Takagi VS Rinnai tankless water heater is a discussion that inevitably comes up while choosing a water heater for home or commercial purposes. Those two brands are near the top of the competition, but how efficient are their units?
In this article, we’ll review a few of the most successful heaters offered by those two brands. Considering that each appliance shares features from previous models, this information also works as an overall look at the past and present of both companies.
For reference, we’re using the Takagi T-H3S-DV-N and the Rinnai RUR98i units.
Rinnai VS Takagi Tankless Water Heater – Comparison 2021
|Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing High Efficiency Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater, 10-Gallon Per...||169 Reviews||$1,299.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Rinnai RL94eN Natural Gas Tankless Hot Water Heater, 9.8 GPM||81 Reviews||$1,525.61||Buy on Amazon|
|Takagi T-H3M-DV-N Condensing Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas||39 Reviews||$899.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Rinnai V65eP Propane Tankless Hot Water Heater, 6.5 GPM||2,218 Reviews||$757.49||Buy on Amazon|
|Takagi T-K4-OS-LP Tankless Water Heater, Propane, Outdoor||6 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
|Rinnai RU160eN Condensing Tankless Hot Water Heater, 9 GPM, Natural Gas, Outdoor Installation||490 Reviews||$1,551.04||Buy on Amazon|
Last update on 2022-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Takagi – Consistent Appliances
Coming from Japan, Takagi is a company that delivers home equipment fairly similar to other brands such as Noritz. After all, appliances from these brands share components, and the warranties are pretty much the same too.
When compared to Rinnai, though, we can notice that Rinnai heaters have a different venting system. The question is, does that make Takagi less productive? Not at all. Let’s see what this brand has to offer.
Takagi offers compact heaters that don’t consume much space. The 15-year warranty guarantees proper assistance should an unexpected event occur.
Considering the high-quality of the materials used to make them, the units are long-lasting devices that shouldn’t have any issues for the time being.
Perhaps, the most interesting design choice for heaters like the T-H3S-DV-N is that they can link to four units, but the Multi-Link technology allows a connection up to 20 units in total.
So, Takagi appliances are good for households, but they’re even better for high-traffic places.
Is Takagi User-Friendly?
Much like Rinnai, Takagi tankless water heaters are also compact and easy to install. For example, the dimensions for the T-H3S-DV-N are 22.5×17.75×10.75-inch, height, width, and depth, respectively. The installation must be indoor.
Besides their compact design that saves space, heaters from Takagi are capable of reducing energy waste too. You don’t have to worry about NOx emission either because the heaters keep it at ultra-low levels.
Users will also appreciate the integrated temperature controller included in heaters like the T-H3S-DV-N. While active, the appliances work efficiently, allowing you to make different adjustments quickly if needed.
Takagi heaters, including the T-H3S-DV-N, deliver a highly efficient performance, similar to Navien, but with some slight differences. The T-H3S-DV-N unit works at 19,500-199,000 BTU, providing a water flow of 10 GPM at 30°F temperature rise.
Temperature settings included are between 100-140°F, and the energy factor is 0.93.
Once set up, Takagi heaters will provide a continuous amount of hot water consistently. The units work quietly without making any noise that may interfere with other activities in the house.
Something to keep in mind is that not every Takagi tankless water heater is a recirculating system. That’s the case of the TK-540P-NIH and the T-H3-DV-N units; while the first one does offer recirculation, the latter doesn’t.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater You Can Buy
Now that we’re talking about them, here we’ll review some of the best offers from Takagi. These products delivered efficiency, safety, and a pleasant performance, among other things.
#1 Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing Natural Gas
This unit offers an impressive amount of 10 gallons per minute. It’s far more than what the average electric water heater delivers, which is usually around 2 to 4 GPM. If you’re looking for a water heater that performs quickly, this product may be the one you need.
The heater works at 199,000 BTUs. Considering it’s a lot of power, you need to make the proper accommodations before getting the unit. Homeowners may have to install additional parts if they want to enjoy the complete wattage capacity of this water heater.
Another piece of information to know about this product is that it weighs 60 pounds. That means carrying it around isn’t quite comfortable. Once you find the perfect spot for it, you may as well leave it there. A common installation place is right where the water tank originally was.
While active, the unit produces very high temperatures. It can reach up to 185°F, which is a lot if you compare it to other water heaters. As mentioned early, this appliance delivers 10 GPM, supplying several shower and other appliances at the same time.
However, the unit’s performance may vary depending on outside conditions. Installing this water heater at an extremely cold location may affect the estimated GPM produced. Keeping this information in mind should avoid any frustrating moments later on.
One minor issue with this product is its drainage system, which could complicate the installation. If you don’t have experience handling tankless water heaters, hiring a professional would be a wise decision.
Other than that, this appliance delivers plenty of benefits that no one can dismiss.
Related Guide: Navien vs Rinnai Tankless Water
#2 Takagi T-H3M-DV-N Natural Gas Condensing
If you’re not a fan of outdoor water heaters, this unit comes as an alternative offering an indoor installation instead. It’s suitable for both commercial and residential purposes, guaranteeing constant water supply for large and small locations.
