septic system repair

Here’s How Much You’ll Pay For Septic System Repair

In the United States, over 20 million homes, or 25%, use septic tanks for their sewer needs.

If they are maintained and installed right, septic tanks are safe and easy to use. Like all systems, as they age they begin to break down or need additional maintenance. Septic system repair is a fact of life for those who rely on them for their everyday sewage needs.

If you have a septic system or are looking to purchase a house with one, how much will you spend on septic system repair?


Average Cost of Septic System Repair

The average home septic system repair averages between $200 and $6,000. This wide range is due to a multitude of factors. A septic system may seem like a simple box buried underground, but this isn’t the case. Here are a few of the factors that can go into system repair costs.

  • Type of damage
  • Amount of damage
  • Part cost
  • Labor cost
  • Preparation cost (heavy equipment rental, etc.)

Type of Damage

How is the system damaged, and is it still operational? If it is, the cost might be lower, but remember that any type of damage to a septic system can require earth moving equipment and other associated expenses.

Damage to lines can increase the cost, as those lines will have to be dug up. It can also cause damage to your yard and require some repair work to get the lawn back in good condition.

Amount of Damage

How pervasive is the damage, and does the septic system need to be replaced or is it repairable? In some cases, it will be cheaper to replace, if the amount of damage is too extensive. Sometimes the amount of damage is such it will require lines repaired, and tanks to be replaced.

Part Cost

In most cases, the damage will require some part or parts of the septic system to be replaced. Depending on what septic system you have, the amount and cost of parts can vary. This can mean anything from a $20 dollar lid or cap to a $2,000 dollar tank.

Labor Cost

As with any repair or project that requires skilled labor, the labor cost is something to consider. The more difficult the terrain around your property, the harder the system is to get to, which will increase the amount of labor it requires. If you use a dedicated septic system contractor vs a plumbing contractor can make a difference as well.

Preparatory Costs

With septic systems, there is always more going on than you can see. Contractors will often hire their own services, but this does increase what they charge you. Septic systems often have to be dug up to check over, without even starting on repairing any problems.

You may also have a service come out and check for the location of lines. This makes the work easier in the long run, but each step of the process will increase the cost.

Besides these considerations, one of the largest factors will be the type of septic system that you have.

Types of Septic System

One of the key factors in determining the cost is figuring out what type of septic system you have. There are a lot of models of septic systems, with the majority of them being traditional, underground systems. That doesn’t mean yours will be though, so it is worth knowing.

Here are the common septic systems you may have:

  • Conventional Septic Tank
  • Gravity Septic Tank
  • Anaerobic Septic Tank
  • Aerobic Septic Tank
  • Mound Septic Tank
  • Chamber Septic Tank

Each one of these models will have a different associated cost because the work will be different. The model you have will often have to do with the property it is on. For instance, a gentle slope is required for a gravity septic system, whereas a mound is good in areas with high groundwater.

Age of the Septic System

Something to keep in mind is the age of the system that you have. If it is over 15-20 years old, it has reached the end of its designed life. This means that you are better off getting a new system and replacing it because repairs will continue to stack up and function could cease at any time.

Common Problems with Septic Systems

The average cost of septic tank system repair varies because there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Often roots can invade, breaking lines and damaging the tank. Concrete can crack, and metal can rust, causing damage to any exposed part of the septic system.

Having your septic system inspected at least once a year will help you keep it in better condition. This can also help to reduce any repair or replacement costs you may incur.

Basic Repairs

There are basic repairs that you can do for very little money. Replacing a lid, for instance, might only cost you $20 dollars. The expensive repairs come in when you have to dig up the septic system or if there is extensive damage.

Average Cost of Septic System Repair

For those problems that are beyond the realm of basic repair, you need to find a plumbing contractor or a septic tank contractor. If you live in an area where septic repair is common, you may find that the price will be on the lower end, and in more developed or populated areas the cost may be on the upper end.

A conventional septic system operates with a tank and a trench. The tank is where wastewater goes first and separates. The solids sink to the bottom while the oils and waters float to the top. This is then filtered through a gravel or sand trench and back into the soil around.

You’ll notice where this trench is because often it has the lushest, greenest grass on the property around it. These systems are fairly simple and the repairs are among the cheapest. This is true of all septic systems with only a few exceptions.

Here are the most common septic system repair issues and how much they average to repair:

Drain or Leach Field

Called a drain or leaching field, these areas can experience overloading and backups, where wastewater will flood the entire area. Having one repaired can cost as little as $3,500, but based on the size of the field could be up to $11,000.

The reason for this cost is that drain fields have to be properly graded and it can require extensive use of heavy equipment. If you have a small system on flat ground, the cost will be much lower.

Septic Tank Pump

The pump operates based on how full the tank is. A trigger inside the tank activates the pump when it gets close to full, and the pump then forces waste through the pipe and out into the draining field. If this pump goes back, you can expect to spend between $500 to $1,000 or more.

Tank Filter

The tank filter works by being a last line of defense, filtering out the thicker waste before it can be moved into the drain field. This helps to protect the drain field, but these filters are among the most common fixes that have to be done. Prices range from $200 to $300.

You can fix this without resorting to hiring a contractor, but it will require you to access the septic system itself. This can be dangerous and isn’t very clean.


A baffle is a piece that helps to direct waste flow through the tank. When the baffle goes out, the waste can’t move through the septic tank, which could lead to a disaster, like the wastewater backing up into your house. These pieces are cheap, with repairs averaging $40 to $100.

They are easy to replace but require getting into the septic tank itself. Without the baffles the entire system is paralyzed, so the repair is urgent.

Find the Right Contractor

One of the main ways to control the cost of your repairs is to find the right contractor. You can receive multiple quotes from more than one contractor if you use an online service built to help you find what you need. Don’t risk overpaying, get more than one quote and compare them today.

Septic System Repair

When the time comes for septic system repair, don’t search for septic system repair near me. Instead, you can turn to 5Estimates to find contractors you can trust.

We can get you multiple quotes so that you won’t have to worry about overpaying. Get the septic system repair you need so that you don’t have sewer coming into your home.

1 Comment
  1. A septic system should last you up to forty years if properly maintained and taken care of. However, sometimes, accidents can happen that result in you needing septic tank repair. The average costs for septic tank repairs can vary.This can vary so much depending on how much damage your septic tank or lines have.

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