PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) -- Every November, Valley plumbers experience a spike in emergency calls for water heater leaks and cracks, 3 On Your Side has learned.

According to Victor Kuman of Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing, water heaters break as temperatures drop.

"Water heaters are kind of on cruise control through the summer," Kuman said. "Then they will have to constantly heat and re-heat, which causes the metals to expand and contract in the water heater and can cause a lot of stress on them and they do tend to fail more often around this time," Kuman said.

A sure sign of a water heater problem is water pooling in the drain pan, but there are warning signs that a water heater is on its last legs.

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"You can see rust or calcium spots around the base," Kuman said. "That’s a really big sign that you should have someone come take a look at it."

Regular maintenance will also help. According to Kuman, water heaters should be flushed twice a year. Consumers can call for service or DIY.

"You want to hook up a hose to the bottom and actually drain the entire water heater, but then continue to let it run and you can flush out some of the sediment or debris," Kuman suggested.

The typical life span of a water heater in Arizona is 10 to 12 years, Kuman said.


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