There are several reasons to love this product. Let’s talk about some of them.
First, the unit has many safety features. There’s freeze control to protect the unit during cold weather, as well as an anti-overheating mechanism if the heater reaches a high temperature. Additionally, there’s surge protection and troubleshooting diagnostic codes.
Just as it protects itself, the water heater also protects household residents. The unit doesn’t have lead components, making it a product compliant with regulation standards.
Installing this water heater proved to be a hassle-free operation. The unit features a power direct vent construction, which makes the whole set up process easier. After setting it up, the power source required is natural gas, meaning the water heater works continuously during the day.
Once active, the heater is capable of producing up to 10 gallons per minute. Customers will have the option to supply several appliances at once, ensuring water supply to areas like the kitchen and bathrooms.
Overall, this product is an outstanding pick for every household. But even then, it’s not perfect! A common concern among customers is the lack of proper repair conditions.
If anything malfunctions, the manufacturer could send you the pieces needed, but you’d have to do the rest by yourself. It’s an expensive endeavor that may result in a negative outcome for many people. That’s why anyone buying this water heater must be cautious while using it.
Related Guide: Bosch vs Navien Combi Boilers
#3 Takagi T-K4-OS-NG Tankless Water Heater
This unit uses natural gas as a power source. Unlike many other models, this tankless water heater is more suitable for outdoor installation only.
Once installed, the appliance uses fresh air to produce gas combustion. It’s a safe process due to the built-in vent that gets rid of the byproducts of said combustion. Other convenient features are the inlet/outlet thermistors, which keep track of the temperature continuously.
Since it’s an outdoor water heater, the unit also has plenty of protection against rough temperatures outside. For instance, the built-in freeze protection system guarantees the heater is safe during cold months in winter.
Installing this wall-mount heater is a simple and quick process too. Since there’s no venting required, the unit reduces the installation costs, allowing you to save some money. You can use the unit to supply commercial and residential purposes.
Two other elements that don’t go unnoticed are the Hi-Limit switch and the overheat cut-off mechanism. Both are safety measures that prevent accidents.
The Hi-Limit switch shuts off the unit if the temperature goes over the maximum limit allowed. You can reset this feature manually. Much like the overheat cut-off system, the Hi-Limit switch protects the water heater from excessive heat.
Lastly, you have the option to set up a pressure relief valve to work with this heater. You’d have to get it separately, though. But what about performance? That’s where the Takagi T-K4-OS-NG shines the most.
Due to self-modulation technology, the unit is capable of working in an 11,000-190,000 BTUs range per hour. During this time, the flow rate reaches 8 gallons per minute (GPM), which covers around four showers simultaneously.
For more comfort, there’s a remote control included. This accessory makes it possible to control several of the heater’s functionalities, including changing the water temperature.
Rinnai – An Overlook at Its Tankless Water Heaters
First, let’s talk about the Rinnai tankless water heaters. As mentioned above, we’ll be using the RUR98i for reference. However, considering that other heaters like the RU98e and RUC98i share similar specifications, meaning that the information below easily applies to those units too. Here are the reasons why Rinnai is a popular brand.
True to the brand’s style, the Rinnai RUR98iN is a highly capable water heater that consumes barely any space. Its shape is similar to that of a small suitcase, meaning that if you’re looking for a compact device, Rinnai may be the perfect way to go.
The installation must be indoor, and the unit is compatible with 1/2 –inch gas lines. Previous heaters from this brand share similar specifications that make the heaters comfortable appliances most homeowners enjoy.
Due to the compact design, easy installation, and high-efficiency rating, Rinnai places itself among the most competitive brands in the water heater and home appliances markets.
Is Rinnai User-Friendly?
Rinnai tankless water heaters are fairly popular because of their innovative features. These appliances aren’t only easy to use, but they’re also pretty easy to understand and operate by everyone.
For instance, the RUR98iN unit offers either Concentric or PVC, which are a couple of venting options that most homeowners learn how to handle quickly. Once set up, the heater produces a low NOx gas emission, and the recirculation process maintains the water flow constant and quick.
Rinnai heaters include isolation valves to keep everything in check, and the WiFi technology for remote control.
Rinnai tankless water heaters are capable of delivering super high efficiency during their performance. Here are some specs gathered from the Rinnai RUR98i.
The RUR98i heater provides a gas input between 15,200 and 199,00 BTU. Its water flow at 30° temperature rise is 9.8 GPM, with a 0.92 energy factor. Temperature settings available are 98-140°F, and it will provide ultra-low NOx emission.
Also, Rinnai’s exclusive condensing technology features the dual heat exchanger design, which ultimately provides reliable performance.
Overall, Rinnai heaters are among the best for those and many more reasons. They’re easy to install, they work efficiently, and you can control them as much as needed.
Rinnai Tankless Water Heater You Can Buy
After learning what Rinnai can do, now it’s time to see some of their high-quality tankless water heaters.
