Electiric vs. Gas?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by MGT_M, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    We're having a lot of old pipe replaced, and the plumber thinks we should put in a tankless water heater while we're at it. I would like to free up the space in the utility room, so I'm good with the idea. Currently we have a 40 gallon gas water heater which works fine and we never run out of hot water. THe plumber says we should go for an electric tankless. Ironically, the electrician thinks we should go with gas.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of each as far as function goes? (Not counting in initial costs)

    Thanks.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I'm not a fan of tankless heaters, but aside from that, you will almost certainly need to increase the power service regardless of which you go with. Neither gas nor electric services are large enough to supply enough power. As far as cost is concerned after the initial outlay, gas is always cheaper that electricity. In most applications, gas is faster too. I use gas for everything possible in my home and even though our electric rate are about the most reasonable anywhere in the US, gas is still less expensive.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; THe plumber says we should go for an electric tankless. Ironically, the electrician thinks we should go with gas.

    I would question the expertise of ANY plumber who recommends an electric heater, of any kind, when gas is available, unless he knows that gas tankless can be "service nightmares" and wants electricians to take care of any problems. Electric ones take ENORMOUS amounts of power to heat the water as it flows through the unit. Gas heaters require special venting materials, and possibly an oversized gas supply, so they can be much more expensive to install. It is debatable as to whether they actually save on operating costs. It depends on whose data you believe, and whether the unit is maintained properly with yearly "tuneups".

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