When you’re shopping around for a good tankless water heater, you can’t avoid hearing the name Rinnai. This company remains at the forefront of tankless technology, producing some of the most efficient models on the market.
There’s a good chance you’ve used a Rinnai product at some point, as they also manufacture appliances for other companies, but seeing their name on a water heater means you always know you’ll get top quality.
The History of Rinnai Corporation
It might seem strange, but the story of this major international company had very humble beginnings in Japan a century ago. Co-founded by Hidejiro Naito and Kanekichi Hayashi in September of 1920 as Rinnai & Co., the company has always held a firm three-principle belief of harmony, spirit, and truth. These qualities were apparent when they began manufacturing and distributing gas appliances in 1923, allowing Rinnai to expand quickly.
The company paused work on gas appliances from 1938 to 1946 to manufacture aircraft parts for the war effort. The head office factory was rebuilt by the end of this period and appliance production resumed. By 1950, the company changed to a limited company structure and opened an office in Tokyo four years later.
From their partnership with Schwank GmbH in 1958 to their official rename to Rinnai Corporation in 1971 to the present, Rinnai has remained at the forefront of gas appliance technology and innovation. Today, they’re one of the most respected producers of tankless water heaters with offices in more than a dozen companies. They also manufacture units for GE and Bradford White.
Tankless Water Heaters
Rinnai breaks its various water heater lines down into four efficiency levels. Each level has their own list of features, so it’s easy to choose the line and model that suits your needs best.
All Rinnai tankless water heaters have common qualities. From a uniform energy factor (UEF) of .79 up to .95 to the ability to handle three or four fixtures at once, these units outperform most of the competition. All current units are also Wi-Fi capable, allowing you to control the settings remotely. Models use either propane or natural gas.
High Efficiency Series
The lowest tier available may have fewer features, but they’re an excellent choice for smaller households. The tier consists of only one line, the V series. These models can handle up to four fixtures at once and carry a UEF of .79 to .82.
High Efficiency Plus Series
Consisting of the RL and RLX lines, this tier adds recirculation support. They have been rated with a UEF of .80 to .81 and can also support up to four fixtures at once.
Super High Efficiency Series
The third tier also has two lines and can support up to three fixtures. Both the RUCS and RUS lines are ENERGY STAR compliant and all models have a UEF rating of .90.
Super High Efficiency Plus Series
The top of the ladder carries three separate lines, all of which are ENERGY STAR compliant and recirculation capable. The RUC line has a UEF of .92, while the RU line ranges from a UEF of .91 to .93. At the pinnacle is the RUR line, with a .92 to .95 UEF and including a ThermaCirc360 recirculation pump.
Best Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
|Model||Gallons/Minute||Max BTUs||Energy Factor||Notes|
|Rinnai RUR98iN||9.8 GPM||199,000||0.95||Recirculation & Wi-Fi capable|
|Rinnai RUC98iN||9.8 GPM||199,000||0.95||Wi-Fi capable|
|Rinnai V65iN||6.6 GPM||150,000||0.82||Wi-Fi capable|
Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Parts
While tankless heaters have far less exposure to the corrosive aspect of water, parts still need to be replaced from time to time. Some of the most common parts replaced include valves, water filters, and vent components. You may also need to replace the remote at some point or choose to invest in a spare.
Pay attention to any error codes your Rinnai is giving to help determine which part needs to be replaced.
Where to Buy Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
- Website: www.rinnai.us
- Phone: 1-800-621-9419