How much does pipe lining cost?
The honest answer is – it depends. We’ll provide a ballpark figure below, but to understand how much sewer pipe repair will cost it’s crucial to understand the failures or problems that are occurring with the sewer pipe or drain pipe.
What causes sewer problems?
Problems with drains and sewer pipes can include cracks which allow for root intrusion and reoccurring sewer backups. Misaligned joints in the pipe caused by age or ground shifts can catch debris or allow for root intrusion. There are a variety of other problems that can occur, such as sewer pipe corrosion like channel rot, where the water has etched a groove through the bottom of the cast iron sewer pipe, or other similar issues. It’s also essential to understand the complexity of the drain network itself. Is the problem area just a straight run from the house to the city main, or is it in a more complex area, with smaller diameter pipe, with multiple bends and fittings?
What is pipe camera inspection?
Before any reputable pipe lining installer provides an estimate they will have to perform a sewer camera inspection. Without understanding the pipe problems, what the pipe is made of, the pipe network, and what access points are available, there’s no way to provide a quote for sewer pipe rehabilitation. Usually after a camera inspection a certified contractor will provide an estimate for pipe rehabilitation.
In some cases, however, the sewer pipe repair issues are severe enough to require a preliminary cleaning to get a good look at the pipe problems, assess the pipe network and provide the estimate.
Cleaning the sewer pipe restores the pipe diameter back to original inside diameter. The pipe material, whether it be cast iron, orangeburg, clay, plastic, etc, will determine what tools or techniques need to be used.
The cost of sewer pipe lining
Based on the aforementioned criteria, there is a significant variation in the cost of pipe lining. Relatively simple jobs for residential single-family homes can cost as little as $2500 to $5500. Some contractors may price it as a base cost plus a per foot cost, for example a $2500 minimum base cost, then a lower cost per foot. Keep in mind that except in the simplest of scenarios, replacing sewer pipe is almost always more expensive, takes longer and is more disruptive than pipe lining. In larger diameter, straight pipe with thousands of feet of sewer pipe to be lined and with access points from manholes, significant economies of scale apply making the cost per foot appear very low.
A good way to think about the cost of sewer pipe lining is to consider the formula:
Cost = Pipe Length x Pipe Diameter x Depth of Pipe x Network Complexity
Longer and larger pipes require more material, and pipes that are buried deep in the ground need to handle more structural load. The complexity of the pipe network is also a key factor, with multiple bends and diameter transitions, the number of “Y” and “T” fittings, as well as available access points impacting the time and cost associated with rehabilitation.
The Cost of Not Doing Anything
Ultimately, lining sewer pipes is almost always less expensive, less disruptive, and comes with less hassle than sewer pipe replacement. The pipe lining contractor will have to price in some factors related to the complexity of the specific job at hand, but that factor is almost always less than the cost of sewer pipe replacement. And the cost of doing nothing at all is almost always much higher.