It can be disheartening to learn that your main water line needs to be replaced, especially if you have a small home maintenance budget. Fortunately, there are some options available for lowering the cost.
1) Trench or Trenchless
The easiest way to save on a water main replacement is to opt for a trenchless repair rather than the traditional trench repair. A trench repair requires digging up landscaping, as well as any paving, both of which are expensive and will require replacement after the repair. A new line is then installed. With trenchless repair, a new flexible line is installed inside the interior of the old line, where it is then expanded and hardened in place. There is no external damage so it's lower cost.
2) Line Material
If trenchless repair isn't an option, you can save on the replacement by choosing a lower cost material for the line, like PVC or PEX, Not only will these materials cost less at installation, they have a long service life so you won't need to pay for another main line replacement any time soon. You will need to check with local codes, as there may be restrictions on the materials that are allowed for home water line replacements.
3) Line Depth
Another issue when it comes to cost in the event you need a trench repair is the depth of the line. If you are fortunate enough to have a relatively shallow line, the cost will be less because it takes less labor to dig up the line. While this will cost less in the short term, keep in mind that shallow lines are more prone to damages from frost heave and tree roots. It may pay to invest more to have the new line placed deeper in order to prevent the need for future repairs.
4) Landscape Issues
Your landscaping can increase the cost of a line replacement, but you can minimize these costs. Consider removing the turf and garden plants in the path of digging and planting them elsewhere or in pots. This way you can simply replant them in their old location after the repair. If pathways or sidewalks are in the way, you may be able to have them removed in slabs that can be reused after the repair is done.
If you need a new water main, don't put it off. Contact a water line replacement service for more help.