Which tankless water heater brand is better, Rinnai vs Takagi? What about Navien? Are they any good?
Tankless water heaters provide a constant supply of hot water, use less energy than conventional water heaters, and take up less space. However, not all tankless water heaters are the same, which mainly depends on the brand name behind each.
Rinnai is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, tankless water heater brand in the USA. Yet, lately, another Japanese brand called Takagi has gained some traction as well and became Rinnai’s fierce competitor.
Today, we’re comparing these two tankless water heater brands – Rinnai vs Takagi, some of their best-selling models, and also pulling a parallel between Takagi, Navien, and Rinnai. Navien is, by the way, another tankless water heater brand mainly popular for their non-condensing models but we’ll talk about this in detail a little bit later.
Rinnai Tankless Water Heater – Main Characteristics
Rinnai is a Japanese brand that was founded back in 1920. Their headquarters is in Nagoya, although Rinnai now operates outside Japan or, better said, all around the world. This brand is widely known for manufacturing high-quality home appliances such as boilers and tankless water heaters.
However, we have to outline that Rinnai has been rebranding some water heaters sold by other popular brands such as Bradford White and GE. Also, Rinnai is, right after Bradford White and AO Smith, tankless water heater brand trusted by most US construction companies. 
Now, going back to Rinnai, this brand is immensely popular for producing very efficient home appliances, and, needless to say, tankless water heaters. For this reason, they became one of the Alliance to Save Energy’s members. This is a non-profit organization that strongly advocates saving energy and puts efforts into advancing energy efficiency.
What makes a Rinnai tankless water heater different from other tankless water heaters? First, their venting system is slightly different. Rinnai builds condensation traps in their water heaters that prolong the unit’s lifespan big time. Most manufacturers avoid installing the condensation trap because of the additional cost, which instantly makes them less durable.
Secondly, Rinnai’s tankless water heaters are compact and slim. This makes them easy to move and even easier to install. All Rinnai models would be 82 to 98% more efficient compared to your old water heater.
Oh, and, just in case you are worried about whether a Rinnai tankless water heater would supply you with enough hot water, worry not. Most Rinnai water heaters can supply 3 to 4 showers at the same time so you can use these units if you live in large household.
Some of the most liked Rinnai tankless water heaters’ features include Wi-Fi connection and digital controls. That means you can adjust the settings on your tankless water heater via your smartphone, even when you are miles away from the unit.
Now, let’s do a little review of one of the best-selling Rinnai tankless water heater models – the V53DeN. Just like all Rinnai appliances, this one features a space-saving design and energy efficiency since it heats water only when you need it.
Not only is it compact and provides an endless and powerful hot water flow of up to 5.3 gallons per minute (GPM) but it is easy to install and durable as well. And, just in case there may be a possibility of scale damaging the unit long-term, this tankless water heater will detect and signalize it so you can react on time.
The V53DeN’s heat exchanger is covered by a 10-year warranty while other parts are backed up by a 5-year warranty, provided the unit was installed by a licensed technician.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater – Main Characteristics
Takagi is, like Rinnai, a Japanese brand established in 1952 that has been producing high-quality residential and commercial appliances. However, their way of running businesses was a little bit different.
Takagi’s hot water solutions, and tankless water heaters, of course, were sold by wholesalers and manufacturers but the brand wasn’t immensely popular, until a few years ago.
Today, Takagi is an internationally and intercontinentally recognized brand and has offices in Canada and USA (Tennessee, California, New Jersey).
Takagi is one of the companies that embraced eco-friendliness and eco-friendly products. Thus, they are now producing efficient and eco-friendly appliances, in hopes that this will help with slowing global warming down.
Takagi’s unique selling point is that they can offer you a myriad of affordable tankless water heaters that are easy to install, energy-efficient, and space-friendly. All this brought Takagi to the very top when it comes to tankless water heater brands that offer the best combination of quality and performance.
Their models come with built-in safety devices, the air-fuel ratio rods, that monitor the oxygen sensor and the internal combustion engine. These devices ensure the unit’s maximum durability, smooth performance, and keeps NOx and oxygen levels at an optimal level. Last but not least, Takagi produces tankless water heaters such as their T-H1 models that boast an energy efficiency of 95%.
Takagi T-H3J-DV-N is among the best-selling Takagi tankless water heaters since it is super efficient and it can supply 2 bathrooms with enough hot water in warmer or 1 bathroom in colder climates. It is equipped with several safety features such as an internal freeze protection system, water, and exhaust temperature safety control, air-fuel ratio sensor, and more.
Rinnai vs Takagi Tankless Water Heater
Rinnai and Takagi, two popular tankless water heater Japanese brands, actually provide almost the same quality. Their tankless water heaters are easy to install and operate, perform exceptionally well, quietly, and the difference between the two is very subtle.
For instance, Rinnai could be a better choice for larger households and Takagi could be a simpler and more affordable alternative and a better choice for smaller to mid-sized households.
Takagi vs Navien vs Rinnai
Is Takagi, Navien, or Rinnai the best tankless water heater brand? All in all, these 3 brands are pretty much the same. They offer the same quality, reliability, warranties, and almost the same level of efficiency.
Rinnai has been investing a lot of money into promotion and marketing, which is why their name seems more familiar, while they care about the design as well and their models boast a clean and sleek stainless steel look.
Takagi is an energy-efficient and affordable brand and Navien offers a similar experience, it’s just – they are still working on building a winning reputation.
Rinnai vs Takagi – The Final Word
So, which brand to choose when it comes to tankless water heaters, Rinnai vs Takagi? Rinnai is definitely more popular, plus it typically offers a higher water output and comes with powerful features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity. Takagi is, on the other hand, a great alternative to Rinnai since it offers pretty much the same quality (except for the fact that it is more basic).