Sewer Repair Options 

Minor Sewer Repair In Front Yard (Excavate 10' or less) *Most Common

Complete Sewer Replacement Through Excavation (Rarely Necessary)

CIPP Liner (aka sleeving) Common Solution

Sewer Repair Beneath The Street (only when necessary)

De-Scaling Old Cast Iron Pipe (Case By Case)


No two houses have the exact same sewer issue, not even next-door neighbors. Therefore, the solutions for each is also unique. One sewer line might be in great condition. One might only need a minor repair. Another might need 15′ of pipe replaced. Some sewer lines are candidates for a “LINER”, others are not.  

Minor Sewer Repair (excavation)  

80% – 90% of all sewer line repair work that we do are simple, minor repairs. This consists of excavating and replacing up to 10 ft of sewer pipe up to 10′ deep in the front yard. As part of the job we hydro-flush the line and install dual clean-out risers when possible. This is typically a one day job. Water is shut off between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. 


Average Price ……  $5,000 (vs $6,000-$7,500 retail)

One of the many things we’ve learned over the years is, just because a sewer line is full of roots and a regular drain snake can’t seem to get a lined cleaned, that doesn’t mean the entire sewer line needs to be replaced. That’s the mentality of the inexperienced or those that want to make as much money as possible on one job (retail). Statistically we know that most sewer lines simply need a 6ft to 10ft section of the pipe repaired. We don’t want to break the sellers bank. We also don’t want to leave buyers stuck holding the bill. 


CIPP LINING.      (aka Sleeving)

Lining a pipe consists of using your existing sewer line as a host for a new pipe. Imagine a REALLY THICK 60 ft sock. We fill that “sock” with epoxy resin. That flexible sock is inserted into your existing pipe (blown in inside out). The resin is now on the outside of the pipe, adhering to your host pipe. It becomes rockhard withing 60 minutes. This process is much less intrusive than excavating. 

Average Price    *$8,000-$9,000    

*If shot from inside the house. No excavation necessary. This price includes up to 60 ft of pipe. $100 per ft beyond 60 ft. 

What could influence the price? Length, access point, city requirements or if excavation necessary to access the line. 


Street Work

This usually comes as a shock to most people but in most cases, the homeowner is responsible for 100% of thier sewer line. Apple Valley takes care of the street portion but they are the exception. If your sewer line is broken in the street, it’s incumbant upon you, the homeowner, to fix it. We only excavate in the street when all else has failed. Street work can get very expensive. Some sewer lines drop down to 30 ft or more. In this case and others, excavation is a last resort.

Price $9,000+

This price is for excavating up to 10′ long and up to 10′ deep in the street. 50 sq ft of asphalt replacement included.

What factors could effect that price? Length, depth, underground utilities, city permits. Requirements vary from city to city.

De-Scaling of Cast Iron Pipe

Old cast iron pipe is a problem we see in approximately 5% of  all the houses we work on. That ads up to a lot of houses with  bad cast iron pipe. Bad = Needs attention or else you’ll experience back-ups.

The drain system of most homes consist of cast iron pipe under the house and a different material outside the home (clay, concrete or orangeberg). In some cities (Edina, Roseville) the sewer line is cast iron all the way to the city main. Roots cannot get through cast iron pipe but homeowners still experiences back-ups. Why? Simple, the inside of the cast iron pipe is rough with build-up. Ideally the inside of any sewer line should be smooth, without any type of obstruction or impediment. Sewer lines will back-up when there is any type of impediment to the flow. What’s the solution? De-Scaling.

This is almost impossible to quote with a broad brush. We would need to video inspect the sewer to determine if this process in an option for your situation.


An average of 5% of all sewer line issues are UNDER the house

Issues with clay pipe such as roots and cracks / breaks are roughly 95% of the problems we find. The other 5% of all drain line issues are under the house.

Old, corroded cast iron pipe is more prevelant that you think. Take this into consideration, the food that is put down the kitchen sink never really makes it to the sewer line. You’ll never see food in a sewer line. It gets stuck in the 2″ kitchen drain line and then over the years it decomposes into black sludge. The longer the line, the more likely the pipe is rotting(more sludge).

What can you do about pipe that is rotten out? At this point, nothing. It’s nobodies fault. It’s one of those unavoidable evils with plumbing. Out of sight, out of mind.


Rotten Branch Lines

Although It’s not as common as sewer line repair, corroded or rotten branch lines (kitchen, floor drains) are still issues we regularly see. Unfortunatley a video camera will not be able to detect a break or crack in a 2″ line full of sludge. In most cases the only way you realize that your kitchen line or floor drain line is rotton is when it finally backs-up. Someone attempts to clean the line but instead pulls out mud on thier cable. At that point it’s too late for any maintenance.

Bad Floor Drains

A clear, functioning floor drain is essential to avoiding property damage. Old cast iron floor drains will accumulate build-up in the p-trap. Unfortunately there aren’t very many warning signs when a floor drain is clogged. If water doesn’t drain down it regularly, how would you know it’s full of gunk and clogged? Unfortunatley you only find out when you have an emergency water line break and the water has nowhere to go. Get those floor drains checked.

Rarely used basement toilets

We’ve seen it too many times. Basement toilets or drain lines that are rarely used will sometimes accumulate build-up that petrifies over time. Once it finally backs up it’s very difficult to remove the petrified build-up. Again, this situation is unforeseeable. It doesn’t happen to every basement drain but when it does, we’re not surprised. To be fair, it’s nobodies fault. 


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Buying or selling a house? We don’t like surprises and neither should you.