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Sewer system installation and repair – a project that both homeowners and professionals agree that it should be best left to professionals. Everyone knows how vital a sewer system is to any building, not just at home, that is why it is very important for it to be installed properly from the very start and constantly kept in good condition.
On this page:
- The Importance of Maintaining Your Sewer System
- How Often Should You Maintain Your Sewer System?
- Sewer Installation and Replacement
- Sewer Line Camera Inspection
- Sewer Line Repair
- Sewer Cleanout Installation Cost
- Cost to Unclog Main Sewer Line
- Snake Sewer Line Cost
- Hydro Jet Sewer Cleaning Cost
- Sewer Grinder Pump Installation
- Sewer Backflow Preventer Installation
- Sewer Ejector Pump Installation
- Cost to Replace Sewer Line Under the House
- Cost of Removing Tree Roots from Sewer Lines
- How Much Does It Cost to Hook Up to the City Water and Sewer?
- Getting Quotes from Competing Sewer Companies
The Importance of Maintaining Your Sewer SystemHow many homeowners do you think are guilty of not doing some upkeep on their sewer system after it gets installed? It is a common misconception that sewer lines do not need regular maintenance. After all, they get exposed to all the gunk and nasty stuff 24/7, so what’s the use of cleaning them? However, it is exactly because of this kind of exposure that makes proper maintenance a necessity. Maintaining the sewer system is not just about keeping them clean. It also has plenty of benefits, and some of these may be unfamiliar to you. This is why we came up with a list on why you should include it in your to-do list from now on:
- Prevent clogging that can lead to a sewer line backup. Backups will prevent water and waste materials from going down the drain, and this can also result in flooding and leaks in your home. Remember, sewer lines deal with waste so your home will be flooded with icky stuff when it happens.
- Stop roots from breaking through or clogging the pipes, as this can crack or break them
- See if the pipes are starting to sag, as this can also lead to clogging
- Check its condition for signs of wear-and-tear, especially for older sewer lines
- Catch and repair problems early on to prevent them from getting worse
- Prevent your home from acquiring sewer smells, which can be challenging to remove
- Minimize the occurrence of blockages
- Avoid costly repairs not only on your sewer system but also other parts of your home that may be affected by it
- Stop the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can be hazardous to your health
- Remove grease and other fatty materials that can harden over time and cause blockages that can be difficult to remove
- Prevent water from leaking along the path of your sewer lines from the house to the street, as well as causing water damage to your entire property
- Ensure that you have a consistent water pressure flowing from showers and faucets
How Often Should You Maintain Your Sewer System?If you only found out today that sewer system maintenance is necessary, you might wonder how often you need to get it done. If you live in an area that frequently experiences hurricanes, you are aware that your roof needs to be regularly checked for damage, such as blown off and missing shingles, to prevent roof leaks when it rains. Or that your gutters should be cleared of debris every now and then to prevent blockages that can cause damage to your home. Some components of your home need maintenance every now and then, while some are fine with annual checks. But where does a sewer system fall in that spectrum? It will largely depend on these factors:
- Number of people in residence
- What goes down the drains of your home
- Any damages and issues present along the sewer lines
- Presence of trees and plant growth nearby
Services Offered by Sewer Companies Near YouWhen you need to run a sewer line, whether for the first time or to replace your old one, sewer companies will offer you quality work that no amount of amateur DIY work can match. But, don’t think that this kind of work is all they can do. These sewer companies offer a wide variety of services that cover installations, repairs, and replacements of such systems. If you want to find out the different services typically offered by sewer companies, when you need them, and their average cost estimates, then keep reading.
