A common question in the appliance community is “can a gas dryer be converted to electric”?
While this may seem like an odd request, some people relocate into homes that only offer electricity, and others simply just want an electric dryer.
Before we get into the specifics of the conversion, it’s important to understand the differences between an electric dryer and a gas one.
Propane and natural gas dryers use a gas burner that creates heat.
Other than this, they operate the same as an electric dryer.
One key difference is the energy use that each type of dryer requires.
A gas dryer usually costs half of what it costs to operate an electric dryer.
Installation needs also differ between these two types of appliances.
We’ll discuss this in more detail below.
The last thing that differs between gas and eclectic dryers are the cost to purchase each type.
In general, it’s cheaper to buy an electric dryer than it is a gas model.
Key Features of Each Type
Gas Model Dryers
Gas-powered dryers come in two options.
They are either powered by liquid propane or natural gas.
These types of dryers always need to be vented to the outside.
Electric Model Dryers
Where gas models generally run on 110-volt currents, electric dryers operate on a 240-volt current.
This is twice the strength of standard household current required to fuel the heating coils.
If you prefer a 110-volt current, there are some portable or compact electric dryers available that utilize this current.
Much like gas dryers, electric dryers need to be vented to the outside to expel hot, moist air.
Though you can find ventless electric dryers, but they are expensive.
Differences in Installation Techniques
Gas Model Dryers
One of the reasons you may be trying to convert your gas dryer to electric, is that your home doesn’t already have a gas line connection.
Having a line installed can become costly because the local utility company will have to install the necessary lines and connections to underground natural gas lines.
If this is the case, you may want to see if you can power the dryer using liquid propane gas instead.
LP gas is stored in a large tank on the property.
Luckily, there are kits available to convert a natural gas dryer to a propane dryer.
When it comes to these models, it’s highly recommended having a gas dryer installed by a reputable technician.
Electric Model Dryers
Electric dryers are much easier to install. They simply need to be plugged into a 240-volt outlet.
You’ll usually fin a heavy-duty electrical outlet already installed in the laundry room that’s specially designated to certain breakers in the electrical box to handle the dryer’s energy needs.
The electric dryer has a large plug that consists of either four or three prongs to fit the outlet.
The only trouble is that sometimes the plug does not match the outlet. In which case, one of the components must be changed.
How Does Each Type of Dryer Work?
Both types of dryers, electric and gas, use air, heat, and tumbling to dry your clothes.
The tumbling and airflow go hand in hand.
While gas dryers use a gas burner, electric dryers use a heating element.
In an electric dryer, electricity currents travel through the heating coil, thus building up electrons and heating the metal.
In turn, the air is heated as well. The hot air is then sent into the drum via a fan or blower.
During operation of a gas dryer, both natural gas and propane models use an igniter to burn the gas.
Much like the electric version, a fan or blower draws the hot air into the drum.
The Venting System
Gas and electric dryers both need to be vented to the outside to expel air that’s moist and lint-filled.
Without a dryer vent, you would have a laundry room that’s filled with mildew and lots of dust particles in the air you’re breathing.
Additionally, the vent on a gas dryer exhausts out the products of combustion, which you certainly don’t want to breathe.
If you live in an apartment, an electric dryer model is probably ideal for you since they come in ventless versions.
This means there’s no need for an exhaust to the air outside.
Most of these versions are compact, but they do sell full-size ventless dryers as well.
So, can a gas dryer be converted to electric?
The simple answer to this question is of course it can.
However, most experts do not recommend going this way for several reasons.
It’s not cost effective
As you can see, gas dryers operate differently than electric dryers. This means that each type of dryer contains different parts.
The gas dryer contains an igniter, gas burner, and other parts that an electric model don’t have.
So, you’d need to remove all components that make it a gas dryer, and replace them with the parts from an electric dryer, for starters.
Also keep in mind that the burner tubes, fuses, safeties, and operating temperatures are all different.
So, if you’re going to undertake this project you’ll have to be knowledgeable on appliances and wiring.
There are currently no conversion kits on the market to make this an easy switch.
They operate on different electrical currents
As we’ve discussed, gas dryers operate on a 110-volt current, where electric dryers run on 240-volt currents.
Thus, the wiring would have to be modified on your gas dryer to convert it to the higher volt current.
Cheaper to buy an electric dryer
Let’s face it, electric dryers are cheaper than gas dryers to begin.
Your best bet may be to simply sell your gas dryer and purchase a new electric model.
This will save you a great deal of money, time, and headaches.
If you still want to make the conversion, here’s how to do it
If you still want to make the conversion, you can begin by running a 240 volt, single phase circuit for the electric dryer.
You will then need to cap the gas line. While you’re almost done.
The next steps will be changing out the controls, heating assembly, writing, relays, and any other sensors that are different.
Have you ever successfully converted a gas dryer to an electric dryer?
If so, how much did it cost and how much work was involved?
Comment now and let us know if the conversion was worth it for you, and why or why not.