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Man replacing residential sewer line

How Much Does Sewer Line Replacement Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical Cost Range: $3,000 – $6,000

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A sewer line replacement costs an average of $6,000. Our guide covers common cost factors, including materials, line length, and repair methods.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by: Mark Howey Updated 05/14/2024

Problems with your home’s main sewer line can cause blockages, drops in water pressure, and even sewage backups. If you frequently experience these issues, it may be necessary to replace your sewer line. On average, you can expect to pay around $6,000 to replace 40 linear feet of sewer line. However, the cost could range between $2,000 and $10,000 depending on certain factors, such as the cost of the pipe material, pipe length, and the type of repair needed.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the overall price, such as having a sewer line home warranty. Our sewer line replacement cost guide provides information on pricing factors, when to replace your sewer line, and strategies for saving money.
*Cost data in this article was sourced from Angi and HomeGuide.

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Typical Price Range: $3,000 – $6,000
Man replacing residential sewer line
Sewer Line Replacement

Full sewer line replacement usually costs $3,000–$6,000.

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Depending on the type of repair, this process can range from $50–$250 per foot of pipe.

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What Are Signs You Need to Replace Your Sewer Line?

Without a camera inspection, it can be difficult or even impossible to tell whether you should repair or replace your sewer line. Here are some signs that you need to request a sewer line inspection:

  • Evidence of sewage backup
  • Frequent or multiple drain clogs
  • Sewage odor inside your home or in your yard
  • Water backing up in one appliance when using another
  • Wet spots in your basement or yard
sewer back up causing flooding in yard

What Is a Sewer Line Replacement?

The main sewer line from your home to the public sanitary sewer system is sometimes called the sewer lateral. You’re not responsible for the part of the line that drains stormwater from the street, but if the sewer line on your property cracks, clogs, or leaks, you will need to pay for repairs. The same applies to lateral sewer lines that lead to private septic tanks.

Since these pipes are almost always buried underground, replacing it has traditionally meant excavating the ground for the whole length of the line. This is no longer necessary in all circumstances, such as in trenchless repair. Still, a full sewer line replacement is a large, expensive job that professional plumbers or sewer contractors must perform.


How Much Does Sewer Line Replacement Cost?

Overall, the average price for sewer line replacement is about $6,000. Typically, you’ll pay between $50 and $250 per linear foot of sewer line, though the pipe material used and the difficulty of accessing the existing pipe can affect your price. Additionally, excavation, backfill, and landscaping may add extra expenses to your project.

Sewer Line Replacement Cost by Linear Foot

The most important factor in determining the cost of sewer line replacement is the sewer line’s length. In a city or dense suburban area, you might only have a sewer line of 25–60 feet. However, on larger rural properties, you might have lines of 75 feet or more. Since prices tend to range from $50–$250 per linear foot, here’s what you can expect to pay for various lengths of sewer pipe replacement.

Sewer Line Cost by Line Length

Length of Sewer Line (Linear Feet)Replacement Cost

20

$1,000–$5,000

40

$2,000–$10,000

60

$3,000–$15,000

80

$4,000–$20,000

100

$5,000–$25,000

120

$6,000–$30,000

Sewer Line Replacement Cost by Material

Although the length of the sewer line is the primary cost factor, the type of pipe material you choose also affects your bottom line. Plastics called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are the most commonly used materials since they are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to install. However, copper and cast iron pipes are also somewhat common—though much more expensive—because of their strength.

In the post-World War II housing boom, many American homes had Orangeburg pipes installed for sewer lines. These pipes were composed of compressed wood fibers sealed with coal tar, but they were phased out in the 1970s because they didn’t last as long as promised. A few older homes may still have Orangeburg piping, which must be replaced with a modern alternative.

Most main sewer lines use 4-inch diameter pipe. Here are some approximate prices for 40 linear feet of each material, not including any necessary connectors or valves.

