Will gas water heater work without electricity?
When you turn on the hot water faucet, you expect hot water to come out within a few seconds, maybe a minute later. Then one time you turn on the hot water faucet and there is no hot water, no matter how long you wait. So, you go check your gas water heater and notice the tank isn’t warm to the touch. What does this mean?
First, if you don’t know, see if your gas water heater has a power cord and if it does, is it plugged in? If it is unplugged, plug it in. If it is plugged in, check the breaker box and if the circuit to the water heater is off, flip it back on. Wait a few minutes and see if the water gets hot.
Maybe, it depends on the type of pilot light. A gas water heater definitely does not need electricity to heat the water, but if there is a power cord from the gas water heater to a wall outlet, then your gas water heater depends on electric power to ignite the pilot light.
A gas water heater that is designed with a continuous gas pilot light should keep functioning even with an electrical power outage. With that a continuous gas pilot light, a gas water heater and power outage is the better combination. Many homeowners prefer a home with both electricity and gas appliances just reasons like power outages. When the electricity is off, then you still have gas to cook with, heat your home, and with the continuous gas pilot light, you’ll still have hot water.
A gas water heater with an electric pilot light will even keep working if it doesn’t rely on electricity. However, if your gas water heater does rely on the electricity, it will usually keep hot water in the tank for a few days during a power outage.
What causes a water heater to not stay lit?
The most common issue for gas water heaters that won’t stay lit is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a device that measures the temperature of the water and regulates the gas flow inside the gas water heater. A gas furnace has a thermocouple too.
There are 2 wires coming from a thermocouple on your gas water heater, one to the thermostat and one to the pilot light. When the wire to the pilot light gets bend, damaged, or dirty, it can’t send the electric signal to open the gas valve so that the needed combustion can take place.
Can a gas water heater leak?
Yes, a gas water heater can leak either gas or water. If it is a gas leak, turn the gas supply off immediately. Every gas water heater is installed with a dedicated gas valve at the gas line. Turn this to the off position and call a plumber immediately.
If it is the water leaking from your gas water heater, turn the water off to the water heater tank using the dedicated shutoff water valve at the cold water inlet pipe. There are two options your gas water heater may have:
- Gate-style valve: This type of water valve is a wheel. You need to turn the valve clockwise as far as it will turn.
- If the shut-off water valve is a ball-style, turn the handle 180 degrees.
- If either water valve is broken, turn the water off at the main water shut off valve. This will shut the water off to your entire house.
Why is gas water heater leaking?
There can be a variety of reasons a gas water heater begins leaking water. You can inspect the following to determine the leak yourself or call a plumber for service.
- The inlet and outlet: This is where the water pipes connect to the gas water heater. Make sure the cold water intake and the hot water output connections are tight and not leaking. You can tighten them using a pipe wrench.
- The T&P valve: This is the pressure relief valve, and it is designed to release water in case of a pressure build up, it is a safety feature to keep your gas water heater from blowing water out from other areas of the water heater.
- The thermostat settings: Make sure the thermostat settings aren’t turned up too high. This can cause the pressure at the hose bib and cause your gas water heater to leak water. Most gas water heaters are set at 140 degrees by the manufacturer.
- The water pressure: Check the water pressure at the hose bib. An inbound water pressure that is more than 80 PSI, you need to have a PRV (pressure reducing valve) installed.
- The drain valve: The drain valve is at the bottom of the water tank and should be closed at all times. Depending on where your gas water is located, it could accidently be opened and start leaking.
- The water heater bottom: If there is water leaking from the valve, it will run down the tank sides, making it seem the tank is leaking. If you have determined that is not where the leak is coming from using the steps above, then check the tank itself along the seams and at the bottom. If you gas water heater is leaking at any of those areas, your water neater needs to be replaced.
If you aren’t able to determine where the water leak is coming from, call a plumber for assistance.
If I need to replace my gas water heater, which gas fired water heater should I get?
Buying a new gas water heater is an investment in your home, and while they aren’t super expensive, you don’t want to have to replace it again too soon either. So, choosing one that will give you a few years is important. The following are three of the top recommendations by many experts:
- BEST OVERALL GAS WATER HEATER: Rinnai High Efficiency 6.5-GPM Tankless Water Heater
- RUNNER-UP GAS WATER HEATER: A.O. Smith Signature 40-Gallon Water Heater
- BEST FOR THE MONEY GAS WATER HEATER: Sure Comfort 40-Gallon Natural Gas Tank Water Heater
What size gas water heater do i need?
The best way and most recommended way to determine what size of gas water heater you need is by how many people live in your home. A 40-gallon gas water heater is typically plenty for a household of 4 people. The following is the basic recommendations:
- One to two people—23 gallons to 36 gallons capacity
- Two to four people—36 gallons to 46 gallons capacity
- Three to five people—46 gallons to 56 gallons capacity
- Five or more people—no smaller than 56 gallons capacity adding 10 gallons for a 6th and 10 gallons for every additional person
With the purchase of a gas water heater, where is the best place to install it?
When installing a new gas water heater, you’ll need to check with the local governing offices if there are building codes and regulations in regard to where a gas water heater should be installed. Every city, every county is different in every state. By having your gas water heater installed by a professional plumbing contractor, they know these codes and regulations or who to call to get the information.
Why should you choose to go with a gas water heater? What are the advantages between a gas water heater vs electric? The price points are different when it comes to the different water heater types, which is usually the deciding factor for most homeowners.
With a gas water heater, it will use natural gas instead of electricity. When there is a power outage, as we discussed earlier, you could still have hot water.
While gas is a dangerous power source, known for explosions and fires, gas water heaters today have ingenious mechanisms that make it highly unlikely to happen.
For the power, gas is cheaper than electricity. However the purchase point of the gas water heater is more than an electric. You do get your money back fairly quick though with the gas water heater. Need gas water heater installation in Chattanooga, TN? Call 423-718-7342 today!