#4 Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater
The RL Series offers some of Rinnai’s best appliances, there’s no doubt about that. These units, which belong to the Luxury Series, are below the Ultra Series, and above the Value Series, making them in-between products.
This series of products offer four tankless water heaters. Those are the RL75iN, RL94iN, RL75iP, and the RL94iP. The first two work on natural gas, delivering 7.5 GPM and 9.4 GPM, respectively. As for the latter two, they work on propane, offering 7.5 to 9.4 GPM too.
These units are all indoor water heaters, and they work at 199,000 BTUs. The estimated weight is 50 lbs approximately, meaning that a single person can handle them during the installation. It helps saving money you’d spend hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Another feature that helps saving money is the anti-scale detection system, which allows the tankless heaters to work at maximum capacity. As you probably know, scale build-ups can shorten the heater’s lifespan, reducing its efficiency as time passes.
For more convenience, customers have the option to attach up to three temperature controls. These accessories will help you control the water temperature right at the source, improving the heater’s performance.
Most of the heaters in this series are great, but some of them have certain disadvantages. For example, the RL94iN can be quite noisy sometimes, which could be unpleasant if we consider it’s an indoor appliance.
Another observation pointed out by previous customers was how long it takes for the water to come out. Then again, that’s not an issue caused by the water heater. Many factors could cause it.
In general, the Rinnai RL Series offers outstanding tankless water heaters. There’s one for everyone, and they all deliver a great performance.
#5 Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Hot Water Heater
Rinnai’s V Series of water heater units offer four alternatives: v53, v65, v75, and v94. The V53e units are the most affordable, but they’re outdoor units strictly. Also, the power capacity is significantly different from the other units, reaching only 120,000 BTU.
While the V53 units are ideal for small rooms, the V65i and V75i are better for medium-sized households. These two models are capable of delivering 7.5 GPM of hot water, working at 180,000 BTUs.
And then, we have the V94 water heaters. Now, there are three models available in this category, which are V94i, V94Xi, and V94e. The first two are indoor units, while the V94e is an outdoor water heater.
Since there are several, keeping track of every water heater in the V Series could be confusing. However, they all serve the similar purpose of working as a potable water heating appliance for residential purposes. While some units may be better than others, they all deliver pleasant results.
While working, units from the V Series reach an average efficiency of 0.82. It may be a lower rating than other Rinnai water heaters, but it’s still higher than many other gas water heaters.
These water heaters are also very user-friendly. Whether you get the small V53 or the large V94 model, all of them are easy to install. Another user-friendly feature we liked is the MC-91-2US temperature controller, which allows you to change the temperatures easily.
If you decide to go with any of the units from this series, be aware that you may need extra accessories. For example, the Rinnai Vent Kit is something you’ll need to make the heaters work at their best capacity.
#6 Rinnai RU Series Sensei SE+
Rinnai is a remarkable brand, and the Sensei Series is one of the reasons why. Units in this category are gas water heaters, which naturally means they work on natural gas. All of the models in this line of products are indoor appliances only.
The models that belong to the RU Sensei Series are RU130ip, RU130in, RU160ip, RU160in, RU180ip, RU180in, RU199ip, and the RU199in. As you can see, the options are many, but they’re all equally as powerful. All of these units deliver consistent GPM, varying between 7 to 11 GPM.
Another similarity between every one of the Sensei Series units is the technology featured. The Circ-Logic system included in the water heaters allows users to set water recirculation patterns. You can adjust this system as much as needed to guarantee there’s always hot water flow available.
Since these are vertically integrated units, every essential component is an authentic piece created by Rinnai. Not only does that mean each part is reliable and durable, but it also secures total compatibility for better performance.
As for their performance, the Sensei Series water heaters meet many of the expectations too. It doesn’t take much time for the units to heat up, only one or two minutes. Once they do, the water flow provided goes on continuously, and you can use it for two or more showers at the same time.
Previous customers have mentioned that these tankless water heaters have flaws depending on the location. For instance, someone pointed out that the water takes time to reach the faucet. Be sure to find the perfect spot for the heaters before installing them.
Rinnai or Takagi Water Heater, Which One to Choose?
Surprisingly, both brands deliver rather similar devices that perform equally as good. Some customers may argue that Takagi has better customer service, but that doesn’t mean that Rinnai neglects its customers.
On the contrary, whether it’s through the warranty or just because you have doubts, Rinnai is quick to answer your questions.
When both brands are good, the real concern for homeowners would be to choose a heater that they like and make sure the installation goes smoothly.
Go either Takagi or Rinnai. Their appliances are top-quality, easy to install and operate, and they perform quietly throughout the day.
After taking a closer look at the Takagi VS Rinnai Tankless Water Heater debate, we now know that both brands are offering similar devices. So, the choice is yours to decide which one you like the most.
Rinnai, as a brand, has a reputation behind it that guarantees high-quality appliances for each home. On the other hand, Takagi may not be as popular, but it sure delivers home equipment that can easily outmatch the competition.