How Much Does It Cost To Replace Or Repair A Main Sewer Line?
$50 – $150 Per Foot
$2,250 – $5,750 Average Total Cost
$2,250 – $5,750 Average Total Cost
Digging and replacing a sewer line costs $50 to $200 per foot, or from $3,000 to $30,000. Most sewer pipe repairs range from $1,500 to $4,000 if the problem is 10 feet of pipe or less. Excavation is typically included by your plumber, else, trenching costs $6 to $15 per foot. Get free estimates from sewer companies near you.
Sewer Line Repair Cost
The average cost to repair a main sewer line is $3,818 with most homeowners spending between $2,250 and $5,750. A full sewer line replacement ranges from $8,000 to $30,000, or $50 to $200 per linear foot, depending on the length and width of sewer pipe needed.
Finding sewage pipe leaks in a residential area costs an average of $480 (for up to 40 feet) if the leaks can only be found by digging, and $641 for a commercial area. Sewer pipe repair includes the initial cost of pipe-locating services to detect sewage and water leaks, breaks, and stoppages in the pipes. Depending on the complexity of the damages, a full replacement may be needed.
|National Average Cost||$3,818|
|Average Range||$2,250 to $5,750|
Sewage backing up into your home, driveway, or yard can cause an unbearable smell which can lead to water damage. The sludge creates a biohazard if it's not taken care of right away by a sewer service. To quickly diagnosis the problem, schedule an in-pipe video camera inspection.
Table of Contents
- New Sewer Line
- Main Sewer Line & Lateral Replacement (House to Street)
- Sewer Line In Basement
- Sewer Line Under Slab
- Sewer Trap Replacement
Sewer Line Replacement Cost
Sewer line replacement costs $50 to $200 per foot on average. Small pipe replacements start at $3,000 to $6,000, or $5,000 to $13,000 on more than 50 feet of sewer pipe. If there are multiple leaks under the foundation and the sewer system must be replaced, costs go up to $30,000.
Other options include the trenchless pipe bursting method for $60 to $300 per foot or cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP) for $75 to $250 per foot. The total cost for replacing the sewer line in a residential area depends on many factors that are specific to your home.
- Location and extent of the problem or sewage leak.
- Location of your house trap: basement or front yard.
- Sewer size requirements from your city.
- Length of the pipe that is being repaired or replaced.
- Type of replacement: conventional, trenchless, or cured-in-place.
If the city must become involved because more complicated damages that may affect other homes or the city’s pipes, they will charge a baseline of $3,000 or more. This fee includes excavation, re-compaction, and repairs to the street, but does not include capacity fees and other fees based on the type of sewer repair required. The capacity fee is a one-time charge for connecting to the city’s sewer and water system.
Depending on where you live, the local sanitation district may demand strict requirements on the repairs, which may cost you more. Additional costs required at street level (for commercial repair) can be for the manhole lining, paved utility hole frame and cover, asphalt pavement restoration, and traffic management.
New Sewer Line Cost - Cast Iron Pipe vs. Orangeburg
A new sewer lining costs between $26 and $107 per foot with most spending $1,040 to $4,280 for up to 40 feet, which includes excavation and backfill. Pricing depends on the location of the pipes, and whether it's PVC, cast iron, lead, or Orangeburg pipes being replaced.
|Pipe Type||Cost Per Linear Foot|
|4" Vitrified Clay Pipeline (VCP)||$26 – $28|
|6" Vitrified Clay Pipeline (VCP)||$29 – $34|
|Street Work||$65 – $70|
|Pipe Type||Up To 40 Linear Feet||Each Foot Over 40|
|4" PVC Sewer Pipe||$1,650 – $2,300||$52|
|6" PVC Sewer Pipe||$2,600 – $3,700||$83|
|8" PVC Sewer Pipe||$4,050 – $5,200||$107|
Orangeburg pipes disintegrate, as they are made from wood pulp. A professional will be able to determine if trenchless lining is best for fixing Orangeburg pipes. Trenchless piping costs $75 to $250 per linear foot and will line the old pipes, so they don’t need to be dug up.
The integrity of a cast-iron pipe is compromised when sewer repairs are made. A full replacement is the best way to go with this type. Flanged cast-iron drain pipe will cost $23 to $75 per linear foot for 4” to 12” pipe, with a minimum replacement charge of $3,000 for labor, fittings, valves, and accessories. A backhoe is needed to lift the heavy pieces in and out, and digging and backfill are not included in this price.
