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Thread: Washer Dryer electric /gas?

  1. #1
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    Red face Washer Dryer electric /gas?

    Ok this may seem like a totally stupid question, but there is no w/d in the house we are moving into so no hook up. How do you know whether to get a gas or an electric?

    j
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

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  2. #2
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    We have a gas dryer, which we replaced a few years ago with another gas dryer. They do have to come out and install it. I think the gas company sent someone over.

    If you want electric, can't you just get an electric one and plug it in? I'm not being sarcastic with that. I don't know if there are any circumstances that would prevent you from just getting an electric dryer.

    By the way, I like our gas dryer. It's propane. We get propane delivered once each quarter for the dryer and our stove.
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  3. #3
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    I think things are different in different parts of the country, JeAnne, but here in Chicago I can tell you that most people run their dryers on gas (natural gas, not propane). Gas is cheaper here than is electric. Was there ever a dryer in the house? There could be a gas pipe (they're typically skinny) that you might not be noticing? I think unless there is no option at all to have gas (i.e, your area doesn't have gas or you can't get propane) that you just choose based on the energy efficiency. Do you have a gas stove in the house or a gas hot water heater? If so, then you can certainly get a gas dryer too. But you might want electric anyway if electric is cheaper than gas. I don't know if my response was much help....

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by MrsReber


    If you want electric, can't you just get an electric one and plug it in? I'm not being sarcastic with that. I don't know if there are any circumstances that would prevent you from just getting an electric dryer.

    Electric dryers are either 120 or 240 V, so you need the proper outlet for a 240 V dryer. The 120 V dryers can be plugged into a regular outlet. 120 V dryers are much slower to dry things though and I recently learned that it's because the dryer shares the same "line" to heat and to spin (sorry not proper electrican terms). With a 240 V dryer, it has 2 lines, one to heat and one to spin.

    We rent our house and our dryer died and the landlord bought a new one. When the appliance guys delivered it, they found that the landlord had ordered a 240 V dryer but we needed a 120 V one. It takes forever to dry clothes.

  5. #5
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    Is there a gas valve in the location where the previous dryer was? And do you have a gas stove and gas heat/water heater? If all of these are "no", then you probably don't have the option of natural gas. I'm haven't heard of someone having only a gas dryer when their house isn't plumbed for gas to start with; it might be fairly expensive to get a propane system hooked up, so it would depend on whether long-term savings are worth it.

    Our house has gas stove & water, but no gas valve in the laundry, so we just use electric.

    Also, where the dryer sits needs to have a 220v outlet, which is different from a standard outlet. Either you have one of those already if the previous dryer was electric, or you need to have an electrician install one if you need one. You should already either have a gas valve or the 220 v outlet, which may be the easiest way to decide on which dryer to get.

    Details, details, details...welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership!

    Megan

  6. #6
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    You can get an electrician to run a conduit from the breaker box to the place where you want a dryer for much cheaper than you could get the gas company to run pipe for a gas dryer. My husband ran the conduit for our dryer in our house. He has done a lot of electrical work. I think it would cost $100-$200 depending on your area.

    We got our washer and dryer out of the classifieds. They're not fancy, but they work well. We didn't have much left over money will all the other things we had to buy.

    In my apartment, I have a gas dryer. Its great too.

    I think you just have to decide which is cheaper to install and run.
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  7. #7
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    there's never been a washer dryer but our heat is gas. So I probably want to go with a gas right? Does a plumber do this?

    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


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  8. #8
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    If there has never been a washer, then a plumber would need to set up water supply and draining for the washer. And an electrician would need to provide an outlet for the washer. Once you decided on a gas or electric dryer, then either the gas company or an electrician would need to provide the gas line or an outlet.

  9. #9
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    If you are thinking about a gas dryer, one thing to consider is how long you plan to be in the house. Gas dryers can't be converted, so if you move to a home with only electric service later, you would have to buy a new one (this happened to us).

  10. #10
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    I'm just worried because right now our electrical is 120 amp service and we were going to hold off on upgrading until next spring if possible. I guess I'll talk to an electrician or plumber before buying any appliance.

