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The Best Tankless Water Heater 2018-03-15T02:48:42+00:00

What is the Best Tankless Water Heater

Comparison Guide

Welcome to Top Tankless Water Heater Reviews.com. You are on this page because you have some questions that need answering: what is the best tankless water heater? Who makes the best tankless water heaters? How much does a tankless water heater cost? We have the answers here and we have selected the best tankless water heaters based on the top rated tankless water heater brands in the industry. We provide a comparison of energy factors, pricing, quality components, performance output, simplicity and value to bring you the information you need to decide what the best tankless water heater is for you. In what we believe is the most comprehensive comparison guide available on the internet right now, you will find comparisons between the best tankless water heater brands such as Navien vs Rinnai, Rinnai vs Rheem, Noritz vs Navien and others! Once you’ve finished reading our best tankless water heater comparison guide, we are confident that you will have come to the decision on the best tankless water heater brand and best tankless water heater for your circumstances. However, if you have any more questions that haven’t been answered in this guide, please contact us here!

When you are considering a tankless water heater, there are several points that must be considered. The most important consideration is how you would like to power your tankless water heater and whether you prefer a gas vs electric tankless water heater. These points can be based on individual preferences or dependent on the utility services available in your area, however, if you have the option of installing either a gas or electric tankless water heater, the advantages and disadvantages need to be weighed up. If you would like to further investigate electric tankless water heaters, click here. If you are interested in gas tankless water heaters, click here. Once you have decided how your tankless water heater will be powered, we can start investigating the different brands and what each brand offers in its tankless water heater units.

Navien vs Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Let’s start with (arguably) the top two best tankless water heater brands, Navien and Rinnai. Both companies can demonstrate that they are industry leaders in hot water technology. Navien retains the largest market share for condensing gas water heaters in North America and is ranked top in technology patents. Rinnai, which was established in Japan almost 100 years ago is one of the world’s largest gas appliance manufacturers with a history of quality and reliability across their product range.

Let’s take a look at each company’s tankless water heaters. The Navien NPE series come in the advanced (A) or standard (S) range. The Advanced models feature state of the art technology including Navien’s ComfortFlow® recirculation technology, incorporating a built-in insulated buffer tank and recirculation pump which helps deliver hot water faster, therefore saving the owner time and water utility costs. The NPE-A units are also wifi enabled with the NaviLink optional add-on which allows you to control your Navien tankless heater from anywhere via a smart phone app.

Navien tankless water heaters feature a negative pressure gas valve and a dual venturi system to facilitate field convertability from natural gas to propane power. Rinnai produce separate propane and natural gas powered tankless units.

Navien’s heat exchangers are both made of stainless steel to resist any corrosion that may occur, extending the lifespan of the condensing tankless water heater; whereas Rinnai features one copper heat exchanger and one stainless steel heat exchanger in their tankless units. Retrofitting a gas tankless water heater is made easy with both Navien and Rinnai tankless water heaters due to their ½ inch gas pipe capability (up to 24 ft).

Intelligent pre-heating is a stand out feature of the Navien NPE-A series which can be enabled by flicking a switch on the front panel of the Navien tankless gas water heater. The software installed in the unit monitors the flow demands over a 7 day cycle and recirculates the following week based on the water usage.

So what can Rinnai offer? The Rinnai RUR models come in natural gas or propane and indoor or outdoor models (as mentioned previously). The Rinnai RUR models offers a maximum flow rate of up to 9.8gpm (slightly less than the Navien NPE-240A). Rinnai’s RUR models feature impressive recirculation technology, ThermaCirc360™, which basically provides hot water faster to your faucet through advanced recirculation technology. The key feature of this is that if your home doesn’t have a dedicated return line (as many do not), it can be expensive to add one, however, Rinnai can provide a very cost effective solution for recirculation without having to install a dedicated return line. Instead, a thermal bypass valve is installed which allows the water to recirculate through the existing line.

The Rinnai RUR models are also wi-fi enabled and the tankless water heater can be controlled through a smart phone app. Recirculation can be activated with either push button technology or motion sensors that detect when family members are present.

