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How Much Does Septic Tank Repair Cost?

Typical Range: $629 - $2,891

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August 10, 2021

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

Septic System Repair Cost

On average, septic tank repairs cost $1,735 with most homeowners typically spending between $629 and $2,891. However, major repairs can run $5,000 or more. On the low end, you’ll pay for at least a call out fee of $100 to $300 which covers the trip out, overhead, and often the first hour of work.

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National Average $1,735
Typical Range $629 - $2,891
Low End - High End $160 - $6,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,429 HomeAdvisor members in .

Septic Repair Costs by Part

Add bacteria*$400-$600
Pump Repair$250-$400
Filter Replacement$200-$300
Leach Field Repair & Replacement$2,000-$20,000
Line Repair$1,100-$4,200
Tank Repair$500-$10,000

*This is something homeowners can easily do themselves. Products like RidX and Bio-Clean can be added by simply flushing them down the toilet for about $25.

In addition to the main components, you’ll probably end up paying $150 to $500 for repairing fittings, PVC pipes, lids and other small items.

Septic Tank Filter Repair or Replacement Cost

Installing a high quality filter for your tank costs $200 to $300 on average. You’ll want to get this one inspected on a yearly basis or anytime you see backup or signs of a clog.

Septic Tank Outlet Baffle Repair Cost

Repairing a baffle costs $300 to $900 on average. You may pay more if it’s tough to access. The baffle helps to prevent buildup in the incoming or outgoing pipes of the tank. Between the baffles is where the heavier solid matter settles.

Septic Pump Repair Cost

Repairing a septic pump costs $250 to $400 on average. Replacing one costs $1,000 or more. New pump prices range from $250 to $1,000. Make sure to check filters when you repair a pump to keep large solids out of it.

Septic Line Repair Cost

Septic line repairs cost an average of $1,500 to repair but can range anywhere from $1,100 to $4,200. The function and cost about the same as any sewer line. Septic systems use pipes to carry household waste to the tank and wastewater from the tank to the drain field.

Septic Tank Replacement Cost

Replacing a septic tank costs $3,000 to $9,500. The tank itself costs $600 to $4,000, with an additional $500 to $1,000 for gravel, stone, fill dirt and topsoil to set the new tank properly. In many states, the septic tank needs to be connected to the house by a licensed plumber. Some areas allow the tank installer to connect to the plumbing but it’s always a good idea to check and make sure everything is done properly and that all contractors hold the required licenses for the work being performed.

Replacing Bacteria in an Aerobic Unit

It’ll cost anywhere from $400 to $600 to replace bacterial in an Aerobic septic system. Treatment units use an aeration system to break down waste faster than traditional anaerobic units. The bacteria in these units sometimes die when they go unused for a period, forcing homeowners to replace the bacteria so the system works properly again.

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Drain or Leach Field Repair Cost

Leach field repairs cost $2,000 to $15,000. The size of the field, accessibility and damage all play to the final bill. The septic system's drain field — the section of land reserved to filter water from the septic tank — does not last forever.

If the top and bottom layers inside the tank grow so thick that they leave little space for water, grease and solid waste will slip into the drain field. This clogs the soil in the leaching area, which lets contaminated water and waste rise to the surface. Sometimes naturally occurring microbes clog the soil to such a degree that the only option is to dig a new drain field.

Septic Tank Maintenance

Regular septic tank maintenance helps homeowners detect potential repairs at the first signs of damage to prevent unnecessary and costly repairs. Septic tank cleaning costs $300 to $500 on average. Hire a local septic tank cleaning company yearly. This prevents scum and sludge buildup and provides an opportunity to inspect the system for potential issues.

In an emergency, tank pumping costs can skyrocket rapidly. Adding products such as Rid-X can help the naturally occurring bacteria in your tank break down solid waste, preventing clogs and backups that can require an emergency pump-out.

Septic Tank Inspection Cost

A septic system inspection runs $100 to $200. It includes an inspection of your pipes, tank, pump, and leach field. Some septic companies include this as part of an annual maintenance process.

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DIY Septic Tank Repair vs. Hire a Pro

While it’s definitely possible to do some repairs to your own septic system, why would you want to? It’s dirty and dangerous work that requires understanding the systems involved to do the job properly. Improperly installed systems can lead to leach field failure, a fix that could cost you as much as $20,000.

Hire a local septic system repair professional. Not only will they get the job done quickly, they’ll:

  • Guarantee their work
  • Give you options for maintenance to keep future repairs at bay
  • Complete the job correctly and quickly
  • Leave you with piece of mind.


What is a septic tank?

The septic tank — a watertight box made from concrete or reinforced fiberglass — is the part of the system that holds and disposes of household waste. When waste enters the tank, organic material floats to the surface of the water inside the tank, where bacteria turn it into a liquid and leave solid material to fall to the bottom of the tank and form a layer of sludge. The leftover water then moves to a separate absorption area in the yard.

How long does a septic tank last for?

A septic tank lasts an average of 40 years, longer with proper maintenance.

What causes a leach field to fail?

Leach field failure happens when the tank, pump or other subsystem isn’t maintained properly. Get a yearly cleaning and inspection by a professional to avoid failure.

What are the signs that a septic tank needs repair?

Some signs your septic tank needs repair include:

  • Sewage smells.
  • Sewage backups in the home.
  • Sewage coming to the surface around the tank or the leach field.

How can I avoid the need for repairs?

The best way to avoid the need for repairs is to get an annual inspection and have the tank pumped every 1 to 5 years, depending on its age, size and how many people are in your home.

However, some simple things you can do at home include:

  • Don’t throw anything besides toilet paper in the toilet.
  • Use drain filters to catch hair in sinks and tubs.
  • Don’t drain your laundry water or dishwater into the septic system.
  • Don’t dump oil or grease down the drain.
  • If your septic system is old or you suspect it may be in need of maintenance or repair, it’s a good idea to get toilet paper that is designed for recreational vehicles (RVs) because this toilet paper breaks down much faster and more easily than standard toilet tissue. It can sometimes be hard to find but most sporting goods stores, some grocery stores and campgrounds sell it.
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