Sewer Installation and ReplacementNew sewer installation cost: $1,300 to $4,800, plus fees to connect them to the city sewer Sewer replacement cost: $3,000 to $25,000 for traditional replacement, $3,500 to $13,000 for trenchless sewer replacement, and $1000 on average for sectional replacements only Installing a new sewer system for the first time will not only involve adding a main sewer and connected plumbing to it, but also connecting your sewer line to the city sewers. This hookup costs the most for this kind of project. Here is the typical cost breakdown for you to get a better idea:
- Sewer line installation – from $50 to $250 per foot
- Installation of backflow preventer – from $150 to $1,150
- Trenching - $800
- Cleanout of sewers - $2,000
- Hookup of main sewer to city sewers – depends on location
- New sewer lining – between $1,000 to $4,000
- Under slab or basement replacement – from $150 to $200 per foot. This will be discussed in detail later
- Complete sewer line replacement – from $3,000 to $6,000 but does not include the cost of excavation and trenching
- Trenchless Pipe Bursting or Splitting – cost per foot is between $60 to $300
- CIPP or cured-in-place-pipe – cost per foot ranges from $75 to $250, while the entire project has an average cost of $9,000
- Need for excavation
- Scope of replacement (either only in sections or a full replacement)
- Location of sewer lines (under slab sewer lines cost more to replace)
- Use of special equipment and machinery, such as a sewer camera
- Any repairs and other services needed, such as removal of roots and landscaping
Sewer Line Camera InspectionFlat rate ranges from $220 to $780 on average, but it can go for as much as $1,200 Before your plumber or sewer contractor starts working on your sewer system, he or she needs to find out if the issue is repairable or if a replacement is due. An inspection aided by a sewer line camera is essential to determine the right method of tackling your sewer issues. A sewer line camera consists of a thin, lengthy cable with a camera affixed to the end and is connected to a monitor. The camera is then inserted to the sewer line, pipe, or drain and gives a real-time view of what the inside of your sewer system looks like. Professionals will often let water pass through during an inspection to see if clogging is also an issue and to help make the camera move smoothly while inside the pipes. And because they are very long, they may reach the end of your sewer line and even the sewer itself, allowing the contractor to see all the issues present in the system. An inspection will let you know if you are just dealing with clogging that needs to be removed or cracks that require relining your pipes, among others. This is how important an inspection is.
Sewer Line RepairThe sewer line repair cost varies greatly depending on the kind of repair, but expect to pay from $1,300 to $2,700 on average per project. Repairs done on any sewer line are not a one-method-fixes-everything kind. Each problem requires a certain fix; it can be as simple as removing a blockage or as difficult as relining a damaged pipe. And because of this varying degree of difficulty, making cost estimates without confirming the issue is likely to be inaccurate. This is why the best way to get an idea on how much you might spend on repairs is by getting actual quotes from sewer contractors. Just to give you an idea, here are the most common repairs done on sewer lines and their average costs:
- Removal of tree roots – between $100 to $600
- Cracked, collapsed, or broken sewer pipes – requires replacement and averages $50 to $250 for every square foot. Refer to previous section for detailed costs.
- Clearing of blockages and clogged drains or pipes – from $160 to $460. Refer to the later section for detailed information.
- Sewer line cleaning - $290
- Land clearing – from $370 to $2,500
- Excavation – around $1000 to $2,600
- Lawn sodding – between $0.48 to $2 per square foot
- Asphalt repaving – from $3 to $19 per square foot
Sewer Cleanout Installation CostSewer cleanout installation costs roughly $2000 for the entire project Cleanouts are important to allow easy and convenient access to remove debris that cause clogging along the sewer lines. However, very old homes are likely to not have this feature on their sewer systems. If you own such a home and want to get a cleanout installed, you need to pay not only for materials and labor but also for the use of machinery and other equipment needed. You will likely shell out between $300 to $500 as rental payment for the tools used by the contractor and $70 to $150 for materials. Labor rates will vary, depending on the location and the depth of the ground where the cleanout will be installed.
Cost to Unclog Main Sewer LineUnclogging a main sewer line costs from $100 to $900, depending on method. Clogging along the drains and sewer lines are likely caused by blockages, more often debris. These debris are what goes down your drains, such as cooking oil, hair, hygiene products, and other items. These items will solidify or lump together, until it forms a blockage. If unclogging will only require removal of the debris, there are two methods pros will use: snaking and hydro jetting. These will be discussed in detail in the succeeding sections. Chemical means are also used to remove the clogs present. This is typically used as a last resort because it can cause damage to the pipes, which will mean costly repairs for you. Chemical treatments can be as simple as using common household materials or actual drain cleaners that need to be handled with care, and this method costs around $5 to $300.
Snake Sewer Line CostSnaking a sewer line costs from $100 to $300. The most common method of unclogging, snaking a drain is the first method often used by pros and homeowners alike to remove blockages. This method makes use of a drain snake or auger that is inserted to the pipes, with its corkscrew-like tip used to trap the debris present for easy removal. Snaking is not just for drains, as it is also used by pros to remove debris stuck along the sewer lines. And because it is an easy method that typically only requires minimal effort for pros, it is the most inexpensive way to unclog sewer lines without using chemicals.
Hydro Jet Sewer Cleaning CostCleaning a sewer line using hydrojetting costs from $350 to $600. If snaking is insufficient, hydro jetting to clear blockages and debris stuck on your sewer lines is your best bet. In this method, a water jet is used to remove not just the debris but also any residue that has formed or built up inside the pipes. Different heads, namely spinning rotary, chain flail, and penetrators, are attached to the hose, depending on its purpose. Household sewer lines are suitable for hydro jetting, except for those that are already old. The water pressure may be too strong for the pipes to handle, and this can damage them. This is why sewer camera inspections are vital before hydro jetting to determine whether using this method is possible or not.
