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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2014

I need words of wisdom for the job of replacing sewer pipe from the house to the street.

My house was build in 62 with normal material for piping to the street for the sewer. I have watched my neighbors slowly have to replace these pipes. I had a drain problem and was told and showed via camera that my pipe is deteriorating and leaking. I would appreciate any words of wisdom in this area. The plumber I spoke with is estimating the job to be $4600 to include 2 clean out valves and hydrojetting the main line.

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5 Answers


I am confused - please respond back (using just the numbers for reference if you want) using the Answer this Question button under your question to keep all the discussion in the same thread:

1) Where was your pipe deteriorated and leaking - in the house walls, under the slab, or outside ?

2) How was it deteriorated - and leaking from inside out, or water coming into the pipe from outside ?

3) I presume your sewer line was cast iron - or was it gray or glack plastic ?

4) Sounds like leak was in wall or under slab if he was talking hydrojetting the main line - which I take to mean your sewer to the sewer main in the street. Was that line run with the camera too - because it is probably the same material, and could be in similar condition.

5) By clean out valves I presume you mean 2 cleanout standpipes - which are pipes to the surface that let you get into the sewer with a rooter or snake and clean the sewer line to the street

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Response to LCD Questions:

The house was built in 62 and the pipe from the house to the street was made of orangeburg. That pipe is delaminating and roots are growing into the pipe. There are no leaks within the house. This has been a problem that my neighbors have been experiencing over the last 10-15 years. You are correct about the clean out definition. They are locations to enter the sewer. They are recommending one outside my house and one where the pipe meets the connection to the street. I currently have none. Thank you for your interest.

Answered 5 years ago by bokinser


Hi, this is Meranda with Angie's List.

You can always get a few quotes on sewer line replacement from multiple plumbers, as it's a fairly standard job. Our Newsroom wrote about the topic of trenchless sewer repair previously, and the article may of interest to you (especially if your sewer line runs under anything you don't want to have to replace). Here's that article: Why dig? Trenchless sewer line replacement bypasses the backhoe

As one point of reference, and your house will of course be different, I personally had to replace my home's sewer line this past winter because of tree roots infilitrating the 20-year-old pipes, and it cost $3,500. We're currently trying to re-grow grass in that area, so factor that into your cost as well if you don't go trenchless. (In our case, we had a straight shot to the sewer in front of our house, and so the added expense of trenchless didn't make sense for us.)

If you need help finding a service provider, you can always search or call member services at 1-888-944-5478. Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago by Meranda


Orangeburg pipe - that is something I have not seen in decades, but I know exactly what you are talking about.

OK- so you are talking replacing your sewer from where it goes under slab/foundation to the street ? OR maybe all of it,including inside house ?

You can find prior similar questions with answers about sewer replacement cost in the Home > Plumbing link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

Cost wise, if you are talking over about 50 feet, have rough terrain, hard digging, have some cutting through interior slab, or have to move a fair amount of shrubs to be able to dig, then $4600 would probably be on the higher but reasonable side. Ditto if easy straight shot across field or lawn but cost also includes replacing interior sewer pipe - then it would probably be on the normal to low cost side.

I don't see you are getting burned by any means - sounds in the range to me. For this large a job, presumably you are getting three bids - and make sure all are for the same scope of work, and that bids specify if also replacing sod, cut sidewalk or drive, cut concrete floor, etc. Usually plumbers/sewer and drain contractors do NOT do that repair work - they leave it up to you to get that done afterwards, but just be sure they are talking apples to apples, not apples to oranges, so bids are comparable.

Also be sure to specify sand or pea gravel bedding around the new pipe, all around AND OVER - SO many contractors may put a bit of bedding under it, but none over - and then dump rocky fill back in right on top of it, that later cracks the pipe. Should typically have 3" bedding all around it - more in some code areas.

You might also check local code requirements for inspection - many areas require city or sewer department inspection before covering and backfill, and if that is not done imagine how good a job the contractor is going to do if he has to dig it back up for inspection, then recover - while it should be at his cost if needed, you can bet workmanship will be shoddy.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


One other option to investigate is having your existing pipe cleaned out and then lined. They use an expanding balloon, to force a strong epoxy resin to reinforce the pipe. IF that's an option for you it might be only $1500-2500. Only a few companies really do this and they specialize but if they will do it and offer a warranty then it's worth checking out.

Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago by Jefferson

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