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Noritz vs. Rinnai

by Zee from water heater reviews

Noritz vs. Rinnai... which tankless water heater is better?
As there are many inquires online about comparing Rinnai and Noritz water heaters, I will try to cover their main advantages so you can actually decide or find the answer which tankless water heater is better.

Both Noritz and Rinnai water heaters are coming from Japan and using the same tank-less technology. They both heat the water. They both have great 12-year warranty. All the units are Energy Star qualified and have burners with the low NOx emission.

Noritz vs. Rinnai - Comparison

But, lets compare two the largest Energy Star models for residential hot water applications: Noritz NR98-DVC and Rinnai R94 LSi.

Noritz NR98-DVC with 11,000 min/199,900 max. BTU/hr for both natural and propane gas outperforms Rinnai R94 LSi which is designed for 15,000 min./199,000 max. BTU/hr for natural gas (190,000 for LP).

Noritz NR98-DVC outperforms Rinnai R94 LSi in capacity range also: 0.5-9.8 gpm vs. 0.6-9.4 gpm.

Noritz tankless water heater has a built-in pump control for recirculation application while Rinnai doesn't.

Noritz is equipped with the heat exchanger made of the commercial grade copper which is 25% thicker than Rinnai.

Noritz is equipped with the dual flame burners, to maximize the output, provides temperature stability, and maintains low emissions. Rinnai has single flame burners.

Noritz uses stainless steel casing on all ASME commercial units, while Rinnai don't.

Noritz offers more tankless water heater models and higher flow rate (commercial models are with the 13.2 gpm, residential 9.8). Noritz manufactures units for hot water production and radiant heating applications while Rinnai doesn't.

Rinnai has more condensing tankless water heater models in its offer; with the 8 and 9.8-gallon water flow and for indoor and outdoor installation.

Noritz vs. Rinnai - Price

Amazon: Rinnai R94 LSi costs $1400; on sale is $1100
Google product: Noritz NR98-DVC is $1150


Bottom line is, according to the above review and comparison, both tankless units are great, long lasting with great features. What I personally like is that Noritz manufacturer builds and quality controls almost all of its parts, they do not outsource the work.

Which one you are going to buy depends on your budget, personal preference, availability in your area and customer service. It is easy to buy a water heater but if you don't have the reliable tech support, available replacement parts and technicians when you need it than think twice.

Comments for Noritz vs. Rinnai

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Jan 21, 2019
Rinnai has new models
by: Anonymous

Rinnai has recirculating models with stainless steel heat exchangers, an excellent warranty that can include 5 years on labor, tech support that is 24/7/365 and very helpful. Their new models also are easy to service and operate. They work with Alexa and Google. They include a hanging bracket so one person can install. They also can vent longer than any other manufacturer going up to 65’ with 2" PVC!

Jan 21, 2019
Article not all facts....
by: Anonymous

Rinnai is vertically integrated and makes the parts and pieces in the unit. Their defect rate is well beyond world-class standards. There seems to be a bias toward Noritz, there are many factors not taken into consideration in the comparison and some broad stroking.

Oct 13, 2018
Never go with Noritz
by: Anonymous

I had an NRC111 for only 2 years before an error code 26 popped up along with a leak that occurred a week after. I have descaled it three times during the last 2.5 years. The third time I did it myself after thoroughly watching the previous plumbers do it along with a couple of youtube videos. But regardless, it leaked because it was "overheating" due to hard water.

The customer service women sent out a new heat exchanger, but I had to pay for the labor which wracked up to $285. Talk about quality...Noritz lacks that. I would definitely go with a Rinnai like my neighbor had who has had it for 8 years without doing much as an error message.

Aug 26, 2018
most defects on Noritz
by: Anonymous

We sell and install tankless heaters only for the past 15 years and are not "married" to a brand. Here is our experience.

We see by far the most problems and return from Noritz (aside from Bosch :-) ). Noritz heat exchanger is very sensitive to hard water, heat exchanger starts to leak and by the burner being below the heat exchanger causes ignition failure very quickly.

Regular combustion fan failure. The fan is mounted vertical (Rinnai is horizontal) and the weight of the fan is on its shaft and bearing, wears out. I have never seen a Rinnai fan fail, it is mounted horizontally as it should be.

On Noritz, the burner is made of steel and below the heat exchanger, contaminants blown into it by the fan clog it easily and the burner mesh corrodes over time.

On Rinnai, the burner sits above the heat exchanger and is made of ceramic, no corrosion possible here.

On Noritz model 751 for example, there is frequent ignition module failure, although not a big deal but a headache for the customer.

Motorized mixing valves on Noritz fail prematurely often, weak motors that can't overcome the small amount of scale buildup in the valve, they burn out.

Noritz had a lot of heat exchanger failures mostly due to hard water and got tired of replacing them under warranty. Now the heater measures hours of operation and stops working after a while until it is descaled, very annoying to customers.

