Diamond Certified Company Report

Big Blue Plumbing

Diamond Certified Company Report

Big Blue Plumbing

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 20 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Susan

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

1 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

We had a really difficult job. The building we had the work done on had a disabled bathroom that we needed converted, and they had to reroute the waste line. It took a lot and Paul, the owner, came out and helped. They ended up doing a really great job.

They are all very polite and nice. If they don't know how to go about something, they call it in for advice. I've seen them do that.

Sharon V.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

2 of 20

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great but their prices are extremely high. They do very good work but I do think some things are clearly overpriced. I get that they're known in the Alameda and Oakland area and have that reputation, but on some of the bids they've given, the price range is just too much.

The technicians are knowledgeable and don't try to oversell anything.

Mia B.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

3 of 20

Quality 6
6 10
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

I wouldn't say anything, really, because someone else might use them and get a technician to come out and do a great job. I just think the one I got needed more training.

He just didn't seem to get the scope of the project. I wouldn't use them again, personally.

Read All 20 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Big Blue Plumbing provides a wide range of plumbing services for residential and commercial clients in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The company has the training and equipment to handle everything from routine fixture installations and repairs to complete sewer and gas line replacements, and its technicians are available 24/7 to deal with plumbing emergencies.

President Paul Gerrard says Big Blue Plumbing’s honest business practices have allowed it to develop and maintain a loyal clientele base. “Our customers know they can rely on us to work with honesty and integrity, and that makes them feel at ease throughout the process. We do what we say we’re going to do and focus on giving them peace of mind, which they really appreciate.”

Big Blue Plumbing communicates with its clients during each phase of their projects so they know exactly what to expect. “From the minute we answer the phone until we’re putting the finishing touches on the job, we don’t want the customer to be surprised by anything,” affirms Mr. Gerrard. “By answering all of their questions and making sure they understand the nature of their plumbing issue, we can ensure their total satisfaction.”

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

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  • Our editors gather deep company info.
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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Big Blue Plumbing

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Alameda County
Contra Costa County

SERVICES PERFORMED

Sewer Line Repair & Replacement
Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Plumbing Installation & Repair
Traditional & Tankless Water Heaters
Gas Lines & Seismic Gas Shut-off Valves
Repiping
Hydronic Radiant Heating
Low Water Pressure
High Water Pressure
Gas Lines to Additional Appliances

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Big Blue Plumbing

A Big Blue Plumbing technician clearing a main line sewer clog (sewer back-up).

Company Profile

Big Blue Plumbing provides a wide range of plumbing services for residential and commercial clients in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The company has the training and equipment to handle everything from routine fixture installations and repairs to complete sewer and gas line replacements, and its technicians are available 24/7 to deal with plumbing emergencies.

President Paul Gerrard says Big Blue Plumbing’s honest business practices have allowed it to develop and maintain a loyal clientele base. “Our customers know they can rely on us to work with honesty and integrity, and that makes them feel at ease throughout the process. We do what we say we’re going to do and focus on giving them peace of mind, which they really appreciate.”

Big Blue Plumbing communicates with its clients during each phase of their projects so they know exactly what to expect. “From the minute we answer the phone until we’re putting the finishing touches on the job, we don’t want the customer to be surprised by anything,” affirms Mr. Gerrard. “By answering all of their questions and making sure they understand the nature of their plumbing issue, we can ensure their total satisfaction.”

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Company Philosophy

“We differentiate ourselves from other plumbing companies with our expertise, training, customer service and professionalism. We always strive to be a cut above the rest, and the best way to accomplish that is to provide our customers with old-school service and quality installations.”

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for plumbing companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Big Blue Plumbing, keeping clients happy comes down to two factors: offering them old-school customer service and always keeping its promises. “Our goal is to be a cut above the rest, so we do what we say we’re going to do and make sure each customer receives the best possible plumbing work,” says President Paul Gerrard. “Our expertise, training and professionalism really make us stand out.”

Big Blue Plumbing has been providing plumbing services for residential and commercial clients in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties since 2000. The company has the in-house capabilities to handle everything from fixture installations and repairs to full-scale sewer and gas line replacements, and its technicians are available 24/7 for its customers’ convenience.

Unlike less experienced plumbing companies that take an “assembly line” approach to every job and sacrifice customer service as a result, Big Blue Plumbing takes the time to give its clients peace of mind from the moment they make the initial phone call. “We want our customers to feel like they know us before we arrive at their homes,” says Mr. Gerrard. “We even send them text messages with photos and bios of the technicians who will be coming to help them, which makes them feel at ease.”

