How Easy Is It To Change From Electric To Gas Hot Water?
Hot water accounts for up to 30% of the average household power bill, so it’s a major cost for most people.
With an electric storage cylinder you are paying to heat 160 litres of water day and night, whether it is needed or not. A much more efficient way is to just heat the water as you need it.
Gas is the best way to achieve this. Gas can provide the heat necessary to quickly heat cold water to a suitable temperature for showers, washing up etc. But how easy is it to change? And is gas the best alternative?
Electric instant hot water heaters are available but they don’t work very well in Tasmania. The water we are trying to heat often starts off very cold so an electric system struggles to lift the temperature to a usable level. Gas is the way to go.
Most of the work involved in changing from an electric to a gas hot water system is plumbing work. The old cylinder is disconnected and the pipes re-run to the instant hot water unit and bottled or town gas is connected.
The electrical work needed could be quite simple. All that’s needed is a weatherproof power point. Often the old wiring from the hot water cylinder can be used, but sometimes that wiring is the wrong size and a new circuit will need to be run.
Regulations require that all new power points be protected by an earth-leakage circuit breaker (safety switch) so some modifications to your switchboard may be required.
Sometimes major modifications could be required, if you have an old fuse board where it is not possible to to install a safety switch. For this reason it’s a good idea to talk to your electrician before any work commences to find out the extent of electrical work required.
You wouldn’t want to disconnect and remove your old hot water cylinder, get the new gas system installed and then find out it cannot be used without first replacing your switchboard.
In the worst case scenario a switchboard replacement could involve new mains cables, relocating your power meters and replacing some of your wiring. Talk to your electrician first to avoid nasty surprises.
Gas hot water is cheaper to run and you have the added advantage that it never runs out of hot water as long as you still have gas.
Do some research, get a couple of quotes and involve your electrician in the project before you begin and you’ll enjoy a smooth transition from electric to gas hot water.
Need a new power point for your gas hot water system? Phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711