How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Broken Sewer Line?
Persistent clogs can leave unpleasant side effects like sewage in your home. An occasional blockage is a quick fix, but ongoing problems could indicate a broken sewer line.
This home project is out of the budget for many homeowners—unless you know how to save.
How much does it cost to replace a broken sewer line? We’ll cover the factors determining the cost and provide tips to save on sewer line replacement.
If you notice water leaks, call All Dry USA immediately! Our experienced plumbers provide leak detection and restoration services to prevent plumbing issues from wrecking your home.
Average Sewer Line Replacement Cost
The average costs for sewer line replacements range between $3,000 and $6,000. However, this varies greatly depending on length. In general, it costs $50 to $250 per foot.
If multiple leaks are beneath the foundation, and you need to replace an entire sewage system, it costs $8000 to $30,000. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in additional expenses like backfill, excavation, and landscaping.
Factors in Calculating Sewer Line Replacement Cost
While the averages provide an estimate, your cost will vary depending on factors like the line length, material, and location.
Sewer Line Length
Length is the primary factor in determining the cost of replacement. Most homeowners pay within the ballpark of $50 to $125 per foot, with some cases where it may cost $250 per foot. For instance, a 10-foot pipe can cost $500 to $2500.
Sewer Line Location
Where sewer line damage occurs affects its total cost. The harder it is for plumbers to reach the pipe damage, the more it costs.
Main sewer lines extending onto the street range between $530 to $2,270. In extreme cases involving extensive trenching and excavation, the cost can skyrocket up to $25,000. Sewer lines located within a basement cost about $60 to $250 per foot for replacement.
Sewer Line Material
Most piping consists of PVC, ABS, copper, or cast iron. The material makes a huge difference in durability and price.
PVC plastic is lightweight but durable. With a standard 48 feet of PVC, you’ll pay about $80 to $370. ABS is a synthetic plastic similar to PVC, except it’s more durable, thanks to the BPA compound. These pipes are easy to install and cost between $130 to $450.
Copper is highly durable and lasts anywhere between 50 to 70 years. However, the material is not cheap. A length of 48 feet of copper sewer piper can cost $3,900 to $4,300. Cast iron has an even longer lifespan than copper. It’s slightly cheaper than copper, with averages of $1,100 to $3,600.
Generally, more invasive processes require more labor, equipment, and skill. There are various replacement methods contractors use, such as CIPP, pipe bursting, and spin-casting.
Cured-in-place (CIPP) replacement involves pulling a liner through the pipe to reinforce existing pipes. This method costs about $80 to $250 per linear foot.
Pipe bursting is a trenchless solution that involves bursting pipes and placing new pipes. This method is slightly more affordable at $60 to $200 per linear foot.
Spin casting involves spraying a liner into the inside of a damaged pipe. The liner eventually hardens, creating a new sewer line. This method costs about $75 and $250 linear per foot.
Labor and Installation
Labor makes up a significant portion of the total cost. Hiring a professional plumber to replace your sewer lines can cost $150 to $500 per hour.
While labor costs depend on the contractor’s experience, they also reflect the extent and accessibility of the damage.
Sewer line projects often require permits due to sanitation concerns and biohazard risks. Your plumber and contractor will typically include the permits in the estimate.
Prices of permits vary depending on your municipality and location. However, it generally costs about $200.
Additional Costs and Considerations
There’s more to the cost besides the replacement itself. Factors like landscaping repairs, inspections, and other costs play a huge role in the project’s total cost. Let’s take a closer look at each consideration.
Sewer line replacements don’t start until an inspection confirms the source of the damage. Contractors will perform video camera inspections to diagnose the outstanding issue. It’s the least invasive and quickest way to determine the location without digging up or excavating. Generally, camera inspections cost between $100 and $500.
Traditional vs. Trenchless Repair
There are two ways to perform replacements: traditional and trenchless.
Traditional repairs require digging into your backyard and retrieving the damaged line to replace it. This invasive method can damage your landscaping in the process. While it creates an eyesore, traditional digging is the cheaper method. The process costs about $400 to $1,200 for every 100 linear feet. Expect to pay about $530 to $2,270 for traditional sewer line replacements.
Trenchless repairs are less disruptive and require inserting pipe liners into the affected area. The liner attaches to your pipe, forming a new surface. Trenchless replacements cost $80 to $255 per foot, with most homeowners spending between $6,000 and $12,000.
Sewer Trap Replacement
A sewer trap is a pipe designed to block sewage gases from entering your home. As these traps age, they can hold waste instead of blocking, which causes a buildup until the sewer line breaks.
During the replacement process, digging around the traps is needed. Unfortunately, old sewer traps are prone to damage or corrosion. The trap can break from the added pressure if it can’t endure the burden of excavation. Replacement sewer traps cost about $100, in addition to the $45 to $200 per hour for labor.
Installing a new sewer line means your yard will need work once the replacement is complete. Swapping a new sewer involves a lot of digging and rooting.
While contractors often include clean-up costs, sometimes additional landscaping is needed. Hiring a landscaper can cost $100 to $250 per job.
