Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Why Trust Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

The sewer system in this home is being repaired by a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor. You'll feel confident choosing one of the sewer line contractors listed above because each has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned the Diamond Certified award. Read the following articles for more tips on hiring and working with Alameda County sewer line contractors. Photo: Pipe Spy Inc. (2014)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a sewer line contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated sewer line specialist and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Fred Ramos is a 16-year veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Star Rooter and Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (510) 402-5764 or by email.

Fred Ramos

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Fred Ramos: A Family Connection

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN LORENZO — When asked how he got involved in the plumbing industry, Fred Ramos attributes it to a family connection. “Before becoming a plumber, I was a technician at a home automation company,” he remembers. “My family had been in the plumbing industry for a long time, and eventually they asked me to come over, learn the trade, and help run the family business. Today, I work alongside my wife and my brother, so it’s really a family affair. Even my niece, Jessica, works here as our secretary.”

As owner of Star Rooter and Plumbing, Inc., Fred says that after 20 years in plumbing, his favorite part of his job is being out in the field. “Even though I’m the company owner, I still do service calls. The fact is, I’ve never really liked being in the office—I’d much rather be out interacting with customers and doing hands-on work.”

Originally from Mexico, Fred resides today in Hayward with his wife and three children. Outside of work, he and his family spend the bulk of their free time tending to their ranch. “My family owns a ranch up in the hills, so I like going up there with the kids and riding horses,” he says. “We do some competing on the weekends, so between that and keeping things maintained, it takes up a good amount of time.” Besides horses, Fred’s other passion is baseball. “My kids play baseball and softball, so I enjoy practicing with them, as well as playing with friends every now and then.”

In regard to his professional career, Fred espouses the importance of addressing a multitude of aspects. “When you run a business, you have to be on top of everything,” he explains. “You have to serve the customers, oversee your crew and make sure you have all the right equipment…and that’s just the beginning! I think a big part of my company’s success is having good, hardworking guys who take pride in their work and care about the customers. Plus, when you’ve been doing this as long as we have, it gets to be a routine, so things tend to go pretty smoothly.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Fred says he’d pay a visit to his hometown. “I generally don’t do much traveling, but I do go to Mexico every so often to visit my hometown, Zacatecas. I still have relatives there, including my 94-year-old grandfather, so I enjoy going down and spending time with family and friends.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, mainly because I lived in Southern California for the first year I was in the United States.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: If you could live in the city or the country, which would you choose?
A: The city—everything is around you, so you don’t have to go far to find it.

Read more

Trenchless Sewer Replacement


SAN LORENZO — In the past, when a sewer line needed to be replaced, it had to be fully excavated, which was an expensive, time-consuming process that carried the added bonus of disrupting one’s lawn, sidewalk and whatever else happened to be… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Streamlining Sewer Repairs

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN LORENZO — Host, Sarah Rutan: While repairing a sewer line was once an arduous job, modern innovations have enabled plumbers to streamline the process. Today we’re… Read more

Paul Cooper is president of Pipe Spy Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 493-7957 or by email.

Paul Cooper

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Paul Cooper: From Solar Panels to Sewer Pipes

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BERKELEY — For Paul Cooper, a short-lived career in the solar industry led to a long-term livelihood as a plumber. “I got started in plumbing after the demise of the first wave of the solar energy industry that blossomed from the mid-70s to the early ’80s,” he recounts. “President Carter installed solar panels on the White House and the government created tax credits for homeowners who did the same to their homes. I jumped on that wave and got into the solar business around that time. A few years later, when Ronald Reagan became president, he removed those panels that President Carter had installed. This must have been symbolic because the solar industry pretty much collapsed at that point, as did my livelihood. I had several former plumbers on my staff and they were all going back into plumbing, so I kind of followed them.”

After working as a plumber for about a decade, Paul came across a unique opportunity. “In the late ’90s, homeowners insurance policies used to cover sewer line issues, which started a new focus of specialty plumbing in sewer repair and replacement,” he remembers. “Sensing this as an opportunity, I created Pipe Spy Inc. along with my partner, Heiko Dzierzon, in 1998. We were actually the first company to purchase the now-commonplace pipe bursting tool used for trenchless sewer work—the inventors were located here in the Bay Area and we bought their first prototype. That led us down the path of getting it approved in different jurisdictions because it was new technology. Today, it has become the standard for sewer replacement.”

