Home > Our Blog > Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity?

Does A Gas Water Heater Need Electricity?

Posted on: April 14, 2023

A common question that people have when it comes to water heaters is whether or not a gas water heater needs electricity. Many homeowners assume that a gas water heater will run off of natural gas, but in reality, it needs electricity to function properly. It depend on model type, but typically a gas water heater uses electricity to power the igniter and/or blower motor, as well as other components. In this article, we’ll discuss Does A Gas water heater need electricity.

Can a gas water heater operate without electricity?

It depends on specific models and types of gas water heaters. A gas water heater will need some electricity to operate the electronic gas control valves and other components used to control the flow of gas into the unit. Some models are designed to be able to operate without electricity, using a thermopile or thermocouple to generate enough electricity from the heat of the pilot light. However, if you do have an electric model, it must be connected to a power source in order to function. If the electricity goes out, the water heater will not work until it is restored. Here are backups available for gas water heaters in case of power failure:

Manual ignition

Some models of gas water heaters have a manual ignition system so that the pilot light can be lit in the event of an electrical outage. So without electricity, you can still use the unit.

Standing pilot

Another option is to have a standing pilot. This means that the pilot light stays lit all the time, even when there is no electricity. As long as there is a gas supply, the standing pilot system will keep the water warm.

Battery backup

You can also install a battery backup system. This will draw power from the batteries in order to keep the pilot light lit and running when there is a power outage.

Limited function

If you are looking for a gas water heater that will work in the event of an electrical outage, there are some models available that have limited functionality without electricity. This means that the water heater will still be able to run, but it won’t have all of its features such as temperature control and safety features.

What components of a gas water heater require electricity?

There are several components of a gas water heater that require electricity. These include the igniter, blower motor, electronic gas control valve, and thermostat. we will discuss each of these components in more detail. Here are the components of a gas water heater that require electricity:

Ignition system

A gas water heater requires an ignition system in order to fire up the burners. This can either be a spark ignitor or a hot surface ignitor. The spark ignitor uses electricity to create a spark that lights the burners, while the hot surface ignitor heats up an electrically powered element, which then ignites the gas.


The thermostat is used to control the temperature of the water. It draws power from the electricity to turn on and off the burners as needed to maintain a desired temperature.

Gas valve

The electronic gas control valve regulates the flow of gas into the water heater. It needs electricity to open and close properly.

Blower motor

The blower motor is responsible for circulating hot air through the water heater’s exhaust system. It needs electricity to operate.

Power vent

Some models of gas water heaters have power vents that draw in outside air and exhaust the hot, humid air out. This system requires electricity to be used.

Control circuit board

Some models of gas water heaters have a control circuit board that controls the operation of the unit. It needs electricity to be powered up and work correctly.

Does a gas water heater use more gas or electricity?

Gas water heaters generally use more gas than electricity. Gas is the primary fuel source used to heat the water, while electricity is only used to power certain components such as the ignition system, thermostat, gas valve, and blower motor. Gas water heater units are usually more energy efficient than electric water heaters since they are able to generate more hot water with less energy input.

Gas water heaters may consume more gas than electricity, but they are often cheaper to operate in the long run since natural gas prices tend to be lower than those of electricity.

Gas water heaters tend to last longer than electric models and are better at maintaining consistent temperatures. They also require less maintenance since most of the components are powered by gas.

Overall, gas water heaters tend to use more gas than electricity, but they are often more energy efficient in the long run.

Whichever type of water heater you choose, it’s important to consider both the upfront and long-term costs associated with the different models in order to get the best value for your money. With proper maintenance and careful selection, you can choose the right water heater that best suits your needs while saving money in the long run.


In this article, we have discussed the components of a gas water heater that require electricity and how they work. We also looked at whether gas or electric models are more cost-efficient in the long run. Ultimately, it is important to consider both the upfront and long-term costs associated with different types of water heaters in order to get the best value for your money. Gas water heaters may require more maintenance, but they are often cheaper and better at maintaining consistent temperatures in the long run. It is important to do your research and carefully consider all of your options before making a decision.

Read Related Articles:

What Our Clients Are Saying
Amir and his team were superb to deal with! He was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and informative. He explained clearly all…
Jack Y.
I called Amir because I needed two toilets removed and reinstalled after laying tile on my bathroom floors. Amir changed…
P. Bochun
I had the pleasure to have had Amir recommended to me from a neighbour. I want to let anyone know…
Valérie H.
Fast, thorough quoting and work. Amir is very knowledgeable and flexible when the job had to adapt based on what…
Aaron B.
Amazing service professional. I'll never go elsewhere. Highly recommended!
Brandon B.