Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity? Complete Guide

does a gas water heater need electricity

If you’re looking for a new water heater, you’re wondering does a gas water heater need electricity. While a gas water heater does not need electricity to heat water, specific components, such as the thermostat, igniter, and blower, require electricity.

Consider the type of water heater along with the electricity cost. The only component that requires electricity is the pilot light, while the rest runs on gas. This article will offer you an overview of the different components of a gas water heater and how they interact with electricity.

What Is A Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters are highly effective and provide a cost-effective option compared to electric versions. With a little extra capital at the start, you can enjoy smaller energy bills over time. This appliance stores hot water in its tank, making it an economical choice for households.

Gas water heaters have a pilot light that is always on and should still function even if the power goes out. An electric connection ignites the pilot light so it can turn on. Once the pilot light stands ignited, it will stay lit. Therefore, electrical power is not essential for the gas water heater to work correctly.

What Is A Pilot Light

does a gas water heater need electricity

To heat your water, you must ignite the pilot light. It’s a straightforward and secure process. Switch your gas on and utilize an electric lighter to ignite the pilot. This heat source will keep your water warm all the time. You will no longer have to delay for the water to reach a comfortable temperature.

Do you own a furnace? This type of heating appliance typically has an ignition device commonly known as a pilot light. At times, this light may become extinguished, which can be due to the need for a reset or the potential for a gas leakage into the house.

Standing Pilot Systems Don’t Need Electricity

Many individuals recognize the noticeable pilot flame of the “standing pilot” ignition framework. In a standing pilot system, an electric spark by a piezo igniter lights the pilot. This little fire lit the primary gas fire.

The typical piezo igniters consist of a press button – most of us are familiar with activating the ignition switch and continuously pressing the button to ignite a pilot light. Since you are supplying the energy to ignite the pilot light, no electric current is required for this form of ignition.

Electronic Ignition Systems Do Need Electricity

Electronic ignition systems are more cost-effective and eco-friendly than traditional systems, which require a pilot light that is always burning. This is because the pilot light no longer needs to be constantly burning.

Remember that there are two primary forms of electronic ignition systems: intermittent pilot and hot surface ignition. The intermittent pilot works similarly to the standing pilot type, with a gas flame triggered to light the gas burners in the water heater. However, this pilot will only stay lit until the burners are ignited.

does a gas water heater need electricity

It enhances the pilot ignition system since it does not need a match to light. Electric water heaters with an HSI setup incorporate silicon carbide or nitride parts. The burners necessitate a burst of electricity to warm them up till they radiate an orange or red hue, thereby causing them to ignite.

Every electronic ignition system must have a power source of electricity to operate. If your system does not have a constant flame, then it is a form of electronic ignition.

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity: Introduction

does a gas water heater need electricity

A gas heater with a pilot light will continue to generate heat even if there is a lack of electricity. Conversely, a gas heater with an electric ignition will still have warm water in its tank for a short time following a power outage. Once it has cooled down, it is no method to reheat it until the electricity is restored.

Pilot-controlled gas heaters are advantageous because they offer dependability. The gas pilot flame is constant. You will always have hot water.

Gas heaters with an electrical starting system are exciting because they are genuine gas heaters that use gas to heat the water. Nevertheless, they need electricity to activate the heating system.

Certain types of gas heaters possess a tank, and they resemble classic electric heaters visually. However, they rely on a pilot light to heat water.

If you are having a tank-style electric gas heater, the water stored in the tank will stay warm for a few hours. Nevertheless, in the event of a power outage, it is impossible to heat it again without electricity.

Does a gas water heater need electricity? When using a pilot light-operated heater, you can still take a hot shower even if there is a power outage. The heater will remain functional despite the blackout.

Unlike tank-based heaters, tankless heaters do not offer the same benefits. They are small, effortless to set up, and require less care and servicing than regular gas heaters.

As tankless heaters don’t require a tank, they are able to heat water almost immediately. This means that individuals with these heaters can shower without delay.

Nevertheless, if an issue occurs and the tankless water heater fails to function, you won’t have a storage of hot water to utilize for the following few hours. These gas heaters have a control panel that requires electricity, meaning they cannot function without electricity.

If you’re having difficulty figuring out if your gas water heater needs electricity, check for an electrical cable. If the heater has a power cord attached to the home’s electrical system, it requires electricity to run and will not work in a power outage.

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity: Can A Gas Water Heater Run Without Electricity?

