The True Cost of a Sewer Replacement

a sewer repair that hasn't been tamped with the hump of dirt present

The True Cost of a Sewer Replacement

What does a sewer replacement cost & why should you have one done?


Are you considering replacing your sewer?  The cost of such an important – although not glamorous – home repair raises many important questions.  Which of the wide variety of plumbers and pricing available should you choose? Do you really need to have a complete sewer replacement done?  How do you choose a plumber to do your sewer replacement? What should you pay for your sewer replacement? We’re happy to help you answer all of these questions.

Do you really need your sewer replaced?

Your sewer is a vital part of your home.  It’s what safely carries your waste out and away from your living space.  When your plumbing begins to show signs of distress, action needs to be taken.  Being unable to shower, do laundry, run water, or use the toilet makes your home frustratingly unlivable.  We all experience fluke plumbing issues from time to time. Maybe you’ve tried to flush too much toilet paper down the toilet, or your shower is draining slow from hair trapped in the drain.  How can you differentiate plumbing maintenance problems and one-off issues from critical sewer issues?

Symptoms of a damaged sewer include:

  • Sewage backups in your basement or first floor
  • Unusual gurgling from draining a basement tub, shower, or sink drains
  • Backed up toilets
  • Foul odor in basement or lawn
  • Odor from sump pump pit
  • Sinkholes
  • Unusual green patches of lawn
  • Rapid tree or plant growth
  • Visibly seeping sewage

If you notice these symptoms, you will want to have a diagnostic video sewer inspection performed.  Once the issue in your sewer is identified, you can begin to fix the problem.

Some minor sewer issues can be fully resolved and more serious problems can be limped along by a drain clean.  However, a sewer replacement is a fixed cost that does not decrease as time goes on. That means any money you spend on drain cleaning is additional to the eventual cost of replacing the sewer.  If this is the case, at some point drain cleans literally become money down the drain. Although, spending $400 once a year makes more sense to some peoples’ bank accounts than spending $5,000 over the course of a month.  It really breaks down to:

  • How comfortable are you dealing with a backup happening again?
  • How often is drain cleaning required (If you are having a drain clean every 6 months or less, your sewer should be replaced or repaired)
  • Paying for it.  C.A. Taciak & Sons offers financing options for sewer replacements.  Get in touch with us about financing your home’s plumbing repair.

Consider how a sewer replacement protects and increases your investment in your home.  When your sewer is replaced correctly, it prevents backups that cause damage to your finished basement, your first-floor living space, and your personal belongings.  Sewers often run under driveways, sidewalks, and patios. If you are thinking about replacing or installing such things, a sewer investigation should be the first thing you do.  It would be a shame to cut up a brand new perfectly poured concrete driveway if your sewer backs up. If you are selling your home, choosing a sewer replacement over just performing maintenance can help seal the deal.  Prospective homebuyers view a replaced sewer the same way they view a new roof, new air conditioning, and new appliances. For them, it’s one less thing to worry about.

How to choose a plumber for your sewer replacement

A sewer replacement is a complex service.  Permits need to be pulled, utilities carefully excavated around, pipes masterfully replaced, and codes followed.  After the repair is complete, all of that dirt needs to be backfilled to put your lawn back in order. Driving around, you may have seen scarred lawns from messy excavations.  A neighbor may have had a sewer replacement that left them with backups and issues still. Perhaps you have a friend who paid a pretty penny for a new sewer and the price seems crazy to you.  How do you make sure these things don’t happen to you?

