Ashburn, VA

How much does septic tank system repair cost?

$600 – $3,000 average cost to repair

Get free estimates from septic services near you, or view our cost guide below.

March 15, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 4 expert septic services on HomeGuide.

Septic tank repair cost

Septic tank repair costs $600 to $3,000 on average. Minor septic repairs cost $500 to $1,500 to replace the pump, distribution box, or remove roots. Extensive septic tank repairs cost $1,000 to $5,000+ for line repair, tank replacement, or drain field rejuvenation.

Average septic tank repair cost - chart
Average septic tank repair cost - chart

Septic tank repair cost
National average cost $1,900
Minimum cost $100
Maximum cost $6,100
Average cost range $600 to $3,000

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.


Cost to fix a septic system by repair

Cost to fix a septic system by repair
Repair type Average cost
Add bacteria (Pro) $400 – $600
Add bacteria (DIY) $15 – $25
Control panel replacement $300 – $500
Cracked tank repair $500 – $850
Distribution box replacement $500 – $1,500
Filter replacement $200 – $300
Install riser $200 – $400
Install tank floats $100 – $300
Line repair or replacement $1,000 – $5,000
Lid replacement $150 – $600
New tank replacement $3,000 – $5,000
Outlet baffle repair $250 – $900
Pump repair $250 – $400
Pump replacement $500 – $1,300
Remove roots (Pro) $600 – $1,600
Remove roots (DIY) $15 – $20
Unclog / pumping backed-up tank $295 – $610
Tank alarm installation $250 – $400
Drain or leach field rejuvenation $1,000 – $5,000
Drain or leach field replacement $3,000 – $15,000
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Septic service inspecting and repairing a septic tank
Septic service inspecting and repairing a septic tank

Septic line repair or replacement cost

Septic line repair costs $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the problem, location, and pipe material. The septic line is a PVC or ABS plastic, cast iron, or clay pipe that carries household waste to the septic tank and moves wastewater from the tank to the leach field.

Septic tank pump repair or replacement cost

Septic tank pump replacement costs $500 to $1,300 on average. Repairing a septic tank pump costs $250 to $400. Septic systems that don't use conventional gravity require a pump to distribute wastewater from the tank into the drain field.

Septic distribution box replacement cost

Replacing a septic tank distribution box costs $500 to $1,500, depending on the size and material. The distribution box—also called the D-box—is a container that redistributes wastewater from the septic tank into lines leading to the leach field.

To avoid costly repairs, have the distribution box regularly inspected when the septic tank is inspected.

Septic tank baffle repair cost

Repairing a septic tank baffle costs $250 to $900, depending on the type and material. A septic tank has two baffles—one at the tank's inlet and another at the outlet—to prevent solid waste from clogging the system or moving into the drain field.

Cost to remove roots from a septic tank

Removing roots from a septic tank costs $600 to $1,600. A septic service pro uses an augur, drain cable machine, or hydro-jet to cut through the roots and clear out the system. DIY products like copper sulfate root killer cost $15 to $20 but take several weeks to work.

Septic control panel replacement cost

Septic control panel replacement costs $300 to $500, depending on the panel type and features. A septic control panel monitors the condition and functions of the septic system, triggers the air and submersible water pumps, and alerts the homeowner in the event of a pump failure or high water.

Septic tank filter replacement cost

Replacing a septic tank filter costs $200 to $300 on average. The filter prevents solid material from entering or clogging the leach field and may extend the septic system's lifespan.

Cost to repair a cracked septic tank

Repairing a cracked septic tank costs $500 to $850 and requires pumping the tank to empty it before filling the cracks with a resin or concrete compound. Small cracks can typically be repaired with filler, while large cracks may require tank replacement.

Septic tank lid replacement cost

Septic tank lid replacement costs $150 to $600 on average, depending on the material. Concrete lids are the least expensive but are prone to cracking. Polyethylene and fiberglass-reinforced plastic lids cost the most but last the longest. The lid creates an airtight and watertight seal on the septic tank.

