Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater?

by Sarah
(Normandy, France)


Just setting up a food truck in France, offering vegetarian cuisine. I would like your advice as to whether to buy an electric or gas water heater. I will be running lights, fridge and prep equipment, possibly a coffee maker, otherwise my cooking is all done with bottled gas.

I will normally have a hook-up but may use a generator occasionally.

Many thanks

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Apr 06, 2014
by: Sarah

Thanks Brian,

your response is very informative. I was hoping i could get away with just having something like a burco boiler that would do for both hot drinks and washing, but from your reply it seems no.

Looks like electric for drinks, but gas for washing.

The water quality here is soft, so not too many problems with limescale.

Thanks for taking the time to answer.


Apr 05, 2014
Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater
by: Brian

Is the water heater for washing up/hand washing (utility use) or drinks?

The next question is how much and how quick will you want how water.

Lastly water is the local water quality (hardness) like in that part of France?

As a guide, for utility use the appliances used are a morco d61b, a heater requiring a flue, you may be lucky and still be able to source a rinnai reu58e which is an excellent flueless machine but I understand the manufacturer has disconnected them. Both are approximately 11.5kw, run on propane or butane and instantaneously heat water.

For drinks hot water there is a choice of urns from burco and fuller both 20 litres they are rated about 5 kw, they are not generally accepted for utility use as tap temperature cannot be guaranteed, either from a scolding or hygiene perspective.

Electrically, on single phase 230v supplies you are restricted to 3kw via a 13amp supply, from a generator supply the fuel costs are more than for gas, heat up times are slower, they can be mounted under counters however giving you more prep/serving space. Most generates you can lift and manhandle are 2.7-5kw.

It will be worth researching local regs, I only know those in force in the UK. good luck with your business, it sounds like an adventure.


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