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Extreme cold keeping plumbers busy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Cold weather is keeping plumbers everywhere busy as they deal with emergency calls for frozen and burst pipes.

Plumbers tell Newschannel 3 that many people have gone away not thinking about what may happen to their home while they're out and coming back to find burst pipes.

But there are some things you can do to try to prevent that even in these extreme temperatures.

At Sommerdyke Plumbing in Grand Rapids, the calls just keep coming.

Technician Darrin Ackerman says the recent drop in temperature is keeping the phones ringing.

"As soon as the weather changes it always happens- we get busy," Ackerman said.

And he says most of those are emergency calls are for burst pipes.

"It freezes and expands the copper pipe usually, and just splits it--and then all of a sudden its full flow just like turning on a faucet and it just runs and runs and runs, so you can imagine what it can do if you had this running for 3 days," Ackerman said.

But he adds there are some way to prevent your pipes from freezing.

"You gotta open up your cabinet doors, because you trap the cold in when it gets this cold--everyone should open up their cabinet doors under sinks--leave em open for the most of it," he advised.

Ackerman also recommends leaving the faucet running- just a little bit. He says that way the water continues to move, instead of freezing inside the pipe.

While you may think the biggest risks are inside, Ackerman says you also need to look outside, ot make sure any outdoor faucets aren't leaking.

As for Sommerdyke Plumbing, they're expecting it will only get busier as temps drop even further on Tuesday.

They also advise that you make sure you know where to turn the water off in your house-- that way, in case you have a leak you don't have to wait for plumber.