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SERVING THE EAST BAY AREA SINCE 2000

Plumbing

Repiping

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Repiping

Most of the homes in our area were built before 1965 which is the time when copper piping for hot and cold water became standard. Older homes were installed with galvanized iron, cut and thread pipe. Iron that comes in contact with water and oxygen will corrode. this corrosion, or rust, causes the iron to swell up and become flaky. in order to prevent the rusting of the iron, the pipes were dipped in zinc, the zinc bonds with the iron and creates a waterproof membrane to protect the iron from rusting. Well, after 60 years or more, the friction of the water running through the pipe has just completely worn away all of the zinc coating. Now the iron and the water are in contact and the rusting of the pipes is causing all kinds of plumbing issues.
Galvanized piping is responsible for at least half of the plumbing emergencies that we run into in the houses around the Bay Area. The initial issues that occur are the discoloration of the water with brown water coming out of a faucet that may have a foul odor, it can also cause stains in clothing put in the washing machine. As the pipes continue to age, flakes of rust will accumulate in various parts of the plumbing system, most commonly in shower heads, faucets and shut off valves, this can cause low flow issues or even stop a fixture from flowing all together. The next common issue that happens with older galvanized pipes is the “arterial sclerosis” of the system which occurs when the swelling of the pipes gets to be so sever it is really reducing the available volume of water that can flow around the system. This will show up mostly in the form of a fixture shutting down or flow being greatly reduced, particularly when another fixture is used. Most typically we hear about how a shower will diminish when a toilet is flushed. Ultimately, pinhole leaks appear in the pipe or worst of all, a pipe just breaks and then we can have a plumbing catastrophe with severe property damage.

The solution is a copper or PEX repipe. A repipe is the process of replacing a part of, or even the entire hot and cold water piping system. Typically when we do this we will be replacing all the hot and cold water piping, all of the shut off valves and supply hoses and sometimes the tub and shower valves as well. In homes with a crawls space, this is actually not as big of a project as it seems and can often be completed in a day or two. Our experienced technicians have many systems and tricks of the trade that can really minimize the impact to the home and avoid much of the wall and tile repair that you may think would need to be done. From threading pipes through existing holes to specially design cover plates for shower valves, it may not be as invasive as you might think. Tjhat being said, there are of course, many times when we will be opening a wall to access piping, the good news is that we can include wall repair in our scope so that you are not left trying to find multiple contractors to get the job finished.
Copper or PEX? There are two types of piping that are included in the California plumbing code, Copper, which has been the standard for many years, and now PEX, which is a semi rigid plastic tubing. Both of these piping systems have pro’s and con’s but both are acceptable, code compliant and come with our full TWENTY YEAR guarantee.
Copper piping has been the standard for many years and is typically viewed as the premier form of repiping. We use Type “L” copper which is the premier grade of copper, we believe that if you are going to invest in copper piping, do it once, do it right. PEX tubing has a couple of advantages over PEX, firstly there are cost savings in materials and labor and also, as it is flexible, it can be utilized to minimize the amount of wall repair that may be necessary,particularly on two story buildings. For full disclosure, there are some questions about MTBE transfer with PEX tubing.
When a home is repiped, you can forget about plumbing issues with hot and cold water distribution. Your flow issues will dissappear and you can go on vacation knowing that your piping will not be in danger of bursting while you are gone. We love repiping older homes because of the night and day difference it can make in a clients comfort and sanitation in their home.

Big Blue Difference

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  • No Overtime Charges
  • Certified Plumbing Experts
  • Always Punctual
  • Service All Makes & Models
  • Best Guarantees & Warranties in the Industry
Why Choose Us

What other say about us

Zachary T

When I called in for service for a clogged drain I spoke to Ebony, who right off the bat was helpful and informative on what I could expect from them during their visit.

We were serviced by RJ Mattson. Who was prompt and understanding of our loud and obnoxious pit bull which is a plus because some people are afraid of loud barks…

He quickly realized our problem was not just a clogged drain but that we potentially had a much bigger problem and proceeded to explain in detail what issue we were dealing with. He even offered to explain the issue with our landlord which was very helpful. After all he is the expert, he could explain it much better than me.

The visit was relatively short being we weren’t prepared to handle the repair cost immediately.
But with the visit being short RJ was kind enough to offer to take the $67 dollars they charge for a diagnostic and put it towards the estimate total. We will be using BBP without hesitation!

Kristi S

We are in the process of selling our home and the city of Oakland requires a lateral sewer inspection. Long story short….we needed to replace the hook-up from the house, install required regulatory items, and replace the sewer pipe to the street.
Nick, RJ, and Cesar “teaspoon” Rivera were all very helpful in explaining the process and requirements.