To further differentiate itself from its competition, Big Blue Plumbing requires all of its technicians to pass background checks and drug tests and participate in continuous training to stay current on the plumbing industry’s latest advancements. “Our technicians have the knowledge to help our customers with all of their plumbing needs,” affirms Mr. Gerrard. “They never rush a job; instead, they take the time to truly understand the problem at hand so they can make sure it’s properly fixed before leaving the premises.”

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Industry Info

Water pressure settings can have expensive ramifications if they’re not calibrated correctly.

Everyone wants high water pressure—without it, it’s more difficult to rinse shampoo out of your hair, get a good spray from lawn sprinklers and do laundry in a reasonable amount of time. Most homes that are hooked to local water utilities get water delivered at pressures ranging between 35 and 80 pounds per square inch, but that number can change once the water is inside your home.

If you’re experiencing poor water pressure, a local plumbing contractor can check for clogged pipes, replace malfunctioning shutoff valves that could be limiting flow and make sure your water source is providing water at a high enough pressure to keep your faucets flowing. Commercial pressure gauges are also available that let homeowners test their own water pressure. If low pressure is a problem, many plumbers can install pressure boosters or offer other solutions, but did you know water pressure that’s too high can cause problems, too?

“It’s important to measure your water pressure because newer fixtures and appliances are rated to a maximum of 80 pounds per square inch, but the water pressure in many modern homes is considerably higher than that,” says Paul Gerrard, president of Big Blue Plumbing in Alameda. “Fixtures used to be made of solid brass, so they were practically bulletproof, but a lot of newer fixtures are made of plastic and just can’t cope with high water pressure. That’s why testing is important—if a plumber discovers that your water pressure is too high, they can install a pressure-regulating valve that will help you avoid a major catastrophe.”

Leaking faucets, running toilets, short-lived water heaters and washing machines, banging sounds in pipes, sudden bursts of water from faucets, and dishwashers that run too hard can all be signs of water pressure that’s too high. Many homes built after 2002 have pressure regulators installed, but most only last about 10 years before they need to be replaced. This simple, inexpensive fix can prevent high water pressure from stressing and prematurely wearing out your appliances and fixtures.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How quickly can you get to my house?
A: We’re able to get to most customers within the same day of the initial call, but we’ll give you an appointment window so you know what to expect.

Q: How much will it cost to fix my plumbing problem?
A: It depends on several factors, but we always do a thorough evaluation before we start working, so you’ll know how much the job will cost from the very beginning.

Q: Do you guarantee your work?
A: Yes, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied with our service, you don’t pay. We also offer extended warranties on all of our work, and the materials we use come with manufacturers’ warranties.

Q: Will you tell me which technician is coming to my home?
A: Yes, we’ll send you a text message that includes a picture and brief bio of the technician who’s coming to your home.

Q: Can you evaluate my water pressure?
A: Yes. It’s important to measure your water pressure because newer fixtures and appliances are rated to a maximum of 80 pounds per square inch, but the water pressure in many homes is considerably higher than that. Older fixtures were made of solid brass and practically bulletproof, but a lot of newer appliances and fixtures are made of plastic or have plastic components, and they just can’t cope with high water pressure. With the simple installation of a pressure-regulating valve, you can avoid major plumbing catastrophes.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Big Blue Plumbing

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Paul Gerrard

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • 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: 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.

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Expert articles
  • 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 makes it a century-old technology. If you’re still using this antiquated style of water heater, it might be time to consider a more advanced option.

    One such option is a tankless water heater, which offers superior energy efficiency and a virtually endless supply of hot water. Since they’re much smaller than their storage tank predecessors, tankless water heaters also take up far less space, which allows for more flexibility with installation.

    One common misconception about tankless water heaters is that they provide hot water “on demand.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the case—in fact, depending on the size and layout of your home, it can actually take longer for hot water to reach a fixture, which can increase water waste. Overall, while a tankless water heater can be beneficial, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to consult a plumbing professional on whether it’s a good fit for your home and circumstances.

    Another technologically advanced water heater option is a high-efficiency storage tank water heater. Like a tankless water heater, it provides improved energy efficiency and endless hot water, but it doesn’t come with potential drawbacks such as long wait times.

