Cleaning the sewer system special equipment

How Much Does Trenchless Sewer Repair Cost In Seattle?

Ever wondered what it would cost to repair your sewer line without tearing up your yard? Curious about the latest trenchless technology repair techniques that can save you time and money?

In this blog post, you'll discover the ins and outs of trenchless sewer repair costs in Seattle.

By the time you're done reading, you'll be armed with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision and enjoy the many benefits of this innovative technology.


What Is Trenchless Technology For Sewer Repairs?

worker emerging from manhole

Before we dive into the cost of trenchless sewer repairs, let's take a moment to define exactly what trenchless technology is.

Trenchless technology refers to a range of innovative methods for installing, repairing, or replacing underground pipes without requiring extensive excavation or disruption to the ground surface.

This modern approach to subsurface construction work is particularly beneficial for sewer repairs, as it minimizes damage to landscaping, driveways, and other property features, while also reducing the project's overall cost and duration.

Trenchless technology for sewer repairs encompasses several techniques, including pipe lining (CIPP) and pipe bursting.

Each method is designed to address specific challenges and requirements, such as the pipe's size, material, and condition, as well as the surrounding soil and environmental conditions.

By choosing the appropriate trenchless technology method for your sewer repair or sewer line replacement project, you can enjoy a long-lasting and cost-effective solution with minimal disruption to your property and daily life.


Trenchless Sewer Repair Cost

Open manhole on a city street

The cost of trenchless sewer repair can vary depending on several factors, but to give you a rough idea, here's a breakdown of low, average, and high costs in the Seattle metropolitan area:


Low Cost (Less Than 4' depth): $110-$125 Per Linear foot

For trenchless sewer repairs that are less than 4 feet deep, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining or pipe bursting can cost as little as $110-$125 per linear foot.

Trenchless sewer repair methods are ideal for fixing small issues in existing buried pipes without causing significant disruption to the ground surface.


Average Cost (Less Than 4' Depth): $125+ Per Linear foot

In some cases, the accessibility of the site, the surface material overlaying the sewer line, and the proximity of other underground utilities can also increase the cost.


For example, if the site isn't accessible to the machinery used to create the hole, the site will have to be dug out by hand, which can raise the cost.

Surface Material

If the sewer line is under asphalt, concrete, patio pavers, or a tree, this can also raise the price due to the added cost associated with accessing those areas.

Proximity Of Other Utilities

If the sewer line is close to an internet cable, gas line, or other underground utilities, this can also raise the price due to the added complexity.

On average, expect to pay around $125+ per linear foot.


High Cost (Rare Situations For Over 4' Depth Or Larger Pipe Sizes): $500+ Per Linear Foot

In some cases, deeply buried sewer pipes in difficult-to-access, complex situations may require more extensive trenchless construction methods, which can cost $500+ per linear foot.

*Note about cost per linear foot: The longer the sewer line, the lower the price per linear foot average due to there being less excavation involved.

On the other hand, a shorter sewer line may have a higher cost per linear foot.

This is due to the inflexible cost of setting up the machinery and coming to the site.

Another way to think about it is to imagine you are going to the grocery store to buy some bread. Whether you pick up one loaf or one slice of bread, the cost of driving to the store remains the same!

This is the same reason why a small repair project will typically have a higher cost per linear foot than a large repair project.


Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Cost Factors

Several factors can impact the cost of trenchless sewer line repair or replacement, including:



Plastic pipes of large diameter

The length and diameter of the sewer pipes will influence the overall cost.

Longer and wider pipes require more materials and labor, increasing the price.


Pipe Lining

Man working on sewer system in street

Pipe lining, also known as Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) lining, is a cost-effective trenchless rehabilitation method that can restore the structural integrity of existing pipes without excavation.

The process involves inserting a flexible, resin-coated liner into the damaged pipe and inflating it using air or water pressure. The resin then cures and hardens, forming a new, durable pipe within the existing one.

The cost of pipe lining depends on several factors, including the type of resin used, the liner's thickness, the pipe's size, and the overall length of the repair.

Additionally, the complexity of the installation process, such as the number of bends or junctions in the pipe, can impact the overall price.

Generally, pipe lining is more affordable than other trenchless repair methods, as it requires less specialized equipment and labor.

In the Seattle area, most people pay between $3,500 and $12,000 for 20-30 feet of pipe.


Pipe Bursting

Pipe going into open manhole

Pipe bursting is a trenchless technology method that involves breaking apart the old pipe while simultaneously pulling a new pipe through the existing path.

This technique is especially useful for replacing pipes that are severely damaged, have reached the end of their lifespan, or need to be upsized to accommodate increased capacity.

Pipe bursting is achieved using specialized equipment, such as a hydraulic or pneumatic bursting head, which is inserted into the existing pipe and moved along its path.

As the bursting head advances, it fractures the old pipe and pushes the fragments into the surrounding soil while pulling the new pipe into place.

