Valuable tips will keep your pipes from freezing during the cold snap

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DENVER -- Protecting your plumbing is top of mind for many of you as the mercury drops even lower overnight and into Wednesday morning.

We got some tips to keep the water flowing from your faucets.

"It's ridiculously cold out there," says Susan Roberts Frew, owner of Sunshine Plumbing, Heating and Air in Commerce City.

Tumbling temperatures into the single digits mean businesses like hers get a hot streak of phone calls about broken heaters.

"This morning the phones were blowing up," she says.

But in a few days, when the mercury rises above freezing, they'll be flooded with calls for help of another kind.

“The broken pipes, the frozen pipes, all the plumbing calls will probably triple to where they are today because people are not going to realize they have a problem right now," she says.

But you can avoid this plumbing problem with a little prevention.

Keep those pipes--next to an outside wall, or in a basement, or attic--warm enough.

"Run a little bit of water just to keep it moving. Anything that is moving isn't going to be able to freeze up on you,” says Sunshine plumber Casey Roberts.

Also keep those cabinets open--exposing pipes to your home's warmth.

"Even though it's nice and warm in your home, it may be a totally different story under your sink," he says.

And shell out a few bucks for insulation.

"It's a good idea to do that for the minimum amount that it costs to buy insulation. It's going to save you hundreds of dollars,” says Roberts.

And the Red Cross says things like newspaper, even a quarter of an inch, can work in a pinch for a shorter plunge in temperatures.

If your pipes do get frozen you'll save money by shutting off the main water valve.

"You won't have massive, rushing, pressured water rushing out into your house," says Roberts.

If your pipes are cracked, then you can call in the plumbing pros.

Or if you're handy enough, you can replace the pipe yourself by thawing it using a hair dryer, heating pad, space heater, or towels soaked in hot water.

But don't use a torch, kerosene, propane heater, or anything with an open flame. That could leave you with another, bigger problem of a fire.