How Much Does It Cost To Repair & Replace A Sewer Line?
Most homeowners spend between $1,386 to $2,731 nationally.
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Sewer line repairs are one of those ugly projects we don’t wish on anyone. After all, since your sewer line carries waste water from your home to the city sewer system, any repair can get messy. When your main sewer line backs up, sadly, different types of repairs are necessary.
Before you contact a sewer repair contractor, see all the costs that come with sewer line replacements and fixes.
National Repair a Sewer Main Costs
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|National Average Cost||$2,306|
|Average Range||$1,386 to $2,731|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 494 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Sewer Line Repair Cost
- All Sewer Line Repairs & Costs
- Related Costs
- Sewer Line Cleaning Costs
- Sewer Line Replacement Cost Estimate
- Sewer Line Maintenance
- DIY Or Hire A Plumber?
- Find A Plumber
Sewer Line Repair Cost
The average sewer pipe repair cost is $2,306, with most homeowners spending between $1,300 and $2,700 for any sewer line repair. That may sound expensive for a feature you can’t physically see, but given its significance to your plumbing and foundation, sewer line repair, when called upon, is a necessary fix.
All Sewer Line Repairs & Costs
Before we jump into the typical repairs and their costs, you have to determine if you have a sewer line issue. Like other home issues, you don’t have to contact a plumber right away. There are certain warning signs you can see or hear. Fortunately, if you catch these signs early enough, their fixes are much less than the average sewer line repair cost.
- Clogged Pipes: From backed up toilets to non-biodegradable products going down the drain, clogged pipes can be signs of a sewer main issue. However, these issues, along with bubbling sounds coming from the toilet, can also mean standard clogged pipes. Therefore, after you try fixing these on your own, call a plumber. According to our plumber cost estimator, plumbers charge $150/hour. As you can see, that price is far less than the average sewer line repair cost.
- Flooding Around the Home: Waste water belongs in the ground, away from your home. If you see any waste water flooding around your home, in your yard or on the street, chances are, you have a broken sewer or clogged sewer line. The repair cost will be proportional to the sewer pipe repair cost mentioned above.
- Repetitive Clogged Drains: A clog once in a while is not a big deal. However, if you find yourself clearing a clog every week, chances are, something else is going on. As such, the cost to fix should be the same as hiring a plumber or much less than most plumbing projects.
- Higher Water & Sewer Bills: If you’ve lived in your home for more than six months, you know your average water and sewer bill. If all of a sudden your water or sewer bills jump $50 or $100, chances are, you have a broken sewer main. As such, you’ll have to pay to fix or replace your sewer main.
If any of the above issues are present, it’s time to call a plumber. The first thing a plumber will do is send a video camera through the sewer pipe to inspect it. The camera allows the plumber to visualize the problem and identify exactly where the pipe is damaged. This will ultimately save money, as you’ll most likely avoid an entire sewer line replacement.
Now that you know some sewer main issue is present, it’s time to fix it. Whether you’re repairing your sewer pipe or replacing the entire line, you have two options:
- Excavation Repair
- Non-Excavation Repair
Unlike your counters or floors, there is a barrier between you and your main sewer line. If a problem is identified, more often then not, the sewer repair contractor will have to dig into the ground before fixing. As such, your landscape, patio, driveway or patio may get ruined. These excavation cost will add to your total sewer pipe project. We’ll get into specifics later, but below are a few additional costs you have to consider.
- Land Excavation Cost: $2,606
- Land Clearing Cost: $2,592
- Lawn Re-Sodding Cost: $2/sf
- Sewer Cleaning Cost: $290
Overall, if you have to excavate any land, your total main sewer line replacement cost could creep all the way up to $20,000.
Fortunately, there are scenarios where excavation is not needed. Both repairs below involve placing a functioning pipe into your existing sewer main. This not only limits your excavation costs (very small compared to excavation repairs), but lowers your total sewer line replacement cost.
For non-excavation repair, Cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) and trenchless pipe bursting and splitting are your two options. Trenchless CIPP involves pulling an epoxy saturated pipe through your system. The pipe clears the way and then stays in place if a cracked pipe was present. The only excavation involves two small holes to let the pipe in and out.
Trenchless pipe bursting and splitting is very similar. Your sewer repair contractor will pull a pneumatic or hydraulic head through your pipes. Right behind it is a new pipe.
Non-excavation sewer main projects are far cheaper than excavation jobs. In addition to your plumber’s labor cost, all you have to pay for are materials, which should not exceed $500.
