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Question DetailsAsked on 5/10/2017

how much does it cost to repair a pin hole leak in a water pipe?

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Depends of course on pipe materials to some extent, and on accessibility. A minor leak at a reasonably exposed point on plastic or copper pipe inside a house probably minimum service call charge of $75-300 depending on your locale - usually around $150 plus or minus $50 in most of the country. Plus maybe $5-20 materials. With steel, brass, cast/ductile iron, and asbestos pipe cost can go up depending on how much pipe needs to be removed to get rid of the badly corroded area because "bad" sections in them tend to be longer than the typical "spot" leaks in plastic or copper pipe. And of course with the quite rare (pre-70's) asbestos-containing pipe special care and disposal requirements can add a few hundred $ to the job cost. Ditto if an asbestos-coated hot water pipe - very rare except right at older water heaters and boilers and on older steam pipes.

If in-ground, more commonly a few hundred $ if shallow burial (areas with no significant frost penetration in the winter), and more like $500-1000 in areas with burial exceeding 3-4 feet in areas with frost penetration and on up to 10-12 feet in very cold areas, because over about 3 feet excavation depth requires a lot of labor or a backhoe and temporary trench support during the repair.

And of course if under a concrete slab, also typically $500 range if the leak can be readily detected by wetness or sound - and can range up to $1000 range if the leak has to be "chased" by cutting through the slab or if a long section of pipe has gone bad.

If the pipe is actually embedded in the slab (like in concrete construction building or rarely in basement slabs), then all bets are off - can be little different than an under-slab repair in on-ground slabs at times, to several thousand $ if in a structural slab in a concrete building which requires an engineer and maybe remote detection equipment to determine where cuts can be safely made to avoid cutting into critical reinforcing in post-tensioned or pre-tensioned or heavy rebar reinforced slabs. But again, those cases are a small minority of instances.

In the very rare extreme cases where the leak is buried under foundation or massive tree or drive or such, of course costs can go up depending the case, but those are the rare cases.

DIY cost - using a sharkbite or similar fitting or a clamp-on rubber repair clamp on copper pipe, repair clamp on brass or steel or cast/ductile iron, or cutting at the pinhole and putting in a coupling in PVC/CPVC pipe: $10-20 in materials commonly, though that is commonly only a "temporary" fix which might last many years but is not considered a permanent repair, and will raise a red flag during any future sale home inspection if noticed. No easy DIY fix on flexible plastic pipe like PEX because it takes special tools unique to the brand of fittings used, or on asbestos pipe. Ditto on flexible metal tubing - if you can get it out completely a plumbing shop could make up a new one to replace it, but repairs on thin tubing mean flaring tools you would not have. Some heavier-wall tubing yuou can cut and use compression fittings on. If definitely would NOT recommend using one of the epoxy plug or fiberglass wrap type repairs on pressurized pipe - they work quite well on sewer lines, but I would not trust them in the long term on a pressurized line - if having to do a "patch repair" due to access constraints or such, I trust the rubber-gasketed clamp-on type repair units on pipe that is suited to that type of repair - i.e. not thin-wall tubing and on straight runs - do not work on 90's for instance, and generally the ones for fitting joint leaks to not work real well either - best to use only on straight pipe runs where it can fit tightly to the pipe all along the repair unit.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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