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Sewer lines are the huge pipes that carry sewage water away from your home. However, sometimes, this water can backflow and collect in crawl spaces, the basement, or under paved surfaces. This is not only extremely dirty, smelly, and unhygienic but can also cause immense damage to your property. Hence, during such scenarios, a sewer line replacement becomes a necessity.

Due to the huge size of sewer pipes, the problems are often difficult to detect. You only realize that something is wrong when you observe stinky, wet patches on your yard. If the damage is not major, you can simply resort to a simple repair and spend a few hundred dollars. However, if the issue is big and involves a broken sewer, you might need to replace the entire line.

In order to understand the extent of damage, consult with a professional in-pipe video camera service. They shall point to the exact location of the problem along with its magnitude. And if you need to undergo a complete sewer line replacement, then you should calculate the total price — which depends on several factors, such as the type of pipe, replacement method, and the involved complexities.

Read more: How to Prevent Main Sewer Line Clog in 6 Steps

Sewer line replacement costs

Usually, the per foot cost of sewer line replacement varies from $50 to $250, averaging to $150 per foot for most homes in the US. This cost may change, depending on factors such as your existing plumbing network, total line length, and placement of the pipe. Sometimes, repairs may involve more equipment, extra costs, and less long-term benefits. In this case, ask your plumber if it’s better to go for a complete replacement.

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Upfront costs of purchasing a new sewer line

The upfront cost of a new sewer line depends on the material type and length of the line. On average, its price ranges from around $1,000 to $4,000. Below, are the common types of materials for sewer pipes.

  • Cast iron: Cast iron is a good option since it rarely undergoes wear and tear. However, it costs almost twice that of PVC and when damaged, would usually require you to replace the whole pipe.
  • Plastic: It is a cheap option but is prone to frequent breakage. However, if damaged, it can be repaired in parts.
  • Orangeburg: This material is comprised of wood pulp and can easily break. But, you can consider it for trenchless sewers.
  • Lead: Lead or lead solder is another option for sewer lines. But they can release toxic waste into the water. Hence, hire a professional who is an expert in this category of sewer lines.

Replacing sewer line from the house to main

sewer line replacement costs
The culpret by thurdl01 on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

The cost of replacing a sewer line that runs from the house to the main street can cost you anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000. And this price is not inclusive of installing trenches and removing existing sewer pipes. Again, the cost may vary, depending on the distance of your home from the city’s primary connection point.

Sewer line replacement costs in the basement

If you need to repair or replace a drain pipe in the basement, you might need to incur additional costs of $500 – $600. This price does not include concrete-cutting charges and labor costs. Drain lines from the basement are connected to the main sewer line. And any extra repairs involved are considered different and priced separately.

Cost to replace a sewer line under a slab

When you require to construct a trench under a slab, expect to pay an extra price of $100 – $200 per foot. You can forgo this expense if you decide to opt for trenchless sewer lines. Again, if your plumber asks you to replace the sewer trap, you have to pay a minimum labor charge of $50 – $200 per hour and an additional $100 for materials.

Sewer line removal costs

Sewer pipe replacements often come with another requirement — removing your existing line. And digging up the old line may cost you $50 to $250 per foot. Moreover, if trenching is required, you might spend another $4 to $12 per foot.

However, note that these costs can vary according to the complexity of the project. For example, if the process involves extra excavation and removing overgrown tree roots, the total can instantly multiply.

sewer pipe replacement cost
The dirt pile by thurdl01 on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Trenchless sewer line replacement cost

Trenchless sewer line replacement is a good option if you wish to keep your outdoor areas, such as the driveway and yard intact. However, this may not be feasible in your property. Hence, discuss with a professional if you can go for this alternative.

The average price of installing a trenchless line varies from $50 – $250 per foot. There are two methods of trenchless line replacement — CIPP (cured-in-place-pipe) lining and pipe-bursting.

Cured-in-place-pipe lining cost

In the CIPP lining method, a plumber installs another line inside your existing pipe. The liner is made from epoxy and is of a smaller diameter — to fit within the old pipe. Since the entire process involves the creation of only one access point, it does not cause much damage to your property. On average, CIPP lining replacement costs range from $70 – $250 per foot.

Trenchless pipe bursting cost

Trenchless pipe bursting involves the plumber inserting a pneumatic or hydraulic head inside the sewer. This breaks the old iron or clay piping. Even this method does not require extensive excavation and leaves the surrounding landscape intact. The process costs approximately $60 to $200 per foot.

Additional costs

1. Removal of tree roots: Removing tree roots that have damaged your sewer system may cost you anywhere between $100 to $600. If the roots have cracked your pipe, you might need to replace a part of the line

2. Repairing cracked sewer pipes: When you just replace or repair a certain portion of the sewer line, expect to pay something around $1000 to your plumber.

Read more: How to Repair Clogged Sewer Line Without Digging Up the Yard

3. Water damage restoration: The total price for restoring the damage done by water can vary from  $500 to $10,000 depending on the extent of damage and the total area.

4. Sewer camera inspection: Using camera equipment to inspect the location and extent of the damage may cost around $300 – $500.

5. Landscape replacement:  The restoration of your previous landscape can cost you anywhere between $500 – $10,000 depending on the extent of damage plus the of the area.

6. Repaving driveways or sidewalks: If the sewer pipe replacement has affected your driveway or sidewalk, you might need to repave it — which can again cost between $2,300 and $6,200.

7. Replacing patio, sheds, or fencing: We cannot estimate an exact price for replacing structures such as the patio, sheds, or fences. It can vary widely according to the types of materials used, labor charges, and types of fencing installed, etc.

Conclusion

Sewer pipe repairs or replacement becomes a necessity when tree roots enter the line and block its path, causing clogging. Again, accumulation of grime, muck, and filth across the years lead to eventual collapse and rotting of your sewage system. However, if you follow a schedule of regular drain cleaning and maintenance, then you can avoid most of these issues.

Read more: How to Maintain the Health of Your Sewer and Drain

How Much Would A Sewer Line Replacement Cost? was last modified: August 18th, 2020 by Anisha Dutta
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Franklin Whiterachel framptonTori RaddisonEli Richardson Recent comment authors
Eli Richardson
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Eli Richardson

It was fantastic you noted that cast iron pipelines are a good option because of it nearly sustains wear and tear. My uncle removed his driveway and ended up harming his sewer lines. HE plans on installing new lines, so I will suggest he asks the plumber for cast iron pipes.

Tori Raddison
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Tori Raddison

Thanks for explaining that the per foot cost of sewer lines is around $50-$250 because now I know around how much I’ll be paying. My husband is pretty sure that we had a line break under our house because it smells really bad all of a sudden! We’re watching for any puddles in our yard while we wait for a quote from the company we’ve hired.

rachel frampton
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rachel frampton

I’ve been planning to have my sewer line replaced because the old one is starting rust already which is affecting my water’s quality. Thank you for this by the way; I’ll make sure to order a cast iron because of according to your statement, this type of sewer rarely goes wear and tear, which makes it a good investment. I just have to find the right sewer line replacement service for this project.

Franklin White
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Franklin White

It’s great that you can avoid having your yard and driveway ruined by paying for trenchless sewer line replacement. I have never had to have my sewer line replaced before but I wouldn’t want them to tear up my yard to do it. I’d rather pay the extra amount to have them replace it without the trench.