Sewer Line Cost by Pipe Material

Pipe MaterialCost for 40 Linear Feet (Material Only)

ABS

$120–$440

Cast iron

$800–$3,000

Copper

$1,200–$3,200

PVC

$120–$320

Sewer Line Replacement Cost by Type of Repair

Traditional sewer line replacement involves digging up the old pipe and replacing it. However, this might not be the best solution for every broken sewer line. Trenchless sewer line repair refers to methods that don’t require digging up your yard or cracking into concrete slabs. Trenchless methods aren’t possible for all plumbing issues, but they can substantially reduce the time and disruption when used for repairs. Here are a few methods for fixing sewer lines:

  • The plumbing contractor performs a camera inspection of the interior of the existing drain line. If they find any clogs, they will use a process called hydro-jetting to remove the clogs with pressurized water.
  • Pipe bursting is a full replacement method that forces a new pipe through the existing one. A hole is dug at each end of the sewer line, and a new pipe is placed on top of the old one. This method costs around $60–$200 per linear foot. 
  • Cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP) is a type of pipe repair rather than replacement, but it can essentially “heal” damaged pipe without needing to dig it up. A soft, epoxy-coated liner is inserted into the sewer line and inflated. Once dry, it forms a new, undamaged interior surface within the old pipe. CIPP typically costs $90–$250 per linear foot.
  • Similar to CIPP, a resin lining can be sprayed into the interior of the previous sewer line in areas where a liner can’t fit. This method is known as spin-casting. Expect to pay around $80–$250 per linear foot for these repairs. 

Here are some common price ranges for using these trenchless methods to completely replace a 40-foot sewer line. Costs for trenchless methods range from $60–$250 per linear foot.

Sewer Line Cost by Repair Type

Type of RepairAverage Cost

CIPP

$3,600–$10,000

Pipe bursting

$2,400–$8,000

Spin-casting

$3,200–$10,000


What Are the Cost Factors for Sewer Line Replacement?

What’s the difference between a $2,000 sewer line replacement and a $20,000 job? Here are some considerations that can determine the total cost you’ll pay:
  • Distance
  • Inspection
  • Labor and installation
  • Location
  • Traditional or trenchless repair
  • Yard repair

A long line means more pipe material, more digging, and more time and labor to install it. Unfortunately, longer pipes also require more connectors, meaning they have more potential weak points. Any bends and elbows in the pipes will also increase overall costs.

Because this isn’t a DIY job, it’s difficult to isolate what percentage of the total sewer line repair cost goes to labor. However, professional plumbers tend to charge $150–$500 an hour, depending on their experience level. Trenchless pipe repair and replacement professionals, on the other hand, tend to charge a flat fee by the linear foot.

The average $2,000 to $10,000 average doesn’t take into account potential yard or driveway repair that you’ll need to perform after the trench has been filled in. Replacing an asphalt driveway costs about $1–$15 per square foot, and resodding a lawn costs $0.50–$2 per square foot.

When you first notice problems with your sewer line, you’ll need to schedule an inspection. A contractor will use a sewer camera on a long snake to check for blockages, corrosion, cracks, and more. This typically costs $100–$500.

You may have noticed that while trenchless sewer line repair and replacement are less disruptive, they’re not substantially less expensive than traditional methods. However, trenchless repair does negate the need for excavation and yard repair, so it may ultimately be less expensive, particularly if your yard has a lot of obstacles or your pipes are covered in concrete.

The location of the pipe can lead to additional costs if the sewer line is difficult to access or covered by a concrete slab. If the plumber or contractor needs to go through a wall, trench under a basement, or break up a driveway, you’ll need to pay for both the demolition and the repair.

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How Much Does a Sewer Line Trench Cost?

The good news is that trenching is typically covered within the cost of professional sewer line replacement. Otherwise, it tends to cost $4–$12 per linear foot. Keep in mind: This process is more complicated than simply digging a hole and then filling it back in when the job is done. The soil also needs to be recompacted, the old pipe needs to be hauled away, and any hazardous materials must be cleaned up before yard repair can begin.


What Are Other Sewer Line Repair Costs?

After the inspection, you might find that you don’t need to replace your entire sewer line. Here are some common problems that might necessitate a repair rather than a replacement.

It’s not uncommon for an errant tree root to begin to grow into and through sewer line pipes. When this happens, a plumber may be able to replace only the section of pipe penetrated by tree roots. The removal of the roots themselves will usually cost $100–$600, but the inspection and repair of the damaged pipe will likely cost the standard $50–$250 per linear foot.
Pipes that have cracked for other reasons, such as freezing temperatures or heavy foot traffic, can often be repaired via trenchless methods, such as lining and spin-casting. You’ll pay $150 per linear foot of pipe, but the cost will be less than replacing an entire sewer line.
A buried pipe that has sunk or collapsed will slow down the water flowing through it and potentially cause backups. Unfortunately, collapsed lines usually need to be replaced, though trenchless repair might be possible in some situations. Again, this will cost $50–$250 per foot for trenched repair or replacement and $60–$250 for trenchless work.