Only certain parts of sewer lines need to be replaced. Clay, Orangeburg, or cast iron are used in pipes for older homes. As new technology comes out in the sewer line industry, better materials are being used to make pipes. Some sewer line contractors will offer money to take the old pipes, as the material can be reused. The preferred pipes for drain lines in a home are ABS pipes made from rubber-based resins, which range in price from $1.87 to $5.35 per foot for 10’ sections.
Main Sewer Line & Lateral Replacement From House To Street
The main sewer line and lateral sewer replacement from house to street costs between $3,000 and $7,000 on average. Costs depend on the trenching and removal of existing pipes, and the size of pipe you need to match the main line. A lateral sewer refers to the part of a sewer pipe on a homeowner’s property. If the plumber recommends replacing the sewer line from the house to the main in the street, the city may need to be involved.
Cost To Replace Sewer Line In Basement
The average cost to replace or repair a sewer line in a basement is $3,000 to $5,000, or between $60 and $200 per foot. A full replacement can be as high as $7,000 to $20,000 or more. The main reason for replacing or repairing a pipe in the basement is if there is a wastewater backup.
Outside repairs and replacements require digging trenches and excavation, and so do basements. The cement needs to be busted up to get to the pipes. Get proposals that show precisely where all the leaks are before signing anything, so you know how many repair points are required.
Make sure the plumber does a static test—a hydrostatic pressure test—once the replacement work is done to make sure all the leaks have been repaired. If you have floors down, you’ll have to pay to redo those as well.
Cost To Replace Sewer Line Under Slab
The cost to replace a sewer line under a slab costs $3,000 to $5,000 for smaller jobs and $15,000 to $20,000 total for larger jobs. Trenching under a slab can cost an extra $150 to $200 per foot.
Under Slab Plumbing in Houston, TX, quotes $10,275 total for an “average" under slab plumbing repair job that consists of $3,600 for outside excavation and replacement, $6,250 for the under-slab portion, and $425 for engineering and permits. The concrete needs to be broken up and a 3’ x 3’ trench dug throughout the house. The old pipe is pulled up and replaced, followed by backfill with sand, and then the concrete is poured.
To avoid breaking up the slab, a trenchless sewer line can be installed instead and costs $6,000 to $12,000. The way it works is that new lining is installed inside the old pipes, and the exterior pipes can continue breaking down while the new interior epoxy lining/pipes do their job.
Sewer Trap Replacement Cost
Sewer trap replacement costs a minimum of $1,500. The highest cost is for excavation, replacement, connection, and backfill work. An in-pipe camera inspection can quickly determine if this is the issue, and then that section of pipe can be replaced with the new section that holds the sewer house trap.
Backups in the sewer line may be a sign of a clog but could also mean the sewer trap is clogged. You won’t know until a professional can access it through your yard or home’s sewer pit and take a look. A sewer trap is an integral part of the sewer system because it keeps gases from entering the house through the pipes.
Cost to Repair Sewer Main Problems
The average cost of sewer pipe repair is $1,500 to $4,500 if the problem is ten feet of pipe or less. A video camera inspection to locate the problem costs $169 to $460, while digging to locate a leak costs about $480 for a residential area and $641 for commercial.
Once the issue is discovered, the repair costs can range from $50 to $450 per linear foot. The price also depends on how much work is required to fix the problem and how difficult it is to access that portion of the pipe.
There is also the possible cost of landscape repairs if pipes must be dug up. Repairs are usually carried out these days by lining older pipes with new pipe—trenchless replacement, but sometimes digging up pipes and replacing them with a conventional pipe is the only option.
Common Sewer Line Problems
- Broken or cracked sewer line
- Pipe bursting
- Tree roots in the sewer line
- Collapsed sewer line
- Main sewer line clog
- Drain repair
Broken or Cracked Sewer Pipe Repair Cost
Broken or cracked sewer pipe repair costs $50 to $450 per linear foot depending on the extent of the damage. Pipes usually break at the joints, which are often caused by freeze-thaw cycles in your area. When a sewer line is cracked or broken, the area is excavated and new jointed pipes are installed.