Today, as president of Pipe Spy Inc., Paul says his job isn’t just about pipes—it’s also about people. “My favorite part of my job is the social aspects: the satisfaction of solving our customers’ problems, the challenge of organizing crews and helping everyone be the best they can be at a difficult job. Construction is inherently dangerous and physically demanding work, so I greatly appreciate the process of working together to complete the job safely.”

A resident of Berkeley (where he lives with his wife, Christine), Paul spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “Since my day job largely consists of administrative tasks like paper processing, on weekends I like to put on my tool belt and do hands-on work,” he details. “I enjoy helping friends and neighbors do small remodeling projects. I also love being outdoors. In particular, I love to spend time in Mendocino just watching the redwood trees grow.” Additionally, Paul likes going on bicycle rides and playing his guitar.

In his life and career, Paul espouses a well-known trifecta. “For me, it’s all about peace, love and happiness,” he says. “That was a popular philosophy when I was a kid and I think it holds true today. As a business owner, I try to apply this by being even-handed and making sure both my customers and employees are taken care of. We want to provide excellent service and quality installations for our customers, protect their homes, and do the work safely. I also want my staff to focus and work together with a team spirit, and part of that is making sure they have the equipment and training they need to be successful.”

When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d spend more time on the pastimes he currently enjoys. “I’d still help people with remodeling projects, but I’d also spend time sitting in the sun, playing my guitar and watching the redwood trees grow.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: I’m a big breakfast person, so I’d have to say Sconehenge in Berkeley.

Q: What are your favorite things to eat for breakfast?

A: Poached eggs, potatoes, sausage and coffee.

Q: What kinds of music do you like?

A: I prefer rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Sit in a warm place and do some reading.

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: I enjoy science fiction books.

Read more

Sewer Lateral Compliance: The Basics


BERKELEY — If you’re planning to sell or remodel your home, one thing you’ll need to consider is sewer lateral compliance. According to requirements enforced by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), a sewer lateral must be inspected and… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Sewer Lateral Compliance

Complete Video Transcription:

BERKELEY — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to sell or remodel your home, one thing you’ll need to consider is sewer lateral compliance. Today we’re in… Read more

Paul Gerrard is president of Big Blue Plumbing, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 962-6113 or by email.

Paul Gerrard

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Paul Gerrard: Pursuing Excellence

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ALAMEDA — Originally from England, Paul Gerrard may have come to the United States in pursuit of adventure, but he stayed to pursue excellence in his trade. “My father was a plumbing and heating contractor, and I apprenticed with his company when I was a young man,” he recounts. “Having an itch for adventure and excitement, I left England in 1996 and came to the States. I found that plumbing in the U.S. was very different from what I was used to, so I basically had to relearn my trade.”

However, the nuts and bolts of the job weren’t the only differences Paul noticed between the plumbing industries in England and the U.S. “To be honest, when I first came here, I was a bit disappointed by what my trade looked like. The training I received in England was incredibly detail- and customer service-oriented, and I was taught to take pride in my profession. After coming to the U.S., it would’ve been easy to let my standards slip, but I made a conscious choice to not do that. Instead, when I started my business in 2000, I made it my goal to build a reputation for excellence in the plumbing industry.”

Today, as owner of Big Blue Plumbing, Paul describes several favorite aspects of his job. “I love meeting new people and the fact that we get to problem-solve and help people from all walks of life. I also enjoy developing our technicians, watching them learn and grow, and giving them careers that will serve them for their lifetimes.”

A resident of Oakland (where he lives with his wife, Kimberly), Paul spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “My passion is surfing, so I surf weekly and sometimes even daily throughout the year,” he details. “I also like doing long-distance motorcycle trips. Last year, we rode to Alaska and back, camping all the way.” When he’s not catching a wave or hitting the open road, Paul likes working on his house and spending quality time with his two adult children.

In his life and career, Paul shares one of his many professional philosophies. “Something everyone here has heard me say a thousand times is, ‘How we do one thing is how we do all things.’ That means if we’re going to dig a ditch, it should be a good ditch. If we answer the phone, let’s answer it better than what’s expected. It doesn’t matter if we’re redoing all the piping in a house or snaking a clogged toilet—we should be striving for excellence in every situation.”

