Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is learning their sewer line is broken and needs repair. If this has happened to you, it’s important to replace the line as soon as possible. Your next question will likely be: how long will this take? We get it: any kind of plumbing work causes a disruption to your family’s life.

There are many factors that will impact how long it will take for a sewer line replacement. In general, most replacements take between one and three days to complete. In the case of a breakage under a street or sidewalk, this can take longer – about two to three days for a sewer repair.


As said above, most residential sewer line replacements take between one and three days to complete. However, some only take a half a day, whereas others can stretch out longer than three days. From location to severity of damage, there are many factors that come into play when determining a timeline.

  1. Location: First and foremost, where the break or clog is located can impact the timeline. Some areas are easier to access than others, so if the point of damage is right underneath your yard, it can be easily and quickly fixed. But if the area of damage can’t be determined right away or it has occurred underneath a sidewalk or street, it will take more time.
  2. Depth of the House and Public Sewer Lines: The required depth of the excavation will also impact time. A house that is built slab-on-grade, rather than a house with a full basement below-grade, for instance, may take two whole days less for replacement. Excavating less than five feet deep is very different than excavating eight feet deep or more.
  3. Type of Damage: The kind of damage involved may also determine replacement time. Some damage types, such as grease blockages, are easy to fix, whereas back pitched sewer lines can take five days to replace. If the entire line is being replaced, the type of damage doesn’t play that big of a role, though. A tree root sewer line replacement is not too much different than any other cause. That being said, the type of issue affecting the pipe, whether roots, grease, or a back-pitched pipe, will greatly determine whether a full replacement or a repair is needed.
  4. Pipes: Finally, the pipe material and age will impact the timeline since certain materials need more care than others. Older pipes, for example, require additional care during replacement to ensure temporary sewer service remains intact for occupants.
  5. Resources: Consider whether the plumber has all the necessary materials available on the trucks already or if they have to rent equipment or order materials and fittings from outside sources.

Why It’s Important to Understand Timelines

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the timeline for sewer line replacement so you can adequately plan out the preparations. This knowledge will also help to minimize disruptions and inconveniences brought on by the process. When you have a better idea of replacement time, you can estimate costs you may have to pay out in terms of alternative arrangements or temporary accommodations.

Knowing a timeline will also help you adjust your schedule so your daily routine will not be impacted too much.

Because traditional sewer line replacement involves excavation work, this can block various access points around your property or cause disruption to water and sewage services. A timeline in hand makes it easier to manage your expectations and determine secondary access points, such as side or back doors.

Main Sewer Line Replacement

The main sewer line for your home is the line that connects your sewer or septic tank to the city’s line. When your main sewer line breaks, it needs to be replaced quickly so as to avoid disruption to your routine. You will need to hire a professional plumber in Sacramento who specializes in sewer line replacement.

Many main sewer lines extend well beyond the house and go out into the street. If this is the case for your home, your main sewer line may take longer to replace – perhaps up to four or five days because trenches need to be dug outside your home and in the street.

That being said, many plumbers, including Honest Sewer & Drain, offer trenchless sewer line replacement which can address the problem much more quickly without the need to rip up your landscaping. Thanks to trenchless technology, there is no need to dig an expensive and destructive ditch to replace or repair your sewer line. Instead, plumbers use hydraulic pipe bursting equipment to replace the lines with minimal disruption to your landscape.

Get a Free Quote From Honest Sewer & Drain

Honest Sewer & Drain offers free sewer camera inspections for homes with accessible cleanouts, allowing us to give you an accurate estimate so you can understand total cost before moving forward. Get your free quote on sewer line services when you contact us at (916) 690-5858 or fill out our online form.