Cost

Now let’s assess Navien tankless water heater prices. For the NPE-A series, the units are slightly cheaper in comparison with the cost of a comparable Rinnai tankless water heater as you will see on the right hand side of the page. Click here for latest prices on the Navien NPE A. Rinnai tankless water heater prices are slightly more expensive than the Navien models, and you can find prices here. In terms of operating costs, the Navien tankless water heater cost annually is estimated to be approximately $191 per year (according to Navien). The Rinnai tankless water heater cost annually is estimated to be approximately $201 for natural gas and $487 per year for propane (according to Rinnai).

Efficiency

The Navien NPE A series feature an impressive .96 UEF energy rating an annual energy consumption of 175.0 therms per year and the Rinnai RUR model provides a .92 energy factor; both brands offering an impressive energy rating, however Navien narrowly wins in this area!

Maintenance

Both tankless water heater brands recommend that the tankless water heater installation be performed by a licensed contractor who can proficiently handle the plumbing, gas, electrical and venting requirements of the tankless hot water heater. In terms of ongoing maintenance, Rinnai recommends two types of periodic maintenance that a professional can carry out, which includes periodically checking the in-line screen filter for debris and periodic flushing to prevent any scale and lime build up. If regular maintenance is performed, Rinnai estimate their tankless water heater lifespan to be approximately 20 years.

Navien recommend periodically cleaning the inlet water screens, air filter and condensate trap as well as flushing the waterways. For more information on Navien Maintenance requirements, click here for the NPE A operation manual. By taking care and frequently performing maintenance, Navien also suggest that it will increase the lifespan of a Navien Tankless Water Heater to up to 20 years.

Warranty

Rinnai provide a one year warranty on l labor, 5 year warranty on parts and a 12 year warranty on the heat exchanger. Navien provide 1 year labor, 5 years on parts and 15 years on the heat exchanger.

What is the best tankless water heater between Rinnai vs Navien?

If you are still undecided, check out the Navien and Rinnai youtube videos below and our quick comparison table to help you decide on the best value tankless water heater!

Or if you think you have made a decision on the best rated tankless gas water heater for you, click on the button below!

Navien NPE-240-A Tankless Gas Water Heater

List Price:$1,648.93
Price:$1,648.93
Price Disclaimer
Navien NPE-210A-LP Premium Condensing Tankless Gas Water Heater Propane
List Price:$1,362.50
Price:$1,362.50
Price Disclaimer
NPE-180A Tankless Water Heaters with 150000 BTU Gas Input, in White
List Price:$1,402.00
Price:$1,402.00
Price Disclaimer
Price Disclaimer

Rinnai RU98EN 9.8 GPM Outdoor Ultra-NOx Condensing Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

List Price:$1,556.61
Price:$1,556.60
You Save:$0.01
Price Disclaimer
Rinnai RUR98eP 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series Condensing Outdoor Propane Tankless Water Heater with Recirculation
List Price:$2,101.43
Price:$2,101.43
Price Disclaimer
Click here for Navien Prices
Click here for Rinnai Prices

 

  
 
Max Flow Rate:
Max Fixtures:
Key Feature:
Warranty:
Efficiency:

Navien NPE-A Models

$$
Max Flow Rate: : 11.2 gpm
Max Fixtures: : 4
Key Feature: : ComfortFlow
Warranty: : 1yr labor ,5yr parts, 15 heat exch.
Efficiency:: .96UEF
 

Rinnai RUR98 models

$$$
Max Flow Rate: : 9.8 gpm
Max Fixtures: : 3
Key Feature: : ThermaCirc360
Warranty: : 1yr labor, 5yr parts, 12yr heat exch.
Efficiency:: .92UEF
 

Rheem vs Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

The second comparison we have written is between Rinnai vs Rheem tankless water heater brands. I’m sure you have heard of the Rheem company. They are an extremely well known and reputable brand that have been manufacturing appliances for almost 100 years, and in this time they have become the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. Rheem manufacture both electric and gas tankless water heaters. However, as we are comparing against Rinnai tankless heaters, which only produce gas powered water heaters, we have found a Rheem model that consists of similar features and performance output to one of Rinnai’s best rated tankless water heater. So, let’s take a look at these two tankless water heaters side by side, the Rheem RTGH 95 gas tankless water heater to the Rinnai RLX94in tankless gas heater (from the High Efficiency Plus Series).

