Gas vs Electric Water Heaters – A Comparison

Gas vs Electric Water Heaters – A Comparison

When deciding which type of water heater to buy, it is important to understand the differences between each type. Rapid Rooter has put together the following comparison to help you decide which is the best fit for your home.


  • Location: With many gasses, even gas plumbing, there is the risk of explosion. We recommend that gas water heaters have anywhere between 6 and 18 inches of empty space surrounding the tank to avoid any problems.

  • Ventilation/Plumbing Requirements: To have a gas water heater, you must have your home or building plumbed for a gas line. This includes a flue that vents air to the outside. The plumbing must carry the gasses through the walls or roof of the building.

  • First Hour Rating: This rating is based on how quickly the water reheats, especially during the busiest time of the day, and can be found on the yellow EnergyGuide label attached to your appliance. Gas water heaters tend to heat quicker.

  • Tank Size: Naturally, the size of tank you require depends on how much water your household uses. However, it also depends upon the first hour rating and how much hot water you will need at one time. The water in the tank of a gas heater heats faster, requiring a smaller tank.


  • Location: These water heaters can be placed anywhere, including cramped spaces such as a closet. An electric water heater can go anywhere a gas water heater can go.

  • Ventilation/Plumbing Requirements: All that is needed is a special outlet that will meet the electrical needs of the heater. There are no other ventilation or plumbing requirements.

  • First Hour Rating: Again, this is the rate at which a water heater reheats and serves as an indicator of how much water is used during the busiest time of day. Electric water heaters tend to heat at a slower pace. Don’t forget to look at the yellow EnergyGuide label to find your First Hour Rating.

  • Tank Size: Since the electric heater takes longer to heat, it requires a larger tank. In turn, this will take up more space.


We hope this comparison helps you to choose the best water heater fit for your home. If you are still having trouble deciding which to choose or what size to buy, feel free to give Rapid-Rooter a call and let us help.