When asked about his plans for future retirement, Paul replies that he’s in no hurry. “If I retired tomorrow, I would spend more time surfing and traveling. However, I feel like I already carve out the time that I need for my hobbies and interests, and I really love coming to work and running my business. So, while I look forward to having more free time one day, I am by no means ready to quit my day job.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: My wife and I are connoisseurs of local taco trucks. Currently, our favorite is the Guadalajara Taco Truck that’s typically on Fruitvale and International.

Q: If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would go?

A: I’d like to take a motorcycle trip through Patagonia and South America, just like the one Che Guevara took many years ago.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?

A: The Golden State Warriors. However, if we’re talking Grand Prix motorcycle racing, which I follow closely, Valentino Rossi is my favorite rider.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Go surfing.

Q: Music or talk radio?

A: Actually, I prefer podcasts. If I’m in my car, I’m usually listening to a podcast about neuroscience, history or culture. I love expanding my horizons.

Read more

Technologically Advanced Water Heater Options


ALAMEDA — Question: Which of the plumbing appliances that you use every day has had no technological advancement in more than 100 years? Answer: your water heater. The traditional storage tank water heater was designed and patented in 1908, which… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Advanced Water Heater Options

Complete Video Transcription:

ALAMEDA — Paul Gerrard: The traditional storage tank water heater was designed and patented in 1908. It is a hundred-year-old technology. I always challenge people to… Read more




  • Kohler

  • Lennox

  • Moen

  • TOTO

  • Daiken

  • Mitsubishi

  • Noritz

  • QuietCool

residential sewer pipes
commercial sewer lines
industrial sewer lines
residential septic lines
industrial septic lines
industrial septic lines

sewer line cleaning
sewer line repiping
sewer line repair
sewer line replacement
sewer line installation
clogged pipe cleaning
sewer pipe lining
sewer line inspection
trenchless sewer line replacement
sewer drain cleaning
septic line maintenance
sewer line tree roots removal

Castro Valley
Komandorski Village
Mount Eden
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Union City


American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)…

American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) (www.abpa.org/)
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) (www.aspe.org/)
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) (www.asse-plumbing.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO) (www.iapmo.org/)
NSF International (NSF) (www.nsf.org/)
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California (PHCC) (www.caphcc.org/)
Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) (www.pmihome.org/)
South Bay Piping Industry (www.sbaypipe.org/)
United Association (UA) (www.ua.org/)

Know What You Want
When Do You Need an Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor?

You may not always know exactly when you need a sewer line contractor. You may be hoping that you’ve just got a temporary clog. But if the problem escalates or persists, you will want to call in someone who can give you a diagnosis. As you prepare to call in a sewer line contractor in Alameda County, there are some things to ask yourself. No plumbing crisis is fun, but you might be able to face it better if you have a list of questions prepared. That way, you know what you have to focus on at the time of the crisis. The following list of questions might be helpful.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Do I know whether my house has cleanouts or not? And where they are located?
  • How long has the problem been happening?
  • Is there a pattern of recurring behavior with the problem, or is this the first time?
  • Is the problem based around a single fixture, or are multiple fixtures involved? For example, is the toilet backing up into the tub?
  • Are there external signs of a problem, such as toilet paper in the yard?
  • Do I use the city sewer system or do I have a septic tank?
  • Are there trees or bushes that are growing along where the sewer line runs?
  • Is it important to me to save a tree that is affecting my sewer line?
  • Are my sewer lines isolated or are they close to gas lines or clean water lines?
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What To Ask In Person
Ask Your Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor Questions in Person

You will most likely meet your Alameda County sewer line contractor in person when the company comes to prepare an estimate. Many situations are unique. Mostly likely the contractor will need to see your property and any landscaping to get a good idea of potential causes of the problem. Your contractor will have to get a good idea of the sewer pipe layout and where the city sewer hook-up might be. It makes sense to expect a good sewer line contractor in Alameda County to take a look before offering an estimate.

When the sewer line contractor comes, you may want to ask some questions so that you get a good idea of how the contractor decided on the recommendations made. Having questions prepared in advance can be helpful in the midst of a stressful situation. Some questions like the following might make sense.