Do I Need Sewer Line Replacement?
Many signs indicate that your sewer line needs replacing. Recognizing them can help save cost and prevent it from getting out of control.
- Unpleasant odors: A telltale sign of cracks in a drain pipe is a persistent foul odor emanating from the sewer.
- Patches of green on your lawn: Green spots might be signs of wastewater buildup in your soil, a serious health hazard.
- Persistent clogs: Clogs in the sink, drain, and toilet that simple repairs or chemicals can’t fix will require a replacement. Recurring blockages or multiple clogs in your showers, bathtubs, and toilets might indicate damage to your sewer lines.
- Slow drains: While slow drains don’t always mean replacement, it’s a sign to have them checked. Slow drains could mean a blockage in the pipe, or it could be more serious issues like soil erosion or tree roots penetrating.
- Old pipes: If you’ve still got old pipes, there’s a good chance that they’ll fail more often. Sewage replacement ensures you have a well-functioning and efficient sewer line.
- Presence of big trees: Large trees have extensive roots that will penetrate your lines, causing pipe damage.
- Gurgling pipes: If you notice constant gurgling noises, it can be a sign that water is bubbling from the sewers. While it’s not always an indication of a sewer line break, it’s best to call a professional plumber to take a look.
- Mold and mildew in the basement: Mold and mildew can come from anywhere. However, mold growth in the basement is suspicious, and the culprit might just be a faulty sewer line.
- Sewer line burst: Corroding sewers, soil settling, and other factors can contribute to a burst pipe. This issue requires immediate attention since wastewater can contaminate your home’s soil.
- Foundation or wall cracks: Immense pressure from a broken sewer line can create cracks in the walls and foundations of your home.
- Presence of rodents or insects: Insects and rodents are attracted to damp conditions, especially when there’s a green plushy yard to claim. An increase in critters can mean there’s a leak nearby.
How to Save Money on a Sewer Line Replacement
Homeowners often get sticker-shy once they see the steep price tag of a sewer line replacement. Fortunately, there are ways you can save on costs to keep your bill down.
- Perform regular sewer line maintenance: While routine maintenance doesn’t necessarily save you money, it can prevent costly issues in the future. Having a plumber check your sewer lines and remove trees growing around the line can ensure it’s clear of debris and blockages. During inspections, plumbers can detect potential problems before they become bigger issues.
- Use materials wisely: Choose the best materials for the job. The wrong materials can prevent future repairs, while the right materials get the repair done more efficiently. For example, sewer jetters are more effective than sewer augers. Sewer jetters remove clogs without inflicting damage on the lines.
- Perform DIY sewer line repairs: While DIY repairs can save money, sewer line replacements can be dangerous if not done correctly. We advise hiring a sewage replacement professional.
- Check with your insurance: Home insurance doesn’t necessarily provide coverage for sewer line replacement. However, some insurances allow you to add an optional rider or endorsement to your policy to help offset sewer damages.
- Consider trenchless methods: This approach minimizes the yard work needed by installing an epoxy line through the sewer line. Trenchless repair saves you the expense of excess labor, landscaping, or trenching required for traditional replacements.
- Schedule sewer line repairs early: Schedule repairs immediately if you see signs of damage. The longer you wait, the more extensive and expensive your repairs will cost.
- Repair one section of the pipe: Generally, it’s not ideal to delay replacements, especially when in a dire situation. However, repairing one section of the sewer pipe rather than replacing the entire line can save you money. For example, small cracks in the pipe or even clogs may not require a complete replacement. A simple repair can smoothen the surface of the pipe, or hydro jetting would quickly unclog sewers.
DIY vs. Professional Sewer Line Replacement
Small projects like unclogging the drains and removing tree roots and cracked pipes are problems you can fix with the right tools and a little know-how. However, sewer line replacement isn’t a job you can do yourself.
Replacement requires heavy machinery to remove and replace the sewer line. These machines are expensive and difficult to operate without proper experience and training. We recommend hiring a professional to help diagnose the situation and replace the line without hiccups.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Sleeve a Sewer Line?
The cost to sleeve a sewer line ranges between $75 and $250 per foot. On average, you can expect to pay $4000 for 30 feet of sewer line, with $650 on the low end and $7,500 on the high end. Costs can also vary based on the material used.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaking Sewer Pipe?
Depending on the length and width, a sewer pipe repair generally costs about $3,000 to $6,000 for small sewer lines. Larger sewer line repairs of 50 feet or longer cost between $5,000 to $13,000. The extent of damage and location also play a role.
Need Damage Restoration? Call Us!
Broken sewer pipes need addressing as soon as possible to minimize health risks and prevent further damage. While they can put a dent in your savings, it’s not worth delaying. A professional plumber can determine the precise location of the broken line through CCTV and help to replace your drains.
At All Dry USA, we’re specialized and highly trained to help resolve leaks and provide restoration services. We utilize high-tech plumbing equipment and techniques to detect water leaks without destroying your assets. Don’t wait until it gets out of hand; call All Dry USA today.
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