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How Is the Cost of Sewer Line Repair Determined?

How Is the Cost of Sewer Line Repair Determined?

According to Forbes, the average cost of sewer line repair is $4,000 (as of 2024). However, a small fix can cost as little as $650, but more extensive repairs can exceed $7,500.¹ This is determined by many factors, such as the extent of the damage, the nature of the problem, its location, the pipe material, and the repair method used. When calculating your sewer line repair bill or estimate, the plumbing contractor will consider many variables. We’ll break these down to help you understand how the total cost is determined.

A Breakdown of Sewer Line Repair Cost Factors

Repairing a sewer line involves many steps and considerations. Each of these factors into the total cost of the project:


A plumber will perform a video inspection to accurately diagnose the problem and determine the best way to fix it. Their findings will help develop a plan and estimate the total price. An inspection can cost from $100 to $500.²

Length of Pipe to Replace

The length of the damaged sewer line is a significant consideration. A 25- to 35-foot pipe can cost as little as $1,250 to replace (or up to $7,000). Here are some other examples:

  • 35 to 45 Feet: $1,750 to $9,000
  • 45 to 55 Feet: $2,250 to $11,000
  • 55 to 65 Feet: $2,750 to $13,000
  • 65 to 75 Feet: $3,250 to $15,000
  • 75 to 100 Feet: $3,750 to $20,000


Replacing longer lengths of sewer pipe can cost as much as $25,000.³

Location of the Damaged Sewer Line

If a repair involves replacing the sewer line from the house to the street, the cost can exceed $20,000, depending on the soil type, time of year, and other factors. A trenchless sewer line installation under a slab can cost that much if it requires breaking into the slab. However, If the contractor can avoid breaking up the slab, the repair cost will be around $6,500 to $13,000.¹

Pipe Material

Common sewer pipe materials and their costs (per 50 linear feet) include:

  • ABS Plastic ($140 to $260): ABS pipes are easy to install and quite durable.
  • PVC Plastic ($80 to $400): Lightweight and easy to install, PVC pipe is also inexpensive.
  • Cast Iron ($1,200 to $3,700): The downside is the cost; the upside is durability and a long lifespan.


Copper is another durable and long-lasting pipe material; however, it is a bit more costly than cast iron.¹

Type of Problem or Repair

Removing tree roots, a common sewer line repair service can cost $300 to $1,100, depending on the method used.¹ Snaking a line is at the lower end of the price range. Meanwhile, hydro jetting is at the upper end. The same goes for unclogging a sewer line.

There are several types of sewer line repair and replacement. A project involving adding a resin liner to a pipe (spin casting) can cost $4,000 to $12,000.¹ Contractors often use Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) replacement or pipe bursting. The CIPP repair cost is in line with spin-casting, while pipe bursting is a little less. 

However, repairing a break or crack in a buried outdoor line costs $1,100 to $4,000. If the sewer line has collapsed, a trenched repair will be necessary and costs from $55 to $250 per linear foot.1 While excavation can cost up to $30 to $70 per cubic foot, a trenchless pipe repair can average $4 to $12 per linear foot. Plus, you’ll have to pay to replace the sewer line.² 

Additional Costs

Other cost factors for sewer line repair include:

  • Labor: Plumbers charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour for sewer line replacement. However, an experienced contractor may charge as much as $500 per hour depending on the project’s complexity and where you live.²
  • Old Pipe Disposal: Removing and disposing of the old pipe can cost $250.²
  • Permit: Expect to pay a permit fee of around $200 for sewer line repair.²
  • Cleaning/Restoration: If a sewage backup in your home occurred before the sewer line repair, the plumbing company will only clean away so much. They’re primarily concerned with accessing the problem. You’ll have to pay a professional cleaning company to do the rest.
  • Yard/Driveway Repair: If the project involves excavation, repairing an asphalt driveway costs around $15 per square foot. A simple lawn resodding costs $0.50 to $2 per square foot.3 More extensive landscaping work can be costlier.

Why Do Sewer Pipes Cost So Much to Fix?

Sewer line repair and replacement are labor-intensive processes. You need an experienced, licensed technician with high-tech video inspection, excavation, pipe relining, and other equipment. Materials costs are also a factor; however, the higher the quality, the longer the pipe can last.

How Do I Know I Need a Sewer Line Repair?

Call a local plumber if:

  • Multiple plumbing fixtures clog up
  • The tub backs up when you flush the toilet
  • Your home smells like rotten eggs
  • Drains make gurgling noises
  • Soggy grass appears in your yard

Are There Ways to Save on Repair Costs?

You can save on sewer line repair or replacement by choosing the trenchless method whenever possible. This avoids paying to repair your yard, landscaping, or driveway (but even if trenching is required, removing sod, moving plants or shrubs, and keeping the area watered can help you save). Also, ask if the contractor can fix just one section of pipe, rather than replace the entire line.

Sewer line maintenance can also help you save. It includes keeping trees and roots away from the pipe and scheduling annual inspections. You can also ask your home insurance company about purchasing add-on sewer line coverage.

Schedule Sewer Line Repair with Waldrop

Whether you need sewer or septic line repair near you in Upstate South Carolina, Waldrop has fully licensed plumbers who get the job done quickly and effectively. They use the latest equipment and techniques to fix any problem. From excavation to hydro jetting, we provide a range of repair solutions based on the issue and your property’s needs. To schedule sewer line repair in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties, call (864) 536-0887.

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