  1. How close is my property to the city sewer hook-up? Will there be extra costs to connect to it?
  2. Do you think you can perform trenchless replacement here? Or will a trench be required?
  3. Can you help me locate a cleanout?
  4. If we cannot find a cleanout, or I know I don’t have one, what fixture or other option will you use to access the sewer line?
  5. Do you see any problems with the current landscaping and the run of the sewer line? Do I need to consider removing brush or trees?
  6. How long do you think the job will take?
  7. Can you access the site with whatever equipment you need to perform the repair?
  8. How quickly can you start the job?
  9. If you are making a repair, not a replacement, will that area of the pipe be more vulnerable to future damage?
  10. Why are you recommending a replacement – can you just repair the portion of the sewer line that is damaged?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for Previous Clients of Local Sewer Line Repair Companies in Alameda County

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a sewer line contractor in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your sewer line contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the sewer line contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. What was the issue? How could you tell you needed a sewer line repair or replacement as opposed to removing a one-time block?
    2. Did you have an open trench repair? Or did you use trenchless repair methods?
    3. How long has the sewer line repair or sewer line replacement been installed? Have you noticed any problems after the service visit?
    4. Did your contractor clearly explain why a replacement was required instead of a repair?
    5. Did you have problems with tree or brush roots? Did you remove the tree or brush as part of the solution, or are they still in place? If they are in place, are they likely to cause further problems?
    6. For any trenches or openings made on your property – were they properly filled after the job was finished? Were you satisfied with the state your property was left in?
    7. I don’t have a cleanout. Do you? If not, how was your sewer line accessed?
    8. Did the sewer line contractor work with the proper authorities to help you get any required permits?
    9. Did the sewer line contractor explain the materials being used, how long they should last, their environmental impact?
    10. Were you satisfied with the sewer line contractor’s work? Why or why not?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Sewer Line Contractor in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Before deciding on the best sewer line contractor in Alameda County for you, consider the following questions.

    1. Is the sewer line contractor concerned with first correctly identifying the source of the problem before making recommendations?
    2. Does the sewer line contractor assess the problem professionally, using cameras and other tools to identify the exactly problem?
    3. Does the sewer line contractor provide a written estimate of the work to be performed?
    4. Can the sewer line contractor offer alternatives to open trenches in my yard? Or make a sound case for why the trench method is required?
    5. Is the sewer line contractor licensed by the state of California?
    6. Does the sewer line contractor find it important to work within code, using the proper materials?
    7. Does the sewer line contractor work with the city or other entity to get a permit as required?
    8. Is the sewer line contractor as committed to saving my landscaping, where possible, as I am?
    9. Is the sewer line contractor committed to restoring my property to a decent condition that we agree upon?
    10. Is the sewer line contractor familiar with the city sewer system hook-up and how my line will connect to the city system?
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  • How To Work With
    Before You Hire an Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor

    When you are considering which Alameda County sewer line contractor to hire, be sure to do a little homework. Ask several contractors for written estimates. Don’t work with a contractor who won’t give you a written estimate. Look for contractors who show expertise and experience in working with sewer lines. Be sure the contractor is licensed. You can check that the license is current and that there are no complaints against it by going to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Web site.

    Find a physical address for the company and verify that it is real. It’s best to have several ways to contact a firm, and a brick and mortar presence can always be a last resort. If a contractor is only available by mobile phone, carefully consider how valid it may or may not be.

    Now That You’ve Found Your Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor
    Take the time to speak with your sewer line contractor. Be sure you ask about how the problem was diagnosed. A camera will most often be used to pinpoint the exact problem – you should not accept “guesstimates.” A proper contractor will take the time to find the problem. If the sewer line contractor suggests several steps – such as jet cleaning the pipe before the camera is used, always ask whether there are additional charges.

    Ask your sewer line contractor about what techniques will be used to make the repair or replacement. If you want trenchless techniques, ask about them. If a trench is required, be sure your sewer line contractor clearly explains why a trench is required. Be sure to agree with your sewer line contractor about the expected state of your property after the repair – holes and trenches filled and level, for example. Make sure you understand what part of replacing the landscaping, if any, the sewer line contractor will perform. They probably will only be responsible for filling the trenches, but make sure you understand what they will and won’t do.

