Not finding a gas line in the new home while relocating with a gas dryer will put you in worry. You may question whether converting a gas dryer into an electric one is possible. Let’s find out the clear answer to your question.
You can convert a gas dryer to electric by removing the gas burner and regulator and installing the heating element at the bottom of the dryer. It is best to hire a professional to convert a gas dryer to an electric dryer, as it involves disconnecting the gas line from the dryer.
In this article, you will learn how to convert a gas dryer into an electric dryer and also understand the benefits and drawbacks of converting the dryer. So, go ahead.
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Understanding the Differences Between Gas and Electric Dryers
When converting a gas dryer into an electric dryer, it is important to understand the difference between a gas and an electric dryer.
It is best to start the process by understanding the basic requirement for converting a gas dryer into an electric dryer.
Recently one of my friends was relocating to a new house; he had a gas dryer, but the house he shifted to doesn’t have the gas connections.
He successfully converted the gas dryer to an electric dryer, and he shared the advantages and disadvantages of converting the dryer.
I shared the same in this article. Let’s start by understanding the difference between gas and electric dryers.
Understanding the pros and cons will help you understand whether buying an electric dryer or installing the gas connection in the new house is better.
Pros of a gas dryer
Here are some pros of using a gas dryer:
Gas dryers take less time to dry clothes.
The gas dryer produces heat through the process of combustion.
This combustion process heated up the burner present in the dryer quickly.
In comparison, an electric dryer will take a long time to heat.
Due to the rapid heating capacity, the drying cycle is shorter in the gas dryer than in the electric dryer.
If you are a large family running multiple loads weekly, a gas dryer is ideal.
As the drying cycle is shorter, clothes are exposed to heat for a shorter period. It will make your clothes look shiny even after multiple washes.
Better energy efficiency
The gas dryer uses gases like propane to produce heat to dry the clothes.
But still, electricity is needed to rotate the drum, fan, and motor. It also needs electricity to operate the control panel.
A gas dryer requires less electricity than an electric dryer to operate.
Thus, a gas dryer is an energy-efficient choice over an electric dryer.
Maintenance cost is less.
The cost of propane and natural gas used in the gas dryer is less than the electricity cost.
As mentioned, the dryer takes a shorter cycle to dry the clothes.
It compounds the maintenance and operational cost of the dryer.
The vent can be installed outside.
Vent systems for the gas dryers are installed outside of the house.
It prevents the emission of harmful gases inside the house, and you do not need to do complex plumbing work to expel the gases.
You don’t want to install a separate electric outlet
As a gas dryer doesn’t require much electricity, the electric outlet capable of handling 110 to 120 v is sufficient.
Unlike in the electric dryer, you need to install an electric outlet of 240 v to handle the electricity requirement of these dryers.
The cost of installing a separate electric outlet can be saved while using the gas dryers.
Cons of a gas dryer
Here are some cons of gas dryers:
Gas dryers are more expensive than electric dryers. The cost of gas dryers ranges from $500 and $800. In comparison, electric dryers range from $400 to $600.
As electric dryers are the popular choice of people, it comes in different models and sizes. But gas dryers are rare, and lots of choices are available.
As per the state rules, the gas dryers must be installed only by professionals.
Even if you are skilled enough to do the installation, you must pay a professional to do the job.
The rigid rules are due to the risk of gas leakage while connecting the dryer with the gas line.
You must contact the local gas company if you haven’t installed the gas line.
It will create a hassle while installing a gas dryer.
Possibility of gas leaks
The dryer can potentially cause fire hazards due to the gas leak.
The national fire protection association concludes that 92% of the fires in the household are due to the gas leakage of dryers.
So, cleaning the lint filter and vent regularly is a must to prevent fire hazards if you are using a gas dryer.
Pros of electric dryers
Here are some pros of electric dryers:
Easy to use and install
Electric dryers are easy to install as they don’t require gas line installation. And they are also convenient to use.
Electric dryers are suitable for DIY installation as there are no such laws for hiring professionals to do the job.
You don’t want to install a gas connection.
Unlike gas dryers, which can be installed only when the gas line is available, electric dryers can be used anywhere.
You can take an electric dryer even if you relocate without worrying about the installation hassle.
Energy efficient option
It is true that the older model of electric dryers consumed more electricity and was not an energy-efficient option.
But modern electric dryers are designed with advanced features like adjustable temperature and moisture sensors.
These advanced features make electric dryers more energy efficient.
