unsanitary conditions if sewage backs up into the home.

Contractors and Fees

The task of researching and finding a reputable, licensed contractor in the event of an in-home plumbing issue, is the responsibility of the homeowner. But finding a contractor who will show up within a reasonable time frame is not always easy. This means that in-home plumbing issues often end up getting worse before they get better.

The process of finding a reliable contractor can be very time consuming. First, you must find a contractor from your area through phonebooks or websites, such as Angie’s List, and determine if they are properly licensed and credible enough. Next, you may want to gain price comparisons by calling multiple contractors. Some contractors charge an initial fee ranging from $50-$75 to assess the work, and depending on the issue at hand, the actual repair can end up costing hundreds of dollars.

The Average Cost of In-Home Plumbing Repairs

Aside from the somewhat daunting task of finding a reputable contractor, in-home plumbing repairs can be costly for homeowners. The following table outlines the average costs of various in-home plumbing repairs throughout 2013. Prices vary based on a number of factors including weather and quarterly contractor changes. January prices, on average, are the highest due to frozen water lines as a result of cold temperatures. Fixing these types of leaks not only saves water but can also save homeowners about 10% on their water bills.2

Type of Repair      Average Cost
Drain line cleaning $165-$205
Drain line repair     $360-$1290
Supply line repair   $265-$305 
Shutoff valve repair $150-$220
Shutoff valve replacement  $165-$195
 Water line repair    $180-$445

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone

Avoiding the hassles and expenses of in-home plumbing issues is easy with an In-Home Plumbing Emergency Program, like that offered by American Water Resources (AWR). AWR handles the intensive contractor selection, ensuring that only a plumber qualified and capable of performing the job is sent to your home. AWR’s contractor network consists of a wide variety of independent, local contractors that are available to locate and fix problems in a timely manner with the upmost consideration for customer satisfaction. One phone call to AWR* is all it takes to get a qualified technician to your home and your problem promptly addressed.

AWR has been providing protection programs for more than 12 years, earning both a 93% Customer Service Quality Rating and an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. AWR is the official service line protection provider for New York City Water Board, making its programs available to more than 670,000 homeowners in the City's five boroughs.

1,2 “Fix A Leak Week” EPA.gov. http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html
* A $50 service fee applies when a contractor is dispatched to your home for all in-home plumbing repairs.