    If trees or brush run along your sewer line or are interfering with the sewer line, discuss this with your sewer line contractor. Do you want to save the trees? Can the sewer line contractor remove roots that are causing the problem, for example, without killing the tree? Do the trees or brush have to be removed to prevent further recurrences of the problem? Be clear about whether you want to save a tree or whether you are fine with it being removed. In some cases, you may have no options. Again, it’s important to discuss your expectations with your Alameda County sewer line contractor, whether you live in Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro, Hayward, Emeryville, Russell City, Alameda, or Pleasanton.

    Make the Job Easier for Your Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor
    You can make the job go more smoothly for your Alameda County sewer line contractor. If possible, know the location of your cleanout or cleanouts. If you can, determine that gas pipes and clean water lines are not placed near your sewer line. If the sewer line contractor will be working from a cleanout in the house, clear the path to it. If there are weeds obstructing an outdoor cleanout, try to clear them before the job begins.

    Get your expectations included as part of your written estimate and contract. For example, if you expect trees to be saved, get it in writing. Get as much as you can in writing before the job starts – don’t come up with new issues in the middle of the project.

    Make yourself available to your sewer line contractor. If unexpected things crop up, the sewer line contractor will need to be able to get in touch with you to make decisions.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Sewer Line Contractor Customer?

    It’s the sewer line contractor’s responsibility put in quality sewer lines using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your sewer line contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County sewer line contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the sewer line contractor. Let them know what you want from your sewer line contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a sewer line contractor in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the sewer line contractor’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local sewer line contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your sewer line contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working on the sewer line. The work will move along more smoothly if your sewer line contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the sewer line contractor on schedule.
    • Pay for the sewer line contractor’s work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Sewer line contractors in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check Your Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor's Work Against the Estimate and Invoice

Your written estimate and contract should detail exactly what is being done on your property. Get them written in as much detail as possible. For example: ‘open two holes, insert PVC liner, steam liner into place, remove bladder after liner is cured’, is better than: ‘install trenchless replacement’.

With more detail, you can be sure of what is covered and what is not. You are then in a better position to check off what has been completed and what has not been.

Don’t be shy about examining the work, if you want to. Cameras should allow you to see into the pipe to be sure that it is no longer blocked, or that the new liner runs its complete length.

Always be sure the written contract covers how your property is to be restored after the repair – for example, all holes refilled and leveled. Make sure that your property is in the state you expected it to left in.

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Written Warranties
Ask Your Alameda County Sewer Line Contractor for Warranties

Most plumbers and sewer line contractors offer warranties on the repairs they perform.

Read the warranty closely to see what it covers and what it does not.

For example, if the ground freezes and the new sewer line is damaged as a result, will that be covered or is that considered outside the sewer line contractor’s control?

Such conditions are often spelled out in the warranty – sometimes in blanket language. Be sure you understand what the blanket language is covering and what it is not.

Your warranty is your protection. Make sure it includes these items:

  • The sewer line contractor’s name, physical address and license number.
  • What products and services are covered. This should also include whether the contractor will replace or repair your sewer linein the event of a product failure.
  • Your responsibility if you place a warranty claim (i.e., if you have to pay for labor or materials, or if you are required to pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms, limitations and exclusions on the materials and workmanship.
  • If the warranties are transferrable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests for Local Sewer Line Repair Companies

Sewer line contractors often receive requests when homeowners just want a huge inconvenience to go away. The best sewer line contractors in Alameda County, whether in Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, San Leandro, Pleasanton, Newark, or Dublin, respond promptly and with expertise. They even offer services designed to help prevent emergencies.

Hydro-Jetting Services in Alameda County
Hydro-jetting is a technique used to clear pipelines of grease or other debris that can build up over time. Some contractors recommend that hydro-jetting be an annual process so that the pipes remain clear, especially on rentals and commercial properties.

Sewage Smell Abatement
Unfortunately, one of the indicators of a broken sewer line can be a smell of sewage. Sewer line contractors and plumbers should come and assess the smell and the pipes before drawing up a contract to address the problem.

Waste in Bathtub
Sometimes, attempting to clear a toilet drain results in waste backing up into the bathtub. This is a sign that you need to have your sewer lines checked.

