Gas vs electric dryers

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by cogitate, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    The deal: I am having a friend build out my family room in my house to be a studio apartment. It has a separate entrance, a large bathroom, a wet bar (to which he will add a small cooktop) and under cabinet refrigerator. One wall needs to be built, and a small wall by the garage will be moved a few feet to accommodate the shower and washer dryer.

    Now, the cost of a GE stackable is about the same for either an electric dryer vs a gas dryer. In the garage, i have a gas dryer, and it will cost about 500 bucks to run gas from where my dryer is to where the stackable unit will be. Since we will be running electricity to the cooktop and fridge anyway, it will be much cheaper to make the dryer an electrical one.

    Any input regarding maybe saving 400+ bucks to run it as electric vs gas? It is going to be a small unit for one person.

    Oh, utilities will be included in the rent (as will cable, wifi, garbage).

    Thanks
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  2. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Electricity is made by burning gas to generate heat to generate steam to turn a generator and then you're going to turn that electricity back to heat. Why not burn the gas yourself? In other words, I believe gas is much cheaper.
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  3. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    It's a rental unit. Electric is safer than gas. The end.

    There's a company out there that makes oil-filled heat exchangers for some dryers. The rationale is that it removes the direct high heat source (element or burner) from the intake airflow of the drum, greatly reducing the chance of setting the clothing on fire. It takes a bit for the oil to heat up, but once it does, it apparently produces a very even heat going into the drum.
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  4. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    Gas is cheaper right now. I ran all the major appliances in the house with gas, but also threw in some extra wire for electrical hookups just on the off chance I want the extra flexibility down the road.
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  5. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    I never heard that gas driers were unsafe. Whats the story?
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  6. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    Nice Newfie in your avatar.

    You are in PG+E land are you not? That means you are paying oh, $0.15/KWH. An electric dryer costs about 2X as much, but in a single persons unit? I bet that if you google you can find a calculator that would take your KWh cost vs. Therms and give you a number you could use to estimate your payback.

    I have no experience with modern gas dryers - I've never lived where we had a gas hookup, and I'm a PG+E victim part time.

    Here in CO, I pay about 8 cents a KW/h, but propane costs a fortune at $4/gallon delivered.

    I just turned off my propane heater, it's costing me a couple hundred bucks a year in propane.

    As to safety: I'm sure that code requires that as a gas appliance it has to be anchored to the wall.

    Oh, when you ran the number, did you consider that the electric combo [at least my stack] is a single 240 line whereas with the Gas, you still need a 120 circuit. I don't know if that matters in your calcs.

    With the price of gas going down, I personally would make the bet that it would pay off.
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  7. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    I wouldn't call them unsafe, just less safe. Open flame and lint is a bad combination. A homeowner willing to do PM shouldn't have a problem, but try getting a renter to clean behind a dryer.
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  8. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Keep those ideas coming.

    Oh, the dog? He is a 128 lb labradoodle. Most think he is a Newfie, until he stand next to one, very similar. Labs are a descendant from newfies, so he's got the the genes.

    Oh yeah, the dryer. I am in San Diego, we pay a lot for everything :lol3. Thanks for the tip, will look for a calculator on the sdg and e website.

    I would think electric would be safer, heck, the renter might not notice a gas leak. There is no code where i live that states the dryer has to be anchored, just the hot water heater. If it is a little more expense, i can just up the rent a bit (its not built yet, so no renter, and have not decided on a rental price). Rentals are high and in demand here.

    On one hand, i don't mind a little extra cost per month, having someone here is going to help tremendously with my mortage anyway. Not upside down on house, but market is weird. Couldn't sell it, and i ain't giving it away ( the house, anyway):eek1




    #8
  9. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Ok, you might have just sold me on the electric dryer. Thank you. On the same note, the burners are going to be electric, not gas. No open flames. There is a fireplace in the room as well, i am taking it out.
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  10. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    You may want to consider a "no candles" (or more restrictive, no smoking, matches, or open lights) clause in the lease agreement, and if you have time and money, consider upgrading the common wall(s) with double 5/8" sheetrock with overlapping joints for 1-hour burnthrough.

