If you notice that the draining of your home is slowing down or it even stops at all, then usually it calls for repairing or replacing the sewer line. Work on the sewer line is something few homeowners look forward to with relish. The replacement or repair of sewer lines, however, by the professionals in plumbing, could go on through as little hardship as is allowed.

Sewer line replacement cost will be different based on linear footage, square footage, material type, and line length.

For example, cost to replace 50 feet of sewer line varies from minor localized repairs at $650 to a replacement of about 30 feet of sewer line at $7,500, with an average cost of around $4,000. 

Let’s look at how the costs differ. 

How to Count the Cost?

By Linear Foot

Expect to pay between $55 and $250 per linear foot to replace a sewer line.

  • For 5 feet, the cost ranges from $275 to $1,250.
  • For 10 feet, it’s $550 to $2,500.
  • For 20 feet, the cost is $1,100 to $5,000.

By Square Foot

As a rough estimate, sewer line replacement costs typically range from $50 to $250 per square foot.

By Material

For material only, per 50 linear feet:

  • ABS Plastic: $140 to $260
  • PVC Plastic: $80 to $400
  • Cast Iron: $1,200 to $3,700

By Line Length

The replacement cost of a sewer line is normally estimated through the measurement of length, where the case of a short line sums up to $1,250 and that of long lines sums up to $25,000.

Sewer Line Replacement From House to Street

All complete sewer line replacements begin at the house and end at the street, where municipal sewer obligation begins. With that much in the way of distance, homeowners can expect to pay as much as $10,000 for a 30-foot run of sewer line. The whole replacement of the line, from the home to the street, may cost up to $20,000, depending on the area, type of soil, and time of the year.

Sewer Line Under a Slab Replacement Cost

For instance, if a homeowner chooses a trenchless sewer line installation under a slab to avoid breaking up the slab, he or she would get an estimated cost to range from $6,500 to $13,000. Breaking into a slab for sewer replacement would also range from $15,000 to $20,000.

Sewer Line Repair Prices

Tree Roots

Tree root removal from a sewer line can cost from $300 to $1,100 for the whole job. Snaking the line is at the low end of the scale, and hydro jetting lies at the high end.

Spin Casting

Adding a resin liner to a sewer pipe, also known as spin casting, costs from $4,000 to $12,000 in total project costs.

Clogs

Snaking (or auguring) a clog to clean in a sewer line costs between $300 and $600. Clearing the clog by using hydro jet drain cleaning costs $300 to $1,100.

Breaks or Cracks

In some costly cases, the cost may equal between $1,100–$4,000 to fix a break or crack in a buried outdoor sewer line. The cost to fix a break or crack in a sewer line is costed by the foot per linear, with prices that range between $75–$500.

Line Collapse

Expect to pay from $55 to $250 per linear foot for trenched repair of a collapsed line.

Types of Sewer Line Replacement 

When the time comes that you need a sewer line replacement, it will be advisable to consider the pros and cons of each carefully. Presented below are four major methods of sewer line replacement.

Traditional 

The traditional method of excavation requires digging a trench to the level of the existing sewer line; this should be totally replaced by new pipes so that the complete sewer line can be checked, repaired, or replaced. This method can be somewhat invasive and cumbersome compared to others. Yet it is what is required, for instance, by the condition of the sewer line calling for it.

Trenchless

Trenchless sewer line replacement is a new installation or repair of a sewer line, either by replacement or relining, that doesn’t involve yard destruction. Indeed, modern methodologies for sewer line replacement include cured-in-place. As well as pipe bursting; both are accompanied by a lot less excavation and disruption compared to their historic equivalents.

Cured-In-Place 

Cured-in-place sewer line replacement, or CIPP (Cured-in-place Pipe) lining, is a repair and replacement method for sewer pipelines that will have already exist. It consists of inserting a flexible lining—usually resin-coated—into an existing, damaged, or deteriorated pipe. The liner is then inflated and cured, creating a new pipe within the old one. 

