How Much to Replace Main Drain


The sewer and plumbing system of a house is generally built with the house itself making it as old as the house. For older homes, the risk of having a problem in main drain becomes more likely. So, how much does it cost to replace your main drain? Basically, the cost involved in main drain replacement depends on a number of factors depending on where you live and the amount of repair required.

Cost Influencing Factors

The first factor is to consider the place of breakage or leakage in the drain. Secondly, you must check the main cause of the leakage, as every cause needs a different kind of repair. Third is to check the damage caused to your home due to the leakage. This is an important point as even ignoring for a bit can cause damage to the whole property. If the damage is severe you will need to replace the main drain.

There are basically three methods followed for main drain replacement.

  • First is the traditional dig-up-and-replace method in which a long, deep trench excavation is done for removing the old pipes and installing the new ones. The traditional method costs around $50-$250 for one foot. However, this rate also depends on the local rates, length and depth of the existing pipes and the accessibility. If an average sewer line from the house to the place where it joins the public sewer system needs to be replaced, then it would involve an expenditure of around $3,000-$6,000. In such cases where the project is very complicated the cost may be more than $7,000-$25,000.
  • There are two types of trenchless sewer replacement, where minimal digging is used. One popular technique of trenchless replacement is pipe bursting in which a machine is used to break and push out the old pipe and install a new pipe in its place. The estimated cost for one foot in this method is around $60-$200. For an average household, it can involve expenditure up to $3,500- $20,000 taking into account the length, type and depth of the existing pipe. Any sidewalk repairs involved in the replacement would be extra cost.
  • In the trenchless slip-lining method, which involves the installation of a new, smaller-diameter pipe inside the existing pipe, or a relining of the pipe, may cost around $80-$250 for one foot and about $4,000-$25,000 for an average household sewer.

Of course prices will vary depending on the materials used, the labor charges of your local plumber and the amount of time the process takes for your particular job. No matter the cost, this is not a project you will want to undertake without the right equipment and experience.