When it comes to home appliances, we all have our preferences. Top or front loading. Side-by-side or freezer on the bottom. Four or six burners. Electrical or gas.
If you find yourself stuck with a gas dryer you don’t like or can’t use, what can you do about it? Convert it or buy a replacement dryer? How would you go about deciding? And if you decide to convert your gas dryer to electric, how would you go about doing so?
Here are some of the major points I’ll cover on whether you can convert your gas dryer, plus more you’ll need to know if you decide to do so:
• Is it possible to convert gas to electricity?
• Reasons you may want to
• Reasons you may not want to
• How dryers work
• Comparative costs of dryers
• Conversion procedures
Of course, you can convert your gas dryer to electricity. It’ll take a lot of work, but it’s perfectly doable. But there are some aspects that you must know before considering undergoing this project. For instance, gas dryers have different parts than electrical dryers. They also need different wiring and require different levels of voltage.
You’d be surprised at how much effort would go into making the conversion from gas to electric. Please read on if you want to know more.
Reasons You Would Consider Converting a Dryer from Gas to Electric
You may have moved to a new home with a laundry room serviced only by electrical outlets and no gas line. In this case, you may want to consider converting your gas dryer to propane.
The installation of a new gas line to a home without one is expensive. Propane doesn’t need a gas line. Conversion costs and difficulties are far less than conversion to electricity.
And if you’ve moved to a condominium or apartment house with no gas line and rules against using propane, you’ll have no choice. You’ll have to use electric appliances.
Or perhaps you’ve tried your gas dryer and discovered that you prefer the way an electric dryer dries your clothes.
Reasons Why You May Not Want to Convert from Gas to Electric
- It would be cheaper and easier to sell the gas dryer and buy a new electric dryer
It’s not cost-effective to convert a gas dryer to an electric one. Why? Each type contains drastically different types of parts. This means there’s a lot of work involved in converting the gas dryer.
The gas dryer includes an igniter and a gas burner. These must be removed. Other elements, such as burner tubes and fuses are also unusable in an electric dryer and would have to be replaced.
It Would be Safer to Buy a New Electric Dryer
If you install the electrical elements incorrectly, your dryer could become a fire hazard. A do-it-yourself replacement project may void your fire insurance coverage. This would cost you dearly if things go wrong. Ask your lawyer for guidance.
The Conversion Would Require a Large Stock of Technical Knowledge
Most homeowners don’t know enough to be able to select the right parts and install them correctly. For instance, gas dryers operate on 110 volts while electric dryers run on 240 volts. The wiring in your gas dryer would have to be replaced to make it comply with electrical requirements.
If you do choose to convert your gas dryer, you’re better off hiring a professional to do the job.
Relative Costs of Gas and Electric
Since gas dryers run hotter than electric, they will dry your clothes faster and use less energy to do so. This makes their operation cost roughly half of what electricity costs. If you don’t have to change to electric, you’re better off sticking with gas.
How Dryers Work
All dryers use different combinations of heat, air, and motion to dry your clothes. Water is removed from your clothes through well-designed tumbling action.
Electrical heating elements resemble those on top of stoves. Those metal coils grow very hot as the electricity flows through them.
Gas heating elements, on the other hand, are fired up by pilot light. Metal plates transfer the resulting heat to the air within the dryer.
The tumbling action of both electric and gas dryers works the same way to distribute the heat and dry the clothes.
Both types of dryers must also be properly vented to remove moist air and debris such as lint and dirt. Clogged lint traps and air ducts can cause problems.
Detailed Instructions on How to Convert from gas to electric
With all the above information in mind and after considering your own interests and preferences, you’ve made your final decision. You will convert your gas dryer to electric. Follow these steps to do so safely and effectively.
Check to see if you can buy a conversion kit for your specific brand and model of dryer. Call your appliance dealer. If none are available, here’s how to convert your dryer yourself:
1. Your present gas dryer is running on a 110-volt current. You must begin conversion by running a 240-volt, single-phase circuit through the outlet you plan to use to power your converted electric dryer.
2. Cap your gas line. You won’t need it again.
3. Compare the schematics of your gas dryer to what you’ll need to operate your converted electric dryer.
4. Purchase all new electric controls, heating assembly, wiring, relays, and sensors for the conversion. Make sure you have the correct tool to do each step in the conversion.
5. Remove the gas ignition, gas burner, heating tube, and related circuitry.
6. Replace each element with your equivalent electric element.
7. Test the dryer to make sure it heats properly and doesn’t overheat. Make sure all connections are tight. Test them to make sure they don’t get loose easily.
8. Run a load of wet clothes. If they dry properly, congratulations. Your dryer’s conversion is complete.