The ground around the broken sewer pipe needs to be excavated before any repairs can be addressed. You will also be charged for putting the soil back on top of the pipe and the cost of hauling away hazardous material. Excavation ranges from $33 to $68 per cubic yard, and backfill is from $11 to $19 per cubic yard. Both prices depend on how hard the soil is. On average, $255 is the cost to haul away the broken pipe material.
Tree Roots in Sewer Line Cost
Removing tree roots in a sewer line costs $160 to $450 to kill them off or $50 to $450 per foot using alternative methods. Tree roots growing into a sewer line is a common problem. If there is a crack in your pipes, then it’s releasing oxygen and moisture into the surrounding soil which a tree root is going to start naturally growing toward.
- Roots can also be cut with a sewer auger (spinning blade) that is sent down the sewer line. A professional can handle this for $160.
- The most expensive option would be using a hydro jetter to flush the pipes, then using the sodium chloride or copper sulfate to dry up anything that’s left. This service will cost you $225 to $575.
If the root is relatively small, you can flush two pounds of sodium chloride or copper sulfate down your toilet, which will dry it out. Sodium chloride is $5.98, and copper sulfate runs $5.60 at your local hardware store. If you’re looking to save money, you can dig them up yourself.
If none of these efforts work, the pipes could be dug up, along with the roots, and replaced at the cost of $50 to $200 per foot, but CIPP (pipe lining) is a cheaper alternative in this case, as there is not as much landscaping damage, difficult excavation, and cleanup to pay for.
Are Tree Roots In A Sewer Line Covered By Insurance?
Tree roots in a sewer line are occasionally covered by insurance. You are only covered for this if you have exceptional insurance that covers everything or you have a rider that includes sewer backup.
Collapsed Sewer Line Repair Cost
A sinking or collapsed drain pipe repair costs $60 to $300 per foot if pipe bursting is used to fix it. When part of a pipe sinks lower than the rest of the sewer line, it collects water and debris, eventually causing the water pressure to slow down. That section of pipe must be removed and replaced.
If the damage is extensive enough, the whole sewer line may need to be replaced. Clay or terracotta pipes in older homes cannot be salvaged as they become very fragile over time. As the earth shifts, it creates cracks in the piping and ruins its overall structure, so a full replacement is necessary for a cost of $8,000 to $30,000, depending on the width of sewer pipe and the amount of excavation needed.
The earth shifting can also cause other problems, like a sewer line sag—when a pipe retains water even after the stopping of normal water flow. Only affected sections of piping would need to be replaced.
Main Sewer Line Clog Cost
A main sewer line clog repair costs $300 to $450 on average. There are two options to clear a clog out in your sewer line. A professional can use a snake, which ranges from $170 to $400, or up to $850 for more significant blockages. Prices depend on if an electric or manual snake is needed and what length.
The other option is to hire a technician that can power up a hydro jet to send a powerful rush of water through the pipes to clean them out which costs $225 to $575.
Signs Your Main Sewer Line Is Clogged
- Backed-up toilet debris coming back up in bathtub or basement
- Percolating toilet noises
Any other signs like slow drainage or bad smells are usually from secondary drain lines, not the main sewer line, but these should be fixed quickly too.
Drain Repair Cost
Sewer drain repair costs about $160 per linear foot. While drains are installed just a few inches below the surface, they are usually under a slab, so trenchless sewer repair is preferred. The price already has the cost of labor factored into it, but a plumber may charge an additional baseline price of $43 to $150 an hour for any extra work.
Cost To Dig Up & Replace A Sewer Line
The cost of digging and replacing a sewer line is $50 to $450 per foot, or $3,000 to $6,000 on average, but could cost up to $30,000 if the whole sewage system needs to be replaced. Repairing a 10- to 15-foot section of sewer pipe costs a minimum of $1,500, or $2,500 for cast-iron pipe. This method is tedious, as the sewer contractor must avoid damaging the sewer pipes or underground utility lines.
Other additional factors which affect the price are:
- Type of pipe – vitrified clay or PVC
- Width of pipe – 4”, 6”, or 8”
- Fitting, valves, and accessories – Each foot of connections alone will cost $52 – $107 per linear foot.
