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Tips & Troubleshooting

A little bit about my Plumbing & Heating background

I'm currently the owner and operator at Pettie's Plumbing & Heating Ltd. After years of working for other companies, I decided that I had to follow my dream of owning my own company. In December of 2015, Pettie's Plumbing & Heating was incorporated. Today I'm out in my community making a difference and doing what I've always had a passion for.

Before going out on my own, I was lucky enough to work for some great Plumbing & Heating companies. I started out commuting from Chilliwack to White Rock everyday as this was the only area that a Plumbing & Heating service company would give me a chance with my limited experience. It was a brutal commute but I really enjoyed everything I was learning and all of the knowledge I was gaining.

In 2013 (2 1/2 years after starting for the company in White Rock) I was finally offered a service technician job here in my town, Chilliwack. This was a huge step in the right direction because I no longer had an almost 3 hour daily commute, nor did I have to use my own vehicle.

I worked for this local company (who treated me great) for a couple of years. Although I enjoyed working for the company, I still had the vision of heading out on my own. I decided to part ways with the company and took all of the necessary steps to get my own business up and running.

After all of the help I received over the years, I decided it was time to start passing some helpful tips onto the average home owner.

Fix That Toilet Which Constantly Runs (Regular Flapper)

As a Service Plumber a lot of the calls we get are problems with toilets. In particular a toilet that occasionally will keep running after its been flushed. 

There's a very easy fix for this. Over time there's a rubber piece in the toilet called a 'flapper' which will become flimsy or warped to the point where it doesn't create a proper seal for the water entering the tank from the fill valve.

No tools are needed for this job. You will have to purchase a universal flapper for most toilets. What I would suggest is to remove the flapper from the toilet and take it to your local hardware store or Plumbing supplier. It shouldn't cost more than about $5 to $10 depending on the flapper.

Removing the flapper

To remove the flapper, undo the chain from the 'trip' lever. (Handle extending inside the toilet tank)

Next, remove the flapper from the two plastic hooks on the flush valve.

Installing the new flapper

Attach the flapper to the flush valve first.

Next take the chain and eye out the shortest length from the flapper to the tank or 'trip' lever. Hook the clip into at the end of the chain into the best position of link in the chain.

Next hook up the clip to the trip lever. *Make sure the flapper will close all the way after the chain is hooked up*

If you still have water running, undo the clip from the trip lever and add a few more links to the chain.

This should solve your problem.

The fill valve is located to the left and

the flush valve is located to the right.

The flapper is the blue circular piece

attached to the flush valve.

Leave roughly half an inch of slack in the chain for proper flushing.

Low Water Pressure From A Single Faucet

One of the most common calls I get and simplest to fix are related to low water pressure to even no water flowing from one of the faucets in the house.

The first thing I look at is the faucet aerator attached to the tip of the faucet.

You'll need a pair of vice grips or pliers to remove this piece. (Sometimes it's only on hand tight and you can loosen it with your fingers.)  


Before you remove the aerator, make sure the drain is plugged to avoid any parts falling through. While loosening the aerator, do it slowly. There are a few parts inside that if mixed up will really turn into a pain in the butt.

Remove the aerator by twisting the cap clockwise.

Once the aerator is removed I usually find something like this to the right.  

Over time, sediment will collect in the aerator impeding the flow of water.

Now you just need a small brush (I use an old tooth brush) to clean out all the dirt and rinse the aerator out using the same faucet you're working on. (Make sure you keep track of where every piece and washer belongs)

Now you can screw the aerator back on and enjoy your new water pressure.

Faucet Aerator

The inside of a dirty aerator

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