All of this work included extensive digging in the front yard and street. Cesar was really helpful during the pipe replacement. He checked on the contractors to ensure the work was being done correctly and he even replanted a plant that had to be dug up. He listened to me and and showed empathy when I discovered my prize hydrangea would not be able to replanted due to the meters they had to install. He made sure everything was back in order.

There was quite a lot of dirt and debris left from the project. Crispin Orozco made sure it was cleaned up and back in the condition it was before all the work started. Crispin even replaced some of the garden mulch that had been lost in the digging process and evened out the wood chips around the plants.

Big Blue is our go-to Plumbing company. They do great work and all of the people I have met have been very professional, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Elisabeth B.

I can’t say enough good things about this company. They are professional, friendly, efficient, and hard working. We have a pretty serious plumbing situation that will require more work, but on day one the team came out and worked their you-know-whats off for about 8 hours. They explained everything to us clearly and gave us multiple options on how to proceed before starting anything. I have never had such a positive experience with any plumbing company before, and I would definitely recommend Big Blue to anyone who needs a plumber. Totally top notch.

William Y.

the best plumbing and heating company bar none. for nearly a month, we experienced intermittent hot water outages. we called two other plumbing companies who did nothing but waste our money. one of them, Leapfrog, after gladly charging us a handsome sum simply told us that they didn’t know what was wrong and told us to call the boiler company directly. ridiculous. Paul and Zach, unlike other companies, were professional and knowledgeable from the start. they took the time and effort to understand our house’s heating and water systems. after patiently troubleshooting everything, they found the root cause. we now have hot water and consistent heating throughout our house thanks to their work. these guys are busy and in high demand for a reason – they’re simply the best and worth every single penny. don’t waste your time with others who claim to be experts at what they do. Big Blue Plumbing are true masters of their craft. we’ll be lifetime customers and proud advocates for this great business.

Сhristian B.

Big Blue really helped us out. I reached out with a very unconventional request and they were able to fulfill it in a prompt and kindly fashion. Very compassionate despite the circumstances. I had called every plumber in town and Zack’s response really saved the day. I can’t recommend enough. Thanks so much Big Blue!

Todd J.

I am an architect in Berkeley and know value in the trades when I see it and experience it. Big Blue replaced our broken sewer lateral and never complained when the job was harder (pipes deeper) than they anticipated. Great at details and communication. 5 star plus

Joel S. W.

The people they send are always top notch. Nick is who you want to request if you can get him. I am a member of the Big Blue program which gives you priority service and cost discounts. You pay a few bucks a month to be in the program. With an older house like ours it is worth it. You need those discounts too because these guys tend to be a bit more pricey than other plumbers I have priced out. But as the saying goes, “cheap plumbing can get expensive”.

Gloria S.

I found Big Blue Plumbing on a Yahoo search. From the start they were great. The office receptionist Briana was very courteous. She was knowledgeable of the different heating systems and set up an appointment for me right away.

Today Zack from Big Blue Plumbing came in to check on our unit. His arrival time was set up for between the hours of 8 – 10am. He called me prior to arriving, he got here at 8:45am., unfortunately our heat/air system is not one they service. However, Zack stayed and checked our unit, troubleshooting the problems we were having. He was able to let us know what he found he took several pictures for us (to further help us as we find someone who works with Hydronic heating systems.

Zack was very professional, explained everything clearly and left us with some help to make our search a lot easier.

Thanks Zack, you were excellent and we really appreciate your help and dedication to your work.

Gloria Schwenderlauf I found Big Blue Plumbing on a Yahoo search. From the start they were great. The office receptionist Briana was very courteous. She was knowledgeable of the different heating systems and set up an appointment for me right away.

Today Zack from Big Blue Plumbing came in to check on our unit. His arrival time was set up for between the hours of 8 – 10am. He called me prior to arriving, he got here at 8:45am., unfortunately our heat/air system is not one they service. However, Zack stayed and checked our unit, troubleshooting the problems we were having. He was able to let us know what he found he took several pictures for us (to further help us as we find someone who works with Hydronic heating systems.

Zack was very professional, explained everything clearly and left us with some help to make our search a lot easier.

Thanks Zack, you were excellent and we really appreciate your help and dedication to your work.

Gloria Schwenderlauf

Shannon K.

This company is incredibly professional and their work is always 100%. Top notch company for sure. I would recommend them to family, friends, and anyone looking for professionalism, excellent customer service, thorough and above average work!

Ian D.

The technicians at Big Blue are remarkably hardworking and capable. They delivered what they promised, despite some unexpected obstacles they encountered along the way. I’m very impressed with their performance; they got it done and I would recommend them to anyone.