Technology and Innovation

Both Rheem and Rinnai gas tankless water heaters are wifi capable. Rheem offer EcoNet®, which comes with an app that provides maintenance reminders and water and gas usage reports. Rinnai units are also wi-fi enabled which allow users to control their tankless system from anywhere, providing enhanced convenience and efficiency to your water heating requirements.

The Rinnai RLX features Circ-Logic technology which makes recirculation possible if homeowners have a dedicated return line. Recirculation patterns can be set in accordance with your hot water usage patterns, again increasing efficiency and convenience. With the Rheem RTGH model, recirculation does not come standard and an additional recirculation pump kit would need to be purchased to achieve the benefits of recirculation technology.

Installation and Maintenance

Both the Rheem and Rinnai tankless models feature ½” gas line compatibility making retrofit installations easier if required. Additionally, Rheem provides a handy feature that alerts homeowners after 500 hours of use and notification of a service check. The Rinnai RLX models display diagnostic codes which enable you to quickly identify if there are any problems with the tankless water heater. In terms of ongoing maintenance for both tankless heaters, periodic cleaning is required to keep the tankless heater running optimally. More details can be found in the respective product manuals that are included with the tankless units. A noteworthy feature of Rinnai that is worth mentioning is that every component of a Rinnai tankless unit is replaceable so there shouldn’t be a time when an entire system needs replacing, only individual components (unless your Rinnai unit has come to the end of its lifespan).

Efficiency and the Environment

Both the Rheem RTGH model and Rinnai RLX94 model features a .82 UEF rating and they both meet the SCAQMD rule 1146.2 requirements due to their low NOx burners. The Rinnai model features a maximum 192, 000 BTU output and the Rheem model features a max 199, 900 BTU output. Rinnai tankless units also feature recyclable parts which means less waste in landfills.

Purchase Price and Operating Cost

The Rheem gas tankless water heater price which can be viewed on the right hand side of the page falls into the low-mid range category.  The Rinnai tankless water heater price is slightly more expensive than the equivalent Rheem unit (however the features differ). In terms of operating costs for these particular units, the operating cost of Rinnai tankless water heater is approximately $171 for natural gas and $404 for propane per year. According to Rheem, a tankless heater with an energy factor of .81 would consist of an operating cost of $168 per year.

Warranty

Rheem provides 1 yr parts and 10 yrs on the heat exchanger. Rinnai offer l yr labor, 5 year on parts and a 12 years on the heat exchanger.

NATURAL GAS

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM Indoor Direct Vent Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

List Price:$1,196.00
Price:$1,196.00
Price Disclaimer
NATURAL GAS

Rinnai RLX94iN Luxury Series Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater, 9.8 GPM

List Price:$1,424.25
Price:$1,424.25
Price Disclaimer

What is the best tankless water heater between Rinnai vs Rheem?

If you are still undecided, check out the Rheem and Rinnai youtube videos below as well as our quick comparison table to help you decide on the best value tankless water heater and that which suits your personal preference. 

Or if you think you have made a decision on the best rated tankless gas water heater for you, click on the button below to check prices on Amazon!

Click here for Rheem Prices
Click here for Rinnai Prices

 

  
 
Max Flow Rate:
Max Fixtures:
Key Feature:
Warranty:
Efficiency:

Rheem RTGH 95

$
Max Flow Rate: : up to 9.5 gpm
Max Fixtures: : 3
Key Feature: : High altitude capable
Warranty: : 1yr parts, 10yr heat exch.
Efficiency:: .82UEF
 

Rinnai RLX94in

$$
Max Flow Rate: : 9.8 gpm
Max Fixtures: : 3
Key Feature: : Circ-Logic
Warranty: : 1yr labor, 5yr parts, 12yr heat exch.
Efficiency:: .82UEF
 

Noritz vs Takagi Tankless Water Heaters

Our third comparison is between Takagi vs Noritz. These two brands are not in the same class as Navien, Rinnai and Rheem and if you consider the 3 highest rated tankless water heater brands as perhaps the Ferraris of tankless water heaters, Noritz and Takagi are more like the Toyota or Ford – providing durability and reliability, just not the luxury and superior quality that the top 3 best rated tankless water heater brands provide. Fortunately for you, the price tag is much lower with a Noritz and Takagi tankless heater.

