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How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Leaking Pipe in 2023?

close-up of water leaking from the white sink pipe

Leaking pipes are an inevitable cost that every homeowner or landlord will deal with at some point in their ownership journey. And the problem with a leaking pipe is that several variables affect the repair cost.

Below, we will discuss the importance of promptly having a leak fixed and the average cost. In addition, we will tell you some of the potential problems that could result in a much larger bill.

If you’re a bit of a handyman, we’ll give you some tips on going the DIY route to save yourself some money as well.

divider 7Importance of Getting a Leak Fixed

Unlike many common household maintenance tasks, a leaking pipe cannot wait. Unless it’s fixed, a leaking pipe will continue to leak, causing much damage over time. There are exceptions to the rule. However, in most cases leaking pipes can be classified as an emergency repair.

The potential for these leaks to cause catastrophic damage is high, depending on which pipe is leaking and where it’s located. If there is a leaking water line behind a wall that is allowed to continue leaking, not only will it damage the drywall, but it could cause structural damage if the framing begins to rot.

In some cases, the damage it causes can also have negative health effects if left unchecked. Black mold is toxic and can cause many respiratory issues, especially if you’re sensitive to it or have allergies. It grows quickly in a wet, warm environment which a leaking pipe will provide.

pipe leaking
Image Credit: music4life, Pixabay

How Much Does Fixing a Leaking Pipe Cost?

Plumbing is one of those trades that doesn’t have a lot of fixed pricing because of the various jobs a plumber does. Depending on the leak, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 on a pipe repair, with the national average being around $300.

One significant factor that determines these prices is where the pipe is located. A pipe running into your sink under the bathroom vanity will be on the lower end. However, if the plumber needs to cut into your wall, the price increases to that $500 or more mark.

The above pricing assumes the pipe has not actually burst and is only leaking. Once a pipe bursts, the repair can quickly increase to costs of up to $4,000 or more because of additional damage.

Potential Extra Costs

If the plumber isn’t fixing a simple, exposed pipe, then in addition to the costs discussed above, make sure to expect these additional costs.

wastewater coming out from rusty pipe
Image Credit: analogicus, Pixabay

Drywall Repair

If a plumber has to cut into a wall to expose the pipe they need to fix; typically, it will be your responsibility to repair the drywall or hire someone to do so.

In some cases, if the plumber is a contractor who works in multiple trades, they will also fix the drywall. However, the cost will be a bit higher than average to account for the extra work.

Water Damage Cleanup and Repair

Even if the leaking pipe wasn’t behind a wall, there will be water damage if it was left for an extended period of time. If the water damage is hidden, it can simply be cleaned up in most cases to prevent mold growth.

However, if it’s out in the open or left long enough for mold to begin growing or rot to set in, major repairs could be necessary.

plumber installing pip
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Fixture Repair or Replacement

If the leaking pipe was connected to or caused by a defective fixture, that fixture will either need to be replaced or fixed. In some cases, a plumber will be able to replace seals in a faucet, for example. However, it’s often cheaper to replace the fixture than pay a plumber to fix it.

DIY Leaking Pipe Fix

Many homeowners find it beneficial to master some DIY tasks to save big bucks in the long run. A leaking pipe might not cost you much other than your time if this is you. Obviously, some variables determine how viable a DIY fix is.

The issue with plumbing is that if it’s not done correctly, there is almost a 100% chance that it will leak again. And often, a leak will come back worse than it was the first time around.

A leaking drain line from a sink will be about the most complicated leak to tackle for the average DIYer. Sometimes it can be repaired by simply changing the gasket and tightening the lock nut where the pipe connects to the sink.

Suppose there is a leak somewhere else in the pipe—in the trap where the pipe looks like a “U,” for example. In that case, measure the pipe and head down to your local plumbing supply store. The salespeople will be able to assist you with getting the right piece based on the size you need.

DIY and Professional Combo

If the necessary repair is something you can’t tackle alone, there are a couple of things you can do that will still save you money when hiring a professional.

If the leak is behind the wall, you can expose the pipe and clean it up. This will save the plumber time, and they will hopefully charge less labor. Once they’re finished the repair, you can also fix the drywall yourself instead of hiring someone else. Drywalling is an art form, but there are many guides online to give you the basics for the average home repair.

Another thing you can do to save money is complete a more complicated repair yourself—if you know how—then pay a plumber their minimum to quickly double-check that the repair was done properly.

Not all plumbers will do this, but if you’re willing to pay their minimum charge, which is typically around $50–$100, it will save you from paying a full repair bill.

pipes
Image Credit: Pixabay

Signs of a Leaking Pipe

Looking under the sink and noticing a leak is easy to spot and fix. The leaks we can’t see can do the most damage and be the hardest to spot. So, how do we know there is a hidden leak?

  • The water bill is much higher than usual
  • Water-staining on ceiling or walls
  • Paint bubbles form on the ceiling or walls
  • Musty-smelling room or visible mold in cracks or corners
  • A dripping sound

These are just a few things to be mindful of because any one of them could indicate a leaking pipe.

divider 7Conclusion on Cost of Fixing a Leaking Pipe

As you can see, the key to a smaller repair bill for a leaking pipe is to catch it and repair it quickly. In the case of a hidden leak, an expensive bill may be unavoidable.

Other than DIY, the best money-saving tip we can give you is to shop around for a plumber. The rates in your area will be all similar. However, a more competent plumber may charge less because they will spend less time. Get multiple quotes and read reviews, and you’ll be able to get the best deal.


Featured Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

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