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Does A Gas Hot Water Heater Need Electricity? [Question Answered]

Oh, snap! Your electricity went out. You’re in a time crunch but you need to shower. Wondering if the water in your house will remain warm? Well, we have the things you need to know about this.

Does a gas hot water heater need electricity?

Well, it depends. There are two varieties of heaters. One comes with a tank and the other one is tankless. The tankless one can’t work without electricity at all. For the one with a tank, there are a couple of varieties. Some of them work with electricity, while others don’t. 

Now you’ve seen a snippet of our very detailed answer. To know about all these thoroughly, take a tour through our segment down below!

How Type Of Gas Heaters Operate Without Electricity

We mentioned there are two kinds of gas heaters. One comes with a tank and the other one is tankless. Both of these operate in a different manner as well, which we’ve discussed here. 

How Gas Heater With A Tank Functions

This type of heater comes with a gas burner underneath it. And the cold water gets through a supply line constantly. 

The gas burner heats up this cold water as it flows in. This is controlled by a gas regulator. It comes with a thermostat that helps adjust the heater’s temperature. However, the time it takes usually depends on how cold the water is. 

When your water reaches your set temperature, the water will reach your tank. After that, the water will go to your supply line. Then whenever you need warm water, it’ll provide it. 

Can You Operate A Tank Heater Without Electricity?

The mechanism is pretty clear here. The tank on your heater will be able to store hot water. However, will it still work without electricity?

It depends. Not all such models will require electricity to function. Some models function with electricity. But that is only to start the pilot light to burn. Moreover, some heaters are lighted the traditional way. While others have an electronic ignition. 

If your heater has a continuous gas pilot light, it’ll work without electricity. Moreover, your electric pilot light will also work in case of a power outage. This is because they can function without electricity.  

Set your water pressure regulator correctly and the right temperature, and enjoy your shower.

If your heater needs to be plugged in, it relies solely on the main power. Therefore, only for a few hours, you’ll get warm water. After that, the water might run out.

How long will the water stay hot in water heater without power?

The water in your heater will stay warm for 2 to 3 hours maximum. Therefore, if you need to use warm water, finish your work quickly!

How Gas Heater Without A Tank Functions

A tankless heater, as the name hints, doesn’t come with a tank. This means the hot water can’t be stored. Therefore, once you demand hot water, it’ll start heating up. 

For this one, you basically set your desired temperature first. And the water will then start flowing at that temperature. 

The heat exchanger controls this entire mechanism. The heat is transferred between two places and finally flows through your pipe.

Can You Operate A Tankless Heater Without Electricity?

Sadly, you can’t operate a tankless heater without electricity. This model of heater works when the heat exchanger works. This exchanger will activate the gas burner and thus hot water will flow through. Therefore, to make this mechanism work you’ll need electricity. 

The new advanced digital ones come with a remote to use it. Those are also powered by electricity. 

You can buy one with a tank if you really want it. It might not be a new siding over your old one, but the new heater will work great!

Can You Power Your Gas Heater With Something Else?

There are other ways you can power your heater so that it won’t need electricity to operate. 

For example, you can connect a computer battery as a source of electricity. Or you’ll have to connect the heater to a generator. With this, you can power the computer component of your water heater. And therefore, it’ll start heating water again. 

You can find these batteries in any hardware store. But if you’re looking for the best one you might find these intriguing! 

Product 1
Product 2 

Buy one of these and let yourself be amazed by their performance!

There’s another hack you can use. You can connect another water heater on its side that’ll operate without electricity. But the heater needs to be one that can work without electricity. Therefore, you can use your heater without power now! 

That’s it! Basically, you have to determine your heater type first. Then you can see whether it can work without electricity or not. 

If you’re all out of hot water and desperately need a shower, boil some water. And mix it with cold water in a bucket to use it!


Question: How long will water stay hot in a water heater without power?
Answer: It usually depends from tank to tank. But if your power goes out and you’re planning to take a shower, do it soon. Because the water will start to cool soon. It’ll stay warm for one to two hours maximum. 

Question: Should I turn my water heater off at night?
Answer: Well yes, for sure. Keeping your heater on at all times is basically a myth And your immersion heater will heat your water up by default. Therefore, you don’t need to keep it on at all times. 

Question: When should you turn your hot water heater off?
Answer: You should turn your heater off if you won’t use water for more than a day. You can basically turn the breaker of the heater off from the breaker box. But do this only when you won’t be using your water for more than 2 days.

Final Words

That was all from our end. So does this segment answer your burning question about ‘does a gas hot water heater need electricity?’. If so, then you know what to do now!

Simply identify the type of heater you’re using. This will solve your confusion. 

Until next time!