Takagi has been delivering hot water solutions for over 60 years and are well known in the North American tankless water heater market. Takagi specialize in propane and natural gas tankless water heaters across a range of sizes, however we will be looking at the T-KJr2 Indoor natural gas tankless heater against the Noritz NRC661 Direct Vent Indoor NG tankless water heater.

Takagi incorporates exceptional safety features into each and every one of their tankless water heaters, providing assurance and peace of mind to Takagi customers. Takagi has developed a unique feature that provides continuous monitoring and maintains proper combustion at all times. The Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR) Sensor, combined with the onboard computer adjusts the fan motor speed to allow for a proper mixture ratio for the air and fuel with the outcome of minimizing emissions and maximizing efficiency.

To prevent any freeze damage that may occur, every Takagi tankless unit includes freeze protection, making a Takagi tankless heater suitable for sub-freezing conditions. The freeze protection system ensures that the water temperature within the heat exchanger does not drop below a certain level.

Takagi have also designed a way to ensure that the water temperature does not exceed unsafe levels. The Hi-Limit Switch activates by disengaging the gas valves and shuts down the tankless heater.

A quick background on the Noritz brand, they too only manufacture natural gas and propane tankless hot water heaters and have built a reputation of manufacturing top quality gas tankless water heaters of all sizes. They pride themselves on their excellent warranty timeframes and outstanding customer support and specialize specifically in tankless water heaters (unlike other tankless heater brands such as Rheem). This means that they can invest all of their R&D and design of their tankless water heaters into their units, to create and manufacture an optimal yet affordable product!

Let’s take a look at the two tankless water heaters from Noritz and Takagi.

Efficiency

The Noritz 661 tankless water heater is a condensing tankless water heater which essentially means that the unit captures the heat from the exhaust gas and uses it to preheat the incoming cold water as it travels through the secondary heat exchanger, making the Noritz extremely efficient. The Noritz tankless unit also features a UEF of .89. The Takagi TKJR is a non-condensing model and as a result, it won’t achieve as greater efficiency as the Nortiz tankless heater and the corresponding UEF for the unit is approximately .81-.83.

Cost

The cost of the Noritz NR661 is relatively expensive in comparison to the Takagi unit, however the reason for this is likely to be the condensing technology and the secondary heat exchanger that is found in the Noritz model. When you are looking at annual operating costs, Energy.gov provides a formula which indicates how much you are likely to spend each year on operating your tankless water heater. Click on the link as it is definitely worth checking out.

 Maintenance

Takagi recommends that the venting system of the TKJR should be checked annually for any leaks, corrosion, blockages or damage and the burner should be checked annually for dust, lint grease or dirt. The product manual details any additional maintenance that is required in order to keep the tankless water heater running in optimal condition and to get the expected lifespan out of the unit. Noritz provides a handy youtube clip on conducting periodic maintenance to ensure the Noritz Tankless Water Heater is running optimally. Check it out below!

 Warranty

Takagi provide a 5 year parts warranty and 15 year heat exchanger warranty, whereas Noritz provides 12 years on the heat exchanger, 5 year parts, and 1 year labor warranty.

PROPANE, INDOOR

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater, Propane
List Price:$544.99
Price:$544.99
Price Disclaimer

NATURAL GAS, INDOOR

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas
List Price:$499.95
Price:$489.95
You Save:$10.00
Price Disclaimer

NATURAL GAS, OUTDOOR

Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG Outdoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas
List Price:$510.90
Price:$510.90
Price Disclaimer

NATURAL GAS, INDOOR

Noritz NRC661-DV-NG Indoor Condensing Direct Tankless Hot Water Heater 6.6 Gpm-Natural Gas
List Price:$936.58
Price:$889.00
You Save:$47.58
Price Disclaimer

PROPANE, INDOOR

Noritz NRC661-DV-LP Indoor Condensing Direct Tankless Hot Water Heater 6.6 Gpm-Natural Gas/Propane
List Price:$939.93
Price:$927.58
You Save:$12.35
Price Disclaimer

OUTDOOR, NATURAL GAS

Noritz NRC661-OD-NG Outdoor Condensing Tankless Water Heater 6.6 Gpm-Natural Gas
List Price:$988.58
Price:$988.58
Price Disclaimer
Click here for Noritz Prices
Click here for Takagi Prices