Gas Water Heater Installation vs Electric

We Replace and Install Gas Water Heaters in Boerne & the Texas Hill Country

Choosing Between Electric and Gas Water Heater Installation in Boerne, TX

When it comes time to replace your water heater or to install a new unit during a remodel or new building project, you’ll have to decide between installing a gas or electric water heater.  You’ll also need to choose if you want a tankless water heater or a traditional unit.  Regardless of which type of hot water heater you decide on, our Olde Town plumbers can get your installation done efficiently and correctly. 


Call to schedule with our Boerne area plumbers:  830-446-5227.

Providing gas and electric water heater installation near Boerne in the Texas Hill Country

6 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Gas or Electric Water Heater

Choosing between a gas or electric water heater is an important decision for homeowners.. Here are key factors to consider before making a decision:

1.  Energy Source Availability: The first and most fundamental consideration is the availability of the energy source. Do you have access to natural gas? Are you planning to install a propane tank? If not, electric may be the only viable option.

2. Upfront Cost: Gas water heaters tend to have a higher upfront purchase cost compared to electric models. Gas water heaters also require professional installation and generally shouldn’t be a DIY installation.  Consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on the initial investment.

3. Operating Costs: While gas water heaters may have higher upfront costs, they are often more energy-efficient than electric models, leading to lower operating costs over time. Consider the long-term energy savings.

  • Energy Efficiency: Check the Energy Factor (EF) rating of both gas and electric water heaters. A higher EF indicates greater energy efficiency. Gas heaters are generally more efficient, but electric heat pump water heaters are also energy-efficient options.
  • Utility Rates: If you utilize both gas and electricity, you will have a base fee for both types of service. Then you’ll pay based on kilowatt hours for electricity and cubic feet for gas. Examine your local utility rates for gas and electricity.  If you live in Boerne, you can find the information here. Calculate the cost of heating water with each energy source to determine which is more cost-effective in your area.

4. Installation and Venting: Gas water heaters require proper ventilation.  If you are replacing an electric unit with a gas unit, this ventilation will need to be installed as well.  This is usually fairly simple, and our licensed plumbers can do this for you.

5. Space Constraints: Gas water heaters require more space and proper ventilation, while electric units are often more compact and easier to install in tight spaces. If you have a small closet or enclosed area that will house the water heater, you may not have enough room for ventilating a gas water heater.  A tankless or on-demand water heater may be the best solution and are available in both gas and electric models.  We can help you evaluate your space and provide you with a free quote for the units that will work best in that space.

6. Maintenance: Gas water heaters may require more frequent maintenance due to the combustion process. Electric units typically have fewer maintenance requirements.  However, gas tankless water heaters generally need few repairs.

7.  Safety: Gas water heaters pose a potential safety hazard if not properly vented or maintained. However, with proper installation and maintenance, gas water heater are just as safe as electric units.

Our plumbing professional can help you make an informed decision between a gas and electric water heater, and we can help make sure your new unit aligns with your energy source availability, budget, efficiency goals, and hot water needs.

Customer Testimonial

"Thanks to all at Olde Town Plumbing (Rob, Justin, Kathy and Kristin). Great service from the first phone call to this invoice. Passed a city inspection this morning with flying colors (Jim Earl). Appreciate the excellent and timely work by all at your company."
Water Heater Repair, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Useful Life of Water Heater

Do gas or electric water heaters need more maintenance and repairs?

As a general rule, gas water heaters will need more maintenance.  With the combustion components on a gas unit, there are safety precautions you should take to make sure your unit stays in top performance condition including a yearly maintenance checkup and semi-annual flushing of the tank.  Electric units have fewer parts and generally just need a semi-annual flush for maintenance.


In addition, the frequency and extent of repairs required for gas or electric water heaters can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the unit, maintenance practices, and local water conditions. Neither gas nor electric water heaters are inherently more prone to repairs; their reliability largely depends on these factors:

gas water heater with expansion tank vented to outside
  • Quality of the Unit: Higher-quality water heaters, whether gas or electric, tend to have better components and may require fewer repairs over their lifespan.
  • Maintenance: Both gas and electric water heaters benefit from annual maintenance, which may include flushing the tank, checking for leaks, inspecting the pressure relief valve, and cleaning burners or heating elements.
  • Local Water Quality: The mineral content and hardness of your local water supply can affect the lifespan of your water heater. In areas like Boerne, mineral buildup (scale) can accumulate on heating elements or in the tank, potentially leading to performance issues and reduced efficiency. Installing a water softener can help mitigate this issue.
  • Installation Quality: Proper installation is critical for the safe and reliable operation of water heaters. Incorrectly installed units, whether gas or electric, can be more prone to leaks and other problems.  Using licensed plumbers from Olde Town Plumbing helps to ensure quality installation.
  • Age of the Unit: Whether gas or electric, older water heaters are more likely to require repairs as they near the end of their expected lifespan.

It’s essential to note that both gas and electric water heaters can experience similar types of issues, such as leaks, temperature fluctuations, sediment buildup, and pressure relief valve malfunctions.

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What are common repairs for gas water heater vs electric water heaters?

