How Much Does It Cost to Replace or Repair a Sewer Line?

Typical Range:

$1,271 - $4,789

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 870 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated July 18, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

With the average sewer line repair cost between $50 and $250 per foot, most homeowners are paying $150 per foot for each repair or replacement needed. If it's time to install a new sewer line, expect the cost to range from $1,271 and $4,789.

Malfunctioning plumbing is hard to miss. Sewage water that creeps up from the ground is not only smelly, it’s a biohazard. Still, it’s important to handle sewer line issues gingerly, so repairs and replacements are best left to a pro.

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement Cost Calculator

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National Average $3,002
Typical Range $1,271 - $4,789
Low End - High End $204 - $8,900

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 870 HomeAdvisor members.

Sewer Line Replacement Cost

When replacing an aged-out or damaged sewer line, cost varies based on line length and placement.

Sewer Line Replacement TypeCost
Main Pipe and Lateral from House to Street$530 – $2,270
Basement Sewer Line$60 – $1,200
Under a Slab$3,000 – $20,000
Sewer Trap $1,500 – $3,000

Main Sewer Pipe & Lateral Replacement From House to Street

The cost to replace the main sewer line that extends further into the street runs $530 to $2,270. While longer distances and the need for trenching can raise the price to $25,000, the average sewer line installation cost is closer to $1,395. Much of the cost is based on digging for pipe trenches.

Basement Sewer Line Replacement

If your basement line is trenchless, replacement costs will range from $60 and $250 per foot. This option requires less manual labor, so if it’s a viable option, you’ll likely save on labor costs while keeping more of your floor intact. 

However, trenchless replacements are sometimes unavailable if the pipe has completely collapsed. Addressing a standard sewer line trench costs between $400 and $1,200 per 100 linear feet.

Sewer Line Replacement Under a Slab

Homeowners can expect to pay another $150 to $200 per foot on top of the regular rate of $150 per foot when trenching under a slab. This additional cost will help cover the need to break up the concrete, which can take time.

Sewer Trap Replacement

Plumbers typically charge between $45 and $200 per hour for sewer trap replacement. Sewer trap replacement materials can cost up to $100 per project. A sewer trap replacement job can take from one to three days. 

The sewer line house trap is a curved pipe that holds a small amount of water at all times. Acting as a moat-like barrier, the water in the trap guards the home from sewer gasses and roaming pests. When the piping of a house trap corrodes or clogs, sewage can back up into a home.

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Sewer Line Repair Costs

Though mostly underground, sewer systems are susceptible to various damages—major and minor. While each issue requires a different approach, all sewer line repairs are intensive fixes requiring expertise and professional materials to avoid dangerous and messy sewage overflows.

Broken or Cracked Sewer Pipe Repair

When a sewer pipe is broken or cracked, a pipe replacement is typically the only way to ensure that sewage doesn't make its way into a home. The average sewer line replacement cost hovers near $150 per foot. 

Replacement can also be an economical choice when you factor in the time required to access the pipe regardless of intentions for repairing versus replacing. 

Tree Roots in Sewer Line Repair

If tree roots disrupt a sewer line, expect to pay $780 on average to have the problem inspected using a camera (this number will be lower if your pro can use a snake camera). Removing tree roots from a sewer line costs between $100 and $600 for a standard intrusion. If a plumber determines that the damage is more serious than normal, they may recommend replacing part of the sewer line.

Collapsed Line Repair

If your sewer line has collapsed, replacing the damaged portion is the only safe option. Partial sewer line replacements range from $50 to $250 per foot. While most homeowners only need to repair small portions of a damaged sewer line, your pro may recommend a full line replacement for extensive damage.

Sewer Line Clogs

When you can unclog a line without replacing the pipe, the cost to unclog a sewer line ranges from $100 to $600. The three options for cleaning a sewer line are:

  • Snaking: $100–$250, which removes blockages by sending a thin metal wire through the line to pull out debris

  • Hydrojetting: $250–$1000, which involves streaming water down the line to loosen debris

  • Chemical treatment: $80–$100, which relies on chemical agents to address smaller clogs, using stronger versions of store-bought products for smaller clogs.

Trenchless Sewer Repair or Replacement Costs

Ttrenchless options are possible if you don’t have a collapsed pipe. This method is less invasive and costs $60 to $250 per foot. Two trenchless systems are available:

  • CIPP lining: Runs about $80 to $250 per foot, with most homeowners paying $9,000. A plumber needs only one excavation point to access and pull an epoxy-saturated liner through the existing pipes.