    The T/A who taught my computer ethics course in college was burned out by a neighbor who left candles unattended.
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  11. AkBrian

    AkBrian Long timer

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    I'd also take a look at putting the apartment on a separate meter if at all possible. It avoids one source of potential conflict They want to leave the lights on all the time? No problem, they pay for it.
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  12. Dave

    Dave Huh?

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    The whole 'gas dryers are more dangerous than electric' is bunk. Look up the statistics. The vast majority of dryer fires are caused not by the units themselves, but poor maintenance of the dryer vent, mashed/pinched dryer vents, etc.

    Mrs. Dave and I had the same debate about a year ago. We looked up the info, and were educated. We went with gas and haven't looked back. The operating costs are a LOT lower - maybe $2-$3 worth of gas per month for two people.

    I can understand the hesitancy of gas in a rental unit, but since you've included utilities in the rent, your tenants have absolutely no incentive to use less energy. So, you *will* be paying every time some jackass decides to use a whole dryer cycle to dry a pair of underwear. You'll want to go with the cheapest form of power available.

    I didn't want the cost of running a gas line, so I ran the black pipe myself from the nearest stub on the gas line. It was actually easier than sweating copper water pipe. Just measure your runs carefully, and have the pipe lengths cut at Home Depot. Make sure you use the gas rated pipe dope (again, HD), and code usually requires a gas shutoff valve within 1 foot of the dryer. I had all my work inspected by the county, and passed with flying colors.
    I don't remember if it's required, but I think it's always a good idea to use metal dryer vent pipe instead of that slinky hose garbage. Even if a flare up does occur, it's contained in metal.

    If you're that concerned with flames (gas) in the unit, I understand, and you should go electric. But, I would lower the rent a bit, and make the tenants responsible for their own utilities, IMO.
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  13. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    I'm going from memory, but threaded gas pipe joints may not be concealed, IIRC.
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  14. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Not "gas dryers".

    "Gas".

    I've been in real estate and property management for a few years.

    Tenants are generally clueless and going all electric is a good way to reduce potential problems.
    #14
  15. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    ok, that did it. No gas, no candles, I already told everyone interested in the place, NO SMOKING.

    Not that there is anything wrong if someone wants to smoke, but not in my house.
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  16. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    I have a similar studio behind my garage. The $900/mo is nice. No washer/dryer, gas water heater and stove, electric baseboard heaters.

    The electricity thing is a problem because if you include it, they have no incentive to save. We put a meter in the line into the unit and he pays by the kwh. Interestingly, the electricity bill has never been more than $20. About $8 in the summer. We just lost the renter this month and I think I will just raise the rent and include every utility this time, prospects seem to expect it.
    I think the gas safety thing is being way overblown, it's not like you are an absentee owner and lint will burn no matter how it gets hot. And I think you are getting reamed on that gas line install quote, it is no harder than a water line.

    Of more importance is getting the right tenant. Hold out a month if you have to, but hold out for the right person. It pays in the long run.
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  17. Dave

    Dave Huh?

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    Cheap. No fires. Green. :deal
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  18. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    For the lint concern, a dryer vent clogged up with lint, gas or electric, won't work as efficiently, putting your out of pocket utility costs up. You'll want to make sure yourself the vent cleaning gets done annually, same as you want to make sure you do the lawn cutting and landscaping yourself.

    A landlord should be responsible for preventative maintenance on a regular basis in the unit anyway. With a tenant you want a regular series of visits to check on how they are treating your place, and maintenance is a great excuse for that.

    You should be making a walk through at least every two months, if nothing else to interrupt a 3 month grow-op cycle :D
    #18
  19. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Agreed om the right tenant. I have someone interested i know for a long time, very responsible professional. He loves my dog, too. Besides the cook top, the place is lit by just a few recessed florescents. I managed the water bill here for years when my family lived with me :cry, so i can't imagine that a single guy will shower longer than a teen age girl and a woman. :deal

    I figured a higher rent to cover the costs, make it more attractive to the renter.
    #19
  20. Kubla

    Kubla Long timer

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    this is not an option when your house is 35 feet from I75, my cars are always covered in dirt and dust
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