Many water heaters utilize natural gas or propane gas as a fuel source to energize and heat the water. The advantages of gas water heaters are that they have a significantly faster recovery time than electric water heaters. That means that you run out of hot water less often, and when you do deplete the stored hot water in the tank, the gas burner will heat the cold water back up faster!
The other significant advantage of gas is that it is the preferred fuel source for tankless water heaters. The reason being that Tankless water heaters, also known as “on-demand water heaters,” heat the water from cold to hot in a few seconds, and so they require a large amount of energy in a short time. An electric tankless has to have a tremendous power source, utilizing large wires and main electrical panel service capacity. A gas tankless only requires a natural gas pipe fuel source!
The downsides to gas water heaters are that they are more expensive models than electric water heaters, they are more complicated appliances, they require more technical knowledge to install safely, and they can be very dangerous if they are connected or serviced by an untrained amateur. Unless you are trained, licensed, and insured for fuel piping and plumbing safety codes, you should not work on or maintain any gas piping or appliances.
The most important safety consideration to gas appliances is venting the combustion exhaust fumes. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more likely to cause injury or death than a gas leak! Carbon monoxide is an inevitable byproduct of natural gas or propane gas combustion. Carbon monoxide is exceptionally deadly; it is odorless and is challenging to detect. A gas leak can be dangerous as well, but natural gas and propane gas has an added odor for easy detection. A gas leak also has to be in proximity of a flame or spark to cause ignition and usually must accumulate enough to fill the room before creating a massive fire.
According to Asheville safety code laws, carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed near all bedrooms of any home that has any gas appliance.
All fuel piping in North Carolina requires a licensed contractor, a permit, and a safety inspection before the fuel piping can be energized. The building codes are written for safety reasons.
There are three main types of gas venting systems. The most common being a traditional atmospheric vented gas water heater utilizing a chimney and the natural vacuum created by draft, hot air convection, and gravity. The next most commonly vented water heater is the direct vent model, which directly vents outside, and simultaneously draws fresh air from the exterior of the home. No electricity or fan is necessary when using either atmospheric standard venting or direct venting.
The third type of water heater venting is a power vent water heater. These water heaters use an electric-powered blower fan, which forces the exhaust fumes outside through a plastic vent pipe. The upside is that powered vent water heaters (like a tankless as well) are the safest gas water heaters because they shutdown if anything goes wrong. The downside is that if a power vent water heater loses electrical power, it will not work, which can be inconvenient if you live an area with frequent electrical power outages, in which case an atmospheric vented gas water heater model would be more reliable.
Overall, gas water heaters are good choices as they are among the highest performing water heaters in the market, as far as hot water volume output. For example, a Tankless gas water heater, sized and installed correctly, can run your hot water 24 hours a day!
For a free estimate, and multiple options for your water heater install, service or repair, call us today, and we will be happy to look at your water heater system and diagnose your issue, then provide you with several options to fit your needs and your budget.
-Carl Dordelman, firstname.lastname@example.org
“BETTER CALL CARL!”
Asheville, North Carolina Licensed & insured Plumber
We would be happy to do a free estimate and inspection of your water heater, give us a call at 828-589-9608