Has your sewer line been diagnosed with a problem? Has your plumbing contractor suggested a sewer line replacement as the solution? Chances are high that you’re already considering how much this will cost you.
To help you budget better, you need to know the factors contributing to a sewer line replacement cost and how they can affect your sewer line project. Below are the important cost factors to keep in mind.
Sewer Line Camera Inspection
Sewer line problems need to be diagnosed to reach an effective solution. Your plumbing contractor may need to inspect your sewer line to diagnose such problems. Video camera inspections are a great way to detect the problem area and the extent of it.
With video camera inspection, your plumbing contractor can detect the source of the problem and how best to fix it. It also saves you the cost of digging up the entire sewer line. This inspection can help you to accurately narrow down the problem to the last point on the pipe.
Though depending on the problem, sewer camera inspections can be costly.
The Length and Quality of the Pipe Needed
Your sewer drain replacement cost will also be affected by the type of piping used and its quality. Piping cost is usually calculated per square foot, which means the more piping you need, the more cost incurred on replacing your sewer line.
Other than the piping length, the piping material and labor will also affect the replacement of the main sewer line cost.
Below you can find various piping materials and related costs;
PVC: This is the most affordable piping option on the market. It is both durable and easy to replace. Labor cost is also affordable, depending on your plumbing contractor.
Copper: Copper pipings are more expensive and offer better quality for plumbing needs. The material is durable and longer lasting.
Cast Iron: Cast iron pipings are highly durable. They are cheaper than copper piping but can be difficult to replace. They are also susceptible to corrosion.
Clay: Clay pipings are commonly found in older homes. They are fragile and can damage at any time upon impact. They are often problematic and not recommended for use.
Orangeburg: Often referred to as fiber conduit piping, they are made from compacted wood pulp and were common in the 1900s. They are similar in property to clay piping in that they are fragile and get easily damaged. Orangeburg is not suited for modern-day plumbing needs.
Please note that most plumbers will generally use the existing sewer line piping material for a replacement service. However, for older or outdated homes, upgrading from older sewer line piping materials to more durable and suitable material options may be best.
Note: Older homes with Orangeburg or clay piping cannot benefit from sewer line repairs. Plumbers mostly have to exhume the entire sewer line and replace it entirely. This makes replacing with a better and modern option like PVC cost-effective.
The same applies to cast iron piping. More minor repairs are often harder to carry out and may require a full replacement service. Property owners are better off upgrading these piping materials for peace of mind and flexibility.
Traditional vs. Trenchless Method
The method of sewer line installation can also affect your overall Maryland sewer pipe repair and replacement cost. For clarity, the trenchless sewer line replacement costs more than traditional replacement.
Traditional or trench replacement
This method is simple; hence its name, “dig and replace.” With traditional sewer line installation, your plumber only needs to dig up the old sewer line and replace it with a new piping system. Depending on the extent of the damage, the replacement can be completed in a day or a few days. This method is less expensive but may require extra cleanup costs to clear the excavated dirt, gravel, and landscaping.
This modern method of sewer line replacement reduces cleanup costs but isn’t exactly affordable. There are two installation methods;
- Pipe lining: This applies to pipes with minor damages. The damaged pipe can be re-lined with another one to stop the problem and save cost. For this method, a tube is inserted into the pipe it expands to block the cracked or damaged parts.
- Pipe bursting: This method also involves inserting a new pipe into the old, damaged one. Unlike pipe lining, the new pipe bursts the older one open and assumes its original position and function.
As stated before, there are two major sewer line installation methods; the traditional and trenchless methods. You may need to consider added costs for cleaning your landscaping and restoring it if your home has the traditional sewer line system. On the other hand, you may not spend as much on cleanup and landscaping renovations if yours is a trenchless sewer pipe.
Each installation method has its pros and cons. The replacement cost for traditional installation is affordable as the plumber can easily dig and replace it. However, you’ll worry about the mess created from excavation and the landscaping it has destroyed.
For the trenchless method, the replacement cost is expensive; however, you may not worry much about damages to your landscaping or cleanup costs.
The Plumbing Contractor
Aside from other factors contributing to your overall sewer line replacement cost, your plumber’s labor cost ranks #1. Your plumber’s labor costs can significantly add up, pushing the overall project up by several hundred dollars.
For clarity, your plumbing contractor’s cost will depend largely on several factors, including their years of experience, equipment, average labor cost in your location, etc.
While there’s nothing bad in paying a little extra for quality work, hiring an expert for the job is always the best decision. So here are some tips to help you hire an expert plumber for your sewer line replacement needs.
- Check for years of experience
- Ask for proof of licensing and insurance
- Pay attention to customer service and professional communication
- Ask for a detailed and free estimate
- Offers a written guarantee of work to be completed
- Offers warranty on services while guaranteeing product quality
- Positive online reviews and good ratings from Facebook, Yelp, and Google
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