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Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have revolutionized how we experience hot water in our homes. Their energy efficiency, space-saving design, and on-demand hot water supply make them a popular choice for homeowners. However, one question often arises when considering a tankless water heater: Are they gas or electric? 

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between gas and electric tankless water heaters, helping you make an informed decision while offering practical DIY tips for common plumbing issues. And if these solutions fall short, remember, our professional plumbing services are just a call away.


Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Gas tankless water heaters are powered by natural gas or propane. They provide hot water by heating water as it flows through the unit, eliminating the need for a storage tank. Here are some key considerations when it comes to gas tankless water heaters:


High Water Flow Rates: 

Gas tankless water heaters are designed to handle high volumes of water, providing ample hot water for multiple showers, laundry, and dishwashing activities simultaneously. This capability is especially advantageous for busy households with high hot water consumption.

Quick and Efficient Heating: 

These units employ high-efficiency burners that quickly heat up the water, delivering it to you within seconds of turning on the faucet. This is not only convenient but ensures that hot water is available whenever you need it, without waiting for a tank to heat up.

Energy-Efficient and Cost-Effective: 

Gas tankless water heaters tend to have a higher energy factor (EF) rating, which is a measure of energy efficiency. This leads to less energy consumption and subsequently, lower utility bills. In regions where natural gas is cheaper than electricity, the operational cost savings can be quite significant over time.


Gas Line Requirements: 

The need for a gas line can be a roadblock for some homeowners, particularly if you live in an area where natural gas isn’t readily available. The additional work of installing a gas line can also introduce delays and complications to the setup process.

Installation Complexity: 

Beyond the need for a gas line, proper venting is critical for safely expelling combustion gases. This adds layers of complexity to the installation, requiring experienced professionals to ensure it meets local building codes and safety standards.

Initial Investment: 

While you might save in operational costs in the long run, the upfront investment can be a barrier for some. This is due to the cost of the unit itself, as well as added expenses for gas line setup, venting materials, and professional installation fees.

DIY Tip: 

Unclogging Drains For minor drain clogs, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can help break down the blockage. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes, then flush with hot water. If the clog persists, our plumbing services can provide thorough solutions.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters, as the name suggests, rely on electricity to heat water on demand. These units are generally more compact than their gas counterparts and are a suitable option for smaller households with lower hot water demands.


Simplified Installation: 

One of the key benefits of electric tankless water heaters is the ease of installation. Unlike gas models, they don’t require a gas line, which simplifies the process considerably. This is often reflected in lower installation costs as well, making them a convenient choice for many homeowners.

Ideal for Homes Without Natural Gas Access: 

If your home is not serviced by natural gas, an electric tankless water heater can be an excellent alternative. This saves you the trouble and additional expense of installing a gas line, especially in areas where natural gas isn’t readily available.

Precise Temperature Control: 

Many electric tankless water heaters come with sophisticated thermostatic controls that allow you to precisely set your preferred water temperature. This can lead to a more comfortable and consistent showering or washing experience, as the unit can maintain a stable temperature even when the water flow rate changes.


Lower Flow Rates: 

Electric tankless water heaters often have lower flow rates compared to gas models, meaning they may struggle to supply enough hot water for larger households with multiple simultaneous hot water needs, such as showers and appliances.

Electrical System Upgrades: 

Some older homes might not have an electrical system that can handle the high power demand of an electric tankless water heater. In such cases, an electrical system upgrade may be necessary, adding to the initial installation cost.

Higher Operational Costs: 

While electric units are often less expensive to install, they can have higher ongoing operational costs, especially in regions where electricity rates are high. Over time, this could offset the initial savings garnered from the easier installation process.

DIY Tip: 

Quieting Plumbing Noises If you’re dealing with noisy plumbing pipes, consider adding foam insulation around the pipes to dampen the sound. This simple fix can help reduce vibrations and unwanted noises. For more complex noise issues, our plumbing services offer comprehensive solutions.

Professional Plumbing Services

While DIY solutions can be effective for minor plumbing issues, some problems require professional expertise. If you’re facing persistent clogs, leaks, or plumbing noises, our team of skilled plumbers is ready to assist. Our range of plumbing services includes drain cleaning, pipe repairs, water heater maintenance, and more. We understand that sometimes, the expertise and equipment of professionals are necessary to ensure long-lasting solutions.

Electric vs Gas Water Heaters: Frequently Asked Questions

Which is more energy-efficient, electric or gas water heaters? 

Generally, gas water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient compared to electric ones, as they heat water faster and have lower operational costs.

Are gas water heaters more expensive to install than electric ones? 

Yes, gas water heaters can have a higher upfront cost due to the need for a gas line and installation complexity.

Do electric water heaters require a dedicated electrical circuit?

Yes, electric water heaters often require a dedicated circuit with the appropriate voltage to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Which type of water heater is suitable for larger households? 

Gas water heaters are often preferred for larger households due to their higher flow rates and ability to supply hot water to multiple fixtures simultaneously.

Can I switch from an electric to a gas water heater, or vice versa? 

Switching between electric and gas water heaters might require adjustments to your home’s infrastructure, including gas lines or electrical circuits.

As you weigh the pros and cons of electric and gas water heaters, keep these FAQs in mind. Making an informed decision based on your household’s requirements will ensure you choose the water heater that best suits your needs. If you have further questions or need expert guidance, R.S. Andrews is here to assist you. Our plumbing services encompass installation, maintenance, and repairs for both electric and gas water heaters. Contact us today for reliable and professional assistance.

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