How To Save Money on a Sewer Line Replacement

Homeowners often balk at the steep price tag of sewer line replacement, so here are some tips to help keep costs down:

  • Ask about trenchless methods: Although these replacements cost about the same or more per linear foot of line, you won’t need to pay for yard cleanup and repair if your yard is eligible for them.
  • Prepare your yard: If you can’t avoid trenching, prepare your yard carefully to avoid waste. Cut and remove sod, keeping it watered while the job is ongoing, and move plants or shrubs to replant.
  • Minimize repairs: Ask your contractor whether it’s possible to repair one section of the pipe rather than replacing the entire line.
  • Insure your line: Before problems occur, check to see whether your home insurance company offers additional sewer line coverage. Though regular policies don’t usually cover sewer lines, it may be worth paying extra for this add-on if your line is old.
  • Keep up with maintenance: Perform regular sewer line maintenance, like keeping trees and their roots away from the line and scheduling annual inspections and cleanings.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Sewer Line?

On average, a sewer line’s life expectancy is 50–100 years, depending on the materials and other external factors. Modern materials, such as PVC, have the potential to last 100 years or longer. Factors including soil conditions, system overuse, and tree root intrusion can shorten the overall life span of a sewer line. We recommend conducting regular maintenance and inspections to extend the life expectancy. 


What Are the Pros and Cons of Sewer Line Replacement?

Pros
Option to update to lighter, more durable pipes like PVC or ABS
Eliminates the possibility of connections and sewer traps wearing out from old age
Is less expensive than repairing it in multiple sections over the years
Cons
Replacing an entire sewer line at once is an expensive job
Can be disruptive and necessitate yard repairs

Should You DIY vs. Professional Sewer Line Replacement?

Sewer line repair and replacement aren’t tasks you can accomplish yourself. You would need to rent heavy machinery to reach the pipes. Once you reach the pipes, you’ll need tools to remove and replace the line. Sewer lines should be buried at a depth of 18–30 inches in warm climates and 4–8 feet in colder environments. Reaching deeper depths in colder environments will require special equipment. 

Your home’s sewer line is too important to risk taking on the job without the training, experience, and tools that professionals have. It’s expensive but well worth hiring experienced professional contractors to replace your sewer line.


How Do You Hire a Professional Installer?
We recommend receiving estimates from at least three contractors before making your choice if you have the time. When looking for a contractor to replace your home’s sewer line, here are some questions to ask:
Is your plumbing license up to date?
Is your company bonded and insured? If you’re in a state like California that requires a special license for sewer line work, does the contractor performing the work have it?
Is your company rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
How do past customers rate your service?
How will you determine whether the sewer line needs repair or replacement?
Can I receive my estimate in writing, along with any contracts or warranties?

Our Conclusion

If your sewer line is experiencing problems and you’ve ruled out your interior plumbing as a cause, it’s a good idea to go ahead and schedule a camera inspection. Although you might not like what you find, at least you’ll know your options for sewer line repair or replacement. Sewer line replacement is a big project that can be difficult to budget for, so if you know your sewer line is old or has had problems in the past, it may be a good idea to start putting away some extra money now.

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Typical Price Range: $3,000 – $6,000

FAQ About Sewer Line Replacement Costs

What is the average cost of a sewer line replacement?

The average sewer line replacement costs between $2,000 and $10,000, with an average cost closer to $6,000.

How much does it cost to replace a sewer line?

Sewer lines typically cost $50–$250 to replace per linear foot of pipe.

What kind of material is the sewer line typically made from?

Sewer lines are most commonly made from PVS or ABS piping. However, some sewer lines are still made from cast iron or copper. In older homes, the sewer line may be ceramic, concrete, or Orangeburg pipe.

How deep are sewer lines buried?

Sewer lines are typically buried 18–30 inches deep in warmer climates and 4–8 feet deep in colder environments. 

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