Drain Replacement: What does it involve and how much does it cost?

How much does it cost to replace a sewer or stormwater drain?

Repairing a drain is always preferable to drain replacement. However, in some cases a drain pipe may be so badly decayed or damaged that replacement is the only viable option. There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of drain replacement, including how much pipe needs to be removed and the location of the pipes. This article looks at what drain replacement involves and some of the factors influencing the cost of repairs.


CCTV drain inspection

The first thing our plumber will do when they arrive at your property is inspect the pipe using CCTV drain inspection cameras. These small cameras can travel deep inside underground pipes and allow for real-time inspection by our plumbers via a monitor at the surface. Drain inspection cameras help determine the cause and location of the broken pipes as well as the overall condition of the pipes. If the pipe is badly blocked and camera access is restricted, our plumber may attempt to jet the line before sending the camera back down.

Causes of damaged drain pipes

The most common cause of damaged drain pipes is tree root intrusion. Tree roots are attracted to the moisture and minerals inside drain pipes and they can enter through tiny hairline cracks. Minor tree roots intrusions can be repaired with hydro jetting. However if tree roots are not dealt with early on, they will continue to grow inside the pipes until it is completely blocked. As the tree roots expand they can cause large cracks in the pipes. Depending on the extent of tree root damage, either part of all of the pipe may need replacing.

Another cause of damaged pipes is old age. Many older sewer systems were made with ceramic or metal pipes which are continually deteriorating and corroding. Metal pipes can rust over time while ceramic pipes are prone to cracks and sagging.

Sewer and stormwater problems can also arise due to faulty or incorrect installation. Pipes may become misaligned or completely collapse if installed incorrectly. Even if the pipes themselves aren’t damaged, plumbing pipes rely on gravity to drain correctly. If the pipes have been installed with inadequate fall this can lead to multiple problems including blocked drains. Incorrectly installed pipes will need to be replaced to ensure your home is protected from damage.

Finally, pipes may be accidentally damaged by other tradesmen during home renovations. We often get called to jobs where excavator drivers have accidentally hit and cracked an underground pipe. Depending on the extent of the damage, our plumbers may be able to patch a small section of pipe.

Pipe location

Underground pipe repairs can be disruptive and costly depending on how difficult it is to access to the problem area. For example, pipes may require that a tree or part of the driveway be removed in order to access the pipe. We’ve even been called to jobs where the pipes are located underneath the garage. The depth of the pipes is another factor that will influence the cost of replacement.

Our plumbers use drain cameras and pipe location technology to locate underground pipes, minimising the amount of digging required. Less time spent finding pipe and less digging results in savings for our customers.


Cost of drain replacement and drain repairs

As indicated above, there are numerous factors that can influence the cost of drain replacement. This makes is almost impossible to give an exact amount. However, the below can be seen as a very general guide:

  • $1,000-$3,000 to replace a small section of drainage pipes

  • $5,000-$30,000 to have the entire stormwater or sewer system excavated and replaced with a brand new system.

JAB Plumbing Solutions are expert drain plumbers. We offer free quotes and free second opinions for all blocked drain and drain replacement jobs in Sydney. Call 1800 225 552.