Water heating for rural homes

It’s less than two months before December, so winter is almost here. As the temperature begins to drop, it will be felt more by residents in rural areas and those vacationing there for the holidays. So if you’re any of the two, it’s best to think about your water heating system ahead of time, specially on how you’ll fuel it throughout the season.


Unfortunately, lots of rural areas, neighborhoods and communities don’t have readily available natural gas. And so, the only choices left are water heaters that use electricity and liquified petroleum gas or propane (for examples of each, go to Anything Water). Propane powered water heaters are installed the same way as those that utilize natural gas, except that you’ll use a propane storage tank instead. Below are the pros and cons of propane water heaters.


  • As mentioned above, unlike natural gas, propane is more available in rural areas
  • Compared with electric heaters, they have higher capacity (with some up to 11 GPM)
  • Furthermore, they have greater heating ability than electric models


  • As mentioned above, you’ll need a propane storage tank. If your house doesn’t already have one, it needs to be professionally installed and regularly maintained.
  • Furthermore, if the house is on elevated land, additional installation work is required to correct the low oxygen at high altitudes. Otherwise, it might produce carbon monoxide if the propane does not burn properly and cleanly.
  • Propane water heaters need proper ventilation
  • Propane will generally cost higher than electricity


Take note that even if you install a gas powered water heater, electrical connection is still required for the operation of the switches and sensors. Such connections must also comply with voltage and amperage requirements and might need to have a dedicated circuit breaker. Furthermore, at least a 3/4-inch gas line is also required.

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