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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We need a new water heater, and I can't decide if we should go gas or electric. I was wondering if someone could give me price estimates for the upgrades required for either one.

If we stick with gas like we have we will have to pay someone to bring everything up to code, the water heater sits in a small laundry closet and is not properly vented.

If we go with electric we will have to have our service upgraded.

The laundry closet has an outside wall. We live in a one story house. For gas upgrades we will have to pay for all the work. For electric we will only have to pay for parts as my brother-in-law is a licensed electrician and is willing to do the work for free.

Not interested in hearing the advantages of electric or gas over the other. Just curious about costs for the upgrades to the house. Thanks
 

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Are you already on gas, or will you need new service? If so, the cost to run service to the house could be several thousand dollars. If you are already on gas, the cost to connect a gas line to the new water heater should be only a few hundred dollars from a licensed plumber.

You might want to think about the long term costs of actually running the appliance. In Massachusetts where I live, electricity is about 20 cents per kilowatt hour, making it about twice as expensive per BTU as gas. If you use a lot of hot water, your install savings would be quickly eaten up by the cost of electricity versus gas. Of course, you did not mention where you live, so I have no idea what the cost of electricity versus gas is in your area, but you should be able to check very easily from your bills. Bear in mind that electricity is sold by the kilowatt hour, and gas is typically priced by the therm (sometimes by the cubic foot). You need to convert the heat units to be consistent, there are on line calculators to do this, then you can see the cost per BTU for gas versus electric.
 

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You need to compare the rates of gas verses electric. Then think about the amount of time you may not have electric service due to weather conditions. We had an ice storm a while back and had no electric for 12 days. While I am all for getting free labor, I would also check to see what is needed to update the venting for a gas unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live in a small town in the South. The utilities are provided by a city owned organization and are very inexpensive. Rated one of the top 15 values in the country a few years ago, so cost of gas vs electric isn't a big deal.

We currently have a gas line running to the water heater but a plumber told my wife the line wasn't up to code and he would have to bring the line up to code before he could do anything else, estimated about $350.00 just for that.

The venting in the closet is very mickey mouse looking, basically some pieces of gutter that are attached to the wall and vent into the attic. We got a great deal on this house because it had a lot of problems, so we aren't complaining on having to fix things the right way. We are just trying to do the best thing financially.
 
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