Choose a plumber with stellar workmanship

A traditional open cut trenching sewer replacement requires A LOT of dirt to be dug up. Although some plumbers are experts at plumbing, most are not experts at excavating.  Haphazard excavating results in unnecessary trench sizes, broken utility lines, and damage to driveways, sidewalks, trees, or other features of your property. At C.A. Taciak & Sons, we pride ourselves on expert and precise excavation.  Each generation of our family has been raised around heavy equipment operation and we’re happy to say we have a few tricks up our sleeves to keep your hardscaping and lawn safe. We also offer trenchless sewer replacements which result in surgically minimal disturbance to your yard.   

man and child operating a piece of heavy machinery together

Our family has three generations of heavy equipment operating experience

Be wary of pricing that is too good to be true

As homeowners ourselves, we recommend being wary of the cheapest contractor.  Each job requires a certain minimum cost for a well-run company to perform the work.  Anything less than this price point indicates something questionable is going on. Could this contractor be a fly by night company that will not stand by their work?  Will they be using substandard materials? Are they even going to do as much work as they said they would? As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Expertise and customer service may cost more, but it will always be cheaper than having to do it twice. C.A. Taciak & Sons stands behind our work, uses high quality materials, and has over 70 years of expert plumbing solutions.  We give every customer their money’s worth.

Don’t be bullied into “emergency” pricing

On the other end of the pricing spectrum are expensive contractors that leave you wondering exactly what you are paying for.  Usually, these more expensive contractors are offering same-day or next day service. Often this is a sales pressure tactic and they may be overstating how bad your sewer really is.  Of course, there are genuine emergencies, but your sewer may not be one. You could save thousands of dollars by waiting just a few days for “non-emergency” service. Sewer problems are a major inconvenience, but so is spending $3,000+ more than you have to.  Never be afraid to seek out a second opinion!

The cost of a sewer replacement with C.A. Taciak & Sons

So what should you be paying for a sewer replacement?  What is the price point that gets you trustworthy service, craftsmanship, expert work, and great value for your money?  

If you are looking for  the cheapest sewer replacement, we are not for you.  On the other hand, we aren’t the most expensive plumber in Baltimore and don’t make our living off of high pressure sales tactics.  If you are looking for exceptional customer service, quality, expertise, and value you’re looking for C.A. Taciak & Sons.

 

Our sewer replacements range from highs of over $10,000 for complicated projects to as low as $3,800 for relatively small jobs.  While that wide spread can seem scary, rest easy knowing that the average sewer replacement we perform is typically between $4,500 and $6,500.  We are always happy to provide a no-obligation quote for the true cost of your sewer replacement after a consultation.

C.A. Taciak & Sons for sewer replacements

Many plumbers replace sewers but most don’t specialize in underground plumbing.  Sewer repair is our specialty. Underground plumbing is our expertise.

When we replace your sewer, we do it right.  Your property’s underground sewer piping is completely renewed.  This means you get a fresh pipe from your home’s building drain to where your sewer line exits your property.  At least one new cleanout access point will be installed as well, depending on the code requirements of your municipality.  As a homeowner, you are responsible for the portion of your sewer lateral that is on your property (this is what we replace).  

The nature of this work means that there is usually a substantial amount of excavation which is known as trenching.  A trench is dug from the point where your sewer leaves your home to the point that it leaves your property. That is a lot of dirt to be dug up.  We always tarp your yard and move as much landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn ornamentation as needed to minimize disruption to your property. We also put all excavated dirt on heavy-duty tarping to keep your grass as clean as possible in spots where we have not dug.  

After we have replaced your sewer piping, we backfill all of the dirt back into the hole.  Standard backfilling practice will leave a “hump” of dirt above our excavated area. This should settle down over time.  The hump occurs because as dirt is dug up and put back, air is mixed in and the volume of the dirt slightly expands. After backfilling, we lay down grass seed and hay to stabilize the excavated area and minimize mud while the dirt is settling and the lawn is growing back.

C.A. Taciak & Sons also offers:

 

drawing of two craftsman homes comparing a sewer replacement that is tamped and a sewer replacement that has not been tamped

We understand that not everyone can afford a multi-thousand dollar home repair immediately.  That is why we offer one complimentary drain clean when you sign a contract with us for a sewer replacement.  This drain clean will get your sewer open and allow your bathrooms and plumbing to be used while you allocate the money for your sewer replacement.  We know that working plumbing is a necessity, and are happy to offer financing for projects as needed.

Are you ready to work together to restore your home’s sewer line?