- Long run or short run of pipe – multiple bends and connection points
- Street work or residential – traffic help and pavement and sidewalk costs required if there’s street work involved
- Connect in the street or an alley – about $640 – $1,140 cheaper if it’s in an alley
Additional Sewer Line Estimates
- Inspection – A professional will usually need to insert a sewer camera to run a visual inspection. These cameras are high definition and are pricey equipment to have. The inspection will cost $200 to $450. Some technicians offer their camera services for free when you pre-book them for repairs.
- Backfill – When the piping is repaired, you will be left with raw earth where grass may have once been. That will be up to you to replant, but most professionals will do their best to keep the grass and topsoil intact. If it is a large-scale project, then it will be nearly impossible to keep the topsoil and sod intact, as a larger area will need to be dug up. Backfill will cost $11 to $18.80 per cubic yard.
- Trenching and Excavation – Trenching costs $6 to $15 per foot and the cost of removing dirt to access pipelines ranges from $33 to $67.50 per cubic yard.
Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement or Repair Costs
Trenchless sewer line replacement costs $80 to $255 per foot, while repairs for 20 feet of pipe from the house to the street runs about $3,200. Overall, most homeowners pay $6,000 to $12,000 for trenchless sewer line repairs because of the additional costs of shutting off the service, sewer cleaning, inspection, pipe bends, and the number of vertical holes to be made in the pipes.
Your project could cost double if any city property is involved. Trenchless sewer repairs are a way to avoid major landscaping disruption, but it does require some excavation. Pipes don’t need to be dug up if they are still structurally stable. Small, vertical holes are made along the pipe line where leaks have been identified, and the repairs are made through the holes.
Cured-In-Place Sewer Pipe Lining Cost Per Foot
Another trenchless technology is cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP), which costs $75 to $250 per foot, or about $3,000 to $4,000 for a small section of leaking pipe. For pipe lining 30 feet of drain lines in and out of a house, expect to spend around $4,875 total. Pricing includes the additional costs of shutting off the service, sewer cleaning, inspection, pipe bends, and the number of vertical holes to be made in the pipes.
CIPP is an excellent option for fixing structurally sound sewer lines instead of having to dig them up. CIPP can be used for all shapes of sewer pipe lining to avoid digging up existing pipes. They can be used on clay, fiberglass, PVC, iron steel, metal, and concrete. However, if your pipes are shallow and you’re only digging up the lawn and not shrubbery or a driveway, it might be cheaper to dig them up and replace them.
Trenchless Pipe Bursting Cost
Pipe bursting costs $60 to $300 per foot, or from $3,500 to $20,000 on average. As another trenchless method for replacing a sewage pipe, a tool is used to expand the old pipe until it crumbles, then those pieces are pushed farther into the soil to expand the area.
The benefit of pipe bursting is to use the old pipe as a guide for making room for the new pipe. The expanded diameter allows for easy replacement and installation. The plumber can pull a polyethylene pipe through the inside of the cracked section and then seal the two pipe ends that were cut open to gain access. This method keeps excavation to a minimum.
Additional Costs to Fix A Sewer Line
Several factors go into why a sewer line is backed up or decaying, but when the repairs or replacement is done, there will be several issues that still need to be addressed. When it’s time to clean up the mess caused by seepage, flooding, or excavation, the cost can be high.
- Reseeding a yard will cost $14 – $16 per square foot.
- Repaving a driveway or slab will cost from $121 to $131 per cubic yard.
- Cleanup of any sewage waste will be $500 or more.
Sewer Damage Cleanup
The cost for cleanup and restoration after sewer water damage is $2,000 to $10,000, or about $5,000 on average. The extent of the damage will largely determine the amount of debris that needs to be removed—pipes, drywall, flooring, woodwork, etc. Hauling material away will cost a minimum of $550 and upwards of $2,000. The harder it is to access your property and the more debris there is to haul off, expect to pay more. You may be charged per day and not a flat rate if the crew you hired to fix the sewer line has to rent the dumpster.
Sewer Camera Inspection Cost
A sewer camera inspection costs $200 to $450 and ensures that the technician finds out precisely what is wrong with the pipes and where. You’ll be able to discuss the scope of repairs that need to be made or if a full replacement is warranted. If you suspect an older home you are interested in buying has plumbing issues, it’s best to get an inspection during your option period so you can negotiate with the seller on getting repairs paid for.
Make sure not to plant anything with big or fibrous roots near the sewer line. If you go with trenchless technology, then the cost to replace missing parts of the yard will cost way less than if you go with a traditional trench and sewer line.