Toilet Flush Properly
When the toilet will not flush properly, it can be a sign of greater problems. Of course, sometimes a simple plunger can remove a temporary blockage. But if your toilet continues to backup frequently or you cannot plunge the matter away, you may need a sewer line repair or replacement.

Sewer Line Repair in Alameda County
Not every problem is going to require a replacement of the entire sewer line. Sometimes a pipe is cracked or broken in such a way that only a small portion of the pipe needs to be replaced. A sewer line repair is warranted in such cases.

Sewer Line Replacement in Alameda County
Sometimes the damage to the sewer line is so comprehensive that the whole line must be replaced. If you have old, clay-based piping, it will be replaced, not repaired, since the clay piping does not meet the current standards. When evaluating repair vs. replacement, keep in mind that having to place multiple patches on the pipe over time can add up.

Replace Septic System
If you have a septic tank, you are responsible for emptying it. Some prefer to not have that burden. In cases where the municipal system is available, you can have your septic tank replaced with a sewer line that connects you to the municipal sewer system and frees you from one burden.

Slow Draining Toilet or Tub
If the water drains slowly from your toilet or tub, there may be a blockage or damage to the sewer line. Of course, the first step is to try to remove any blockage. If that does not solve the problem, check for breaks and breaches in the sewer line.

Tree Roots
Trees seek out water and are attracted to your sewer pipe. On occasion, tree roots can penetrate the pipes. The root balls can create blockages that must be removed. The pipes must then be repaired or replaced.

Sewer Line Video Inspection in Alameda County
Cameras exist that allow your plumber or contractor to look down your sewer line for breaks obstructions. If other measures are failing, you might want to have someone examine your pipes with a camera so that you can identify the problem.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used By Local Sewer Line Contractors

You may not know that much about your sewer line – except that it works. But when it comes to speaking with your sewer line repair company, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Use the glossary terms to help you better understand the proposed work on your sewer line repair or sewer line replacement.

A type of pipe. Black and rigid, this plastic should only be used for a drain line.

Also known as: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene…

You may not know that much about your sewer line – except that it works. But when it comes to speaking with your sewer line repair company, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Use the glossary terms to help you better understand the proposed work on your sewer line repair or sewer line replacement.

A type of pipe. Black and rigid, this plastic should only be used for a drain line.

Also known as: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

access panel
An opening near a plumbing or electrical fixture that allows the contractor service the fixture.

A device that allows different kinds of pipes to be connected.

A cleanout is a capped pipe that is designed to allow access to the sewer lines. Homes may have one or more cleanouts, and some homes have none.

Also known as: clean-out

An easement allows someone who does not own the property in question to use that property in a limited way. For example, an easement may serve as a passage to a property.

A device that unites two pieces of pipe.

Drain, waste, and vent.

Refers to a piece of pipe that has two openings and changes the direction of the line.

Also known as: ell

Refers to the pipe’s slope, which would be required for drainage to occur adequately.

Also known as: flow

Refers to appliances that supply and/or dispose of water.

Also known as: sink, toilet, tub

In plumbing, refers to a paste that is applied when metal joints are soldered. The paste helps the joint resist rusting.

force main
A sewer line where sewage moves as a result of pressure, instead of gravity.

gravity sewer
A sewer where wastewater flows downstream – as a result of gravity.

Refers the inside diameter of a pipe. The inside diameter is the measurement used to size pipes.

Infiltration and inflow occurs when groundwater gets into the sewer system.

Also known as: infiltration and inflow

pipe bursting
A technique used for sewer line replacement. A bursting head breaks up the old pipe and drags the new pipe into place behind the bursting head. It is an alternative to trenching.

pipe replacement
Usually refers to digging up an old pipe and replacing the entire length of the pipe.

point repair
A point repair addresses a specific point of failure in a pipe. The damaged piece of the pipe is replaced with a piece of pipe of the same diameter.

pump station
Pump stations accept sewage from a specified part of the sewer system, then pump the water on to the next section of sewer or to the next pump station.

A type of plastic, white or cream, that forms rigid pipes used where pressure is not applied, for example in waste or venting systems.

Also known as: polyvinyl chloride

A riser is a  set of pipes and fittings that is vertically assembled and sends water upwards.

In plumbing, the rough-in consists of putting the water supply lines and drain, as well as the waste and vent lines, in position so that they reach the fixture they are servicing.

service basin
The areas into which a city’s sewer system may be divided. Each service basin typically has its own pump station.

