Meet the Locals: Jeremy Petratos

Baby wipes are the biggest problem when it comes to blocked toilets. But it’s all in a day’s work for Jeremy and his team at Better Flow Plumbing.

They specialise in maintenance and 24-hour emergencies and respond to calls within the hour. Jeremy won’t say ‘no’ to a job and Clark Estate Agents have been using him for several years now for maintenance in our properties.

Hi Jeremy, you’ve been one of the reliable local plumbers on our books for a while now. What do you enjoy about working with Clark Estate Agents?

We started working with you when you had a job that required a rapid response and we were all over it. The property managers were really happy with our work, so we kept getting more work. That was three years ago now. Really great people.

How did you get into plumbing?

I was 17 and I didn’t want to do any more school. I thought I’d pick up a trade because I was always hands-on. I started my apprenticeship with a big construction company called Pipeline Plumbing. Then I moved onto a maintenance company that was 24-hour plumbing. I learned pretty much everything about plumbing.

What do you like about your work?

You’re not doing the same thing every day. And you’re helping people every day.

Why did you start your own business?

I was 25 years old. I met my wife and started the business Better Flow Plumbing all in the same year. That was five years ago. While we’re based in Botany, we work everywhere in Sydney from the eastern suburbs to the Blue Mountains and the Northern Beaches.

Do you specialise in anything?

We work in maintenance and we respond to 24-hour emergency jobs. We’ll fix everything from leaking taps, blocked toilets, burst pipes, gas leaks and blocked drains to toilet renewals and renovations.

What are the benefits of running your own business?

You get to be your own boss. You also get to work with the community.

Who do you have working with you?

I have an apprentice and a tradesman. They’re top blokes. I treat my employees like family. I also have my wife on the books as well. She does all the accounts. I have a one-and-a-half-year-old son. I’m hoping he’ll join the business one day, too!

Living and working in our local area – how is life for you?

Well, normally we’re really busy. My phone was always ringing. But less so now with the construction lockdown. We are just doing emergency callouts.

How are you coping with lockdown/restrictions?

Look it’s very, very hard. We have lost a lot of work. Emergency work is keeping us afloat. Put it that way. We’re struggling, but we’re doing alright. We can pay our staff and that’s all that matters.

Thinking of selling?

Just researching the market?

What are the most common plumbing issues you see?

A lot of leaking taps and toilets, and a lot of blocked drains. But we’ve got all the gadgets to fix these things like high pressure jet blasters, sewerage inspection cameras, locators … we’ve got it all.

Where do you find the most problems?

The older houses especially have a lot of sewer problems where we have to replace the old terracotta with PVC pipes.

What’s the grossest job?

I’ve seen houses flood full of sewage.

Oh, gross!

Yes, that would be an emergency call out. Our rapid response time is pretty good … within the hour.

Are there any warning signs for blocked pipes?

If they start gurgling or slowly filling up it means you’ve got a blockage somewhere down the line. We find the weirdest things down toilets. Toys. But baby wipes are the worst. We get calls sometimes four times a week because of baby wipes.

Best tips for homeowners or tenants to avoid plumbing issues?

Don’t let a leaking tap drip for months on end. If you let it go too long you can have an emergency in a burst pipe. If you see a leaking tap, call us so we can fix it straight away. That way you won’t have to deal with it in the early hours of the morning.

Thanks for the chat, Jeremy, and thanks for dealing with all our plumbing emergencies. Good luck getting back to normal after the lockdown.

You can find out more about Better Flow Plumbing at betterflowplumbing.com.au

Article by Brendon Clark
‘The details matter - through every part of the process.’ With decades of runs on the board alongside a fresh outlook, Brendon is co-director of Clark - and one half of one of Sydney’s most dynamic and successful real estate duos. Having carved out a reputation for results in the… Read More
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