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Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity?

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity?

Many people in the United States use gas water heaters. A lot of them ask one question: Do gas water heaters need electricity?

Gas water heaters are ideal for large homes where people use a lot of hot water.

Moreover, they are less expensive due to the low cost of natural gas. Some people think that these heaters do not use electricity in any way. However, this is not the case.

Many gas water heaters do use electricity in order to ignite the heating system. After the system has been ignited, the water heater will then use gas instead of electricity.

Pilot-controlled gas water heaters are also available, and they do not use any electricity.

A pilot-controlled water heater generates heat and warms water using a pilot light that operates even without electricity.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether gas water heaters need electricity to operate and which type of heater will be most suitable for you in terms of cost and reliability.

Is Electricity Required to Run a Gas Water Heater?

In a pilot-controlled gas heater, a pilot light will keep operating even if the power is turned off.

In case of a power outage, a gas heater with electrical ignition will keep the water stored within the tank hot for a short period of time.

However, there is no way to reheat it until the electricity is restored because electric power is required to ignite the heating system.

Gas heaters with a pilot control are more dependable. They use a constant pilot light that runs on gas. The pilot light will continue heating the water even if there is no electricity since it runs on gas.

As a result, hot water will always be available.

Gas heaters installed in most homes today have an electric ignition control. However, water is still heated with gas while electricity is used to start the heating process. 

Tanks are included with certain gas heaters. They resemble standard electric heaters to some extent. They do, however, heat water with a pilot light.

If you have an electric gas heater with a tank, the water in the tank will stay hot for several hours.

However, you won’t be able to reheat it without the use of power. If your gas heater has a pilot light, it will keep operating even if the power goes out.

So you can still take a hot bath despite the blackout.

Are There Heaters That Don’t Need Electricity?

On the other hand, a tankless heater does not offer the same benefit. These heaters are handy, small, and simple to set up.

They also don’t need as much upkeep and repair as standard gas heaters need.

You don’t have to wait for the water to warm up since there is no tank. The heating system rapidly heats the water. As a result, you can bathe using tankless heaters whenever you want.

However, if something bad happens with a tankless heater and it stops operating, you won’t have any hot water for the next couple of hours.

These types of on-demand gas warmers have an electric control interface. This means that they won’t work without electricity.

Electric-controlled gas water heaters are most commonly used because they are more economical and environment-friendly.

They are also more affordable to update. Check for a power cord if you’re having trouble figuring out whether or not your gas heater is the electric variety.

Your gas heater uses a power supply that links to your home’s circuits.

home gas water heater

How Does a Gas Water Heater Operate?

A gas water heater employs the physics principle of convection. The tank receives water from the cold water pipe, which is subsequently heated by the gas burner beneath.

The water rises as it warms until the heated water discharge tube calls on it to give hot water to the home.

The gas burner is controlled by the gas regulator, which is placed on the front of the water heater.

It has a thermostat that monitors the water temperature and turns on the gas burner whenever the temperature decreases.

The passage of exhaust gas from home through the ventilation tube is also controlled by an exhaust pipe that goes across the center of the water heater tank.

A spiral metal is inserted in the hollow tube, which collects and distributes the energy to the water, enhancing the water heater’s effectiveness.

How Much Does a Gas Water Heater Cost?

If you decide to go with a gas water heater, you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for installation.

Following that, your monthly expenditures will be controlled by the quantity of gas you consume. The gas water heater will set you back roughly $36.50 each month.

On the other hand, an electric gas water heater costs roughly $46.50 per month and approximately $700 and $1,000 to set up.

Pilot-Controlled vs. Electric-Ignition Controlled Water Heaters

The initial cost is the first factor to consider when choosing between a pilot-controlled and electric-ignition-controlled water heater.

The latest water heaters that use electricity to ignite the heating mechanism are more efficient and are equipped with a more advanced device for ignition.

That’s why electric-ignition-controlled water heaters are of a higher price than their pilot-controlled alternatives.

When choosing between pilot-controlled and electric-ignition-controlled water heaters, it is also important to consider which one would help you save on utility bills.

The former requires constant fuel, which means that it will cost you more money on utility charges.

On the other hand, an electric-ignition-controlled water heater ensures that there is no wastage of gas as the pilot light is not continuously running.

The cost of maintenance should also be taken into consideration. This also includes the prices of spare parts.

Between pilot-controlled and electric-ignition-controlled water heaters, the latter is more costly to maintain because they require more expensive parts.

Summing Up If Gas Water Heaters Need Electricity

While gas water heaters don’t run on electricity, they do require it in order to ignite and start the system.

This means that if the power goes out, you might only have hot water for a short time. You can invest in other types of water heaters if you’re worried about gas water heaters not being able to give you warm water.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.