Septic tank replacement cost

Septic tank replacement costs $3,000 to $5,000 on average for a 3- or 4-bedroom home. Final costs depend on the tank size, material, and amount of gravel or fill dirt needed to set the tank.

Adding bacteria to a septic tank

Adding bacteria to an Aerobic septic system costs $400 to $600. Bacteria break down waste faster than traditional anaerobic units. If the bacteria and enzymes die, the septic tank will overfill with sludge, effluent, waste, and scum, and require more frequent pumping.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that septic additives are not recommended and may interfere with treatment processes.

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Septic leach or drain field repair cost

Septic drain field replacement costs $3,000 to $15,000, depending on the field size and problem. The drain field—also called a leach field—is a system of buried pipes that distribute wastewater from the septic tank into the soil.

Leach field rejuvenation costs $1,000 to $5,000. Rejuvenation involves injecting air into the soil via a hollow tube, which fractures the soil and creates an oxygen atmosphere that encourages aerobic bacteria to recolonize.

Septic tank maintenance cost

Regular septic system maintenance detects problems before they worsen, preventing costly repairs.

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Frequently asked questions

What are signs a septic tank needs repair?

Signs a septic tank needs repair include:

  • Sewage odor in the yard
  • Standing water in the yard near or over the septic system
  • Sewage puddled on the surface over the tank or drain field
  • Slow drains or plumbing backups in the sinks and showers
  • Gurgling noises when flushing the toilet
  • Grass growing more densely over the tank or drain field
  • Sunken area over the tank
  • Contaminated well water due to sewage seeping into the area

Does homeowners’ insurance cover septic repair?

Homeowners insurance only covers septic repairs for damage caused by disasters, such as a fire, falling tree, or extreme weather. A standard policy does not cover repair or replacement for age, wear-and-tear, or misuse. Some insurance companies require an add-on policy for the septic system.

When does a septic tank need to be replaced?

Consider replacing a septic tank that is more than 40 years old, is cracked, needs frequent repairs, or requires pumping more often than it should.

How long does a septic system last?

A septic system lasts 20 to 40 years on average if properly installed and maintained. Steel septic tanks typically last 20 to 25 years, while concrete tanks often last longer than 40 years.

How can I avoid the need for septic repairs?

Follow these tips to prolong the life of a septic system:

  • Don't flush anything other than toilet paper in the toilet.
  • Don't dump grease, oil, or food garbage down the drain.
  • Use drain filters in sinks and tubs and install a septic system filter.
  • Minimize water usage with high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, and appliances.
  • Point roof and gutter drains away from the septic leach field to avoid slowing down the drainage process.

Can I DIY fix a septic tank?

Minor septic tank fixes are DIY-friendly—like adding bacteria to the tank—but most repairs require a septic system repair professional. Improperly handled repairs may lead to total septic system failure, groundwater contamination, or property damage.

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Who fixes septic tanks?

Hire a septic repair service or plumber to fix a septic tank. Before signing a contract, be sure to:

  • Search for licensed septic companies with septic repair experience.
  • Choose a company that is a member of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA).
  • Collect estimates from at least three companies to compare.
  • Look at their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
  • Confirm the company is licensed, bonded, and insured.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Make a payment schedule instead of paying in full up front.

Questions to ask septic repair companies

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Are you a member of NOWRA?
  • What experience do you have repairing septic systems?
  • Do you charge for a repair estimate? If yes, how much?
  • Should I repair or replace my septic tank?
  • Are there signs of erosion?
  • Do you guarantee your work?
  • Will the repairs require a permit? If yes, will you obtain one?
  • Will the repairs affect my landscaping?
  • How often should I have my septic system pumped?
  • What other maintenance does the system require?
  • Do you provide septic pumping and inspection services?

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