[N/A] Gas or Electric

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ravioli, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've always preferred natural gas for heating, cooking, clothes dryer, etc.

    My current abode is all electric. Hasn't changed my preference in the least.

    So, now the question. Are Electric only homes less prone to fire than those with natural gas?
     
  2. SoonerAviator

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    Probably, I'm sure the insurance actuarial tables would be the only way to know. I will say that my parent's newer home (built in late '00s) has had a couple of breaker panel issues where the current draw has melted the bus bars and required replacement of one panel and re-wiring of another. No actual "fire" damage as the breakers did what they were supposed to, but still. Turns out the electrician who wired the panels originally had put several of the high-load items next to each other which heated the bus bars up nice and hot! They have a 3,700 sq ft home, full electric (gas not available or they would have gone gas), with 2 main panels and a small sub-panel. 3 HVAC units which can draw some serious amperage when they're trying to heat the upstairs/downstairs on a single-digit day. Add in an electric cooking range, water heater, and aerobic system pump running potentially at the same time and you make the electric company very happy! The parents did plumb the house (including fireplace) for gas if ONG ever ran lines down their road, but I doubt they go through the trouble for a 15-20 homes on 5-acre plots.

    Gas just works better for cooking, dryers, and HVAC heating. It's especially cheap in Okie land where we produce plenty of the stuff.
     
  3. dans2992

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    The only benefit I’ve seen to electric only is simplification of utilities, one less bill, etc.
     
  4. Matthew

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    I doubt that gas appliances add much to fire statistics. All the house fires I've known about have started inside a wall at an outlet, so gas had nothing to do with it.

    I have gas heat and gas hot water. Electric for the dryer, stove, and oven. Given the choice, I'll stick with most of that but switch to a gas stove (and keep and electric oven.)
     
  5. SoonerAviator

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    Not that it affects your observations, but the house directly behind me just burned down on Thursday last week. 2,500sq ft+ went up in flames, apparently due to an explosion with the gas furnace or water heater. The two teens got out without injury, the dog/2 cats didn't make it out at all. Rest of the family was at work, kids were home from school due to schools being closed for a snow day. Blew out the garage door and several windows, entire thing is going to be a loss. Odd thing for me, is that I didn't notice it until Saturday! We have a green belt tree line between our houses, and the fire happened Thursday morning (we didn't get home until after dark). We didn't do out back Friday, so Saturday when I was in the back yard I noticed the roof partially collapsed. Started looking for a downed tree (we all have lots of old, tall oaks), but then saw the blown out windows and burned interior/siding. Amazing what can occur so close without you knowing it! Funny thing is, I had smelled the smoke/burning smell, but everyone has their chimneys going and burns leaves/debris this time of year, so I didn't think anything of it. Smoke alarms are still going off intermittently all day/night!
     
  6. Matthew

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    I worked with a guy that lost his house in a gas explosion - the gas leak happened outside the house, in his front yard where the gas line teed off to go to his house. That connection broke, the gas seeped under his front yard and driveway, eventually settling into his basement where the water heater pilot set it off. He and his son were in the opposite corner of the house when it blew. A few scratches from climbing out a window, but the house had been blown off the foundation.

    So yeah, gas fires can happen, but for every gas leak started fire I've heard of in my town, there have been many more that were electrical in origin, even in houses with gas.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

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    I guess the better question, is what portion of those electrical fires were a result of HVAC/Water Heater/appliances that are hard-wired to the structure as opposed to a faulty outlet or space heater plugged into the wall which could occur in any home with electrical outlets. The overall difference in risk these days with either option is probably minuscule, as HVAC/water heaters/etc have pretty robust safety mechanisms for electrical overload or flame/pilot light malfunctions.
     
  8. Kenny Phillips

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    Our gas cooktop is sooooo much better than the electric unit it replaced—to roast marshmallows on.
    We have gas heat, and I ran a gas line for the new cooktop, because I find it easier to control.
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I only had my stove configured for gas when I realized that the gas line was right below the kitchen and it could get plumbed up parsimoniously. I am ever so glad I did. I cook a lot, and I like cooking wth gas. Life is too short to cook with an electric stove.
     
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  10. Tom-D

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    our house is total gas (NG) wish we could get all gas appliances
    our gas bill was $36.00 for January usually is less
     
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  11. weilke

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    Fire I don't know. The risk of a spectacular kaboom is certainly lower.