Both gas and electric water heaters can experience common repair issues, but the specific repairs may vary based on the type of water heater. Here are common repairs for gas and electric water heaters:

new water heater installed in water heater closet

Common Repairs for Gas Water Heaters:

  • Pilot Light Issues: Gas water heaters typically have a pilot light or electronic ignition system. Common issues include a pilot light that won’t stay lit, a faulty thermocouple, or a malfunctioning electronic ignition system.
  • Gas Valve Problems: Gas valves control the flow of gas to the burner. Issues with the gas valve can lead to heating problems, and they may need to be replaced if they malfunction.
  • Burner and Combustion Chamber Maintenance: Over time, burners and combustion chambers in gas water heaters can become dirty or corroded, affecting efficiency and performance. Regular cleaning or replacement may be necessary.
  • Gas Leak Detection and Repair: Gas leaks are a serious safety concern. If you smell gas around your water heater, it’s crucial to shut off the gas supply and call a professional immediately.
  • Flue and Vent Issues: Gas water heaters require proper ventilation to release combustion byproducts safely. Problems with the flue or venting system can lead to improper venting, which poses health and safety risks.

Common Repairs for Electric Water Heaters:

  • Heating Element Replacement: Electric water heaters have one or two heating elements, depending on the model. These elements can burn out or develop scale buildup and may need replacement.
  • Electrical Connection Issues: Problems with electrical connections, such as loose wiring or a faulty breaker, can cause the water heater to stop working. Electrical repairs may be necessary.
Electric water heater with pressure tank

Common Repair for Both Gas and Electric Water Heaters

  • Thermostat Problems: Faulty thermostats can lead to water that is too hot or too cold. Replacing a malfunctioning thermostat can resolve this issue.
  • Sediment Buildup: Electric water heaters can also accumulate sediment in the tank, leading to reduced efficiency and potentially causing noise. Flushing the tank can help prevent this.  Installing a water heater booster can help to retain the hot water capacity even with tank size decreases due to sediment.
  • Leaking Tank: Like gas water heaters, electric water heaters can develop leaks over time. Leaks should be addressed promptly to prevent water damage.
  • Pressure Relief Valve Replacement: Electric water heaters have a pressure relief valve similar to gas models. If it malfunctions, it may need to be replaced for safety.
  • Anode Rod Replacement: Anode rods help prevent tank corrosion. Over time, these rods can become depleted and may need replacement to extend the tank’s lifespan.

It’s important to note that proper maintenance can help prevent many of these common repair issues for both gas and electric water heaters. Regularly flushing the tank, checking for leaks, and addressing issues promptly can extend the life of your water heater and reduce the need for repairs. Additionally, for safety and efficiency reasons, it’s advisable to have a qualified plumber or technician perform any repairs on your water heater.

What do customers like about gas water heaters?

What do customers like about gas water heaters?

Faster Hot Water Recovery: Gas water heaters are often praised for their ability to provide hot water quickly. Many users appreciate the shorter recovery time between hot water usage, making it convenient for multiple showers or appliance use.

Energy Efficiency: High-efficiency gas water heaters are available, and customers often note that they can be cost-effective to operate over time. Gas models tend to have lower operating costs compared to electric resistance heaters, particularly in regions with affordable natural gas prices.

High Water Temperature: Gas water heaters can reach higher water temperatures than some electric models, which can be appreciated for tasks like running hot baths or sanitizing dishes.

Compatibility with Power Outages: Gas water heaters do not rely on electricity for heating, so they can continue to provide hot water during power outages.

Improved Energy Efficiency with Tankless Models: Tankless gas water heaters are highly efficient and can save energy by heating water on-demand. Users appreciate the energy savings and continuous hot water supply offered by these models.

gas water heater vented to outside by Olde Town Plumbing
Double water heater with water softener in Boerne, TX.

How do the pros differ for electric water heaters?

Lower Upfront Cost: Electric water heaters typically have lower upfront purchase and installation costs compared to gas models. Many users appreciate the affordability of electric units.

Ease of Installation: Electric water heaters are often considered easier to install since they don’t require gas lines or venting systems. This simplicity can lead to cost savings during installation.

Safety: Electric water heaters are seen as safer in terms of avoiding potential gas leaks or carbon monoxide emissions associated with gas models.

Compact Size: Electric water heaters, particularly tankless and point-of-use models, tend to have a more compact footprint, making them suitable for homes with limited space.

Low Maintenance: Electric water heaters are often perceived as requiring less maintenance compared to gas models since they lack burners and combustion chambers.

Quiet Operation: Electric water heaters are generally quieter during operation, which can be advantageous for users who prefer a quieter home environment.

No Need for Gas Lines: Homes without access to natural gas or propane often find electric water heaters to be the more convenient and cost-effective option.

Compatibility with Solar Panels: Electric water heaters can be easily integrated with solar panel systems to harness renewable energy for heating water, reducing operating costs.

The choice between gas and electric water heaters should be based on your specific needs, budget, and energy source availability. To talk with one of our Licensed Plumbers and get a quote on the installation of a new gas or electric water heater give Olde Town Plumbing a call. 830-446-5227

Our Plumbers

What Sets Us Apart


When you have a plumbing problem, the last thing you want is to deal with a rude service technician.  We strive to provide good old-fashioned service like was common in old times.  We know our customers are our Hill Country neighbors and friends, and we treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve.  We really mean it when we say, “How can we help?”


We value honesty and integrity in our own lives, and we bring those values into our plumbing company as well.  When you choose Olde Town Plumbing, you’re choosing plumbers who won’t try to upsell you on products or services that you don’t need.  We’ll provide honest evaluations of your plumbing problems, reasonable solutions, and fair pricing for the needed for repairs.


You can count on our plumbing professionals to arrive on time and to work efficiently and competently.  To keep your plumbing inconvenience minimal, we’ll give you a call when we’re headed your direction, so you know exactly when to expect us.  And with our fully stock service vehicles, we won’t waste your time running back and forth to the home improvement store for parts.

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