How to Calculate Invert Elevations

Invert elevation is the height between a sewer pipe and a given benchmark, usually the top of the street or finished floor. Contractors doing sewer pipe installation must ensure that all sewer pipes they install meet the invert elevation height. With the right tools and direction, you can quickly calculate the invert elevation of the installed sewer pipe.

Find the benchmark the city or local building department is telling you to use, usually the top of the finished road.

Remove the manhole cover if you are calculating the invert elevation for a city sewer pipe.

Insert the tape measure into the manhole cover or hole where the sewer pipe is located. Try to put the tape measure at the top of the sewer pipe. Make sure the tape measure is in the middle of the pipe where the sewer pipe is its tallest.

Read the tape measure height against the top of the road or top of the hole. This reading is your invert elevation.


In the sewer pipe plans, you can locate the invert elevation height on the drawing.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
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About the Author

Louis Gutierrez began writing in 2010 for various websites, specializing in real estate, construction and electronics. He has over 10 years experience running and operating various successful businesses in these fields and holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration, graduating magna cum laude from Florida International University.