Water heaters with a continuous pilot light can maintain the water temperature. You can start it up by switching the gas on and using any flame to ignite the pilot light.

Gas-powered water heaters that operate with electricity do not have an auto shut-off feature. Instead, they employ an electric component to turn on the heating system. The water heaters are powered by gas, but including an electric component ensures that the heater will not function during an electrical outage.

Does a gas water heater need electricity? A gas water heater with a pilot light can still operate without electricity, but one with an electric ignition will not work if the power is out.

Gas heaters that require electricity get identity by their components, such as circuit boards, relays, blower motors, and thermostats, all powered by electricity.

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity: Working Of A Gas Water Heater Without Electricity


Tank-style gas heaters consist of a tank with a gas burner underneath and a water supply pipe that supplies a continual stream of water into the tank. The water fed into the tank is initially cold.

After you ignite the pilot light, the gas burner at the bottom will start heating up the water. The thermal level in the tank will slowly rise until the water reaches a temperature suitable for use.

These kinds of gas heaters have a gas regulator on the side of the device that keeps track of the water temperature in collaboration with the thermostat.

The thermostat regulates the heat inside a space. It can turn the gas burner both ON and OFF. Additionally, you can adjust the temperature by using this device.

Tankless gas heaters are not the same as tank-style gas heaters. Instead, they come with heat exchangers, which are tools that disperse the heat generated by the gas burner to heat up the water in the pipes.

Tankless water heaters offer a consistent stream of hot water until the electricity cuts off. Certain tank-style gas heaters require an electric element to power up a pilot light.

Once the pilot light is lit, it will keep burning without any energy supply. But if the flame extinguishes, wait for the electricity to come back to light the pilot light again.

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity: Better To Use A Water Heater With Or Without Electricity?

Over time, gas water heaters are more economical than electric water heaters. In an average dwelling, you may spend $36 a month on a gas water heater instead of $46 on an electric model. Moreover, electric water heaters cannot be used during an electrical outage.

Initially, gas water heaters with electrical components were more affordable than those that did not require electricity. It costs around $1000 to set up a gas water heater with electric components, whereas a gas heater without electricity can cost up to $3000 for installation.

In a typical house, electric ignition-controlled water heaters are much more likely to be found than those that operate with a pilot light. Nevertheless, people with powerful electric gas heaters will experience a more marked difference in expenses in the long run.

Before you make a purchase for an electric gas heater, remember that it may be inexpensive up front, but you will be paying more in the long run. Ultimately, it is not a cost-effective option.

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity: Do They Have Batteries?


Gas water heaters don’t have batteries.

Even though electric panels require electricity, electric gas heaters must be plugged into an electrical outlet. This is unnecessary for gas water heaters with a thermocouple that converts heat into electricity.

The thermocouple has an extended rod that is inside the water heater. It takes advantage of the heat from the pilot flame to produce electricity, which is then directed to the circuitry in the control board through a brass tube.

The thermocouple generates a limited amount of electricity. However, the power requirements of the control panel are minor. Thus, gas water heaters don’t necessarily require a battery.

Now, you know does a gas water heater need electricity or not.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity

1. Does a gas water heater need electricity to function?

An electrical connection is necessary to produce the spark, which will light the pilot light for the gas water heater. However, once the pilot light stands ignited, it will stay on, so electricity is not necessary for the gas water heater to work appropriately.

2. How much power does a gas water heater use?

Most water heaters have an energy consumption of 1125 watts, though specific high-powered versions may require up to 4000 watts.

3. Is it cheaper to heat water tank with gas or electric?

When electricity is consumed during non-peak hours, the expense of running a traditional electric heater is usually twice as much as running a gas heater. This is because electric heaters are highly effective, utilizing all the electricity they consume.

Conclusion: Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity


A gas water heater is a great and affordable solution for centralizing hot water in a home. Gas water heaters are popular for low cost, reliable operation, and durability. Many consumers choose a conventional gas water heater as their only option because it is so reliable and inexpensive.

However, not all centralized hot water and gas heaters are created equally. Some are better than others, so it’s essential to look closely at your options.

When shopping for a gas water heater, you’ll find two main types available on the market. The first type is an electric water heater, similar to the more popular tank-based models. The second type is called a gas water heater and is identical to the traditional gas models familiar to most people.

The critical difference between the two types is that an electric water heater consumes electricity during operation, whereas a gas water heater does not require electricity. You can take the pros of the benefits of a gas water heater without worrying about the cost.

I hope this article on does a gas water heater need electricity sounds helpful!

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