Best Rinnai Water Heaters
Reviews & Buying Tips
(updated 2019)

Explore, review and buy the most energy efficient and Energy Star certified Rinnai water heaters for residential potable water heating and light commercial applications, and save.

See the reviews of the popular Rinnai tankless water heaters from V, RL, RU, RUCS, RUS, RUC and RUR series and boilers, including the latest Sensei line, with and without condensing technology, Wi-Fi capability, smart technology, all powered by natural and propane gas.

Check the specs, online prices, and selection of the top sellers, to shop with confidence, or fix the problem using the list of the provided error codes and troubleshooting tips.

Rinnai water heaters - Buying tips

Rinnai tankless water heater indoorRinnai tankless indoor

Rinnai water heaters are small and compact tankless appliances that utilize the latest innovative technology, providing an endless supply of hot water to one or multiple fixtures simultaneously, efficiently.

Rinnai tankless can be used for heating domestic water in homes, commercial applications and mobile homes, in new or existing homes and regardless of the plumbing configuration or roof construction. According to the manufacturer, there is a model for any home type using either natural gas or propane (LP).

The small size with the dimensions of approximately 19"x 26"x 10" makes it perfect for wall installation either indoor or outdoor, freeing up the floor space for other use. Due to the compact and lightweight design, Rinnai tankless could be easily handled by one person which makes installation cheaper.

The state-of-the-art design brings more interaction between the unit and users, allowing Wi-Fi connection and remote monitoring and control, by using the smartphones, including voice control commands.

The quality of Rinnai water heaters and gas boilers is already confirmed by its users and in the "Most Popular Products" magazine, a builder magazine where Rinnai has been voted #1 of all HVAC manufacturers.

Top selling models

Where to buy Rinnai?

Below is the list of the best-selling Rinnai gas models found online, where the most praised features include ultra-efficiency, reliable operation, recirculation, easy installation, high-quality components, long life, low gas emission, flexible venting, lots of power and small size.

Rinnai tankless water heater price is between $600 and $2300, while the cost for the installation varies from a few hundred to over a thousand.

Most of the top models come with the limited warranty of 15 years in residential applications and 8 years in commercial, which is one of the longest in industry. The shorter warranty of 10 years is found on the economy models, such as those from V series.

Features and benefits

High efficiency

There are many benefits for the owner of a Rinnai tankless water heater; reliability, on demand and almost instant and endless hot water supply, up to 40% energy savings, and high energy efficiency that ranges from 82% to over 90%. The highest energy factor of 0.96 is found on condensing models from RU, RUR and RUC series.

Water flow

Hot water is delivered to the fixture fast, at the consistent and accurate temperature, with very small fluctuation in the water temperature. Some models have the Circ-Logic recirculation program that cycles an external pump for better comfort and higher efficiency. Hot water is available only when needed, saving you time and energy.

More advanced models such as tankless and condensing models from RUR series utilize recirculation technology and have the built-in pump and thermal bypass valve, with the dedicated recirculation line mode so the users wait and waste less. The highest water flow of the single unit is 9.8 GPM, found on RUR199, RUR98, RUC98, and RU98.

If your preference is to have a tankless water heater with the recirculation, but there is no dedicated line, don’t worry, some Rinnai models incorporate the ThermaCirc360 system with the bypass technology and internal pump, while the cold water line is used as the return line. This is a perfect solution for existing homes where the recirculation line is hard to install.

Smart control

Hot water recirculation can even be controlled wireless, by using the Rinnai Control-R Wireless module. By installing the Wireless Push Button or Wireless Motion Sensor near the point of use, you will get on-demand hot water fast and consistent with the right temperature. The latest invention includes the Voice Activation when paired with Amazon Alexa.

The smart technology also allows you to receive automatic maintenance alerts and choose a monitoring dealer at your choice to do remote diagnostics. This is how Rinnai helps you keep the water heater perform outstanding and very efficient – so you can save and enjoy with no worries.

And with the use of a 24-hr programmable digital controller, the user can schedule more than one operation during the day to meet different usage patterns, while providing enough hot water at any fixture and at any point of time. Most of the water heaters have one standard controller integrated, while other types are also available but are optional.

Venting options

With the direct vent sealed combustion and flexible installation options, you can install Rinnai water heater almost on any inside or outside wall. And for more flexibility and faster installation, water heaters from the RUR and RUC series, for example, include one concentric and dual venting PVC/CPVC option on the same model.

Environment-friendly design

Superior advantages are making Rinnai tankless water heaters a world leader in the heating systems: they are "green" as they operate with the reduced energy and water consumption, NOx and CO2 emission and with a long life of 20 years, reducing waste on the landfills. Plus, all the components are replaceable and recyclable.

Actual performance life of gas burners and other heater elements depends greatly on the proper installation, quality, usage rates, environmental conditions, and maintenance.

Best advanced models to buy

Rinnai RUR98eRinnai RUR98e

The best Rinnai water heaters are coming from RUC and RUR group or SE+ and Sensei series. These are super-high efficient models that utilize a condensing technology, ultra-low NOx operation, smart technology, and highest efficiency and water flow rate.

From the RUC series, buy RUC98i model, the largest and most advanced water heater - where the temperature controller is integrated into the front panel for convenience and better comfort. This indoor unit, with the high water flow rate of 9.8 GPM, can provide a sufficient amount of hot water to homes with up to four bathrooms, easily. The ability to modulate the power from 15,200 to 199,000 Btu and pre-heat water within the secondary heat exchanger, ensures the RUC98i model to operate with the reduced energy losses than standard non-condensing or tank-type while providing great energy and money savings.