I could go on but that should be enough for now. And BTW we also install Noritz all the time.


Feb 12, 2018
If I had to do it again, I would pick Noritz again, hands down.
by: Anonymous

I have had a Noritz thankless DHW heater for about 6 years. I am not a plumber or a contractor. I have had much experience with plumbing and contracting over the years and am confident in my work. I have not had one issue with the Noritz.

From what I understand Rinnai has a tighter control on who they train to install their product. So to the one gentleman who mentioned about kickbacks, this couldn't be more of a kickback!! Sorry, in this society, I trust so few, as soon as I get any whiff of dishonesty or self-fulfillment I am out!! I learn and do it myself instead!!!

I had done much research prior to making my purchase, asking around and researching online, when I finally settled on Noritz.

I ensured I installed using their manifold and I couldn't be happier.

One downside is during the cold months, the temperature rise is enough that the unit gates down the hot water supply to ensure proper temperature, where only one shower can be used at a time.

If I had to do it again, I would pick Noritz again, hands down.

Mar 13, 2017
Noritz vs Rinnai
by: Anonymous

I have had a Noritz water heater for about six years and love it. I have since moved and am looking at having an on demand water heater installed, was given a price of $2900 for the Rinnai, plus additional $ for changing from electric hot water to natural gas, I think that is a bit much.
Will go with a Noritz again, even though there is no certified installer in my area.

Feb 12, 2017
by: Anonymous

I have a Noritz and can't say enough about it. In the 5+ years I have had mine it has never failed me. Remind you that I do the yearly maintenance and pump 4 gallons of vinegar through it to descale it. Something that doesn't get discussed is the units that fail-were they maintained properly?? I would buy Noritz again.

Aug 11, 2016
Noritz vs. Rinnai... master plumber's opinion
by: Matt- Florida

As a master plumber I personally have installed well over 500 Rinnai tankless water heaters, a hand full of Noritz, Rheem, Navien, and other cheaper brands. I can count on one hand the time I have went back or on a service call for a Rinnai issue on a heater I installed. Yes, I am a little biased towards Rinnai only because of my personal experience and lack of problems. Other service calls I have been on most of the time were an installation issue.

Rinnai and Noritz are both good heaters but some issues were not discussed in this article. Rinnai hands down has better customer support-24/7. Noritz is only during business hours. I have always been able to get Rinnai heaters cheaper also(not an astronomical difference but usually $50-$90). Noritz has a program with contractors to get a kickback for heaters they sell, more they sell more kickback they get.

Not all contractors will have you in their best interest if they can make an extra buck. I did have a Noritz out of the box labeled for natural gas and was set up for propane. After 2+hrs on the phone with tech support their theory was lightening must have hit the house and changed some parameters set up in the heater.


It didn't hurt anything else in the house and didn't magically change any other parameters but the one for propane. Come on. Lightening didn't hit the house. My advise is do your own research and talk with knowledgeable and experienced plumbers. Lots of people out there are willing to give you advice about things they aren't knowledgeable about.

Mar 25, 2015
Rinnai overratted
by: M Florest

I have had a Rinnai tankless Water heater for about 5 years.

Had two breakdowns and the water at the low end of the flow rate does not heat at all. Currently working on the third breakdown of the system.

I have been looking into the Noritz and from all that I can tell it is a better unit unless I find that they too are over selling their product just as Rinnai has done.

Also installed a Rinnai gas heater in my basement and am equally dissatisfied with the output versus gas consumption.

In my estimation Rinnai is overrated and I will look anywhere but to Rinnai when I replace units from here on out.

Jan 31, 2012
Noritz Vs Rinnai
by: Anonymous

I am in hvac sales , and i have sold both the products. But i have noticed that people tend to like the Noritz brand more than Rinnai, both customers and installers alike. Installers love the fact that they can use the condensing model of Noritz for any house and also the venting pipes are cheaper as they use a 3 inch venting, where as most of the Rinnai models use a concentric venting which is more expensive than regular 3 inch pvc pipes.

Hope this helps people make a better decision when it comes to chose a brand

Oct 05, 2011
Which brand is best - Noritz or Rinnai?
by: EKN

I have the 9.8 g/min Noritz for my master bath which replaced a tempermental Rinnai. I am also replacing an old tank heater with the newer condensing Noritz 11 g/min for the remainder of the house. Noritz always wins over Rinnai when you do the side-by-side. I'm only going with Noritz from now on.

Sep 06, 2011
Rinnai vs Noritz tankless heaters
by: Anonymous

I can buy and have installed either of the heaters mentioned in the article for approximately $3200. it is hard to discerne the difference without digging into it. This article was very helpful in making my decision. Clouding the issue, I think Rinnai does a better job of advertising. I will opt for the Noritz.

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