    I prefer gas for cooking and hot water.
     
  12. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    When I was a kid my mom's house burned. A toaster oven was on and the power went out. When it came back on, nobody around, poof.

    Gas appliance fires are usually related to poor maintenance. I'll have two natural gas furnaces replaced next week after one of them failed. 12 years old. We're upgrading to newer tech but it'll still be natural gas. The new ones have wifi trouble alerts sent to us and our heating contractor.
     
  13. NealRomeoGolf

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    I am in the stone ages. Our house here in Germany heats with heating oil. Our house back in IL is gas. I think our houses in Texas were all electric. I prefer gas.
     
  14. Grum.Man

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    They are defiantly more prone to explosions as least. I was a volunteer firefighter for a good bit and all house fires in electric houses were either usually set on purpose, or the result of some cig, or portable heater either gas or electric. Never had one where a primary device caused the fire.

    I have had friends and been to a couple house fires that were a result of a gas leak. One friend was moving into a temporary rental while their new house was being constructed. Requested the gas be turned off as they had electric laundry. Well I guess it didn’t get done so when they pushed the dryer into place it cracked open the valve. Laundry room exploded as they were sitting on the couch. Luckily nobody was hurt.

    That being said, I would take a gas house any day. Just gotta inspect your fittings and appliances.
     
  15. Fallsrider

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    I am thinking that an all-electric house would be slightly safer than one with gas appliances. But that is purely speculation on my part. No evidence to back that up.

    Up until last summer, we had an electric dryer, cooktop, oven, and water heater, but natural gas furnace. Our cooktop went out, and we decided to switch to gas. I ran the gas line and installed a new cooktop. I like cooking with gas, but there are two issues with a gas cooktop that I'm not crazy about. One is the length of time it takes to boil water, and the other is they are a whole lot harder to clean than the glass cooktop we had before. My wife does not like the gas cooktop at all. I am wishing now we had gone with an induction cooktop. One other issue with a gas cooktop is they will heat your kitchen up in the summertime. That's a good thing in the winter, but not the summer in the south!
     
  16. Matthew

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    I've seen countertop induction burners:
    https://www.webstaurantstore.com/av...ction-range-cooker-120v-1800w/177ICBTM20.html

    I've thought about getting one to test out, just to see if I like it since they aren't too expensive, but I don't have anywhere to store one. I wonder if anyone makes a gas stove with a single induction coil just for water?
     
  17. SoonerAviator

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    Induction cook tops seem nice, but don't you need special/specific cookware to use them?
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    anything that a magnet will stick to
     
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  19. dans2992

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    We use an induction plate to cook in our RV - quicker and heats up the interior less.
     
  20. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm only sad that when I replaced the original 1960s electric cooktop in my house I didn't go straight to induction, used one in Japan during a work trip and realized how nice they were. No gas here unless you want propane trucked in.
     
  21. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Agree.
    Cooktop, yes. Oven, no. This is because a byproduct of combustion is water
    Respectfully disagree.
    What else is there?
     
  22. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Water heater, patio grill.
     
  23. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Prefer gas water heaters, too.
    Isn't that part of "cooking"? ;)
     
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  24. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Probably. You have one less system in the house that can go fubar. How many times do you hear of an all-electric house blowing up and taking part of a neighborhood with it?
     
  25. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Line Up and Wait

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    Not that I have seen, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
     
  26. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Line Up and Wait

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    Yes, you do. But all of our cookware was already induction friendly, so that wasn't a negative for us.
     
  27. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    We recently installed one in our kitchen. It heats things up amazingly fast.

    But if I was a "real" cook, I'd prefer gas.
     
  28. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    You can usually smell gas before it burns. You usually only smell electrons after it burns.
     
  29. midwestpa24

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    As a firefighter, I have been to far more fires caused by electrical wiring than gas. Come to think of it, the only gas related fire I remember responding to, was actually initially caused by a wiring issue, that then melted the gas line to the dryer where it touched the water line and grounded. I know gas related fires can and do happen, but well installed and maintained lines and equipment are usually trouble free, and the odor of gas is usually I pretty good warning sign. Damaged or failed wiring is usually hidden, and goes quickly.

    The majority of the gas appliance related calls we go to are either leaks, or CO alarms.
     
  30. denverpilot

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    I’ve usually gone with...
    Whatever the house had when we bought it. :)

    Prefer gas range, works when the power is out.

    Don’t care on oven.