A setback is an area behind, or set back from, the property line.

soil stack
The soil stack takes wastewater to the sewer line. The soil stack is the biggest vertical drain line that all branch waste lines connect to.

stop valve
A stop-valve is a device that works with a single fixture, allowing the water to that fixture to be turned on and off without affecting the water supply to any other fixture.

In the drain line of a fixture, such as a toilet or tub, the trap is a curved section. It holds water to prevent sewer gases from going up the pipe and into the home.

A device with three pieces that joins two sections of pipe. The pipes can be disconnected without severing the pipe.

vent stack
The vent stack is the upper part of the soil stack and allows gases and odors to escape. It is located above the highest fixture in place.

A device, or fitting, that has three openings. It is used to make branch lines.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ For Sewer Line Repair and Replacement Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractor?

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Sewer Line Contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a sewer line contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only sewer line contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified sewer line contractor.

Q: Do I have to dig up my entire yard to fix my sewer line?
A: There are techniques available today that will help you get a sewer line replacement or sewer line repair without digging up your yard. You can get your pipes relined, which creates a new pipe within the existing pipe. The new pipe lining is pulled through the existing pipe, then heated so that it creates a solid, resistant pipe. Another option is to use pipe bursting in which a bursting head breaks up the existing pipe in the ground and pulls a new pipe along behind itself.

Q: How much of the sewer line am I responsible for?
A: The homeowner is generally responsible for the sewer line that runs from the house to the edge of the sidewalk closest to house. Once the line reaches city property, like the sidewalk, it becomes the city’s responsibility, in most cases. You should check with your locality about the specifics of where the municipal responsibility picks up. Anytime your sewer line repair or replacement looks like it is hitting the sidewalk, you should call the municipal government to be sure where your responsibility stops.

Q: What makes a sewer line need repair?
A: Sewer lines get blocked and broken because of many reasons. If you drop things down the drain, they can form the basis of a clog that will not allow water and waste to pass. In addition, pipes can crack, especially old fashioned clay pipes, so clay pipes are no longer allowed. Tree or brush roots may get into the pipe and form the basis of the blockage. Or settlement of the land over time, or swelling or contracting of the pipes due to freezing or thawing may weaken the pipes and cause them to sag or crack.

Q: Should I trust someone who says he or she has “a good idea” of where a problem is occurring?
A: Plumbers and sewer line contractors today have very sophisticated technology, including cameras that can be used to view the inside of the pipes. Your sewer line contractor should use the camera to determine exactly where the problem is before starting to dig or repair the issue.

Q: Do I need a licensed contractor?
A: Yes, in California, you should get a licensed sewer line contractor to perform work on your sewer line. When you look for your contractor, you will see firms advertising as either sewer line contractors or as plumbers. Just make sure the firm has experience in working with sewer lines, and that they are licensed by the state of California – the license number should appear in their advertising – and that they are bonded and have worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.

Q: Do I need a permit for my sewer line repair or sewer line replacement?
A: In most cases, yes, you will need a permit for your sewer line repair or replacement. Your contractor should be able to help you get this permit. Be sure to ask about whether or not the firm helps with obtaining the permit.

Q: When do I need to do more than clear a block?
A: You can start to resolve wastewater problems by trying to clear a drain. Often, homeowners or plumbers will begin by trying to snake a pipe, or use other methods to clear it. If you cannot clear the blockage and get the fixture running again, or if the blockage recurs frequently, it may be time to check the sewer line. If you have sewage showing up outside, a bad sewage smell, or other obvious signs, it may be time to replace the sewer line.

Q: What’s the different between a sewage line and a septic tank?
A: A sewage line connects the individual house to a municipal wastewater system. The wastewater is carried through pipes to facilities that can process the wastewater. With a septic tank, the waste is piped from the house into a tank on the property and stored. Once the tank is full, it must be pumped dry before more can be added. If the municipality’s sewage system reaches the house with a septic tank, the house can be converted from a septic tank to the sewage system. Some sewer line contractors and plumbers specialize in these conversions.

Q: What is the environmental impact of using pipe relining?
A: The material used to reline pipes is epoxy-based and safe for the environment.

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