- If you need to reseed a yard, it costs $0.10 – $0.20 per square foot.
- Fertilization ranges from $0.05 – $0.25 per square foot.
- Topsoil being placed on a level area is $5 to $30 per cubic yard for sloped yards.
Driveway or Sidewalk Repaving
Repaving a driveway costs from $8.50 to $8.90 per square foot, and the cost varies by how thick the concrete or asphalt needs to be. If you are building a new home, avoid paving your driveway over the septic tank, as heavy cars could crush it. Find out where the sewer main is as well, so you can prevent future issues by avoiding building near those areas.
Replacing Patio, Sheds, or Fencing
Having to demolish structures on your property because of the sewer line is a significant project. These buildings will need to be rebuilt from the ground up.
- Basic chain-link fencing is $12 to $17 per linear foot installed.
- A wood fence ranges from $17 to $22 per linear foot installed. Cost depends greatly on what width of board fence you erect.
- The average price to build a concrete patio is approx. $1,200 – $4,300.
- A kit for an average-sized 12’ x 8’ shed costs about $950 while an 8’ x 6’ shed costs about $500.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Clean Out a Sewer Line?
Cleaning out a sewer line will cost around $300 and will take care of most clogs. If a hydro jet clear-out is needed, it will cost about $225 to $575. A slow drain might mean there is a severe problem deeper within the pipes that should be taken care of immediately.
What Are the Signs of a Broken Sewer Pipe?
Several signs could mean a pipe is broken. If you are smelling sewer gas, have any wastewater backups, any debris coming up in the bathtub or basement, or hear percolating toilet noises, then you have a sewer pipe problem.
Do I Need Permits to Work on My Sewer Lines?
Check with your city to see if a permit is required to work on your sewer line, because if any damage is made to the connecting city line, you may be responsible for repairs. Even for small repairs, a permit may be required. Always comply with local permit laws—so you have your bases covered and avoid any mishaps.
How Much Does Epoxy Pipe Lining Cost?
Epoxy pipe lining costs $75 to $250 per foot. The epoxy coats the inside of the existing pipes so that cracks and corrosion are plugged up and coated over.
Should I Replace or Repair a Sewer Line Leak?
For any size crack on a sewer line, a repair should be made immediately to avoid bigger problems. Replacement will be needed if the pipe isn’t structurally sound enough to repair. A professional will be able to say whether a repair or replacement is required.
Who Can Repair My Backflow Preventer?
Hire a plumber to repair a backflow preventer, which is crucial to keeping sewer water from coming into drinking water piping.
What Is a Sewer Sleeve and How Much Does It Cost?
A sewer sleeve is another name for CIPP, or cured-in-place pipe lining replacement. It costs $75 to $250 per foot.
How Much Does Descaling a Sewer Pipe Cost?
Descaling a sewer pipe costs about $300 and involves clearing out the inside of debris without disturbing the pipe.
How Much Does a Hydro Jet Sewer Line Cost?
A hydro jet sewer line costs about $225 to $575, but if the pipe is hard to get to or if the clog is severe, then it may cost more.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Main Sewer Stack?
The average cost to replace the main sewer stack pipe is $3,000 – $6,000. The term “stack” refers to a section of piping that delivers waste to the public septic system and vents septic gases outside—the main sewer line.
How Much Does Sewer Line Insurance Cost?
Sewer line insurance costs $8 to $12 per month. Sewer line insurance protects your home against any damages from a sewer line in disrepair. It also covers repairs that need to be made to the sewer lines.
How Much Does It Cost to Have Roto-Rooter Snake a Drain?
Roto-Rooter will charge $740 to snake a drain, which is a lot higher than most, and most locations will charge a flat rate instead of hourly. They offer the convenience of being available 24/hours a day.
DIY vs. Hiring a Plumber
On average, a sewer line replacement needs at least three laborers and five days to complete. There are very few repairs you can do on a sewer line without the help of a professional sewer company. This project requires several different types of wrenches, levels, pipe cutters, and sewer snakes. All these tools together will add up to around $3,150.
Most professionals will give you a free estimate and will talk you through the steps they need to take to get your pipes running correctly. Don’t delay on getting professional advice for any suspicious leaks, smells, or backed-up water.
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