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3 Considerations When Switching to an Electric Water Heater

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Although gas is an incredibly efficient way to heat a home, there are many reasons to consider switching to an electric heater when your old unit gives out. Electric heaters are often cheaper to purchase upfront, and if you live in an area with a renewable-focused grid, they can also be an environmentally-friendly choice. Making the switch does require some care, however.

If you've decided to take the leap from gas to electric, then this article will help you to understand three factors you'll need to keep in mind when having your new heater installed.

1. You Still Need to Worry About Your Gas Line

Even though you're switching to electric, you can't just ignore your old gas line. Your installer will need to disconnect the water heater gas line and cap it off to prevent gas leaks. Since the old gas like will likely be physically too close to the new heater, your installer will also cut the pipe back to avoid damage during installation or future maintenance.

Since working with gas lines can be potentially hazardous, always trust this work to a professional. Most plumbers are licensed to work on gas lines but always ask before beginning your install. You should also contact your gas company to terminate your service if you do not use any other gas appliances.

2. Your Electrical Box May Need An Upgrade

Like most high-draw appliances, your new water heater will need a 240-volt dedicated electrical circuit. If you're converting from a gas heater, then you'll need your installers to wire a new circuit for you. In most cases, this means that you'll have a dedicated electrical box near the water heater's location to contain the circuit breaker.

Electric water heaters typically use 20-amp circuits, which should not be a problem for most homes. You may need to consider a service upgrade if your panel is already overloaded or have an older service box. Some older homes may only use 100-amp service, which may not be sufficient to supply electricity to a water heater if you already have other high-draw appliances such as air conditioners.

3. You May Need to Seal Your Chimney Vent

Gas water heaters must exhaust their combustion byproducts outside, just like most other gas appliances. If you're replacing a gas water heater, then you'll need to decide what to do with your old chimney vent. Abandoned vents can allow drafts into your home or provide a path for pests, so it's typically a good idea to seal one that is no longer in use.

Learn more about making the switch by contacting water heater installation companies. 


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