How much does it cost to replace a water main in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan & Bronx?

There are a few factors that are taken into consideration when replacing a water main in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.  On average, a copper water main installation will cost anywhere from $2,200 – $4,800.  The additional variables that may have an impact on the price are:

Has the roadway been paved within the last 5 years?

roadway_paving_stock_picIf the street you live on has been paved over within the prior 5 years, the street is considered a “protected street”  meaning it is still under the 5 year guarantee period which requires special attention to protect the integrity of the street.  The additional cost associated with a protected street is in the NYC DOT (Department of Transportation) permit fees, special backfill compaction/moisture testing of the soil and restoration requirements.  The additional cost may range from $250 – $1100 pending the details of each project.

If a street has been paved within the prior 18 months there are additional requirements and cost associated with the restoration process.  The roadway must be paved from the hole in the street back to the curb line regardless of the distance. This differs from a hole on a standard roadway where the only area that must be paved is the location where the roadway was excavated.  The additional cost may range from $300-$2000 pending the details of the job.


What side of the street is the water main located on?

short_water_labeledIf you house is located on the “short” side of the street, the city water main is located approximately    2’-8’ off of your curb.  A short water main is more cost effective as it requires less material, fewer installation technicians and less time to complete the installation.  If your house is on the “long” side of the street, the city water main is located on the opposite side of the street from your house which will require additional installation technicians, roadway restoration, material and time. One can determine if your house requires is a “short” or “long” water main by locating the fire hydrants on your street, this can be used as an indicator for where the city main is 95% of the time..  The additional cost for a long water main may range from $400 to $1,000 pending the specifics of your installation.


What size main water line will you need?

copper_tubingThe average sized 1-3 family home will require anywhere from a 1” -1 ½” copper pipe.  Licensed plumbers follow a sizing table as per NYC plumbing code which will determine the exact size of copper pipe required for your home.  The factors used for sizing your pipe are, number of fixture units, rate of flow (gallons per minute) and length of service pipe.  These factors will determine the exact size of water main and tap that is required for your water main installation.  The water main size will not have a major impact on the overall cost of a water main replacement; the price will range from $50 – $600 pending the details of the required copper pipe.


Does your installation require a new tap connection?

There are several reasons why your water line installation may require a new tap:

  1. If you are having a water main installed for a brand new home or building, a NYC licensed plumber must facilitate having the NYC DEP install a new tap connection for your new water main.
  2. If you have a water main leak and your existing tap is an old “driven tap”.  Driven taps are no longer legal to use in the five boroughs.
  3. If your existing tap connection is leaking
  4. If you are increasing the size, or upgrading from a lead water main to a copper water main and the existing tap connection is too small to properly supply the necessary volume and pressure of water to your property.
  5. If you are suffering from low water pressure

note – the above information does not include any unforeseen or rare variables that may arise on a project.


All Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Bronx water line installations should fall within the guidelines mentioned above.  If you have received any different or additional information, please feel free to contact Harris Water Main and Sewer Contractors for a free and non committal site visit 24/7 718-495-3600.

**Note- The information included in this article is from 2012, pricing is subject to change pending the date you are reviewing this article