Plumbing leak repairs can be a huge drain on your budget. Smaller issues that are caught right away can run just $200, not counting cleanup. But hidden pipe failures that take longer to discover can easily lead to thousands of dollars in water damage.
The best way to keep plumbing repair costs down is to be alert to potential problems and to fix even minor leaks quickly. We’ll discuss different levels of plumbing leaks and the typical cost of cleanup and repairs.
Common Types of Plumbing Problems
Water leaks can happen anywhere in the home — not just the bathroom or kitchen. That’s because plumbing systems can be as complex as a spider’s web. Plumbing leaks can cause damage ranging from the minor to the calamitous, with repair costs to match. Supply chain issues and inflation can drive the cost up even further.
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Smaller Plumbing Leaks
Leaking sinks are the most obvious and least damaging kind of plumbing issue. If you’re lucky, a trickling noise will alert you before the flood waters rise. The leak itself typically can be fixed for $90 to $130.
However, hidden leaks can spread quickly and easily erode your cabinetry. Leaks that occur around the base of your faucet can also damage your countertop. Surface or cabinet repairs can cost $250 to $500 — not including the price of new materials.
Garbage disposals can spring a leak in a number of places. Depending on the scale of the issue, it might be possible to DIY the repair. But if the garbage disposal needs to be replaced, you’ll pay about $250 including parts and labor, according to Home Advisor.
Larger Plumbing Leaks
Leaks behind the walls can go undetected for some time. Contrary to what homeowners like to believe, many leaks don’t cause any change in water pressure or visible wall stains. (Plumbing issues are just one reason why the cost of a home inspection is worth it.)
Leaks stemming from water-using fixtures can also travel through walls to any room in the house. Eventual signs may include a lingering musty smell, mold, and dampness of the surrounding flooring or drywall.
The real doozy with repairing this kind of leak is that you usually have to cut into your wall to fix it, with wall incision and repair amounting to most of the cost. While the actual leak repair will often run to several hundred dollars, when you add in the diagnosis (made after carving into your wall) and wall repair, it can all add up to $1,000.
Water heater leaks can damage the foundation of a house and ruin any property kept in the lowest level of your home. Beyond the damage that the leak itself may cause, the reason for the leak can also prove costly. If your water heater is damaged, often through sediment buildup in the tank, it may need to be replaced. A new water heater can cost around $1,200 for a tank-based unit and labor.
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Disaster Plumbing Leaks
Slab leaks are the 1906 Earthquake of plumbing situations. This type of leak occurs when the pipes under the foundation start to leak. Repairs for a slab leak can be costly if you have to remove flooring and jack-hammer through the foundation.
Homeowners should keep an eye out for a decrease in water pressure, warped hardwood floors, warm flooring, and moist patches. Slab leaks can be pricey to diagnose and pricier to fix, costing up to $4,000.
Washer leaks are another common-yet-costly water problem. The water leading to your washing machine is constantly running, so any leaks will continually push water into your walls and flooring and flood your home fast.
To appreciate the total cost of a major basement flood, you’ll want to consider water removal, cleanup, ventilation, and decontamination, as well as any building and structural repairs. There may also be costs associated with the replacement or cleaning of personal property and mechanical equipment. Final price tags vary greatly but can be as much as $15,000.
Fixing the Leak
While there are no guarantees, homeowners can help avert plumbing disasters by staying on top of regular maintenance, being alert to the signs of hidden leaks, and responding rapidly if they suspect a problem. Learn more about the most common home repair costs.
As mentioned above, a gradual decrease in water pressure can indicate a leak or buildup in the pipes. Another red flag is a sudden increase in your water bill.
While minor leaks in accessible areas can be fixed by a competent homeowner, it can pay to call in the pros for an assessment. Get tips for how to find a contractor.
Financing a Plumbing Leak
Homeowners dread plumbing problems due to the widespread damage they can inflict. Caught early, a simple under-the-sink leak can set you back just $200. But major leaks and floods can end up costing many thousands of dollars in professional water removal, cleanup, decontamination and mold remediation, wall and floor restoration, and property replacement. Even experienced DIYers may feel more comfortable having a plumbing pro evaluate the situation and fix it right the first time.
With a SoFi Personal Loan to cover your bills, you can stop worrying about having to cut corners or postpone an important repair. Borrow from $5,000 to $100,000 at a low fixed rate, with no fees required. Our personal loan calculator can show you how much you qualify for.
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