RESIDENTIAL PLUMBING & FLOOD PREVENTION EXPERTS

Do It Yourself with MP

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Do It Yourself (DIY) Tips and Guides

Do It Yourself

Sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself right? At McAdams Plumbing, we believe this too, but we follow Grandpa McAdams’ old rule: Choose your battles! That’s why you won’t catch us trying to wire our own electrical.

Knowing when to call a professional is important, but their are many safe and easy fixes you can do all by yourself. For these types of issues McAdams Plumbing has decided to make this Do It Yourself page. This page, as it grows, will consist of articles and videos on how to perform your own plumbing fixes, saving you time and money!

While we can’t put everything on this page, we’ll do our best to help you help yourself.

If you wish we had a section on how to perform a particular task, email our Master Plumber Rick at rick@mcadamsplumbing.com and make the suggestion.

You can also leave your suggestion on our Facebook, Google+, FourSquare, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts.

How to Prevent Sewer Gas Odor in your Home (Trap-Priming)

Sometimes sewer odors can seep from poorly sealed toilet bases, plugged drain lines, and even line breaks that have allowed sewer water to soak into the ground under carpet, tile, etc.

This is why we recommend you contact a licensed plumber right away if you cannot seem to locate the source of the smell. Our friend Alysha from Broomfield had a similar problem.

Read about her experience with McAdams Plumbing here.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

Thawing Frozen Pipes

The best type of medicine for a frozen pipe is preventative. If a pipe is already frozen, skip to the next section to learn how to try and unfreeze a frozen section yourself.

To avoid a freeze before it happens there are a couple tricks you can use, especially if you know where a freeze threat already exists. The simplest is to raise the heat in the home a couple degrees as it starts to get colder outside.

You can double the impact of this action by also opening all your cabinets and doors where plumbing is hidden, exposing it to the warm air.

On those really cold night do what we do, shut down the main water valve and open a faucet in part of the home with the lowest elevation (not a yard faucet). This will allow water to drain our of the pipes and remove all pressure in your system removing the threat of pipe bursting altogether.

You may be able to thaw your frozen pipes before an emergency arises.

If You Can Access The Frozen Pipe

First, identify which pipe is frozen. You’ll know a pipe is frozen if on a faucet and no water comes out or only trickles out. Follow the pipe from the non-working faucet and search for any sections in which appears to have frost or exterior ice.

If you feel the pipe, the frozen section will be much colder than other areas. Look closely at the section for any bulges and feel for cracks. If there is a crack, you will need to call McAdams Plumbing for repair.

If you’ve escaped a pipe break so far, you may be able to thaw it out – even without having to tear out walls or paneling. Simply crank up the heat in your home to a higher setting and wait.

You can also direct a heat lamp, space heater, or infrared heat lamp at the section of wall where the pipe is located. Be careful not to place heat lamps too close to the wall or leave them unattended, they may cause spontaneous fires.

Leave your faucet in the “on” position, and once you hear running water, you’ll know the pipe is thawing.

If You Can Not Access The Frozen Pipe

If you have a freeze but are not sure where it is or can not access follow these steps:

  • Shut off the water to the home
  • Set all interior faucets and fixtures to the open position allowing air into the pipes. This usually accelerates the thawing process.
  • Turn the heat up as high as you can stand it (72*F or higher)
  • Open all cabinets and closet doors
  • Can take up to 48hrs to thaw during extreme cold; if you can, wait overnight

If the frozen pipe is located outside your home, or if it’s otherwise exposed, do not turn off the water supply to your home.

Start the thawing process from the tap, back to the frozen section. If you begin thawing behind the freeze, the water that’s released will have nowhere to go because it will still be blocked by ice in the frozen pipe.

Check out our Frozen / Broken Pipes or Leak Management pages for more information.

Garbage Disposal Not Turning On

It is important to make sure that when operating your garbage disposal you are running a small amount of cold water into the drain.

Run the water throughout the operation and then continue to run the water for a couple seconds after. This keeps your disposal nice and cool, and also ensures that the food and waste has been rinsed through.

Avoid using hot water as it may overheat your garbage disposal. Most Do It Yourself Broomfieldgarbage disposals have a fail safe that turns the motor off if it gets too hot.

If you can’t get your disposal to operate, first ensure it is plugged in. Sometimes you can accidentally unplug it when you go to grab an item out from under your sink.

If it is plugged in but not working, check the underside for a small red button. This is the reset button. Press this button, run some cool water down your disposal drain and then turn on the switch. If it starts up then you should be good to go. If not, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you.

NEVER pour grease or fat into your disposal or drains. This can clog your drains and ruin your garbage disposal.

For more tips and information on garbage disposals please check out the website from our friends at InSinkErator. If you are having trouble with your garbage disposal McAdams Plumbing can diagnose and make needed repairs or replacements.

If you’re thinking about upgrading to a more powerful model, give us a call at 303-465-1900 and see if it’s really necessary before you spend the money.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Toilet Tank Leak Check

Plumbers in Broomfield


  • “Thank you, McAdams Plumbing!”

    Customer Review Nancy Kepner Review 12/09/13 This is a GREAT plumber. Our house started flooding this afternoon, and after no returned calls from other plumbers in the area, we saw reviews for McAdams plumbing and called. Chris was over at our house in 10 minutes, provided instructions to my panicked daughter over the phone as Read the full article…

  • Fast Clean Repair

    Customer Review Richard Killgore Review 8.12.14 Fast, clean service with explanation of procedure. Chris worked quickly and explained his procedure. McAdams Plumbing Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review Richard! We appreciate it. If there’s ever anything we can do for you in the future, please don’t hesitate to Read the full article…

  • Knowledgeable and reasonably priced

    Customer Review Sandy Clark Review 11.12.14 Very prompt and courteous service.  Knowledgeable and reasonably priced.  Would definitely use again! McAdams Plumbing Response: Thank you so much for the great review Sandy, we truly appreciate you going out of your way for us. We’re so glad you were pleased with your service. If there’s ever anything Read the full article…