The best models from RUR series are the RUR98 (SE+ series) and RUR199 (Sensei SE+ series) models. Both Energy Star models are capable of providing hot water fast with the stable temperature, which increases the efficiency, comfort, and user experience. This is possible as the units are designed with the recirculation technology.

They also provide one of the highest energy factors which are up to 0.95 and maximum water flow rate of up to 11 GPM, making them ideal for large homes no matter the weather conditions.

The most advanced RUR199i/e models from the new Sensei series are even equipped with the integrated features such as the check valve in the venting system and electronics that will protect the unit from freezing weather; to -4 F for the outdoor unit and up to -22 for the indoor model.

The Control-R Wi-Fi module ensures easy remote control. And with the Amazon Alexa integration, the water heater can be voice activated for even more convenience.

Flexible venting is another great benefit for users, as the heaters can be installed with the concentric or twin-pipes with up to long 150 ft. in length.

This new series comes with the upgraded vent system which is smaller, lighter and less expensive and allows 14 possible vent configurations for additional flexibility.

The heaters come with the long 15-year warranty.

Top affordable models to buy

Condensing water heaters are the best from Rinnai, but also the most expensive. And that is why we have selected the top affordable Rinnai models to buy, so the homeowners who are on a budget can also enjoy all the benefits of the tankless technology.

Rinnai RL75, for example, even not being Energy Star is a good buy as it has a high energy factor of over 0.80, the maximum gas input of 180,000 Btu and water flow of 7.5 GPM, which is enough for homes with up to 3 showers working at the same time. This is an environment-friendly unit with the ultra-low NOx gas combustion such as the most advanced ones.

Thanks to the Circ-Logic technology, the RL75 model can also be used in recirculation to deliver hot water fast, and with the Wi-Fi and Alexa capability, the heaters can be remotely controlled, monitored and diagnosed, when the problem occurs.

Another good affordable model to buy is Rinnai V65 from Value series, smaller than the previous one but still equipped with quality features and providing decent comfort for less. This one is recommended for smaller homes and where up to two showers are used simultaneously. It is available for indoor and outdoor installation, using either natural gas or propane.

Model selection

Sensei SE+ series (with condensing technology)

  • RUR series (RUR199i/e, RUR160i/e, RUR98i/e)
  • RU series (RU199i/e, RU180i/e, RU160i/e, RU130i/e, RU98i/e, RU90i/e, RU80i/e)
  • RUC series (RUC98i/e, RUC90i/e, RUC80i/e)

SE series (with condensing technology)

  • RUCS/RUS series (RUCS75i, RUS75e, RUCS65i, RUS65e)

HE+ series (non-condensing)

  • RL series (RL94i/e, RLX94i, RL75i/e)

HE series (non-condensing)

  • V series (V94i/e, V94xi, V75i/e, V65i/e, V53e)

(note: i - indoor, e - outdoor)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A great number of models to choose from, with different sizes and design and for almost any home type
  • Never run out of hot water
  • Consistent supply of hot water
  • All Rinnai models are used for the whole house and point-of-use residential and commercial heating
  • Condensing models come with the ultra-efficiency
  • The unnoticeable cold water sandwich effect due to the modulating gas burner and capability to work with the recirculating pump
  • Some indoor models have the digital temperature controller built-in, while others have the controller supplied
  • Simplified problem diagnostics through displayed error codes
  • Wi-Fi capable
  • Remote monitoring and diagnostics
  • Fast hot water delivery with the recirculation
  • Environment-friendly design with the ultra-low NOx gas emission
  • Takes little space, it saves the wall and floor space - makes the installation easier
  • Flexible vent installation with the long pipes
  • Every part is replaceable
  • There is no pilot light, ignition is electronic and automatic
  • The noise level is low
  • Contribute to LEED certification
  • Improves Home Energy Rating Index scores
  • Up to 15-year limited warranty on the heat exchanger, for residential use
  • Up to 8-year warranty on Rinnai replacement parts

Cons

  • For some consumers, and for a certain models, it takes several minutes to get hot water delivered (We say: it depends on how far your point-of-use is), for others no real increase in time to get hot water, when comparing to tank-type heaters
  • LC code can be seen often, due to calcium issue and hard water. (Recommendation is to buy a water treatment system or flush the unit periodically)
  • Expensive to buy the condensing model (non-condensing are more affordable)
  • Hard to install
  • Professional installation is expensive

Conclusion

Based on the hundreds of reviews of Rinnai tankless water heaters we have seen, there are many happy customers with positive feedback. When comparing Rinnai vs. Rheem, Noritz, Takagi or Bosch, such as in this article Noritz vs.Takagi vs. Rinnai comparison you will see that Rinnai quality is often superior in providing an "endless comfort and performance".

History of Rinnai water heaters

Rinnai water heaters are distributed by Rinnai Corporation owned by Rinnai Japan. The business was founded in the 1920s and in the early 1930s this Japanese manufacturing giant started producing gas appliances. Distribution started operating in North American in 1974 and in 2001 a new state-of-the-art distribution, research, and training facility opened in Peachtree City, Georgia. All components and parts are produced by Rinnai.

Related articles

Rinnai RUR - Review of RUR98i and RUR98e
Rinnai RUC
Rinnai RU
Rinnai V
Rinnai boilers
Rinnai model comparison
Rinnai condensing models review
Rinnai error codes guide and troubleshooting
10 Reasons to buy Rinnai RUR98
10 Reasons to buy Rinnai RUC98


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User Reviews and Questions

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