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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.
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 fewer long-term benefits. In this case, ask your plumber if it’s better to go for a complete replacement.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Read more: A complete guide on home sewer maintenance
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.