We touched on a few related projects that come with most sewer line replacements or repairs, but let’s jump into specifics. Note, you won’t always incur the following costs, but knowing the basics before any sewer main issue arises is a smart move.
Land Excavation Cost
While the average excavation cost is $2,606, most small excavation projects will not exceed $1,000. Of course, the project will largely depend on the size. If your sewer clog is close to home near the surface of the ground, excavation will cost less. If your sewer line replacement involves a patio or driveway, excavation jobs can swell to $8,000.
Excavation costs above include hiring a contractor and special machinery.
Land Clearing Cost
Before most excavation projects, contractors have to clear the land. While clearing land is much more popular with new construction, you do have to consider for main sewer line jobs. While the average land clearing cost is $2,592, small jobs cost as little as $375.
Lawn Re-Sodding Cost
Chances are, if you’re excavating any part of your property, your landscape will be affected. As such, your yard will look like a hot mess. To regain that pristine curb appeal, you’ll have to replant or re-sod your yard. Luckily, you can DIY this project and save some cash. Average re-sodding costs range from $0.48/sf to $2/sf.
Tree Removal Cost
You most likely won’t have to remove an entire tree, but you may have to remove a few tree roots. This cost should not exceed $300. However, on the unlikely chance you do have to remove an entire tree, the average tree removal cost is $638.
Sewer main replacements require building permits. While the average permit cost is $979, a sewer line permit should not cost more than $200. Sadly, permit costs are unavoidable. You have to buy them or work can not commence.
Just like your yard, your driveway or walkway could be ruined after a sewer pipe repair project. Of course, you have to fix it. Well, repaving costs largely depend on the material in play. Driveways are made of many different materials, ranging from asphalt and brick to gravel and concrete. Repaving costs range from $3/sf to $19/sf. See all possible materials and their costs on our driveway installation cost estimator.
Sewer Line Cleaning Costs
If you’re lucky enough, your plumber will just have to clean the sewer line. Given that no real repair or excavation work is necessary, sewer line cleaning costs are much less, averaging only $290.
In fact, to save even more cash, you can DIY this project. If you dare, rent an industrial-quality sewer snake or sewer jet. But, do a little research before you begin. Sewer lines are not clean and inexperienced homeowners can cause more harm than good. Therefore, we highly recommend you spend $290 to prevent a much bigger plumbing issue.
Sewer Line Replacement Cost Estimate
While it’s highly unlikely, you may have to replace your entire sewer pipe. Complete sewer line replacement may sound bad, but luckily, sewer installation contractors know exactly what to do and when to do it.
Ironically enough, sewer line replacement is approximately the same cost as most repairs. If your sewer line is already connected to the main sewer, the process to replace is very similar to trenchless sewer repair or standard plumbing sewer repairs.
Sewer Line Maintenance
Certain sewer issues can’t be avoided. However, when it comes to clogs and your drains, you can limit the wear and tear. Follow these simple drainage and sewer line prevention tips and you shouldn’t see a sewer line repair bill anytime soon.
- To avoid tree roots blockages, do not plant trees or shrubs near your sewer line. To figure out where your sewer line is, ask your city, ask the previous owner or judge by the septic tank. The sewer line follows a straight path from your house to the septic tank.
- Do not pour grease, oil or other thick liquids down your sink.
- Install a hair catcher in the bathroom.
- If you do not have a garbage disposal, consider installing a strainer.
- Apply clog cleaner as soon as you see the clog.
Note, many of prevention tips apply to your drain line as well. If you think your drain line is broken or are unsure as to the difference between the two, see the average drain pipe repair cost near you.
DIY Or Hire A Plumber?
Like any plumbing project, main sewer line repair is a messy project. Additionally, it’s often complex since you’re working with pipes below ground and out of sight (without a camera at least). Therefore, due to the health risks associated with waste water and the amount of excavation and plumbing work needed, sewer main repairs are not a DIY project.
However, if you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, we encourage all to determine if it’s a clog or not. If so, you just avoided $2,000 in sewer pipe repairs or pipe replacement.
Find A Plumber
Sewer mains typically last for 50 years or longer. Nonetheless, they are not immune to wear and tear. A sewer line problem can’t be ignored, as it will only worsen and cause significant damage if not promptly fixed.
Fortunately, ImproveNet makes it easy to find trustworthy and experienced plumbers near you. Let us help you find local sewer repair contractors today!
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Last updated on Jun 5, 2017