How Much Does a Sewer Line Repair Cost?

If you own property, chances are you own a sewer line. Eventually, something is bound to go wrong with that sewage system. Sewer line repair cost is something that many property owners will have to face at some point. What are the common issues with sewer lines, how are they repaired, and more importantly how much will it cost?

We decided to address your concerns here and now with this complete guide to sewer line repair and replacement costs. Read on to learn the truth about sewer repair and replacement costs.

What Are the Signs?

Out of sight and out of mind is most of our mindsets when it comes to flushing away our waste. When something is wrong you will likely see, hear – and the big one – smell something is wrong.

Foul Odors

A properly working sewer line will not smell. A constant airlock is kept in the system to stop foul-smelling gases from entering the home or building. Whenever there is a consistent foul smell in the home or building the most likely suspect should be a sewer line leak.

Flooding and Sinking Ground

The sewer line runs underground through your yard. Pools of water and sinking areas of ground are indicators of a water leak. The leak may be from a water main or the other way out a sewage line leak.

Slow Drains

Gray water and sewage all feed into the sewer line. Slow drains could be caused by a blockage in the main sewer line. Sometimes the sewer line may have a leak or break and it becomes blocked by the rocks and soil underground.

Sewer Line Repair Cost

Sewer line repair can be as simple as running a snake to unclog a blockage or as complicated as digging up and repairing an entire section of pipe. Of course, the bigger the job the higher the cost. There are many types of sewer repairs with homeowners paying between $1,000 and $3,000 on average.

Sewer Drain Line Repair

The sewer line consists of all sections of the plumbing that takes wastewater from your home or business. If the problem is in the first part of the plumbing (in the house – the sewer drain line) normally a house call for a few hundred dollars is all the repair will cost you.

Sewer Line Cleaning

Sometimes a good cleaning is all that is needed to restore full function. Professional plumbing services are equipped with special pipeline cleaning tools to do the job. The experts are needed to handle sewer maintenance to ensure safe sewer cleaning best practices are followed.

Main Sewer Line Repair

If the problem is in the sewer main then the price of excavating the underground sewer line to work on it will likely be much more. When the cause of a leak is in the underground mainline of an aging sewer line, replacing the mainline will often be recommended over repairing it. Aging pipes are always more likely to leak and break and cause continued issues.

Sewer Line Replacement Cost

Often thought to be the biggest plumbing nightmare, sewer line replacement is a big job requiring highly skilled workers. According to HomeQuicks replacing sewer lines cost between $2,000 and $10,000. The cost will vary according to several factors including:

  • The type of pipe material used
  • Length of pipe needed
  • The method of replacing the pipe

Sewer Line Replacement Methods

There are two methods for replacing a sewer line. The traditional way is to dig trenches, remove the old damaged pipe, and lay a new pipe. Or, there is a process called “pipe bursting.”

Traditional Replacement

There is much more involved in traditional underground sewer line replacement than most people realize. Even before the job can begin, surveyors map out other underground gas, water, electric, or cable lines.

A team digs a trench to expose the sewer line. This part of the job is labor-intensive and is usually done by heavy equipment operators which doesn’t come cheap. If the pipe is difficult to reach it can add thousands of dollars to the cost.

The old pipe is then broken up into manageable sections, removed, and hauled away. More labor, hauling, and dump fees add to the cost. With the pipe replaced, the job is only half over.

The whole process makes quite a mess of the property. Much more work and expenses come from leveling and restoring the grounds. Thousands of dollars are easily spent on landscaping and sodding or seeding the lawn.

Pipe Bursting Method

If you are lucky enough to have a plumber in the area with the proper equipment and training you can save yourself a lot of trouble, time, and money with pipe bursting. Pipe bursting is a technology that eliminates the need to dig out the old pipe.

The trenchless process starts with digging access points to the pipe at the start and end of the line. Special machinery is used to burst the pipe to pieces over the entire length of the sewer line with high pressure.

The broken pipe is pushed into the soil leaving only a pipe-sized cavity. A new seamless high-quality plastic pipe is simply pulled into place to complete the replacement. Because the pipe bursting method can be done without digging up the pipe it avoids much of the cost of replacing the pipe traditionally.

The Bottom Line

Plumbing issues are never fun nor are they cheap to fix. Keep up with your sewer line maintenance and cleaning and if there is any sign of trouble have it checked out by the professionals to catch problems early and keep the sewer line repair cost as low as possible.

Keep reading more articles on our blog to keep your property in the best shape possible.

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