The Difference Between a Gas and Electric Water Heater

With the new federal changes for water heaters being implemented this year, it may be time
to start thinking about your water heater. Whether you want to change before the regulations are in place to keep the lower size and price, or want to update to those models that meet the new regulations, there are still other variations to consider.

Along with how many gallons the hot water heater is, it’s important to determine whether you need a gas or electric water heater. Learn the difference between these two, and what advantages each has for your home.


Inside a Water Heater


As you can see in the diagram below, not only is the source of energy different for each of these, but the actual makeup varies as well:

  • Electric water heaters include an upper thermostat and a lower one, while gas water heaters only include the single gas thermostat.
  • Both include the dip tube and an anode rod to regulate the water temperature.
  • With a gas hot water heater, the gas burner is located at the bottom with a pilot. The vent through the roof offers the supply of energy here. In comparison the electric water heater relies on an electric supply going in through the top.

Functions of an Electric vs Gas Water Heater


Along with being built differently, the functionality you get with an electric vs a gas hot water heater varies as well:


  • Electric water heaters are more expensive to install, and in most cases, gas water heaters will be more cost effective. Even still they are less efficient than their electric counterparts.
  • The cost you will pay for a gas water heater on a monthly basis depends in part on the cost of gas or propane at the time.
  • During a power outage, a gas hot water heater can continue to function while an electric model will be out for the duration of the outage.

Take the time to choose the right hot water heater for your home, ensuring you have the best model for your situation. If you are looking for a water heater replacement before the change in regulation, whether gas or electric, call Rooter Master Plumbing Services: 800-380-0336