There is no possibility of gas leakage in the electric dryer, so they are a safer option than the gas dryer.
Cons of electric dryers
Here are some cons of electric dryers:
Takes a long time to dry
Electric dryers produce heat gradually, resulting in prolonged dry cycles.
The drying process is slower in the electric dryer than in the gas dryer.
High utility and operational cost
Even though modern electric dryers have advanced features to reduce electricity consumption, they still use more energy when compared to gas dryers.
If you use a dryer frequently, the operational cost will increase.
If the lint screen and the vent are clogged, there are chances of overheating in the dryer. If the dryer overheats, fire hazards may occur.
If the electric dryer is not installed properly, it will cause loud noise.
And when the electric dryer is overloaded, it causes a loud noise, acting as a nuisance.
The basics of how gas and electric dryers work
The gas dryer uses gas burners to produce heat that dries your clothes.
When you switch on the gas dryers, a gas valve is opened.
The sensor attached to the motor turns on the ignitor.
The gas released from the gas valve gets circulated throughout the system with the help of an electric fan present in the dryer.
When the dryer reaches the desired temperature to dry clothes, the gas valve shuts off automatically.
Ignition process to produce heat in the dryer results in combustion. Thus carbon monoxide is released.
It is the main reason why it is important to vent the dryer outdoors.
The electric dryers heat the air using a heating coil. The heated air circulates in the dryer to dry clothes.
It uses 240 v electricity to heat the coil and requires the venting system to expel the heated air and moisture.
The requirements for converting a gas dryer to an electric one
Before converting a gas dryer to an electric one, it is important to understand the basic requirement for the conversion.
Here are some basic requirements for the conversion:
- The gas dryer uses 120 v of electricity to dry clothes, while an electric dryer requires 240 v to run the dryer. Before converting, you must install a separate electric outlet to supply the required electricity to an electric dryer.
- The gas burner is the main component in the gas dryer to produce heat. In contrast, an electric dryer uses a heating element to produce heat. So, you must install the heating element to convert a gas dryer into an electric dryer.
- A gas dryer uses a thermostat designed to work following the ignition system in it. But this thermostat won’t work in an electric dryer setup. So, you need to purchase a new thermostat for an electric dryer.
- As discussed, an electric dryer requires a 240 v electric outlet to dry clothes effectively. While a gas dryer uses 120 v. so, you need to rewire the dryer to withstand the high voltage supply of the electric dryer.
Assessing the Feasibility of Converting a Gas Dryer to an Electric
You need to do three important assessments before converting a gas dryer to an electric dryer.
Checking for compatibility with the electrical system
Not all gas dryers can be converted into electrical dryers.
You must consult the manufacturer to check if your gas dryer can be converted into an electric dryer.
You can also see the user manual of your gas dryer to check if your dryer can be converted into an electric dryer.
If your dryer can convert to an electric one, it probably comes with the conversion kit.
Determining the required electrical capacity
As you already know, the electric dryer requires 240 v to run; you must check if the electric system in your home can supply the high voltage.
Consider hiring a professional to check and install an electric outlet of 240 v if required.
Evaluating the costs of conversion
Even though electric dryers are more expensive than gas dryers, you must consider the conversion cost and compare it with the cost of buying a new one.
Converting a gas dryer to an electric dryer is mostly more expensive. The cost of conversion depends upon the labor cost of the local technician, and it also goes up if you want to upgrade your home’s electrical system.
If the conversion cost covers half the price of a new electric dryer, buying a new one is better than converting a gas to an electric one.
Steps for Converting a Gas Dryer to an Electric
Converting a gas dryer to the electric one is a challenging DIY project to try instead.
It requires experience and technical knowledge.
Professionals don’t recommend the DIY conversion of gas into an electric dryer.
However, if you want to get a basic idea of the steps required to convert a gas dryer into an electric dryer, here you go:
- Disconnect the power supply by turning off the circuit breaker supplying power to your gas dryer.
- Gather all the tools necessary for the conversion. Make sure you have a screwdriver, wrench, pliers, multimeter, wire stripper, and heating element kit to install in the electric dryer.
- Disconnect the gas line from the gas dryer. Use a wrench to loosen the line and disconnect it from the valve.
- Remove the burner at the bottom of the dryer. You need to remove other components, including the regulator and gas valve. Use a screwdriver to remove the gas burner and other components.