Pipe Bursting 

The other technique of replacing sewer lines in a trenchless way is by using pipe bursting. This allows the replacement of damaged and old pipelines without digging very large ditches. In simple terms, this involves replacing a new pipe in an existing sewer line. At the same time fracturing and displacing the old pipe. This is enabled with the use of a bursting head, which smashes the old pipe and pushes it away. Creating space whereby the new pipe can take its place.

Pros and Cons of Replacing Sewer Lines

A sewer line replacement is a pretty huge project. One which you should do some good research on before jumping in, and understanding all the pros and cons. A few pointers to consider follow.

Pros

Replacing old or damaged sewer lines can significantly improve your plumbing system’s efficiency by:

  • Improved functionality: New pipes can provide better flow capacity, reduce clogs risk, and improve overall drainage.
  • Low maintenance: The new sewer lines typically reduce the maintenance cost involved in these old lines. Most importantly, one can eliminate most of the frequent repairs and continuous maintenance, with replacement of the constant factor that takes time and money.
  • Increases property value: A new or recently replaced sewer line is seen as a plus by most buyers and can even affect the resale value.

Cons

Consider the possible cons of sewer line replacement before embarking on the project.

  • High costs: Repairing your sewer line can be an expensive affair. Material costs, labor, permits, and anything necessary for additional work will be incurred. The charges normally depend on how severe the project is and the chosen method.
  • Time-consuming: Replacing sewer lines is a long process. How long it takes might depend on the kind of replacement being done and the challenges that crop up, but more often than not. It is bound to take your time and disrupt your routine.
  • No surprises: It is always good to know about any likely surprises before this replacement project occurs. They comprise damage hidden in the pipes, access issues, and interfacing with other infrastructure or additional repairs or upgrades that may be necessary.

When Do You Need to Replace Your Sewer Line?

There are plenty of times and scenarios when sewer line replacement would be called for; here are the most common signs that your sewer line needs replacement:

Unpleasant Odors

Sewer odors inside your home or out in the yard may be an indicator of a problem within the sewer line itself. Cracks, leaks, or other structural damage to the line allow sewage gases to escape. Usually, this is fixed by replacing your sewer line.

Clogged Drains

That might be an indication that the sewer line has a problem that is more severe in nature if the drain is frequently clogged up. Which methods of clearing would normally avoid. Replacement work may continue to restore the flow of collected debris, root intrusion, or damage in the pipe.

Gurgling Pipes

If at all you hear strange sounds while flushing the toilet or draining water from the sinks or showers. Then that may imply some clogging or dysfunctional work of the sewer line. Gurgling sounds emerge when air is trapped in the pipes by poorly flowing or obstructions in the sewer line.

DIY Sewer Repair vs. Calling a Plumber

Most times, it is advisable that a plumbing company carries out main sewer line repair due to the heavy work involved. However, more often than not, the ‘do-it-yourselfer’ homeowner does most of his sewer repair.

The homeowner should at least use a professional who has a sewer camera and radio transmitter to help find the line.

This is perhaps best done with a permit from the local permitting office and inspections set up through that office. Most lines are dug 18 to 30 inches below ground level, and it is very backbreaking to hand-dig down to the sewer line. Typically, a short run will be done by hand, while mechanical help is used for longer runs. A capable do-it-yourselfer, working entirely by hand, could have replaced four to six linear feet of sewer line in soft, sandy soil in about a week for $100 to $200, not including permits.

DIY vs. Hiring A Professional Sewer Line Replacement Contractor

Sewer line replacement is not the type of work that DIYers are recommended for, and very good reasons lie at the base of such an assertion. It sounds incredibly cheap, but boy, is it hard work. Not to mention the fact that if you screw up, it could potentially cost you.

Hiring a professional contractor for the sewer line replacement comes with experience, specialized equipment, warranties, and insurance coverage. It assures you of proper and efficient replacement work conducted within the law, giving you efficient, long-term investments in your sewer line system.

The editorial team reached average costs in this article by speaking to a variety of providers, both on national and local levels. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publish and may be subject to change.