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Question DetailsAsked on 10/8/2017

What is the typical price for replacing the main sewer pipe made of orangeburg from house to road? Bradenton, FL

House was built in 1959 with whole house repipe in 2015. There is a depression that looks like a sink hole, but its the original tarpipe collapsing in the front yard for the last 7 years. Now the plumbing inside the house is backing up more frequently. Primarily backed up after lots of rain; now its when a foreign object is flushed - even 2 ply toilet paper.

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Certainly you are into the age where Orangeburg would be expected to need replacing and start causing problems. (For those who read this and have never heard of Orangeburg pipe, it is basically an asphalt/tar paper or tarred wood fiber formed pipe - discontinued probably about late 1970's but common in late 1800's through 50's houses, especially back east and in the deep south.)

However, if money is tight you would have the option, for commonly around $500 range and sometimes less for very shallow burial (say around 3 feet or so), of having the sinkhole dug up and the pipe fixed at just that one location - it could be that a large rock or tree root or such has caused the break and you might get some more life out of the pipe with intermittent rapairs, if that is necessary. Digging up just one spot for a temporary repair (which you might want anyway if your contractor can't do the full replacement for a number of days or weeks, which considering hurricane repairs might be the case) would get you operational and also give an idea of the overall condition of the piping. How long you intend to live in this house matters too of course - if your retirement or "forever" home you might be more inclined to invest the money in the full replacement up front.

Typical" replacement cost may or may not have meaning in your case - but for shallow burial sewers like yours probably is (no frost penetration depth to get below) numbers in the $2000-4000 range are normal for roughly 70-100 foot runs, with a nationwide average reported at about $2500. Of course, whether the repipe included the DWV (waste) lines inside the house and any under-slab runs to the outside of the foundation will make a significant difference in total cost - much simpler if the repipe brought new sewer line to a cleanout outside the foundation line.

Note because of the current backups, when replacing line I would include in the scope of work a jetting of the rest of the sewer line inside the house from at least a point above the basement/bottom floor to flush out any solids/paper material which may have settled in that section of the line due to the backups, so you have a clean line to work with.

Per-foot costs can be as low as $20-30/LF installed but generally reports show more around the $50/LF range - though that average includes areas with very deep burial, so in your pretty cheaplabor area and likely shallow burial I would be expecting something in the mid-20's to 30's per LF plus the sewer main connection cost. In cases where rerouting or boring underlarge trees or buildings or drives is necessary and/or where a new connection to the city sewer is needed (likely in your case with Orangeburg pipe, though they may have studded out metal or concrete pipe to the sidewalk area during construction which might still be usable) then can commonly get into the $50-100/LF range.

Connection cost you would have to talk to your utility (or better yet include that in plumber's scope of work) - because it is commonly in the street, so you will be paying utility cost not only for the utility connection of the new pipe to the street sewer, but also traffic control and repaving costs - which can run from around $1000 to as much as $10000 depending on area and on whether the street is a calm residential subdivision street or cul de sac, or the significant connector street or state highway.

I would include all permitting and connection costs in the scope of work - so the plumber is responsible for arranging and coordinating with the utility on this, as well as dealing with any other utilities whose lines the excavation will cross.

You can find a fair number of previous similar questions with answers in the Home > Plumbing link under Browse Projects at lower left - a few of those will come up if you put the phrase - sewer replace - into the Ask box at upper left.

Certainly, since this is a significant job, if doing a replacement I would get several responsive bids - which will also likely give you options on how quick it can be done.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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