Rinnai Gas Tankless Water Heater Reviews, Installation Cost and Buying Guide 2020

Rinnai tankless water heaters are top-selling water heaters and highly rated by homeowners. These are whole-house water heaters. Many offer recirculation technology. Hot water is circulated back through the pipes at scheduled times, so that most-used fixtures have immediate warm water.

We’ve pulled together the best Rinnai water heaters in several popular categories from the best value to the top performer. Our Overviews and full Rinnai tankless water heater reviews provide essential research you can use to make your buying decision.

Here are quick overviews. Note that several of the models are offered in a range of sizes, natural gas or propane and indoor or outdoor installation.

Click the link of a model you want to know more about, and if other size/fuel/installation options are available, they will show on the product page.

Overviews of the Best Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Here are the best Rinnai tankless water heaters. See the full Reviews below for further details.

      Image                    Product

Rinnai RUR98 Indoor

  • Max. 9.8 Gallons per Minute
  • Built-in Recirculation
  • 96% Energy Factor/Efficiency
  • WiFi Capable
  • NG & LP Models

Editor's Pick

Rinnai RL75eP HE+ Outdoor

  • Max. 7.5 Gallons per Minute
  • 82% Energy Factor/Efficiency
  • Recirculation Capable
  • Outdoor Installation

Best Mini

Rinnai RL RL94eP HE+ Outdoor

  • Max. 9.4 Gallons per Minute
  • 81% Energy Factor/Efficiency
  • Recirculation Capable
  • Outdoor Installation

The Quietest 

Rinnai RUS75eN

  • Max. 7.5 Gallons per Minute
  • 93% Energy Factor/Efficiency
  • Outside Installation
  • 12-year Warranty

Best For Garage

Rinnai RU Series Sensei SE+

  • 7, 9, 10, 11 Gallons per Minute
  • Indoor & Outdoor Models
  • Select & Choose Model
  • 91% to 93% Energy Factor
  • WiFi

Best Infrared

Rinnai RLX94iN Indoor

  • Max. 9.4 Gallons per Minute
  • Lo-NOx
  • .82% Energy Factor/Efficiency
  • 12-year warranty
  • WiFi

Best Ceramic

Rinnai RL HE+ Outdoor

  • Max. 9.4 Gallons per Minute
  • Propane
  • Recirculation & WiFi
  • Other Sizes Avail. Below
  • 10-year Warranty

Best Gas Heater

Rinnai V Series HE

  • Models 5.3 to 9.4 GPM
  • Select Link & Choose
  • Indoor & Outdoor Models
  • NG & LP Models
  • Up to 82% Energy Factor

Best Propane Heater

Full Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Reviews

Here are the complete reviews of the best Rinnai water heaters in the most popular shopping categories.

The maximum GPM is listed. In cool climates, where incoming water is cooler, the maximum gallons per minute of flow will be less.  If your groundwater is cold, consider stepping up to a larger unit.

Most Efficient

#1 Rinnai RUR98 Indoor Tankless Water Heater

This is a condensing water heater. That means it has two heat exchangers. Both condensing and non-condensing water heaters have a primary heat exchanger that transfers heat from combustion into the water to heat it. But a significant amount of heat in a non-condensing water heater (with one heat exchanger) is wasted with the exhaust gases.

A condensing water heater is different. It has a second heat exchanger that transfers heat out of the exhaust gases before they leave the unit and are vented. This increases efficiency by about 10%.

The value to you might be $50 to $300 per year depending on how much hot water you use and the temperature of the water entering your home.

The pros and cons of condensing vs non-condensing tankless water heaters are examined in our Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 9.8 gallons per minute (GPM) where incoming water temperatures are moderate. In cooler climates, it can produce 6 to 8 GPM.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .96 / .93

Features: This unit is loaded with some of the best features you’ll find in a tankless water heater: Recirculation, WiFi, multiple venting options for easy installation and ultra-high efficiency.

Pros: This is often considered the best Rinnai tankless water heater for these reasons:

  • It is very efficient, using up to 96% of the fuel used to create heat.
  • It has a built-in 360 ThermaCirc recirculation pump that keeps hot water in the water line near the tap or shower, so you don’t have to wait for hot water.
  • Warranty on the heat exchanger is 12 years.
  • Models are available for both natural gas and propane.

Cons: Cost is higher for the high efficiency and other benefits.

Bottom Line: If you use a lot of hot water, and use it at several locations at once, then this is a model to consider. It is ideal for cool/cold climates where the water entering the Rinnai water heater is colder than in other climates.

Best 2-4 Fixture Non-condensing

#2 Rinnai RL75eP HE+ Outdoor Tankless Water Heater + WiFi

This is a propane model, but an RL Series 7.5 GPM unit is available too.

In cool climates where incoming water is cold, this unit can easily supply hot water continuously to two locations – a shower and a dishwasher, for example.

In warmer climates, it can serve 3 or 4 fixtures at a time.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 7.5 GPM in warm climates – about

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .82/.81

Features: Burns propane and must be installed outdoors. It has what Rinnai calls Circ-Logic which “allows you to set recirculation patterns to coincide” with when your home has the highest demand for hot water. This reduces heat loss and improves efficient.

Pros: This is a mid-grade Rinnai water heater – not the best, but less expensive than condensing models. It offers:

  • The ability to set the times it recirculates
  • Outdoor installation is easier, so costs less

Cons: There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy.

  • Efficiency is fair. The unit costs less, but gas use and cost will be higher than with a condensing tankless water heater.
  • If you have natural gas, you’ll need the slightly different NG version below.

