How Much Does Sanitary Sewer Line Maintenance and Repair Cost in New York?
If you’re like most New Yorkers, you probably believe the only thing rumbling underground should be the subway, and the only living things concerned with the sewers should be the rats. If something goes wrong with your sanitary sewer line — in the City that Never Sleeps or elsewhere in the Empire State — you’re gonna be the one with some restless nights. The bad news? Brace yourself for this one: Sewer line maintenance and repair prices in the state of New York typically fall at or above national average levels.
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Your sanitary sewer system is a network of underground pipes that does the dirtiest of all household jobs: carrying sewage and greywater out and away from your home. When you brush your teeth, wash the dishes or flush the toilet, that water doesn’t just disappear. Your sewer line is responsible for carrying it to a wastewater treatment plant.
Sewer systems — marvels of modern plumbing — are designed to be out of sight and out of mind. But sometimes, they’ll make themselves known. Gurgling toilets, sewage smells, slow drains and puddles of sewer water in your yard are all symptoms of a sewer line backup. One odd presentation of a sewer-line leak is a particularly (and perhaps suspiciously) green patch of grass in your lawn. Why’s it so green? You can probably fill in the blanks.
In that case, you’re probably going to need repair. That involves digging a trench to access the line, breaking the pipe, removing the damaged section and replacing it with a new one. Trenchless repairs are a little easier (and cheaper) because of the lack of digging involved.
Don’t worry. We’ve anticipated your next question: What’s this bill going to look like?
Sewer line maintenance and repair costs vary wildly based on a number of factors, like the type of pipes you have and whether excavation work is needed. If the technicians are going to have to dig up your yard to get to your sewer line, the total price depends on anything from how deep your lines are buried to what type of soil they’ll have to dig through. And, of course, the local cost of living also plays a factor.
Regular maintenance can help prevent cracks that lead to major repairs, but this, too, comes at a price.
The national average cost for diagnosis is $83 (CAD 106), for maintenance is $408 (CAD 520) and repair is $3,708 (CAD 4,726).
Below, you’ll find the average service prices based on aggregated HomeServe data reported by our network of contractors across the state of New York, which should give you a good idea of how much you’ll have to pay for sanitary sewer line maintenance and repairs.
(At the time of publication, pandemic-precipitated materials shortages were impacting home maintenance, repair and construction sectors across the board; price fluctuations caused by those supply-chain issues are not necessarily reflected here.)
Sanitary Sewer Line Diagnosis: $91 (CAD 116)
Before they can get to work on your line, the technician will likely need to come out and run some tests to determine what’s wrong with your system. In New York, the fee for this is about 10% higher than the national average.
Sanitary Sewer Line Maintenance: $390 (CAD 497)
If you want to avoid a larger sewer system breakdown, you’ll want to stay on top of regular maintenance and cleaning. A maintenance service call usually involves spraying your pipes with high-pressure water to clear any would-be clogs. The technician may also send a scope down the pipe to check for cracks and separations that could cause issues down the road.
In New York, you can expect to pay about 4% less than the national average for sewer line maintenance. Experts recommend large households have their pipes serviced once every two years.
Sanitary Sewer Line Repair: $4,548 (CAD 5,800)
Shifting earth and invading tree roots can do a number on your sewer pipes. Over time, your pipes may separate or crack, causing leaks and full-on ruptures. Whatever the reason, if a technician says you’re going to need a sewer line repair, you should brace yourself for the accompanying costs.
New Yorkers spend, on average, 23% more on sewer line repairs than the average American.
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- Got a Clogged Sewer Line? Here’s What to Do
- What's the Difference Between Septic and Sewer?
- Never Flush These 11 Things Down Your Toilet
All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.