- Next, access the back side of the dryer. Remove the back panel and locate the heating element present in the gas dryer. Disconnect the heating element and install the heating element of the electric dryer.
- Consider getting professional help when installing a heating element and wiring connections. And ensure if the heating element is fitted correctly and secured well in the dryer.
- As the electric dryer requires 240 voltage, you must connect wires from the new heating element to the control board. Check the electric outlet of your dryer using a multimeter to ensure it supplies 240 voltage. Or you will need to install a new electric outlet.
- You must replace the control panel and connect all the electrical components. Install a new vent system for the electric dryer by referring to the user manual.
- Test if the dryer is running well by plugging it into the electric outlet. Check if the desired temperature is reached while running.
Considerations for Converting a Gas Dryer to an Electric
The importance of following manufacturer instructions
Manufacturer instruction has a step-by-step guide to do the conversion. It also contains safety measures and warning information.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions will help you save time and make sure you do the conversation correctly.
It also helps you avoid fire hazards and prevent further repairs due to improper installation.
Safety concerns when converting a gas dryer to electric
It is not recommended to convert a gas dryer into an electric one by yourself.
However, if you choose to do so, you must follow the safety measures mentioned below.
- Ensure you take enough precautions to prevent the gas leak while converting.
- Don’t forget to turn off the electric supply before starting the process.
- While installing the heating element, wear hand gloves to prevent injuries.
- While working in the internal parts, you insulated tools as they may retain electricity even though the power supply is turned off.
- Pay attention to the safety tips and warning information in the manufacturer’s instruction guide.
- Make sure the heating element is installed properly to prevent fire hazards.
- After converting the gas dryer to the electric one, clean the lint filters and vent for better dryer efficiency.
The benefits and drawbacks of converting a gas dryer to an electric
Converting the gas dryer into an electric dryer has more drawbacks than benefits.
Suppose you have a relatively new gas dryer and don’t want to buy one. In that case, converting it to an electric dryer can benefit you.
The drawbacks are:
- Converting a gas dryer into an electric one is expensive.
- Converting a gas dryer to an electric dryer will increase your utility bills as it consumes high electricity.
- You need to buy new parts like heating elements and wires. You must also install a new electric outlet to supply 240 v to the dryer.
- You must pay technicians to convert the dryer; a DIY project is difficult.
- If the gas dryer is old, converting it to an electric dryer is not a wise option. Because the old dryer may break down soon, your time, money, and effort may end in vain.
Professional Installation of Electric Dryers
The following are the benefits of hiring a professional for installation:
The benefits of hiring a professional for installation
Hiring a professional will benefit you in many ways.
It saves you time and effort, and you don’t want to worry about future repairs.
They will do the conversion without damaging the appliance and ensure the desired temperature is reached at the end of the process.
They will know how to properly disconnect the gas line and handle electric wires.
They will also have the necessary tools and equipment to convert the dryer, which may not be available to an average person.
Professionals will be well equipped with the local law and rules, and they will make sure everything complies with the law to avoid issues.
Questions to ask a professional before hiring them for installation
Ask these questions before hiring professionals:
- Are you a licensed professional?
- How much experience do you have in installing an electric dryer?
- What is the estimated cost of the conversion?
- Do you offer any additional services?
- Do you provide a warranty for your work?
- What is the estimated timeframe for the conversion?
Factors to consider when choosing a professional for installation
Here are the factors to consider while hiring a professional.
- License and insurance.
- Time estimation.
- The efficiency of work.
It is possible to convert your gas dryer into an electric dryer. Before converting the gas into an electric dryer, you must understand the difference in the working system. Gas dryer ignites combustion to produce heat, whereas the electric dryer produces heat by heating the coils.
Considering the conversion cost and buying a new electric dryer would be best. If you have decided to convert your dryer, it is not advised to do it yourself. You must hire a professional to do the conversion. It is because the process of conversion involves disconnecting the gas line, handling the wire, and installing the heating element.
Go through the steps mentioned in the article to convert gas into an electric dryer. Those steps will help you understand the complexity of the installation.
Which lasts longer, gas or electric dryer?
An electric dryer lasts longer than a gas dryer. An electric dryer lasts 14 years, while a gas dryer lasts 13 years. However, it may vary based on how well you maintain them.
Should I install a vent to the electric dryer?
You must vent the electric dryer to prevent health hazards. According to state laws, venting electric dryers is important to prevent health hazards.
Reference link: Clothes dryer Wikipedia