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Drain Line Breakage Repair Costs

Most homeowners spend between $285 to $542 nationally.
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A broken drain line can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Unlike a sewer line, a drain line carries excess water to seas, reservoirs or other appropriate areas. If the drain line breaks or collapses, you may experience a flood or awful smells around the home.

See the average drain pipe repair cost below and as always, if you need help with your plumbing, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four drain line contractors.

National Repair a Drain Line Breakage Costs

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Median Cost


Minimum Cost


Maximum Cost
Average Range:


National Average Cost $559
Minimum Cost $55
Maximum Cost $2,500
Average Range $285 to $542
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How do we get this data? This info is based on 1146 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Drain Line Vs. Sewer Line

Even though they serve similar functions on your property, a drain line and sewer line are not the same thing. The simplest explanation is that a drain line carries away excess water, while a sewer line conveys wastewater and solid waste. Another point of distinction is that all sewer lines are manmade, but some drain systems occur naturally.

If your sewer line is damaged, the cost to repair it begins at $2,200.

Signs Your Drain Line Is Broken

In order to prevent extensive damages to your home from a broken drain line, watch for these warning signs:

  1. Clogged drains that keep coming back.
  2. More expensive water and sewer bills.
  3. A rotten smell coming from your toilets, sinks or other pipe openings around the house.
  4. Flooded spots in your yard.
  5. Bubbling sounds from the toilet
  6. Toilets that flush too slowly.

If you notice any of the issues above, it might be time to contact your local plumbing professional. Catching the problem early could help you budget for the cost to replace a kitchen drain pipe or similar drainage system.

Drain Pipe Repair Cost Factors

Drain Pipe Repair Cost

The drain lines in your home are among some of the first components to be installed, often making them older than the structure of the house itself. This means that in some cases, they could be over 100 years old. However, age is not the only concern when it comes to potential pipes problems.

Most drain lines are beneath the ground — but just because they are buried, that does not mean they are safe. The pipes are exposed to freeze-thaw cycles, groundwater and other forces of nature that may cause them to wear, rust and even collapse under the stress.

So, how much does it cost to replace a drain pipe? The average property owner spends about $696, but the work can range from $225 up to $1,169. Of course, the cost of your project depends on a number of factors, which we will detail below:

Drain Pipe Repair Cost Factors

Your drain pipe replacement cost is complicated by the fact that it can be hard to pinpoint the problem. Because pipes run from your house to the nearest waste source and are often buried, identifying the issue can be exceedingly difficult. Beyond that, there are a number of other elements that can influence your cracked drain pipe repair cost, such as:

  • Location: If the break occurs outside the home, your plumber will need to excavate the soil above it. Because the lines are buried several feet deep, this can be a time-consuming and expensive process. That’s saying nothing about any sidewalks, driveways or trees that might be in the way. If the problem is inside your house, any water damage to the floors, walls or foundation will need to be addressed. This cleanup will add to the price tag.
  • Cause of the break: The most common issues with drain pipes are rust, clogs or tree roots. Tree roots are the most concerning because the tree may need to be removed, which could add an average of $630 to your expenses. If the problem is a clog caused by debris or rubble, a pro may need to replace the entire section of pipe. If rust cannot be removed or repaired, you’re also looking at a full replacement.
  • Cleanup costs: Even after the line is fixed, many homeowners still have to contend with the property damage caused by the leak. This might include replacing carpeting, rotted floorboards and soaked drywall. Outside, you may need to re-sod your lawn or replace sidewalks. These associated cleanup costs can range from $200 and $2,000.

Common Drain Line Issues

Every residential plumbing system has its problems from time to time. Many of these issues require only a little DIY know-how to fix. However, what is the difference between a minor hassle and a sign of something more serious? Too often, homeowners wait until it’s too late to find out, which only adds to the cost to replace a drain pipe in the basement.

In addition to the warning signs mentioned above, here are some scenarios you should watch for — or else suffer the consequences:

  1. Repetitive Clogs: We use drains in our homes to get rid of things we don’t want, including food scraps, hair and sewage. Sometimes, we can remove clogs by using a chemical drain clearer or a snake tool. If you have to do this once every few months, it’s probably nothing to cause concern. If, on the other hand, this becomes a weekly occurrence, there is likely a big problem somewhere along the line.
  2. Slow Drains: If your toilets and sinks are draining slower than usual, that might indicate a potentially serious issue. It could mean your pipes are experiencing a buildup of grease or oil that eventually may lead to serious complications.
  3. Multiple Clogs: A clog in one spot happens occasionally. However, if you experience more than one clog at the same time, the problem might be in the drain line. This is the time to call a professional.
  4. Flooding: Water in your basement or pooling in the backyard probably means a drain line issue. If this happens to you, expect to spend a lot on fixing the basement drainage

Common Drain Line Issues

Common Drain Pipe Solutions

Minor drainage issues can often be resolved with a little elbow grease. Here are some DIY tips you might be able to use:

  1. Clean the trap: The U-shaped pipe joint under your sinks can collect a lot of hair and other gunk. Place a bucket underneath it and open the cleanout plug, then wiggle a coat hanger or other tool inside to dislodge the clog. If there is no plug, shut off the water and unscrew the trap from the drain.
  2. Use a drain snake: Feed the tool into the drain and turn slowly until you feel some resistance. Once it feels like you have a hold on the clog, pull the snake out — but be prepared for a mess. Then, flush the drain with water to make sure everything is working again.

Common Drain Pipe Solutions

Drain Line Maintenance

The best way to avoid paying the cost to replace a bathtub drain pipe or other line is to be proactive. Following these simple clog prevention tips could make a big difference for your system:

  1. Don’t pour grease or oil down the drains.
  2. If at all possible, try to dispose of hair in the garbage instead of the shower or sink.
  3. Put a hair catcher on the bath or shower drain.
  4. Install a garbage disposal in the kitchen or place a strainer over the drain.
  5. Keep your kitchen sink as clean as possible.
  6. Don’t wait to use a clog remover when you notice an issue.

Drain Line Maintenance

Who Pays For Repairs?

If you are worried about a collapsed drain pipe repair cost, you may not have to foot the entire bill alone. However, this depends a lot on where the breakage or clog occurs. If the issue is in your pipes or on your property, you will be on the hook for the full toilet drain pipe replacement cost. On the other hand, if the clog or breakage is in the city’s pipes, your municipality will need to pay. This is why it is important to hire a professional to determine the exact site of the problem.

Regardless of the location, you will still need to pay for any damage to your property. Here are some typical projects that might result from a major drain line issue:

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DIY Or Hire A Pro?

Simple clogs are one thing, but more complicated problems definitely require the help of a professional plumber. You might try to avoid the cost to replace a shower drain pipe or other problem by handling it yourself, but one false move could make the situation much worse. In most cases, it’s better to trust an expert. If, however, you want to try your hand at solving the problem, find some home remedies here at How To Unclog A Drain.

Find A Plumber

Plumbing problems are inevitable, no matter how careful you are. Now that you understand the warning signs and costs associated with drain line issues, you can be better prepared when trouble strikes. If you’re concerned with your drain pipes, ImproveNet makes it easy to connect with qualified plumbers in your neighborhood.

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