Bottom Line: This is a good tankless water heater for a mid-size home in northern climates and larger households where winters are mild.

Choose your fuel – and in the case of the natural gas version – the size you want.

Best 3-5 Fixture Non-condensing

#3 Rinnai RL RL94 HE+ Tankless Water Heater w/ WiFi

This high-capacity water heater is available in both propane and natural gas versions. It will have no problem delivering continuous hot water to multiple fixtures at the same time.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 9.4 GPM in warm climates – about 5.5 GPM in cooler climates.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .82/.81

Features: Circ-Logic can be used with this unit. That means you can schedule when water recirculates, so that you have hot water immediately when it is most in demand – morning hours, evenings, etc.

Pros: Here’s what we like.

  • High volume heating for busy households
  • Circ-Logic
  • WiFi for monitoring and control from anywhere

Cons: Here’s the other side

  • Efficiency is so-so. The Energy Guide for this model suggests it will cost about $480 to run for a year, or $40 per month where hot water demand is high.

Bottom Line: If you want to spend less upfront and your household uses a lot of water, this is a good option. Plus, the natural gas version is available in multiple sizes. Choose the link, and select the size you need to learn more.

Best 2-4 Fixture Condensing

#4 Rinnai RUS75eN Tankless Water Heater

This is a natural gas model, but it is available for propane too. See the link below.

This unit is Rinnai’s affordable condensing heater. With condensing performance, less heat is lost out the exhaust.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 7.5 GPM in warm climates where incoming water is warmer. Expect about 4 GPM in cool climates, which is still plenty for 2 fixtures using hot water at the same time.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .93/.90

Features: This is a “bare bones” unit, so cost is lower than those with more features.

Pros: Affordability and good efficiency.

Cons: No WiFi, no recirculation

Bottom Line: If you want basic, affordable and efficient water heating on demand, consider the RUS Series. It’s ideal for small and medium households. If you have a larger home or household, see the next model.

Best 3-5 Fixture Condensing

#5 Rinnai RU Series Sensei SE+ Tankless Water Heater

This is a high-capacity, high-efficiency tankless water heater. It is Energy Star certified.

We’ve selected a mid-size, propane model, but when you choose the link below, you’ll see several other size, fuel and installation options.

Gallons per Minute: Models are available with 7, 9, 10 and 11 GPM.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .93/.91

Features: WiFi control and it Circ-Logic, a technology for scheduling recirculation to deliver immediate how water when it is most in demand in your household.

Pros: Good efficiency and features.

Cons: Higher cost than a non-condensing tankless water heater.

Bottom Line: If high capacity and high efficiency are important to you, especially in a cooler climate, consider this unit.

Best 2-4 Fixture Indoor

#6 Rinnai RLX94iN Tankless Water Heater

The Low NOx emissions make this unit suitable for anywhere including those areas with strict emissions laws.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 9.4 GPM.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .82/.81

Features: Circ-Logic for scheduling recirculation to ensure you get immediate hot water at times it is in high demand.

Pros: Low-NOx, recirculation and WiFi

Cons: Not as efficient as Rinnai condensing tankless water heaters.

Bottom Line: If you live in an area with ultra-low NOx requirements or simply want to reduce emissions, this is the right Rinnai for the job.

Best 2-4 Fixture Outdoor

#7 Rinnai RL HE+ Tankless Water Heater

Outdoor installation takes less time and materials, and that translates into lower cost. This is a top-rated outdoor Rinnai water heater. It is backed by a solid 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts and 12 months on labor.

Gallons per Minute: Up to 7.5GPM. A 9.4 GPM model is available too. See the link below.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .82/.81

Features: WiFi connectivity and the app allow you to control the unit from anywhere. It also has Circ-Logic, Rinnai’s technology that allows you to program recirculation for any time. That ensures that the water in the pipes is warm when you want it.

Pros: Good features, lower installation cost.

Cons: Efficiency is only average.

Bottom Line: This is a good unit to consider if you want the lower upfront cost. You can save $350 or more over the cost of installing a unit indoors and having to vent it. This Rinnai tankless heater is ideal for moderate and warm climates.

Best Value

#8 Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Water Heaters

This is an affordable Rinnai tankless water heater that also gets some of the best ratings of any model.

It’s also made in indoor and outdoor versions for natural gas and propane.

Gallons per Minute: Models are available at the link below with 5.3, 6.5, 7.5 and 9.4 GPM.

Energy Factor/Uniform Energy Factor: .82/.79

Features: There are no special features on this unit, which keeps cost down.

Pros: Units in all sizes with options for installation and fuel, so there’s a unit to fit your needs. They’re affordable too.

Cons: Mediocre efficiency.

Bottom Line: Consider this model if you want basic water heating with value – good quality plus affordability.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater

Which Rinnai is Right for Your Home?

There are four key decisions to make as you shop for Rinnai water heaters:

1. Size: This concerns the number of fixtures that might be using hot water at the same time. The more fixtures in use, the higher the gallons per minute, or GPM, rating should be.

2. Whether you want Condensing or Non-condensing. Condensing units cost more, but they are more energy efficient. Non-condensing tankless water heaters have lower upfront cost, but they use more gas.

3. Indoor or outdoor installation: Indoor installation has to be vented, but might be better in cold climates. Outdoor installation still serves the interior of the house, but installation cost is lower.

4. Natural gas (NG) vs Propane (LP): Most Rinnai water heaters are available made in both NG and LP models.

If you want to research these topics to greater depth, see our:

Tankless Water Heater Reviews & Guide

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