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Big Blue Plumbing WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Big Blue Plumbing
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 20 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Susan

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

1 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

We had a really difficult job. The building we had the work done on had a disabled bathroom that we needed converted, and they had to reroute the waste line. It took a lot and Paul, the owner, came out and helped. They ended up doing a really great job.

They are all very polite and nice. If they don't know how to go about something, they call it in for advice. I've seen them do that.

James R.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

2 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The technicians and plumbers were very prompt, knowledgeable, and personable. I feel like they provide a really good service. It was also helpful that at the conclusion of the work, they explained what the issue was and ways for the customer to prevent having the same problem happen in the future.

Everything, I liked everything about the experience with them.

Celeste J.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

3 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

I would only say no to using them again, because I sold the house they worked on and don't live in the area anymore. Otherwise, they were very professional and did a great job. I would tell people don't hesitate to call them.

They are professional, clean, and efficient.

Ryan G.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

4 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were fast and helpful. They came out to check our gas line and get the air out of it.

They were quick and the guy seemed to be an expert.

Phillip C.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

5 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are professional and prompt. The prices may not be the cheapest, but you do get top notch quality.

Honestly, after I met Paul, the owner, I really liked him and have had nothing to complain about after working with him. I like the fact that they're always on time.

Paul S.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

6 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They make sure that they do their job the right way.

I really liked the owner the best.

Ray S.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

7 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say that they treated me very fairly.

They treated me fairly. They found that I was having a problem with my garbage disposal, because there was a crack in it. They didn't try to price gouge me or anything. They just told me what it would cost to fix it and then also said I could look elsewhere to make sure I wasn't missing out on a cheaper rate. I didn't feel pressured by them at all.

Jonathan A.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

8 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

If you need a company to handle your plumbing job, they're a good choice.

They promptly did the job.

Angela M.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

9 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Well, because Big Blue is a smaller company, the owner is very hands on and that gave me a lot of satisfaction and comfort, because he came out with his worker and did the job with him. We had an unusual circumstance that prompted the job we needed and it worked out wonderfully. They did a great job.

The personal touch

Mario S.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

10 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very responsive and returned my calls and e-mails promptly. Plus, they showed up when they said they would.

I really appreciated their response time. They sent someone over to look at my situation. He quickly gave me an estimate and within a very short time they had me scheduled for the work. I didn't have to wait too long for any of the process.

Rob L.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

11 of 20

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to use them, because they're great. I love Paul, the owner, and feel that they're efficient and respond quickly.

They designed a whole new system for my house that has worked very well. Occasionally, I need a little help tinkering with it just because I'm not that confident in my own abilities. They always come right out to help me and they are very personable.

Sharon V.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

12 of 20

Quality 9
9
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great but their prices are extremely high. They do very good work but I do think some things are clearly overpriced. I get that they're known in the Alameda and Oakland area and have that reputation, but on some of the bids they've given, the price range is just too much.

The technicians are knowledgeable and don't try to oversell anything.

Robert A.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

13 of 20

Quality 9
9
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very efficient and cleaned up after themselves, which a lot of trades people don't do. They were very informative. I had questions about getting my water heater permitted and they knew what had to be done.

They were efficient, and when you're paying for a plumber, that is very important.

Pam M.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

14 of 20

Quality 9
9
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They came out on time, were pleasant, and completed the work.

That they did the work on time

Matthew C.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

15 of 20

Quality 9
9
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have already referred others in my neighborhood to use them. They are a quality company and they provide good service.

That they are professional

John

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

16 of 20

Quality 8
8
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do good work but they are not as responsive as they need to be.

Their expertise

Brian P.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

17 of 20

Quality 8
8
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They had good communication, follow up, and were able to explain information regarding the work at hand. Plus, they kept things clean.

They were prompt and provided a good quality service.

Matthew M.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

18 of 20

Quality 7
7
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I wouldn't say not to use them, but I wouldn't really say much else.

They got the job done.

Mia B.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

19 of 20

Quality 6
6
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

I wouldn't say anything, really, because someone else might use them and get a technician to come out and do a great job. I just think the one I got needed more training.

He just didn't seem to get the scope of the project. I wouldn't use them again, personally.

Avery B.

VERIFIED Big Blue Plumbing CUSTOMER

20 of 20

Quality 5
5
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

They were very nice but had no follow-through.

The electrician, who was subcontractor, was excellent.

Read All 20 Survey Responses at Ratings View

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