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Can A Gas Dryer Be Converted To Electric?

Can A Gas Dryer Be Converted To Electric? Well, this is one of the most common questions in the appliance community.

It may sound like an odd request but while some people generally relocate into homes that only offer electricity, others simply prefer an electric dryer.

The simple answer to this question is yes. However, most experts do not recommend going this way for various reasons. But before we get into specific details, it’s important to understand the significant differences between a gas dryer and an electric model.

The Major Differences Between a Gas and Electric Dryer

Propane and other natural gas dryers use a gas burner to create heat, and other than this, they operate just about the same way as electrical dryers. Gas dryers, however, can dry your clothes more quickly than electrical dryers because they usually run much hotter.

It is also cheaper to operate a gas dryer than an electrical one, considering that gas dryers are more energy-efficient compared to electrical dryers. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.

One significant difference is the energy source that each type of dryer requires. The average running costs of a gas dryer will be around 50% less than those of an electrical unit. Both models have different installation requirements.

The last major difference between electric and gas dryers is the cost of purchasing each type. Gas dryers usually cost more than electrical ones.

Gas Dryer vs. Electric Dryer: Key Features

First, there are two types of gas dryers; Propane-powered dryers, and those fueled by natural gas. Gas dryers must always be vented to the outside of your home because inhaling the toxic particles these models put off can cause hazardous health problems.

Electric dryers, on the other hand, are normally vented to the outside of the home, but not for the same reasons as gas dryers. The need for external venting with electric dryers is to help remove the hot air and water vapor.

While gas models generally run on 110- volt currents, electric dryers operate on a 240-volt current, which is twice the strength of a standard house current required to fuel the heating coils.

If you want a 110-volt current, there are some compact electric dryers available that operate on this current. Also, there are specific electric models that don’t require vents, they’re likely to be more expensive.

Installation Techniques for both Electric and Gas Dryers

Perhaps the reason why you’re trying to convert your gas dryer to electric is that your home doesn’t have a connection to a gas line. Having a line installed can be expensive considering that the local gas company will have to install the necessary lines to underground natural gas pipes.

To avoid the extra cost, you may want to check whether you can power the dryer using liquid propane gas as an alternative.

Fortunately, there are kits available to convert a natural gas dryer to a propane dryer. It is highly recommended that you get a reputable technician to help install the gas dryer.

Electrical model dryers, meanwhile, are far simpler to install. All you need to do is plug the appliance into a 240-volt outlet and you’ll be good to go.

In the event that there’s a laundry room in your home, then, probably, you already have a power outlet specially designed to handle the additional energy requirements of the dryer. This should be linked to breakers in the main box.

Electrical dryers usually come with large plugs that consist of either three or four prongs to fit the outlet. The only shortcoming is that sometimes the plug might not match the outlet. In that case, you will have to change one of the components.

Gas Dryer vs. Electric Dryer

Whether your dryer is powered by gas or electricity, it will use the same system (air, heat, and tumbling action) to dry laundry.

Where gas dryers depend on a gas burner, electrical dryers use a heating element to raise the temperature inside the drier to a level that will cause water to evaporate.

With an electric dryer, the electrical current travels through the heating coil, creating a buildup of electrons and heating the metal. This, in turn, causes the air to become hot, which is then propelled into the drum via a fan or blower.

However, during the operation of a gas dryer, both propane and gas models use an igniter to burn the gas. The blower/fan then pushes the heated air into the drum, just like it would in an electric version.

The Difference in Venting System between Gas and Electric Dryers

As stated before, both gas and electric dryers need to be vented to the exterior to expel hot toxic particles, hot moist and other debris. Without proper ventilation for your dryer, you would have a laundry room filled with mildew and dust which could cause respiration and other health concerns.

Moreover, a gas dryer vent serves to exhausts out the waste products from the burnt gas, which could be toxic over time. Electrical dryer models can be a better option for those who live in an apartment because there are ventless versions available.

So, Can You Convert a Gas Dryer to Electric?

Well, the short answer is yes, but experts advise against this for a number of reasons. First, it is not cost-effective to convert a gas dryer to an electric and is cheaper to purchase a new electric dryer.

Gas dryers operate differently from electric dryers and as a result, each type features different components. For example, gas dryers use an igniter, a gas burner, and other components that electrical models don’t have.

You would, therefore, need to remove the heating element, gas ignition, and burner to convert the dryer from gas to electric. Not forgetting that the burner tubes, fuses, safety features, and operating temperatures are all different.

In other words, you’ll need considerable knowledge of currents, wiring, and appliance operation to take on this project as there are currently no conversion kits on the market to make this an easy switch.

Also, both dryer types operate in different electrical currents. Gas dryers use a 110-volt current, whereas electric dryers run on 240-volts. You’d, therefore, have to modify your gas dryer to a more powerful current, which can be risky if you’re not sure about what you’re doing.

Another reason why experts don’t recommend converting a gas dryer to an electric one is that the process is not cost-effective.

Electric dryers are less expensive to buy than gas dryers. The best bet may be to sell your gas dryer and purchase a new electric unit. This will save you a great deal of time and money.

Nonetheless, if you still want to make the conversion, here’s how to do it; Start by running a 240-volt, single-phase circuit, then you will need to cap the gas line.

After that, you will have to replace specific components such as the relays, wirings, controls, heating assembly, and any other components which need to be substituted.