Pipe bursting costs depend on several factors, including the type of soil (clay, sand, or rock), the pipe's size and material, the overall length of the replacement, and the equipment used.

Factors like the presence of utility lines, groundwater levels, and surface traffic can also impact the complexity and cost of the project.

Despite these variables, pipe bursting is typically more affordable than traditional open-cut replacement methods, as it requires less excavation and surface restoration.

Around Seattle, most people pay between $3,750 and $15,000 for 20-30 feet of pipe.



An excavation to access underground pipes

While trenchless construction minimizes excavation, some digging may still be necessary for access points.

The amount of excavation required will affect the project's cost.



Depending on the local regulations, you may need permits for subsurface construction work.

Permit fees can vary by location and project scope. Many contractors will include the cost of permits because they are familiar with the municipality's systems and can typically get the permits faster than a property owner.

Visit the Seattle and King County government site to view information on applications, permits, codes, and fees regarding sewage systems in the greater Seattle area.



Workers open manhole

Connecting the new pipe to the existing system (tie-ins) may require additional labor and materials, adding to the overall cost.


Additional Costs to Consider

When planning for trenchless sewer repair, don't forget to account for these potential additional costs:


Additional Plumbing

An experienced plumber applying cement glue to PVC pipe join it to plastic pipe

If your project involves relocating or modifying existing plumbing fixtures, you may incur extra costs.



Sewer inspection camera

Professional video inspection of the sewer line before and after the repair work is essential to ensure the project's success. Inspection fees can add to the overall cost.

Dirt Cheap Sewer provides a video inspection service for $175 to $375, depending on which video sewer inspection package you select.


Switching From a Septic Tank to Sewer

If you're converting from a septic system or onsite sewage system (OSS) to a public sewer connection, you'll need to consider the costs associated with decommissioning the septic tank and connecting it to the new system.


Backflow Preventer

Large pipes for sewer system on the wall

In some cases, you may need to install a backflow preventer to protect your property and the municipal sewer system.

This device's cost will depend on the type and installation requirements.


Cost to Replace Trenchless Sewer Line Yourself

Sewer pipes underground

While it might be tempting to tackle trenchless sewer line replacement as a DIY project, it's essential to consider the costs and risks involved.

This type of work requires specialized knowledge, equipment, and skills that most homeowners do not possess.

You could also inadvertently cause damage to your property or underground infrastructure, leading to costly repairs and potential legal issues.


DIY Costs vs. Hiring a Pro

While you might save on labor costs by attempting a trenchless sewer repair yourself, you'll still need to rent or purchase the necessary equipment and materials.

Furthermore, without professional expertise, your project may not be as successful, requiring additional repairs or even traditional pipe replacement down the line.

In most cases, hiring a professional for trenchless sewer repair is the most cost-effective and reliable option.


How to Save on Trenchless Sewer Replacement

To ensure you get the best value for your money, consider the following tips for saving on trenchless sewer replacement costs:

  1. Obtain multiple quotes from reputable contractors to compare prices and services.
  2. Look for seasonal discounts or promotions offered by local contractors.
  3. Bundle your trenchless sewer repair with other outdoor plumbing projects to save on labor costs.
  4. Inquire about financing options or payment plans that can help spread the cost over time.


Frequently Asked Questions

Exposed sewer pipes in the street


Q: How long does trenchless sewer repair last?

A: Trenchless sewer repairs can last 50 years or more, depending on the materials used and the quality of the installation.


Q: Is trenchless sewer repair suitable for all types of pipes?

A: Most types of sewer pipes can be repaired using trenchless technology methods.

However, a professional inspection is necessary to determine the best approach for your specific situation.


Q: How long does trenchless sewer repair take to complete?

A: The duration of a trenchless sewer repair project depends on the method used and the project's complexity.

In many cases, repairs can be completed in as little as 1-2 days. Occupants typically are without sewer service for 5-6 hours while the repair is underway.


Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of trenchless sewer repair over traditional excavation sewer repair?

worker looking down into manhole with pipe

A: Here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each type of repair:


Trenchless sewer repair

  • Avoids excessive digging
  • Best for relining or pipe bursting pipes closer to the surface
  • Less digging means you can save 30-40% on fees
  • Keeps your home and surrounding environment safe
  • Easy to fix if more damages occur in the future


Traditional sewer repair

  • Destroys your property
  • Can fix deep and severely damaged pipes
  • May be charged fees for digging into neighboring properties
  • Can cause damage to your historical home
  • Future repairs may cause even more damage


Contact Dirt Cheap Sewer For All Your Sewer And Outdoor Plumbing Needs

Trenchless sewer repair offers numerous benefits, including minimal disruption to your property and a long-lasting solution for your underground plumbing issues.

By understanding the various cost factors and techniques, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and budget.

Dirt Cheap Sewer is here to help with all your trenchless sewer repair and outdoor plumbing needs in Seattle.

Don't wait – fill out our contact form today or give us a call to get started!