A new pipe being inserted into an old pipe

Pipe Bursting Cost In Seattle: What You Need to Know

Ever woken up to a broken sewer pipe? Or worried about damaging your beautiful landscape during pipe replacement?

Nobody enjoys dealing with sewer line problems, let alone the costly repair. If you're a property owner in Seattle, WA, you probably relate.

But what if you could repair your sewer pipe without digging up your yard and causing minimal damage?

Thanks to the wonder of trenchless pipe bursting, you can!

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about pipe bursting, from costs to procedures, benefits, and more.

Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about your sewer line repair or replacement needs.

We promise it'll save you headaches, protect your landscape, and potentially save you cash!

How Much Does Pipe Bursting Cost?

workers repair sewer pipes

When it comes to the cost of pipe bursting in Seattle, WA, prices can range depending on a variety of factors.

However, here's a general idea of what you might expect:

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

This cost range typically applies when the existing pipe is less than 4 feet deep.

The process involves the replacement of the old pipe with a new pipe using a trenchless method, causing minimal damage to your property.

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

When the sewer pipe is at the same depth, but the condition of the old sewer lines or the surrounding soil requires additional work, the cost can go up.

Accessibility of the site and the type of surface material overlaying the sewer line are typical reasons why some projects have higher costs.

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

This is for less common situations where the sewer line is deeper than 4 feet or when a bigger pipe diameter is needed.

The pipe bursting method, in these cases, may require more specialized equipment and labor.

*Note regarding cost per linear foot: The price per linear foot typically gets lower the longer the sewer line is due to the inflexible cost of coming to the site and setting up the pipe-bursting machinery.

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 why a small repair project will typically have a higher cost per linear foot than a larger repair project.

What Is Pipe Bursting?

New pipes being inserted into older sewer lines

Pipe bursting is a trenchless sewer repair technique used to replace old pipes with new ones without having to excavate large sections of your property.

The pipe bursting process involves creating an insertion pit and a receiving pit, then using a pulling machine and pulling rods to pull a bursting head through the old pipe.

As the bursting head moves through the existing pipe, the head breaks it apart, and a new high-density plastic pipe lining is simultaneously pulled into place.

The fragments of the old pipe are pushed into the surrounding soil, which eliminates the need for extensive excavation to remove the old pipe.

This process is also known as trenchless pipe bursting due to the minimal digging required.

This innovative method of pipe replacement was first developed in the late 1970s and has since become a popular technique due to its numerous benefits.

Not only is it less invasive than traditional methods, but it also generally results in less damage to the surrounding property, saving homeowners time and money on landscaping repairs.

It's also generally less expensive than traditional methods of sewer line replacement and can be completed within one to two days, depending on the depth of the excavation points and the presence of any major obstructions.

Occupants of the home are typically without sewer service for only 5-6 hours.

When Should You Use Pipe Bursting?

Helmet lying on a pipe

Pipe bursting is an excellent solution for a variety of sewer line problems.

Here are some scenarios where this method would be appropriate:

You Need To Update An Existing Connection In A Municipal Setting

If your sewer line connects to city sewer lines, you may need to update the connection due to city regulations or upgrades.

You Cannot Feasibly Dig Through The Old Pipe Area

If the area around your old pipe is filled with obstructions, like trees or buildings, pipe bursting is an excellent option.

There’s A Need To Increase The Size Of A Specific Pipe

One of the advantages of pipe bursting is that it can install a larger pipe in place of the old one.

You Need To Replace A Defective Pipe But Don’t Want To Ruin A Lawn

If your sewer line runs under your beautifully landscaped yard, the last thing you want is to dig it up for pipe repair.

Pipe bursting requires minimal excavation, preserving your lawn's aesthetics.

Is Pipe Bursting Safe?

Workers repairing a sewer line

Absolutely! Pipe bursting is a safe and efficient method for sewer line repair as long as it is performed by professional plumbers.

It's also an approved method for replacing water and gas mains.

Professional outdoor plumbers use this method to ensure minimal damage to your property and the nearby areas.

It's important to note that safety also depends on the expertise of the company handling the job.

How Long Does Pipe Bursting Installation Last?

A properly performed pipe-bursting installation should last at least 50 years.

The plastic used for the new pipe is incredibly durable and designed to withstand the test of time.

Can You DIY A Pipe Bursting Project?

Plumber working on sewer system.

Pipe bursting requires specialized equipment, like a pulling machine and bursting head, as well as professional expertise to execute correctly and safely.

For these reasons, it's not recommended as a DIY project.

Letting professionals handle your sewer line problems ensures the job is done right the first time, saving you money and potential headaches down the line.

How Much Do Seattle Property Owners Typically Pay For A Pipe Bursting Repair?

In our experience, most people pay between $3,750 and $15,000 for 20-30 feet of pipe in Seattle and the surrounding metropolitan area, which covers Pierce County up into Snohomish County.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Pipe Bursting

Various sizes of pipes

Several factors can affect the cost of pipe bursting in Seattle and the nearby areas. Here are a few to consider:

The Pipe Bursting Machine

The type and size of the equipment used for pipe bursting will impact the overall cost.

Bigger pipes or deeper lines may require larger, more costly equipment.

Proximity Of Other Utilities

If the sewer pipe is close to a gas line, internet cable, or other underground utility, there may be additional costs associated with avoiding those obstacles.

Additional Accessories

This includes items like the expander head, pulling rods, and plastic pipes.

The size and length of these components can influence the final price.


In some instances, you may need a permit for sewer line repair or replacement. The cost of permits in Seattle, WA varies.

Repair Material

The type and quantity of the replacement pipes used will affect your final bill.

Different materials have different costs, with plastic/PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or HDPE (high-density polyethylene) typically being used for its durability and cost-effectiveness.

Surface Material

If the broken sewer pipe is under asphalt, concrete, trees, or patio pavers, there may be an additional cost due to the complexity of accessing those areas.


Labor costs can vary based on the complexity of the project and the time it takes to complete.

Area Repair

Excavating a sewer line

After the new line is installed, there might be a need for minor area repair. This can include landscaping or pavement work, depending on where the sewer line runs.


If the site isn't accessible for the machinery to create the entry hole, the site will require digging out by hand, which can increase the overall cost.

Dirt Cheap Sewer Is Seattle's Premier Pipe Bursting Expert

Now that you're equipped with a wealth of knowledge about pipe bursting, wouldn't you agree it's a game-changer for sewer line repair or replacement?

Not only can it save your lawn from becoming a construction site, but it also often turns out to be more cost-effective in the long run!

At Dirt Cheap Sewer, we're experts at pipe bursting.

We use the latest techniques and equipment to ensure a smooth and effective service, causing minimal disruption to your property.

So, why wait and let old sewer lines become a bigger problem?

Embrace the future of sewer repair with trenchless pipe bursting.

Don't let sewer line problems ruin your day.

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call.

Let us tackle those pipes while you relax knowing your yard and your wallet is in safe hands!