When it comes to home appliances, there are a lot of questions that come up about what they need to work on. For example, do gas water heaters need electricity? It might seem like an odd question, but it’s one many homeowners find themselves asking at some point.
This article will cover how these heaters work and some of their pros and cons. Read on to learn more and improve your knowledge about water heaters powered by gas.
What Is a Gas Water Heater?
A gas water heater is a device that heats water in homes. This heater uses natural gas or propane to heat the water, which flows through pipes and radiators for distribution throughout the house.
Gas hot water heaters are usually less expensive to operate than electric type, and can heat water more quickly. However, gas models require electricity to run the fan that circulates the hot air and a constant supply of natural gas. They will not work during a power outage unless you have a backup power source.
How Does a Gas Water Heater Work?
Gas water heaters work by heating the water that is stored in their water tank. They’re further protected against corrosion by an anode rod and a corrosion-proof interior lining. The tank is mounted on a base and should be secured to the wall in earthquake-prone areas.
The thermostat, an electronic gas valve, and the burner, which is located beneath the tank, are all gas system parts. Modern gas water heaters typically use an electronic igniter to let the gas in, compared to older types that use a pilot tube and an ever-burning pilot light.
Natural gas or propane is used as an energy source to heat the water. The gas is preheated to a high temperature before entering the unit. The pressure of the gas, at about 100 PSI, heats the water in an insulated boiler (generally located in a basement) that produces steam. The hot steam turns a turbine, which drives a generator to produce electricity and heat.
Natural gas or propane is usually delivered through metering equipment that monitors consumption and automatically adds fuel when needed, all to maintain combustion. As the water becomes hot, it rises to the top of the tank and is then distributed through a series of pipes to other areas of your home.
A gas type typically lasts 8-12 years, depending on usage and maintenance.
Gas Water Heaters and Electricity
A gas water heater with electricity has two parts: an outdoor and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit connects to your home’s natural gas line or propane tank and contains the burner, insulation tank, and pilot light (which lights up when you turn on your faucet). The indoor unit connects to your home’s electrical circuit box and contains the thermostat (which controls how much heat the burner puts out), electronic controls, and a heating element.
These types of heaters are referred to as gas heaters with “ignition control”. They use electricity to kickstart their system (will not work in a power outage).
Working of Gas Water Heaters With Electricity Usage
This water heater relies on gas and a pilot light. When you turn on the gas, the pilot light will ignite and start heating the water present in the tank. The pilot light will only stay on as long as enough gas comes into it, so if you turn off the gas, it will also go out.
The main advantage of this type of water heater is that they do not rely on electricity for their work. They’re also effortless to use and maintain. All you need to do is turn on the gas and light up the pilot, and your hot water will be ready in no time. The disadvantage is that it takes more time for your hot water to get ready than other types of heaters. There are many more steps involved in heating your tank of water with this system.
Types of Water Heaters
Gas water heaters are a great way to heat water for your home. They are safe, efficient, and cost-effective. There are three major types of gas water heaters:
Pilot-Controlled Gas Heater
A pilot-controlled gas heater uses an igniter to heat the water. The igniter is controlled by a switch, usually located on the side of the unit. When the switch is turned on, the igniter will heat up, ignite the gas and then heat the water.
Pilot-controlled gas heaters are pricier than other gas water heaters, but are also more efficient and easier to use. A pilot-controlled model is a good option if you’re looking for a gas water heater that doesn’t require electricity. There can be many reasons why a pilot light won’t stay lighted.
Electric-Controlled Gas Water Heater
An electric-controlled gas uses electricity to ignite the burner and control the temperature. The electricity is used to power a fan that blows air over the burner to ignite the gas. The electricity is also used to control a thermostat that regulates the temperature of the water.
These heaters are more flexible for placement and are more efficient overall. The only drawback is that they require electricity for their work.
Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater is a water heater that doesn’t use a storage tank. Instead, it heats water on demand as you need it.
Tankless water heaters are usually powered by electricity, but some models can run on gas. Gas tankless water heaters have several advantages over traditional storage tank water heaters:
- They’re more efficient because they only heat water when you need it. rather than keeping a tank of hot water on standby.
- Takes up less space since they don’t have a bulky storage tank.
- Tankless water heaters typically have a longer lifespan than storage tank water heaters.
Do Gas Water Heaters Need Electricity?
A pilot-controlled gas heater doesn’t require electricity. The pilot light will stay on, even if there is no power. In the case of electric ignition gas heaters, the tank’s water will stay hot for a while after a power failure. However, once it cools, you don’t have any other choice but to wait until the electricity is restored.
When it comes to gas water heaters, there are three types of fuel sources that they use: natural gas, electricity and propane.
The first type is usually used for homes with natural gas lines in their home. However, the second type is more common as a backup for people who live in rural areas, or simply don’t have access to natural gas lines in their homes. Conversely, electricity is also supported by a certain type of gas water heater.
There are two types of gas water heaters: those that come with an electric igniter and those that don’t. And keeping the above discussions in mind, it is clear that only Pilot-controlled gas water heaters and some models of tankless water heaters will keep working in case of a power outage.
In the case of Electric-controlled and Tankless water heaters, they’ll stop heating the water when the electricity goes off.
If you have a tankless gas water heater, it most likely won’t function without electricity since the controls and ignition need power. Only a few are built to operate without 120V power, where electricity is produced from the flowing water. A power-vented gas heater with a tank won’t function without electricity because the power vent (fan) needs electricity to run.
Should You Use Gas Water Heater Without Or With Electricity?
When deciding whether to use a gas water heater with or without electricity, consider the cost of each option. Gas water heaters are typically cheaper than electric water heaters but may require a higher initial investment.
Next, think about the climate where you live. If your area experiences cold winters, a gas model may be the better option since it can provide heat even when the power is out.
On the flip side, if you live in a warm climate, an electric water heater may be the better choice since it will be more efficient in warm weather.
Finally, consider your personal preference. Some people prefer the convenience of an electric, while others find that a gas type is more reliable. Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a gas water heater with or without electricity is personal.
Do gas water heaters need electricity? If you own a model that does and there is a power outage, you will be left with no other option but to take a freezing shower. From the above discussion, it is clear that not all gas water heaters need electricity.
The amount of electricity required depends on the model of the gas water heater. Most models will have a small electric fan that helps circulate air and keep the burner operating efficiently. Some models also have an electronic ignition system that uses a small amount of electricity to light the pilot light. So, smaller models require less power than larger models.