Septic Tank Installation Cost Comparison

Total Installation Cost Range: $2,800 - $4,500
Average Materials Cost: $450-$1,200
Average Labor Cost: $2,500-$3,500
Avg. Time to Complete: A typical septic system replacement should take 2-4 days, with a crew of 2-3 workers and the right equipment.

Usually Includes: Replacement septic tank, all pipes, rock and materials, labor and equipment to remove and replace your home septic system.

outhouseDisposal of waste in households is performed by septic tanks in more than 24% of homes throughout the USA. While they are more commonly found in rural areas that don’t have access to municipal services like water and sewer service, many older homes in city limits also have septic systems installed to handle the waste. If your septic tank breaks, you’re faced with replacing it or if sewer exists, connecting to the city sewer line and doing away with the tank completely.

Unfortunately, replacing a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself project and will require that you call in a plumber or company who specialize in septic tank installation, repair, or service. Fortunately, a well maintained septic tank should last 30-50 years depending on the type of system you have. Many times, if the septic tank cannot be repaired, replacement will require the use of heavy machinery to dig it up, remove it from the ground and replace it with a new tank. If replacement is your only option, always get at least 3 quotes from area contractors and compare the installation cost carefully.

We are going┬áto cover septic tank replacement costs in this Installation Cost Guide and we’ll be discussing different types and sizes of systems most commonly used throughout the USA. We’ll explain the various components of the septic system and things that you should expect will be included during the replacement and installation process. We love to have homeowners share their own price quotes with us in the comments section of this page. The info is used to help future visitors get a better idea of the septic tank installation cost they may face in their area.


Usually Included in Septic Tank Replacement Estimates

When you call out a plumber to handle the replacement of your homes’ septic system, you should ask them to itemize your price quote or estimate. That way, as you compare septic tank replacement prices with other contractors, you will be seeing an apples to apples comparison, and know what is included with each. The list below is what you will likely find on your estimates.

  • Cost and labor to dig up and remove the old septic tank, including the fee for proper disposal.
  • Required costs to dig up, dispose of old materials, and replace leach field if needed.
  • New septic tank, including the size and type of new tank.
  • New pump if required by the type of system being installed.
  • Any inspections or permits that are required by your local code.
  • Details about underground utility location service to determine if digging is safe.
  • All pipes, drainage rocks, materials and labor to complete the removal and new tank and/or leach field installation.
  • Outlined overrun cost or added hourly fees for the heavy equipment used for the project.
  • Outline of the yard repairs after the new septic system has been installed. (Your yard will get dug up)

Tools and Specialized Equipment Needed

Removal and installation of a septic tank is generally not a diy project, however, if you have access to specialized tools and equipment, you might be able to get the job done with help from friends.

  • Septic pump truck to clean out old tank.
  • Backhoe or excavator to dig up old tank and remove it from the ground. Also used to prepare the site for the new tank to be installed.
  • Plumbing tools to cut and install plastic waste lines to the house and tank.
  • Basic hand tools like hammer, tape measure, chisels, etc.
  • Yard tools like shovels, picks, rakes, wheelbarrow, etc.

Factors that Affect Cost of a Septic System

Unfortunately, there are no cut and dry methods to state that every septic system will cost the same amount of money. The factors below will be considered when they quote the cost for your replacement.

  • Size of new septic tank – Common sizes for home use range from 500-2000 gallons. Larger tanks naturally cost more.
  • Type of septic tank – The most common tanks are concrete, fiberglass and plastic. Concrete precast tanks are more affordable than the others.
  • Leach field requirements – While some tanks are designed to leach direct, others require leach fields, with several long runs of pipe and beds of stone.
  • Cost of heavy equipment needed to excavate property.
  • Obstructions that need to be removed and replaced after job – If you have a deck, patio, fence or other structures that need to be removed and replaced, budget for the added cost.
  • Cost of materials in your area.
  • Cost of permits, inspections and underground locating services.

Ways to Save Money

One of the best ways to save money on the overall cost of replacing your septic system is to plan well ahead and have it cared for properly. Most septic service companies offer maintenance and repair services as part of the pumping process. Aside from preventative maintenance, the following tasks can be done by the homeowner to save money.

  • Handle the removal and replacement of fences, decks or structures yourself.
  • After the new system is installed, take care of the landscaping or sod installation yourself.
  • Offer yourself as a laborer to the contractor. While their insurance may not permit it, you’ll never know if your don’t ask.


Learn More about Septic Tanks and Leach Fields

US EPA Website –

Inspectapedia – Pretty much everything you want to know about septic system from a trusted home inspection resource.

Home Advisor – Run by the formerly ServiceMagic company, HomeAdvisor shares the rates charged by consumers who have used contractors within their network.

US EPA – A handy guide published by the EPA, designed to help consumers learn more about septic systems, care and much more.

If you have a great resource about the cost of septic tank replacement, or just a consumers guide to help homeowners learn more. Please send us a message and share it with us.


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