Replacing a sewer line typically costs anywhere between $280-$8,050, with an average cost around $5,000.
The exact cost of your sewer line replacement depends on a variety of factors specific to your home and situation, like:
- The material your pipes are made of
- Length of pipe that needs to be replaced
- Replacement method used
- Damage cleanup or restoration costs
- Company or contractor you hire
Identifying the exact cost of your sewer replacement won’t be possible without an in-home assessment by a licensed plumber. What we can do in the meantime is review the most important price factors for this type of project. That way you can assess your quote with confidence and ask important questions of your plumber when he’s at your home.
Cost Factor #1: Pipe material
The cost of your replacement will depend on the type of piping you currently have and the type of piping you want to install.
Sewer lines can be made out of a variety of materials, but a few of the most common are:
- Cast Iron
There are two cost factors to consider when it comes to the material of pipe you have:
- The cost of the material
- Whether you'll need to replace some or all of the sewer line
The cost of the material
Pipe cost varies by material, so the cost of your replacement will vary depending on what type of pipe you have.
For example, copper is quite a bit more expensive than PVC, so if you have copper piping, replacing your sewer line will be more expensive than if you have PVC.
Typically, you’ll want to stick with the same kind of piping you currently have (especially if you’re only replacing part of your line), but if you have outdated piping, this won’t be the case.
Replacing outdated piping
There are some piping materials that were popular in the 60’s and 70’s that are no longer widely recommended, like orangeburg. If your line is made out of an “outdated” pipe material, you should replace your entire line rather than just the part that is damaged.
If your sewer line is made out of “modern” material, like PVC, you can likely just replace the part of the line that’s damaged, which will be less expensive than replacing an entire sewer line of orangeburg or cast iron.
Cost Factor #2: Length of pipe that needs to be replaced
The more piping that needs to be replaced, the more expensive your sewer line replacement will be.
Typically, homeowners don’t need to replace their entire sewer line, so the cost of your replacement will largely depend on the length of line that is damaged or needs to be replaced.
However, as we mentioned above, if your pipes are made out of an outdated material or are very old, you may need to replace your entire sewer line, which will be more expensive than just replacing part of it.
Cost Factor #3: Replacement method used
There are two main replacement methods a plumber may use to replace your sewer line:
Conventional sewerline replacement:
A conventional sewer line replacement requires a plumber to dig up your existing line, remove it, and then lay down new piping. This type of replacement is typically less expensive than trenchless methods, and costs about $60 to $150 per foot on average.
However, since conventional sewer line replacements require excavation, they can cause a lot more “damage” than trenchless replacements, and the cost of fixing that damage (like redoing landscaping) will add to the total out-of-pocket cost.
Trenchless sewer line replacement:
There are a few different types of trenchless sewer line replacements, but essentially a trenchless replacement is any type of replacement where a plumber does not need to dig up the existing line. Trenchless replacements are more expensive upfront, but usually require a lot less cleanup and damage control than trench or conventional replacements do. On average, trenchless replacements cost about $60 to $280 per foot.
Two of the most common trenchless replacements include:
- Pipe bursting- Pipe bursting is when a new pipe is threaded through old piping. As the new piping slides into the existing piping, it breaks the old piping, laying a new line where the old one used to be.
- Cured-in-place- This is a method in which a resin liner is inserted into the existing sewer line. The resin is heated and cures, laying down a new line inside the existing one.
Note: You don’t always get a choice as to which replacement method a plumber will use. Depending on the shape your pipes are in, a plumber may have to excavate your old lines. For example, if part of your line is broken and the piping is severely offset, a plumber will have to use the conventional method to replace your existing line.
Cost Factor #4: Damage cleanup or restoration costs
As we mentioned above, if a plumber has to dig through landscaping, concrete, flooring, etc., to replace your sewer line, you’ll need to factor in the cost of any cleanup or restoration.
Of course this won’t impact the cost of your actual line replacement, but it will increase the total out-of-pocket cost for you.
Cost Factor #5: Company or contractor you hire
The company or contractor you hire is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting a quality sewer line replacement.
Typically, the more experienced a contractor is, the more they will charge for a sewer line replacement. However, as we mentioned above, finding the right contractor is super important if you want a sewer line replacement that is done safely and correctly.
While it may be tempting to book a cheaper company or contractor to save money, a sewer line replacement is a complex job, and if it’s not done by an experienced team, you could end up with expensive repairs that need to be made (not only to your sewer line).
To find a quality contractor, you should look for someone who:
Ready to replace your sewer line? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical
If you’re ready to talk about replacing your sewer line, reach out to us. We have many years of experience working with Tucson homeowners, and we know which solutions work best for your area.