Your repair cost depends most heavily on whether the leak is located in your main sewer line (carries your home’s wastewater to the public sewer line) or a secondary drain line (carries fixture wastewater to your mainline). Generally, leaks in your mainline are more expensive to repair than ones in secondary drain lines.
Cost to repair a secondary drain line leak
To repair a secondary line leak, expect to pay roughly $99 to $499.
Leaks in secondary drains are easier to repair because the plumbing is easier to access. Although, you might have to pay for cosmetic repairs if your plumber needs to cut into walls or ceilings to access the broken pipe, increasing your cost.
Leaks in the mainline are more expensive to repair because they’re harder to access. Your plumber will either need to:
Use a trenchless repair method like pipe bursting or pipe lining. These methods are more affordable and less invasive than the traditional method (trenching).
Trench your yard (dig to the damaged pipe), which will cost more because it will take the plumber more time and effort. Plus, it will probably cost you more in landscaping repair costs than a trenchless repair method.
Cost factor #2: Material of the pipe
If a portion of your piping needs replaced, pipe material will influence your leak repair cost.
More expensive pipe materials: copper, concrete, iron, steel, clay
Less expensive pipe materials: PVC or ABS
The longer and larger the piece of pipe that needs replaced, the more you’ll pay.
Keep in mind: Going with the cheapest pipe material isn’t always a good idea. Some pipe materials work better in certain situations. For example, PVC is used a lot in main water supply and drain lines, while copper is best for hot-water pipes because it’s heat resistant. You plumber will be able to tell you which material you should go with, based on your situation.
Cost factor #3: Cleanup and cosmetic repairs
You’ll likely need to pay for repairs to the working area after your pipe leak is fixed, which will increase your overall leak repair cost.
If the leak is in your secondary drain line, expect to pay for cosmetic repairs like:
Patching holes in drywall
Fixing flood damage from burst pipes
If you need a main sewer line repaired, you might have to pay for landscaping like:
Repaving your sidewalk or driveway
Replanting topsoil, bushes, trees or gardens
Repairing sheds, fences, porches or other structures
Local plumbing permits normally have a fee associated with them, which varies depending on the project.
Most plumbers will add the cost of these permit fees to the overall cost of the project. Check with the plumber you hire to see what the permit fee will be to repair your leak.
Cost factor #5: The Vancouver plumber you hire
You’ll pay more for better quality plumbers.
When plumbers charge more for labor, they’re charging for their skill and experience—most of the time. You might run into plumbers who will charge you more even though they’re less qualified than others. To weed out these less-qualified plumbers, you just have to do a bit of research.
When hiring a plumber in Vancouver, we suggest that you:
Make sure the plumber is licensed and insured, in case anything bad happens during the repair.