Water & Sewer

Electric vs. Gas Water Heaters: The Big Debate

Has this happened to you? Your shower goes cold with shampoo still in your hair, the washing machine doesn’t run warm cycles anymore, and your dishwasher isn’t steaming like usual when you open it… It might be time for a new water heater. But when it comes to electric vs. gas water heaters, which should you choose?

Unfortunately, replacing your water heater is just part of being a homeowner. It’s an expense we all face several times throughout the lifespan of a nice home. Even though it’s no one’s favorite moment, knowing your options when it comes to water heaters can save you money on future bills. It can also affect how often you have to replace it. This is why so many folks are asking: Electric vs. gas water heaters… which should I buy?


When you call to weigh your options on a new water heater installation, your residential plumber may ask whether you want to supply your new water heater with gas or electricity. So which should you choose? Let’s look at the differences between these two water heater types:

Electric water heaters often heat a home’s water at a slower pace.


A unit that uses a tank to store hot water is known as a conventional water heater. Older models were far less energy efficient than what Plumbing One and other modern plumbing services can offer consumers today. Conventional water heaters in 2020 can take your water heating bills down by about seven percent. These conventional models are the most common type of water heater. They can be broken up into two subtypes, electric and gas:

Electric Water Heaters

When it comes to the cost of electric vs. gas water heaters, an electric water heater unit is usually less expensive to purchase than a gas one. However, as this article by Fixr shows, electric water heaters tend to heat up more slowly, and while physically smaller in most cases, electricity also costs more to run than gas over the long run.

Key Points:

  • Slower to heat
  • Takes up less physical space
  • Higher cost of operation

Gas Water Heaters

A gas water heater is more cost-efficient than an electric model in the long run. So if you can swing the higher price tag up front, you may be thanking yourself down the road.

Gas water heaters tend to boast a much quicker recovery time too. And if you’re asking what recovery time is, well… recovery time is a BEAUTIFUL thing when it comes to water heaters. By way of example, a fast recovery time in a big family where multiple people need to shower in a row means hot water will come back quicker in between showers. It’s the difference between hot and cold showers for everyone showering after the family shower hog!

Recovery time is the time it takes a conventional water heater to provide hot water again after the tank has been completely drained.

At least in my book, recovery time goes a long way when it comes to electric vs. gas water heaters. But more importantly, how much does it matter to you?

Key Points:

  • Costs less in the long run
  • Quicker recovery time


Tankless Water Heaters & Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

While conventional electric and gas water heaters are the most common choices, they actually aren’t your only options.

Like conventional models, a tankless water heater gives you options. Electric and gas are both available. (There are also many differences between conventional and tankless water heaters. We discuss those in more detail here.)

The other option you could consider is a hybrid heat pump water heater. These units can NOT use gas, but they have a downright amazing effect on operational costs.

Read more about Plumbing One’s conventional, tankless, and alternative water heater options here.


If you suspect your water heater has a problem, it’s not the end of the world! The first thing you should do is use our Checklist of 5 Problem Signs to diagnose your issue.

If you’re getting zero hot water from your water heater, it’s time to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, this isn’t a job you can easily roll up your sleeves and do yourself. Having a pro replace your water heater is almost certainly worth it. Go ahead and call up your local plumbers in Ohio or wherever you call home. A plumbing and heating tech will get your hot water back in no time.

THE GOOD NEWS: Homeowners often experience better hot water access than they’ve had in YEARS after a new water heater installation!

When it comes to the question of electric vs. gas water heaters, the answer depends on what you need. Give Plumbing One a call today for professional installation on your gas or electric water heater. The choice is yours!

Whatever model you decide to go with, using the professional plumbing services of trained plumbing contractors is highly recommended with this sort of job.

We Offer Financing

A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.

Contact Our Team

Plumbing One is a family owned and operated plumbing company. Our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau demonstrates the level of quality and integrity we bring to every job site. Regardless of how big or small your residential or commercial plumbing job may be, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Call us or fill out the online form to get in touch with a plumber from our team.

A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.