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Old 05-25-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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I'm in New Hampshire. At my current house I have a very very very old gas dryer; there is no natural gas where I live so it uses propane, which is something like $4 a gallon (it's typically more expensive than heating oil where I am!!). I am likely going to replace the washer & dryer with newer versions and am thinking of going with electric. I know that typically electric dryers are more expensive to run than (natural) gas ones, but with propane, I'm not sure that's true. I live by myself most of the time (with fairly frequent house guests) so only have to do laundry 3-4 times a month.

Has anyone converted from propane gas to electric? Is it a huge process? I assume I will have to have a dedicated circuit for the dryer (which means hiring an electrician)?

Thanks in advance for any info!
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
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Have you looked behind the dryer, or in the electrical panel to see if electrical is there?
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Nope, not yet. The current washer & dryer are in a closet and the fit is VERY tight -- I will have to remove the closet doors in order to move the washer or dryer. Right now I am just trying to see how feasible this is.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
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The electrical panel should have a note if there's a 30 amp 2 pole breaker for a dryer.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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If all you have back there is a standard household outlet, you'll need to rewire to a higher voltage. An electric dryer needs 220v. At least I never heard of one that didn't. The gas dryer is only drawing 110v (i.e standard household plug) because the electricity is only needed to spin the drum, not provide the heat. If is the case, which seems likely, you'll need an electrician to do the switch.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I don't know for sure because I'm not home but an electric 240v dryer will typically have a 20 amp breaker on it. That means it's pulling roughly 15-16 amps continuous max.

16 amps x 240 volts = 3840 watts or 3.84 kw.

What do you pay for electricity?

3.84 X $0.xx X hours run = total operating cost for electric machine

Example $0.15/kwh 3 hours per month

3.84 X $0.15 X 3 = $1.73 per month in electric costs to run the dryer
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Hmmm. Given the info that Wheelsup provided, I suspect that propane is cheaper to run in my area even at $4 a gallon. Online I found a couple of sources that said a gallon of propane is equal to about 27 kwh. 27 kwh in my area would cost ~18 cents each = $4.86. (Yep, electricity is very expensive up here!) Given that I would also have to have an electrician in, I guess I will stick with the propane.

Thanks for the replies -- I will rep you all!
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:19 PM
 
41,823 posts, read 46,205,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
so it uses propane, which is something like $4 a gallon (it's typically more expensive than heating oil where I am!!).
It's actually much more because the BTU content of the propane is only 2/3's that of fuel oil.

Assuming they are both 100% efficient, cost per million BTU:



Electric @ $0.18/kWh = $52.75
Propane @ $4/gallon = $43.80

Calculator here: Fuel Comparison Calculator for Home Heating

It's made for home heating but applies to anything, just input your variables. The default for propane uses 80% efficient but that is assuming the flue gases are being expelled out a chimney, I changed it to 100%. As I understand it for a gas dryer the flue gases are expelled with the vent air going through the drum so your efficiencies for both electric and gas will be the same or similar.

Last edited by thecoalman; 05-25-2013 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
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Most dryers need a 30 amp/240V circuit. Look behind the dryer, you may already have a dryer outlet installed. If not, it could be a fairly easy job to run a new circuit, or it could be a huge job.

Easy job if there is plenty of space inside the electrical panel for a new circuit, and its an easy run to the laundry room. Bigger job it the panel does not have space for a new circuit, and its not close to laundry room. A HUGE job when you find out your house only has 60 amp/120V circuit installed (happened to friends when they bought a really old house) Probably pretty rare to find a house that does not have 240V circuits.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:14 AM
 
13,818 posts, read 24,679,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
Most dryers need a 30 amp/240V circuit. Look behind the dryer, you may already have a dryer outlet installed. If not, it could be a fairly easy job to run a new circuit, or it could be a huge job.

Easy job if there is plenty of space inside the electrical panel for a new circuit, and its an easy run to the laundry room. Bigger job it the panel does not have space for a new circuit, and its not close to laundry room. A HUGE job when you find out your house only has 60 amp/120V circuit installed (happened to friends when they bought a really old house) Probably pretty rare to find a house that does not have 240V circuits.
I don't believe any home will have 240v service. It's all 120v. You simply take two hot wires instead of one hot, one neutral to make 240v.
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