Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Hot Water Systems

Here are some pros and cons of electric hot water systems compared to gas hot water systems in a brief sense and if it leads you to more questions or you want to clarify some of the finer details, then feel free to contact the Perth plumbing specialists in Provista Plumbing & Gas.

How Electric Hot Water Systems Work

Electric hot water systems operate by utilising an electric heating element, typically located inside a tank, to heat and maintain the temperature of the water. When you turn on a hot water tap or appliance, the thermostat notices the drop in temperature and initiates the heating element. This element warms the water until it obtains the preferred temperature, at which time the heating system switches off. The hot water is now ready to be used in the home. Electric hot water systems are popular for their simplicity as well as being easy to install, making them a good choice for many households.

Advantages of an Electric Hot Water System

Convenient Installation

  • Electric hot water systems can be quite straightforward to install, requiring less components and tools than a gas storage hot water system.
  • By running on electricity, their power source is already available at the home when compared to gas storage hot water systems that would require a gas line and/or gas meter to be installed.
  • Ventilation is also less of a concern with electric hot water systems as they generate less heat and moisture while operating.
  • Electric hot water systems are not required to be installed close to an external wall or where it is convenient to run a gas line. They can be installed outside or inside of the house including in enclosed areas such as under sinks.

Reduced Upfront Costs

  • Electric hot water systems require fewer components than gas hot water systems which need gas lines, gas fittings and ventilation.
  • The safety procedures and the costs involved are fewer when installing an electric system when compared to a gas system. Electric systems do not have gas lines that need to be inspected for leaks or even carbon monoxide detectors that may also be required for gas systems.


  • There is no combustion process with electric storage hot water systems because they use an electric heating element instead of burning gas. Without combustion, there is no need to worry about carbon monoxide emissions, gas leaks or problems with pilot lights.
  • There is a lower risk of fire with electric hot water systems compared to gas hot water systems. Without an open flame of a pilot light that could potentially be exposed to gas leaks, electric systems are less likely to cause a fire from the heater itself.

Disadvantages of an Electric Hot Water System

Higher Operating Costs

  • Electric hot water systems can be more costly over their lifetime due to the increasingly high electricity prices compared to other energy sources.
  • Electric systems also can have a more wasted energy because they are not the most efficient design in changing fuel into heated water.
  • Electric systems with tanks typically have lower insulation levels than gas storage systems so energy loss during storage can also be a factor in operating costs.

Slower Heating & Lower Capacity

  • These electric devices may have slower heating and heat recovery times, which is more noticeable in larger tanks, which could lead to brief periods of reduced hot water during period where they are heavily used.
  • Electric systems may have limitations when it comes to their capacity to present hot water continuously for larger households or heavy use situations, when compared to instant gas hot water solutions.

Environmental Impact

  • The carbon footprint of electric hot water systems may be higher than competing systems, depending on your regions electricity generation source.
  • With electric being less efficient than gas, they can end up using more energy for equivalent amount of hot water.

How to find our more about hot water systems!

While the simplicity of the heating element in electric hot water systems makes them an attractive option, it is still best to get professional advice for which hot water unit will suit you and your family.

Provista Plumbing & Gas supply can install gas hot water systems in Perth and can advise you on how to select your next hot water unit. They are familiar with the reduced upfront costs, convenient installation and safety features of electric hot water systems but also have the experience to know when a gas storage hot water system will be the right choice for your household.