When you think of plumbing, what sort of things do you think of? Maybe your mind jumps to a water heater being installed or a clogged toilet being fixed or the pipes under your kitchen sink being replaced. No matter what the issue, most can be fixed for under $500, depending on the cost of the materials. Apex Plumbing started as a traditional plumbing service and repair company, so we know those issues well. However, over time, we began to see a need for a specialist in underground plumbing (wet utilities) and we now work on that exclusively.

For sewer repairs and water line replacements, the average price of a job falls somewhere between $2,500-$5,000, with full sewer line replacements running $6,000 to $10,000 or more. You may wonder how underground plumbing could possibly be so expensive when traditional plumbing repair is often a fraction of the price! Could a sewer repair really cost ten times more than an interior repair?

Well, there are a lot of factors that go into the high price of a sewer repair or water line replacement on an estimate. Several questions must be asked before any bid is sent out. What is the problem? Where is the problem? Is this an emergency? How deep is the line? Is it in the public right-of-way, on private property (or both)? How far is it from the property? Is it a trenchless or conventional replacement? Is there access for equipment? What materials need to be used? What city is it in and what permits do they require? How many crew hours will it take to finish?

Unlike traditional plumbing, which usually involves only one permit (or no permit for many small repairs) in underground plumbing work, it is not uncommon to have several permits and inspections required. Some of these permits can cost upward of a thousand dollars – sometimes more, even on residential repair work, depending on the municipality. The use of heavy construction equipment like backhoes and dump trucks requires us to have truck drivers running equipment all along the Front Range. Sewer repairs cannot be accomplished by one worker, so each crew has at least three. These crews must be trained in several disciplines and be OSHA compliant. Safety – including shoring, traffic control, and job site security is a top priority. Compaction and surface restoration require special equipment along with extra man hours so we can make sure we leave the job site looking good.

When receiving bids for your project, make sure to look at what is being offered for the price as you want to look for value (what are you getting for the price quoted?). In a 2013 article on our local CBS website, the news station discussed the disparity between sewer estimates and did their own investigation into it. One realtor being interviewed stated she had a client who was quoted $18,500 to replace a sewer line. Upon calling other companies, she was quoted $5,400 for the same work. There is no amount of value added that would make a job worth paying an extra $13,000. However, when receiving two bids that are similar in price, look at the estimates to see what you’re getting. At Apex, we do everything in-house on about 99% of our jobs. The few exceptions being major roadway traffic control, large directional drilling, and additional drain cleaning. In those cases, we work with trusted subcontractors and the cost is included on our quotes. We will take care of you from the beginning to the end including doing our own excavation and repair, backfill, compaction, asphalt/concrete work, surface restoration, and final cleanup. By offering all of these services, we can control the quality of our work from start to finish. We are fully insured and bonded, and our crews are OSHA trained and compliant. Our five-year warranty also provides a great value.

With over 33 years of experience, there is a reason we are the largest underground wet utilities service and repair contractor in the Denver Metro area. Once again, a sewer repair can be costly so look for value. The cheapest is not always the best deal. If you need your sewer repaired or water line replaced, contact us today for your FREE estimate and see why we’re trusted by hundreds of realtors and thousands of satisfied customers across the Front Range!

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