This tends to be the big question when a homeowner becomes aware that they have a cracked or broken sewer line however, there are other very important factors to consider in addition to pricing.
The primary factors included in a sewer main estimate across the five boroughs of NYC:
Depth of the city sewer will dictate the amount of time it will take to excavate in the roadway, and connect the new cast iron sewer line to the city sewer. It is also important to factor depth of the sewer line in the house.
Distance of the new sewer line from the house, to the city sewer in the roadway. The total distance will also determine the amount of time it will take to install the new sewer pipe. Example: if the city sewer line is 10’ away from the house, it may only take one day to install the entire sewer line which would be less costly than a multiple day job. If the city sewer line is 35’ from the house, it may take three days to install the sewer, which would result in a greater cost than a one day job.
Amount of utilities in the roadway will have a major impact on how long the job will take. If the sewer trench is free of any other utilities, the contractor can use a backhoe to dig for the entire job. If the sewer trench has many utilities, the contractor may have to dig by hand which would result in a more timely job.
Does your house fall on a NYC DOT “protected roadway”? Anytime the NYC DOT resurfaces a roadway from one corner to the next, it falls under a “protected” list for a period of five years. There is additional cost for permits with the DOT, requirements when restoring the roadway and a soil compaction lab which is required to be on site when the road is backfilled with clean soil.
Amount of concrete to be restored will have an impact on the sewer line installation. If you sewer line exits the house through a concrete driveway, this will cost more money than if your sewer exits through your front lawn.
In few cases the contractor may encounter circumstances below ground level that nobody was aware of, including the homeowner. This may result in additional cost if required to meet DEP code.
Recently in Queens NYC
A homeowner reported a sinkhole in front of his property in the street. She contacted DOT when they performed a video inspection of her sewer line which displayed that the old clay pipe was broken and was creating an undermine condition in the street.
The sewer line was replaced in two days, including all permits, DEP inspections and restoration of the roadway and sidewalk. The city sewer was not too deep which allowed for a total cost of $12,000 to replace the entire sewer line
Recently in Brooklyn NYC
A homeowner had been experiencing sewage backups in his basement and decided to hire a local plumber to “snake out” the sewer pipe. The plumber continued to encounter an obstruction at a location twelve feet from the house. At this point he performed a video inspection of the line and found large tree roots inside the pipe.
The entire sewer line now had to be replaced from the house, into the street. The old clay pipe was replaced with new cast iron pipe which would avoid the intrusion of tree roots. The total replacement including all permits, material, labor and restoration cost $15,000.
**Note- The information included in this article is from 2014, pricing is subject to change pending the date you are reviewing this article