    J
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


    *****************
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  11. #11
    JeAnne,

    If you want a gas dryer, you'll want to check for both a gas connection and an electrical outlet in the place you want to put it. If there isn't a connection, you'd have a plumber or heating person run a gas line from your main gas source to the location of the dryer. Ditto the electrical connection. You will still need electricity to run the dryer even if the heat source is gas, but of course it won't be as taxing on the electrical system in your house! If you opt for an electric dryer, it's recommended that these be on their own circuit; an electrician can do that for you.

    Are you thinking of putting the w/d in the basement? If so, be sure to figure out/ask a plumber how the washer will pump out the used water. Most washers do not have pumps that are strong enough to pump the water UP and out of a basement to the sewer line. Our w/d are in our basement, and our washer empties into a laundry sink with a separate, stronger pump that moves the water out. If you aren't going to put the machines in the basement this isn't an issue.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the info everyone!!

    We're going to have them in the kitchen...eventually under countertops with cabinet doors
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


    *****************
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  13. #13
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    I'd get quotes for both jobs of installing electric or gas prior to deciding which way to go. Depending on where the gas line is, you may have to pay a certain price per linear foot to install a gas line. Then I would price out electric and gas dryers because there might be a difference there too. We have electric and had to have an electrician put in a plug (which required it's own circuit in the breaker box as well) because this new house was equipped with gas (Grace is right, most homes in Chicago area are gas. We did not see a new house out there that had a proper electric plug in place). I think that cost about $200 too. I have the Neptune w/d and didn't want to buy a new one just yet so we opted to install the plug. I've decided that when I move again, the w/d will stay with the house and I will get a new Neptune version.

    I have a question - what did the previous homeowner wash their clothes in/with? I can't imagnine not having a w/d (but that's just me).

  14. #14
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    JeAnne: assuming you are going to be using natural gas, I have found that a plumber charges around $250.00 to put a gas line from an existing line to your dryer (I've done it twice and even though it was 3 years apart, the price was the same ) It may have gone up in price since I haven't had to do it recently. A gas dryer will cost more initially, but I believe that the cost of gas is less than the cost of electricity so in the long run a gas dryer is supposed to cost less than an electric dryer.

    The only really big difference that I have found between a gas and electric dryer was the location of the lint trap. My gas dryer was on top of the dryer, so the excess lint didn't go back on the clothes. My current electric dryer has the lint trap under the drum on the inside panel (where the door opens). I must wash very linty clothes...because I have overflowed the lint trap and have found lint on the inside of the door and sometimes the clothes themselves.
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  15. #15
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    we'll get a quote on both..

    as far as the previous owner, she's 91 and she probably has a laundry service...not so uncommon around here. In our first apartment, we took our clothes to a laundromat and paid extra (by the lb) for them to launder and fold our clothes...I absolutely refused to waste a saturday sitting in the laundromat. Right now we have w/d's in our complex basement so it's no biggie. But in the end, I'm pretty sure it's cheaper overall to have your own washer dryer. We paid around $40 a week for service, and we probably pay around $20 a week now in quarters and detergent etc..

    j
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

    - Spike, "Something Blue"


    *****************
    My lil site:
    http://greysangel.wordpress.com

  16. #16
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    Sounds like you're on the right track. A couple of other thoughts:

    1. You may find it helpful to talk to your neighbors. What do they do?

    2. The first thing to find out is if you have natural gas or propane in your neighborhood. Then the companies that supply electricity and natural gas (or propane) can help you figure out the installation costs and the costs of doing a load with their energy. In some places, electricity and natural gas are supplied by the same company; in others they are supplied by two separate companies.

    3. In my experience, both natural gas and 240 electric dryers work very well. A 120 electric, as people have noted, takes forever. Under no circumstances would I install one in anything other than an RV.

    Kay

  17. #17
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    JeAnne, since you're putting your washer and dryer in the kitchen, be sure to go with very quiet units. I know all of them will have some noise with water running, etc. but some are louder, and I can't stand that much noise in the kitchen (IMHO)---especially with a dishwasher running and other things going on. Having them in cabinets will buffer some noise, but at first, you won't use them as much if they're loud.

    Our dishwasher in our apartment is so loud we only use it at night when we go to bed...which means sometimes we (usually me) forget to turn it on. Its just a headache.
    If loving me is wrong, you don't want to be right.

    Don't touch the hair!
    JB

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