    Would prefer gas tankless hot water but have a tank now. Works in power outages. (Control’s are thermocouple powered.)

    Don’t care on dryer. Current one is electric.

    Haven’t found a gas dishwasher yet. LOL. Could use the pressure washer. Haha.

    Have had a gas fridge. In an RV. :)

    Mainly use gas forced air heat but have a pellet stove and a pallet of pellets for backup. Needs far less watts from the generator to run the blower during power outages.

    Electric for the well pump, but it’s a pain in the ass. 220V and quite a few amps to get water up 900’. :)

    All of our gas in the boonies is propane, so somebody has to fill the tank... would prefer 1000 gallon tank, but currently have 500.

    Prefer charcoal for BBQ but way too lazy for that, so propane it is. In town we were going to plumb for natural gas but never got around to the back deck remodel before we sold that place.

    Would prefer a whole house or partial panel automatic generator with its own propane tank over diesel or gasoline — but currently use a Honda gasoline portable for backup. If you have to use a gasoline generator Honda is the only thing I’ll buy now. Have had tons of them. Nothing “just works” like the Hondas.
     
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  31. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    True, but if you don’t have gas in the house, that risk is completely eliminated.

    Regarding electrical, I had an outlet fail in my garage last fall. I was doing some work in there with the garage door closed and got several whiffs of “something hot”. I checked around and eventually found an outlet that was arcing internally. With the garage lights off, you could see the metal parts inside the outlet glowing. As it turned out, the stab connections on the back of the outlet were not making good contact.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  32. Sac Arrow

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    Electricity is super expensive in my area to use for heating, cooking and hot water so those are gas.
     
  33. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    And this is why I (among most sane people) never use those connections. Had an outlet go out at a place I volunteer with when the wire came out of the back stab there, luckily it was totally out so there was minimal danger, they just marked the outlet as dead and didn't actually troubleshoot it, told them next time to make sure someone takes a look because it could have been far worse. My personal preference is the commercial grade back-wire with screws.
     
  34. cowman

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    Where I live natural gas isn't available. It would be propane which involves sticking a big tank somewhere and having it refilled by truck periodically. That's fine and all but my house is currently all electric and we're happy with that. Our HVAC is geothermal and works well enough. I know gas has some advantages but I'm just as happy to only have one bill and one energy source to deal with.
     
  35. Matthew

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    That's how the son of friends of ours lost his house.

    The fridge in his garage was plugged in, the outlet on the shared wall between the garage and kitchen had the stab-connections and overheated and started smoldering inside the wall. They were out of town for the weekend, so no harm done to them. But by the time the neighbors either noticed the fire, or heard the alarms from inside the house, the interior was already gone. By the time FD got there, the roof had started burning through. That house was in the next neighborhood over, so I got a pretty good look at it. For all the damage, I was sort of surprised at how the FD got into the garage. I never really thought about how they'd do it, but they had taken a rescue saw and cut a small section out of the top of the door where the operator attaches. Then they could roll the door open.
     
  36. denverpilot

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    I hate stab connections. I also found an arcing light switch one night by sound.
     
  37. Brad W

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    I've mostly had all electric in my life. I've had one apartment for less than a year that was gas...and for a few years as a kid my parents had a gas home.
    I'd very much prefer all gas.
    Now I have an LP fireplace, but that's it
    The only real danger or downside I see is the added risk for CO...and the need to maintain additional safety equipment..CO detectors, etc...
    I recon gas appliances are all very reliable and very safe.
     
  38. Fallsrider

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    That's why for the last few years, all breakers for circuits in living spaces have to be arc fault. An arc fault breaker would have tripped with that switch. Or at least should have.
     
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  39. Dana

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    My house was kerosene heat (not the portables, a central furnace basically the same as oil). I converted to LP, a gas fireplace in the living room and wall mounted vented LP heaters in the back bedrooms. Requires no electric, so we have heat even when the power is out. Replaced the electric dryer with a gas one, will be replacing the electric tank water heater and stove with a gas tankless heater and gas cooktop as part of an upcoming remodel. Tanks are a pair of 120 gallon DOT tanks, filled every three weeks. I don't miss the noise and dust from the forced hot air furnace at all.
     
  40. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Line Up and Wait

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    Google "Mass Gas Explosion". (Massachusetts).
    Goofed up updating gas lines and blew up a 40 houses within a short time span. Having said that, I like cooking on gas way better than electric.