Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse the answers to the following commonly asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to your specific question, give us a call at (604) 253-9330, and we will be happy to help.
Why Do I Need to Repipe?
In the mid-1980s it became apparent that Lower Mainland water was causing serious corrosion issues for water pipes. The glacial water was corroding, and even dissolving, copper pipes from the inside out.
Over time, pipe walls were becoming thinner as more and more copper was dissolved or eroded from the inside of the pipe. Leaks were occurring, and the situation was exacerbated by non-conforming plumbing systems and outdated building codes.
Another cause of pipe damage involves the narrowing of pipes, which can result in reduced flow and issues with inconsistent water pressure. In most of North America, scale can build up on the inside of pipes so that they become narrower with time.
Why is Corrosion a Problem?
The first stage of corrosion usually becomes evident when pinhole leaks develop in the water pipes. As corrosion advances, these leaks increase in frequency.
Eventually, the pipes become weakened to the point that a shut-down to repair one leak will lead to further leaks due to the pressure surge when water is turned back on once repairs are completed.
In the latter stages of corrosion, the only viable repair option is system-wide replacement of a building’s pipes.
How do I start a repiping project?
The best way to begin your project is by selecting a qualified re-piping contractor such as BMS Plumbing & Mechanical. We do our own construction management, and we have longstanding relationships with tradespeople, property managers and city officials.
Only a professional mechanical engineering company, that is experienced and familiar with the ins and outs of repiping, will create a full-tender package for selected contractors to provide bids on your project.
Using detailed plans and specifications, we advertise for bids via a public tender process, and we provide building owners with design-build plans and a firm-priced contract for your project.
What are the methods involved in repiping?
There are two main types of plumbing replacement designs in a building: horizontal and vertical systems.
In a horizontal system, the main pipes are typically located in the corridor ceilings on each floor. Fixtures in the suites are isolated by valves located either inside the suites or in the hallways.
The need to enter individual suites is minimized and there is better control for isolating the fixtures. This system is particularly well-suited for high-rise structures that have ample space for new piping in the hallway corridors.
In a vertical system, the main pipes run along the corridors and inside the suites. The piping is then run vertically to service the fixtures on the upper and lower floors. More access to suites is required with a vertical system, and it is better suited for low-rise structures.
Who certifies the work, both in my suite and in common areas?
New installations are inspected by municipal inspectors and representatives of engineering firms on a regular basis. In addition, BMS will provide you with a warranty on both materials and labour.
What documentation will I receive after project completion?
We provide you with as-built drawings, maintenance manuals, warranty documentation and building inspection reports.
Who are the experts in the field of piping replacement?
There are only a few companies in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland that have the expertise required to properly repipe a building. BMS is one of them.
How long does it take to repipe a building?
Depending on the size of your project, it can take from as little as 4 weeks for small residential jobs to as long as 5 months for complete building retrofits.
Do you have to do work within my unit?
When a building is completely repiped, we require access to your unit when we connect the new piping to your plumbing fixtures. Residents need not be present, and plenty of advance notice is given in writing for suite access.
Which areas in my suite will be affected during repiping?
In most cases, the only affected areas are kitchens and bathrooms. The time required to install new pipes and repair the walls and ceilings varies from 6 to 10 working days. Aesthetics are important to us, and the walls in your suite will look as good as they did before the repiping project.
Will I be without water when repair work is being performed?
Yes, you will be without water for short periods. However, you will be properly notified. In all cases, full water service will be restored by the end of each workday.
Can pets stay in the unit when work is being performed?
It is best to house your pet elsewhere while work is being done in your suite. If this is not an option, we suggest that your pet be crated or restricted to a discrete location within the suite when work is being done.
What are your working hours?
Our regular working hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. We do not work on weekends or holidays except in emergency situations. BMS Plumbing & Mechanical is on call 24 hours a day in case of emergency.
Will there be any changes to the appearance of my suite after repiping?
In most cases, there will be no difference in appearance to your suite after repiping. In some buildings, we may have to install some minor bulkheads to hide the new plumbing.
How often is the worksite cleaned?
Our team cleans up at the end of each workday, while a comprehensive final cleanup is done at the completion of the contract.
Do you replace Poly B piping?
Poly B piping can fail prematurely due to exposure to UV light. Some insurance companies require that Poly B piping be replaced before insuring a building. BMS has extensive experience with the removal and replacement of Poly B piping to ensure that your building is insurable.
For more information, give us a call and we can answer any questions you may have about our systematic re-piping process: (604) 253-9330.
Give Us a Call
To start the process of resolving your plumbing problems and piping challenges, we can dispatch one of our repiping consultants to your building at your earliest convenience. We offer free, no-obligation estimates. For more information on re-piping, give us a call at 604-253-9330, or submit a contact form and we’ll get back to you promptly.