Maybe you are moving to a new house that doesn’t have a preexisting gas line. Or you’ve had enough of gas dryers and want to start using electric ones instead. If your old dryer is still in good condition, it may seem like a waste to simply get rid of it. You may begin to wonder whether it is possible to convert the gas dryer to an electric one and save some money. After all, it can’t be too difficult, right?
Unfortunately, this task proves to be more tricky than it may seem. We are going to look at the potential dangers it brings and walk you through the main reasons why it is not the best idea.
Converting a gas dryer to an electric one is a time-consuming and potentially hazardous task. The dryers use different parts and operate on different currents. Thus, this task requires knowledge and skill many people don’t possess. It is typically more cost-efficient to buy a new electric dryer.
Is Converting a Gas Dryer to Electric Even Possible?
Technically speaking, it is possible to convert a gas dryer into an electric one. However, extensive knowledge of the appliance and wiring is required, making this task quite impractical. Most experts would advise you not to take on this challenge.
Not only does it require a considerable amount of work, but it’s also very costly. Plus, owning a gas dryer offers many advantages that you may not want to give up.
It is Not an Easy Task
Converting gas dryers to electric is a perfect example of the phrase “easier said than done”.
While an electric dryer and gas dryer may look similar (gas dryers even use a portion of electricity), their machinery is entirely different and would essentially need to be wholly replaced.
For starters, a gas dryer runs on a lower voltage than an electric dryer. This means the wiring would need to be redone in order to accommodate the higher voltage of the electric dryer.
Additionally, a gas dryer has parts to support the supply of gas that an electric one doesn’t need at all. These would need to be removed, and new electric dryer parts would have to be added instead.
Is it Safe?
If you’re experienced working with wiring and dryer appliances, then this task is probably safe for you to attempt. If not, you are likely to make a mistake that could easily cause using the dryer to become a safety hazard.
Dryers are heavy-duty appliances that already bring potential risks even when assembled properly. This is why special outlets and other safety precautions are taken when they are installed.
Trying to rewire a dryer on your own with the help of an online video is probably not the smartest decision. A single mistake in the wiring leaves room for electrical complications that could lead to a fire.
Reasons Why Converting Gas Dryer is Not Worth it
Aside from the safety concerns, converting your dryer is not worth the time and money that will ultimately have to go into such a project. Let’s look at some of the main problems you will face if you attempt to do it.
It is Expensive
When converting a gas dryer to an electric one, you are essentially reducing its value by remodeling a more expensive type of dryer (gas) into a less expensive type of dryer (electric dryer). However, the catch is that you also have to spend quite a significant amount of money to do so.
It requires you to install new parts and potentially buy new equipment. Not only will these be costly to purchase, but the whole process will also cost you a lot of time. Essentially, the wiring would also need to be redone. Prices for that vary and can add up quickly.
If your dryer is older, this is definitely not worth it because the dryer could break down soon anyway, and all the money and time you invested in it will go to waste.
Electric Dryers Operate on Higher Current
Although gas dryers are not considered to be both gas and electric, they require both sources of power to operate and function properly.
Since gas dryers generate heat using a gas burner, they typically run on a lower current than an electric dryer. In fact, gas dryers run on about half of the voltage of electric dryers at 120-volts as opposed to 240-volts.
This difference in voltage requires new wiring to be put into a gas dryer being converted into an electric one. Again, this would add to the cost of the project and can be a very difficult task for the average person to take on.
On top of that, an improperly wired circuit invites dangerous outcomes. Poorly wired circuits will damage your dryer and could lead to electrical fires.
Need to Buy New Parts
Considering the way in which gas dryers and electric ones generate heat is completely different, the parts inside each of these appliances are also different.
If you were to try and convert your dryer, you would need to take into account these differences in order to purchase the correct parts.
A gas dryer uses an igniter, gas burner, and other parts, while an electric dryer uses a heating coil to generate heat
The gas dryer’s parts would need to be removed to allow for the installation of an electric coil. These can run anywhere from $10 all the way up to $50.
Gas and electric dryers also run at different temperatures. This means that their burner tubes, fuses, and some of the other critical safety features differ.
Lack of Instructions
Experts discourage consumers from attempting this sort of project. As a result, there aren’t many people attempting the conversion, which leaves very little information on how to properly do it.
Without a tutorial or some sort of video to follow, the task becomes even more difficult. Each step has multiple subtasks that require serious attention and precision to do correctly. Forgetting just one of these subtasks could lead to a failure of the entire project.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there are many different makes and models of dryers. Again, this complicates an already complicated task. Each model most likely requires specific parts and a different approach.
Buy a New Electric Dryer Instead
If for some reason, you can’t or don’t want to use your gas dryer any longer (e.g., your new house does not have a gas supply line), your best option is to purchase a new electric dryer instead. You’ll need to replace your existing electric circuit with one that can support the electricity requirements of an electric dryer.
Although you’ll have to bear the expense of a new electric circuit, this is really the only downside.
Also, keep in mind that the upfront cost of a gas dryer is higher than that of an electric one. With all of the difficulties that come with converting your gas dryer to an electric dryer, do yourself a favor and purchase a new electric dryer (amazon link).
You may even be able to sell your old gas dryer for a bit of cash. At the very least, you’d have saved yourself from a massive headache. Another advantage of buying a brand new electric dryer is that you will have the option to buy a ventless one.
An alternative to buying a new electric check dryer is to convert your natural gas dryer to a propane gas dryer, which is a relatively simple procedure.