  • Pipe-bursting: Costs range from $60 to $200 per foot. The process involves using a pneumatic or hydraulic head to break up existing piping.

  • Expect nearly any sewer line project to begin with a video inspection costing $100 to $500. Opting for a visual can save you thousands by ensuring the right diagnosis.

Sewer Line Replacement Cost Breakdown

Ease of access is the biggest cost factor here. For example, costs increase when trenching and demolition are needed to access hard-to-reach pipes and lines. In addition, you’ll see your quote rise for each linear foot between your home and the sewer to cover labor and materials. Restorative work like driveway repairs and sodding can also indirectly increase project costs.

Another big cost factor comes down to repair versus replacement. While removing clogs or replacing parts can resolve some sewer backups, others require partial or complete line replacements. Finally, repairing high-end options like copper piping can actually double the cost of plastic pipe repairs.

Additional Sewer Line Replacement Cost Factors

Homeowners should anticipate some extra costs tied to preparation and cleanup around a property whenever sewer line work is being done.

Trenching

In addition to parts and labor costs directly related to pipes and lines, plumbers may also charge for ground excavation to access the sewer line at a rate of $30 to $70 per cubic foot. Finally, the average cost to haul away old pipes is $250 per project.

While not every sewer line repair or replacement will require trenching, homeowners can expect trenching costs to reach $4 and $12 per foot. The rate can increase sharply if the main sewer line is deeper in the ground than normal. In addition, if contractors have to dig around utilities on the property, they’ll likely need to dig by hand and quote extra labor fees.

Cleanup

Most plumbers will include basic cleanup in labor costs. However, some may charge another $100 to $350 for cleanup. If a sewer line replacement project involves ending the use of a septic tank, septic tank decommissioning can cost between $500 and $1,000.

Landscape, Driveway, or Patio Repairs

If a sewer line is under a driveway, patio, or a portion of the yard, you may expect excavation fees, such as sodding or other walkway repairs.

Type of Pipe Needed

The three most common pipes used for sewer lines today are PVC, ABS, and copper. A plumber can recommend the best option based on cost, performance, house style, and terrain considerations.

If a pipe replacement is necessary, costs range from $50 to $50 for different piping materials and depths. Expect to pay $100 for parts with an additional hourly plumber rate of $45 to $200 if a sewer trap replacement is needed.

DIY Sewer Line Repair vs. Hiring a Plumber

Sewer line repairs and replacements are considered technical, high-stakes jobs that are best left to professional plumbers. A DIY sewer line job that misses even one detail creates serious health risks tied to exposure to hazardous diseases, in addition to home and property damage. Hiring a plumber with knowledge of sewer systems and local codes is often required to safely, legally, and correctly get this project done.

"Aside from the risk of damage to your home, there are severe health risks involved with plumbing," says Jeff Botelho, an Expert Review Board member and licensed plumber. "Sewer piping is a breeding ground for a lot of hazardous diseases, such as hepatitis, E. coli, and typhus. Take this into consideration before starting any plumbing work in your home."

FAQs

How much does sewer line replacement cost per foot?

Homeowners are paying between $50 to $250 per foot to replace the main sewer line.

What is a sewer sleeve and what does it cover?

A pro might use a sewer sleeve to cover any cracking in trenchless piping. This technique uses cured epoxy to seal holes or cracks in existing piping. It is minimally invasive and less expensive than digging up and replacing your old pipers. 

What are the differences between types of material used for piping?

Most newer homes use PVC and ABS piping due to their durability, smooth interiors that prevent clogs, and affordable pricing. Older homes may contain copper, Orangeburg, clay, cast iron, or lead piping. It's always important to have piping inspected by a plumber before handling it because some outdated piping materials contain toxic substances.

What signs can I look for to tell if my sewer pipes are damaged?

Telltale signs of sewer pipe damage include:

  • Persistent clogs

  • Sewage backups

  • Sudden high utility bills

  • Sulfur smells

  • Sewage in the yard

Do I need permits or approval to work on my sewer lines?

While not all plumbing work requires a permit, any work involving a sewer line is almost guaranteed to require permits in every town or city due to sanitary concerns and biohazard risks. Your plumbing pro can handle permits, or you can call or apply for a permit online at your city’s building department.

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