Rinnai is not in the top three brands of water heaters sold in the US. Does it mean it’s way behind these brands? Any homeowner who is looking for a new heater may read our unbiased comparison of Rinnai vs Rheem company.
Rinnai and Rheem are the two popular brands in the water heater market. Both companies provide a broad range of products with various features and capabilities. We compared their products, user experience, and overall quality, to help you to make the right choice.
You should be aware of their maintenance plans, functionality, energy efficiency, and value that you will be paying for.
The in-depth comparison will provide you with insights to aid you in selecting the most suitable product for your home.
Rinnai vs Rheem Comparison
The biggest advantage of Rinnai tankless water heaters is an extended warranty. If you register within 90 days of purchase of SENSEI Tankless Water Heater you will get 5 years of extra warranty. Rheem is not offering this feature. Not only that Rinnai has better quality and technology overall.
Taking care means flushing and descaling your water heater once per year. If you live in an are with hard water we suggest you do it more often, like every 3-6 months. You can face a voided warranty, because of improper maintenance – a lot of scale inside the tankless water heater.
From my personal experience, a water-softener can eliminate scale and help the tankless water heater work in the right way.
Another tip will be to espace base cheaper models that you will get at box stores.
Rinnai Water Heaters
Rinnai is a Japanese company that has been in operation since the 1920s. In 2018, Rinnai established a manufacturing facility in the US, making it the first company to manufacture tankless water heaters in the country. Rinnai water heaters are known for their high-quality build, excellent performance, and efficiency. 
Rinnai Gas Water Heaters
Rinnai offers a wide range of gas water heaters. Their heaters come in a variety of sizes and capacities to meet different household needs. The gas water heaters are designed to provide hot water on demand. Rinnai gas water heaters come with a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger.
Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
Rinnai is a well-known brand for its durable tankless water heaters. The key factors contributing to their durability are the copper heat exchangers used in tankless water heaters .
Copper is a flexible and durable material, which ensures the longevity of the heaters. Rinnai produces over 15 tankless models designed to meet specific household needs .
They usually come with a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger. For residential tankless water heaters, Rinnai offers a comprehensive warranty package. This includes a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger, a 1-year labor warranty, and a 5-year warranty on parts .
Rinnai Water Heater Recalls
There have been recalls for Rinnai water heaters. These recalls were initiated due to potential safety hazards associated with the products .
- The Direct Vent Wall Furnaces recall: The affected models in this recall are RHFE 431 and RHFE 556. These units were manufactured between February 2000 and December 2007 . Approximately 52,000 units were affected by this recall. The specific hazard associated with these furnaces is that the gasket in the unit was found to fail. This could potentially result in the poisonous carbon monoxide gas leaking into the home.
- The Tankless Water Heaters recall. The recall was announced on November 13, 2014. Approximately 29,000 units were placed in the United States, with an additional 2,200 units in Canada. The risk associated with these water heaters is that they were found to overheat, posing a fire hazard .
Rheem Water Heaters
On the other hand, Rheem is an American company. It has been on the market for over 100 years, specializing in hot water heating systems .
These include water heater models powered by gas, propane, and electricity, providing customers with more options. Rheem water heaters are famous for their affordability and decent quality.
Rheem Gas Water Heaters
Rheem is a reputable brand with a wide range of gas water heaters. They typically provide a 5-6 year warranty on most models, with a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger. The average lifetime of a Rheem gas water heater is around 9-12 years.
Rheem Electric Water Heaters
Rheem sells a variety of electric water heaters highly regarded for their energy efficiency and performance. The warranty for Rheem electric water heaters varies depending on the specific model. Most models come with a 5-6 year warranty. On average, Rheem electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years .
Rheem Tankless Water Heaters
There are over 35 models of tankless water heaters from Rheem. Some models feature stainless steel heat exchangers, while others are made of copper.
Warranty coverage for these models ranges from 6 months up to lifetime warranties. However, Rheem typically offers a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger. On average, Rheem tankless water heaters have a lifespan of around 20 years.
Rheem Water Heater Recalls
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Rheem Company issued recalls for certain electric water heater models. The recalls were initiated due to fire and burn hazards.
- The first recall involved Rheem Performance Platinum electric water heaters. The recall was announced on May 26, 2016. It addressed the risk for the water heaters to overheat their control panel, thereby posing fire and burn hazards .
- The second recall involved Rheem 199,900 BTU indoor power vent units. These units were manufactured between May 2004 and December 2006. The recall date and the hazard associated with this recall were not specified .
Rinnai vs Rheem
- Standout Features
There are several standout features of Rinnai and Rheem water heaters. Both brands provide a variety of options to suit different needs and preferences.
Rinnai water heaters are easily accessible and are found in most stores. Rinnai does not manufacture electric water heaters. They primarily focus on gas water heaters, both tankless and traditional tank models.
Rinnai offers one of the most popular tankless water heater brands. It’s known for its small and compact design using modern technology .
Rinnai tankless water heaters always provide an endless supply of hot water. They also have a track record of dependability and longevity.
Similarly, Rheem is a popular water heater brand. It sells many water heaters, including traditional tank, tankless, and solar water heaters. They offer condensing heaters and hybrid electric water heaters. These heaters are famous for their quality and performance. They are also readily available and can be bought from any store.
- Flow rate and heating power
The flow rate of Rinnai water heaters is higher and ranges from 6.3GPM to 11GPM. Consequently, they have a higher heating capacity. The most advanced models have a 4.3M BTU capacity.
Rheem heaters, in contrast, have a lower heating power capacity, ranging from 11,000 BTU to 190,000 BTU. Different products have different flow rates. The smaller ones fall between 0.9GPM and 3GPM, and the larger ones are between 6GPM and 9GPM.
- Advanced Features
All Rinnai tankless water heaters come with a recirculation feature. Some models, such as the HE+ Series, RL, and SE Series RUCS, have a digital display. Others, like the HE Series V models, do not have this feature. Moreover, certain tankless water heater models have quick-access isolation valves, voice control, and Wi-Fi connectivity .
Similarly, Rheem tankless water heaters come with several features depending on the model. Some heaters have a digital temperature display. Others have an LED display or no temperature display at all.
Models like the Professional Prestige Series 95 GPM Outdoor Tankless come with a built-in condensate neutralizer. Other models, like RTEX-08, RTEX-11, and RTEX-13, feature self-modulating power control.
The most advanced Rheem tankless water heaters boast some unique features. These include recirculation pump kit compatibility and a built-in condensate neutralizer . These features significantly reduce installation costs and heating time.
Both Rinnai and Rheem are reputable brands known for their reliability and quality. Reliability varies based on the specific model and proper installation. To make sure the chosen water heater satisfies your needs and expectations, you are advised to seek advice from an expert before installation.
These two are close competitors. Overall, we believe Rinnai to be the superior brand. However, most consumers find Rheem more cost-effective and still get what they desire. You should choose Rinnai if you are concerned about long-term care. They have water heaters that last a long time and have more capacity than Rheem. The good news is that you will get a quality water heater, whichever brand you choose.
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Both Rheem and Rinnai products have standout features and benefits. Rinnai is popular for its high-quality build, compact design, and excellent performance. The brand’s longevity and accessibility make it a common choice among homeowners.
Rheem water heaters stand out for their energy efficiency and wide range of options, with various water heaters available. Overall, our pick will be Rinnai.
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