Learn Sewer Line Repair Cost versus Sewer Replacement Cost: 3 Points to Make Better Hiring Decisions

Sewer Service
September 29, 2020

by David Balkan

sewer repair vs sewer replacement

If your home sewer pipes are defective, making a hiring decision is certainly a big one. Choosing the extent of work you will have done will include understanding the sewer line repair cost versus a sewer replacement cost. That decision will involve thousands of your hard-earned dollars. In the NYC area, even a relatively simple spot repair will result in a sewer line repair cost of over $3,000.00 While more complicated repairs can cost $7,000.00 or even more.

Sewer Replacement Cost – Every Job Varies But There Are 3 Key Points To Learn

On the other hand, a full home sewer replacement cost is typically $14,000.00 or more. Keep in mind that every job is different, and work varies by neighborhood or municipality. Bear in mind that Balkan provides no obligation and free site visits in the NYC and Nassau County areas. If you find yourself in a situation where you need sewer repair work done, follow the 3 key points listed below.

A sewer replacement cost (as pictured) is over double a sewer line repair cost in most cases.
Full Sewer Replacement In Progress

1. Price Difference: Sewer Line Repair Cost vs Sewer Replacement

As stated above, every sewer job is different. The point of the defect, the depth of the pipe, and the ground conditions are but a few of the cost factors. The 1st great piece of advice is to always get both a sewer line repair cost and a sewer replacement cost quote in writing, regardless of what your initial preference is. In many cases, you may also want to get a price on a partial relay.

Having the cost of sewer line replacement work in writing ahead of time saves you from potential haggling and contractor disagreements at a later date.

What you may ask, is a partial sewer relay

In many cases, the cost of a partial replacement is not much more than a sewer spot repair. As an example, a spot repair in the roadway may not cost much less than replacing your home sewer from the curb line to where it has a connection to the public sewer in the roadway. Conditions may vary and change, and likewise, the price for all scopes of work may also change your hiring decision. That leads up to the 2nd question: What are you getting for your money?

2. Sewer Repair vs Replacement: What Is Your Best Value?

In considering a sewer repair vs sewer replacement, consider what you are getting for your money. In the Boroughs of NYC, the typical length of the run of pipe for a house sewer is around 45′. Weigh that against the typical spot sewer repair, where the usual amount of pipe replaced is around 10′ or less. That translates into less than 25% of the amount of pipe replaced in a typical full sewer replacement. That is when you have to weigh the cost factor vs what you are receiving in return.

Let’s use this as an example, you receive a quote to do a spot sewer on your home sewer and the sewer line repair cost is $7,500.00, and the full replacement costs $14,000.00. You would only be getting around 20% to 25% of your line replaced but at over 50% of a sewer line replacement cost. You would have to weigh that decision very carefully, there is a lot of your money at stake. That leads us to the 3rd and very vital piece of information.

3. Always Verify The Sewer Pipe Defect

This 3rd point could be the most important point of the 3: Verify before you make a hiring decision. Before you even consider a sewer repair versus sewer replacement, make sure that you do in fact have a defect.

Unfortunately, many sewer repairs are started without truly knowing that there is a defect, or what that sewer defect is. In some unfortunate cases, there is not a sewer break or structural defect, and a homeowner absorbs a sewer line repair cost or sewer replacement cost for no good reason.

This can be due to a poor job of sewer cleaning, a bad diagnosis, or the wrong drain cleaning equipment being used. For instance, to clear a grease stoppage a hydro jet must be used; a sewer snake will never do the trick. For a complete explanation of different types of sewer problems, please read Sewer Line Problems Explained.

The Importance Of An HD Sewer Camera Inspection

An HD sewer camera inspection will verify if there is a structural defect on your home sewer line. It will also define the exact point of the defect, and the type of defect. Equipment is also used to determine the exact depth of the pipe at the point of the defect. For instance, a break on one spot of the line is far different than an entire line full of tree roots.

A spot defect, as opposed to a fully defective line, defines your decision between paying the sewer line repair cost versus a sewer replacement cost. As a case in point, if your home sewer lie is fully backpitched, a spot repair will not cure that defect. On the other hand, a grease stoppage can be fully cleared out using a hydro-jet. If a hydro jet clears out your sewer clog, you still must camera the line to find out why it is filled with grease to begin with.

Grease stoppages are not a normal occurrence for house sewers. Commercial buildings such as restaurants and gas stations can be prone to grease stoppages. Another place grease can accumulate is in drain traps. On smaller-sized traps, like those for sinks, the easiest way to clear out the grease is to manually remove the trap and physically clean out the grease. Sink traps can be removed, cleaned, and reinstalled in about 30 minutes or so.

Added Benefits of a High-Definition Sewer Camera Inspection

An additional benefit, as stated above, is knowing how deep your pipe is. Knowing the depth of the sewer line determines the required workforce, and if a backhoe excavator is needed. Those are important factors in determining the cost of the job ahead of time. With all of that said, the price of a sewer camera inspection is a small price to pay for this valuable information. This simple inspection can potentially avoid incurring a sewer replacement cost being added to your budget unexpectedly.

In some cases, you might incur a sewer line repair cost for a spot repair, or even determine that the line was not cleaned properly and no structural defect exists at all.

About Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service

The Balkan Team provides expert sewer and water main repairs and replacements. We are experts in all types of NYC underground plumbing. Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service was founded in 1952. Since its inception, the foundation of the company has been based upon integrity and honesty in all of our dealings. That solid foundation has enabled us to thrive in every economic climate.

The year 2022 actually marked our 70th consecutive year in business. As we have grown, we have become increasingly dependent upon a “Team First” approach.

A Team First Approach Ensures High Standards

What helps ensure a continuation of our high standards, overall integrity, and high company morale, is that same team approach. Complete client satisfaction has always been the number one goal at Balkan Sewer And Water Main. That is why we are NYC’s largest and most trusted sewer and water main service in New York City. Simply put, if it’s plumbing, and it’s underground, we do it. For over 70 years, and for over 90,000 New Yorkers to date, Balkan is “The Team You Trust”.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

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