Sewer Grinder Pump InstallationSewer grinder pump installation costs ranges from $500 to $3,000 for labor and parts There are instances when a conventional sewer system is insufficient to allow wastewater and waste materials to flow freely from the house to the street sewers, such as on terrains that are flat, hilly, rocky, or wet. In these instances, a grinder pump will greatly help in transporting the wastewater so that it will not settle somewhere along your sewer system. Not to be confused with a sewage pump, a sewer grinder pump acts like a mincer that chops and shreds the sewage and then pumps it to the sewers when full. Its pumps are powerful enough to push it to a sewer or street tank more than a mile away, or even 10 to 30 feet up, which is something a traditional sewer system cannot do because they rely on gravity to do the job. There are different kinds of grinder pumps, from a simple drop-in low-head unit to those that have high lifts and high capacities and are high-powered. Installation costs are dependent on the type of grinder pump you want installed, with high-powered units costing more to install.
Sewer Backflow Preventer InstallationSewer backflow preventer installation costs from $200 to $400 for labor and between $135 to $1,000 for materials Sewage and wastewater coming back up, also known as a backflow, is one of the worst things that can happen in any household. Not only will you have to deal with all the icky stuff, you also get exposed to various health hazards associated with it. Unfortunately, backflow occurs in many homes and if you don’t want it to happen to you, consider getting a backflow preventer. Often confused with a backflow valve that is designed to stop sewer backups by controlling the flow of wastewater, a backflow preventor stops backups by completely blocking the wastewater from going back to where it came from. Also, a backflow valve is suitable for a single connection, such as the pipe for your garden hose, but a backflow preventer is connected to your main sewer line and consists of multiple valves that allows it to work even on your entire sprinkler system. The backflow preventer works with not just a single connection but with your sewer line and sprinkler systems as well.
Sewer Ejector Pump InstallationSewer ejector pump installation costs from $2,500 to $4,000 for parts and labor, including other required services. If your basement is also a living space for you, not just a storage area, you will need a sewer ejector pump, especially if you have a bathroom installed. Wastewater flows from the sewer lines to the sewers thanks to gravity, but this is not the case in basements. Basements are situated below the sewer lines, and wastewater will not go up to on its own because gravity works against it. This is where the sewer ejector pump will come in handy, as it gives the needed push for wastewater from the basement to enter the sewer lines above it.
Cost to Replace Sewer Line Under the HouseCost to replace a sewer line under your house: $3,000 to $25,000 for traditional replacement, $3,500 to $13,000 for trenchless sewer replacement, plus costs of additional services to get access to the sewer line under slab or basement and cleanup and finishing work needed afterwards Sewer line replacements, both traditional and trenchless methods, involve a lot of hard work. And if the line that needs replacement is found under slab or under the basement, it means even more work for any professional. The same methods of sewer line replacement we mentioned earlier will also apply in this scenario. But since additional work is needed before the contractor can access it, as well as after the replacement line is installed, expect to spend more for this kind of project. If trenchless sewer replacement is not possible, under slab trenching is needed and this will cost an additional $150 to $200 per foot.
Cost of Removing Tree Roots from Sewer LinesRemoving tree roots from sewer lines will cost from $100 to $600 for removal only If you like your home to have a bit of foliage and surrounded by trees, there may come a time when its roots can affect your sewer lines. If you were able to catch the root growth in your sewer lines early, you may still be able to use your sewer lines without having to completely replace them when the roots are removed. However, roots present in sewer lines are more likely to cause breaks or cracks over time, which will require replacement. Tree root removal may be done via these methods:
- Chemical root killers
- Mechanical augers
- Hydro jetting
How Much Does It Cost to Hook Up to the City Water and Sewer?The cost of hooking up to the city's water and sewer system will depend on the city and street setup, and can range from $500 to $20,000 Before you can get your water supply and sewer line up and running, it must be connected first to the main water and wastewater service of your neighborhood. To do this, you first need to coordinate with your service providers because they will connect the local water supply and sewer from the house to the street, and it is your plumber who will do the rest of the work, particularly to tie into the plumbing and water system of your home the existing connection made by your service provider. The actual cost of hooking up to the city water and sewer depends on numerous factors, namely:
- Local regulations, as some cities only require hook-up or tap-on fees to connect to the city water supply and sewer system, and others may have additional charges, such as capital or capacity charges, to cover their installation costs and as payment to treatment facilities, among others
- Size of the property, particularly the house and yard, since the longer a pro needs to run a sewer line and water supply line, the higher the cost
- Available water supply; those cities or rural areas that experience water supply shortage will cost more for hooking up the water and sewer lines