Takagi Tankless Water Heater Reviews
Are you on the market for a new water heater? Take a look at our review of the Takagi tankless water heater and find out if it’s the right choice for your home.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater Reviews
Do you need a new water heater? Chances are, you’re not well-versed in the area if you haven’t purchased one for your home in the past. There are several elements you’ll want to consider, especially when you’re deciding over a tank or tankless water heater.
We’ll get into the differences a bit more int he next section, but we’ll mainly be focusing on one company for this review: Takagi. Takagi is a Japanese company that sells tankless water heaters in the US, and they’ve become relatively popular with these appliances.
Ahead, we’ll give you some more information on Takagi and their water heaters, along with our verdict on whether or not these water heaters are the best choice for your home.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater
Before we get into the review of the Takagi tankless water heater, we wanted to touch on the benefits of a tankless water heater in general.
Tankless water heaters won’t begin heating the water until you turn on the faucet. There’s a slight tradeoff here, with the disadvantage being that you have to wait a bit before you can receive hot water.
The benefit is a huge one, though. These water heaters use far less energy than their counterparts because they don’t store hot water.
Other water heaters need to continuously heat the water in the tank, so you always have hot water when you want it. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, don’t face this issue. You will have to wait a few seconds before getting in the shower, but this will save you a lot of money on your energy bill.
These types of water heaters always run on gas - usually natural gas - which some consider being a drawback. Some will prefer to keep everything on their electricity bill, but a natural gas hookup isn’t as costly or irksome as you might think.
Overall, we think tankless water heaters are the way to go. They’ll save you money on heating costs with the slight tradeoff of having to wait a bit for hot water.
What Are Takagi Tankless Water Heaters?
Like a lot of tankless water heater brands, Takagi is a Japanese company that teamed up with an American company to distribute their products in the states. The company Takagi has at its back is AO Smith, which is already known for making reliable water heaters in the American market.
Takagi has been around for over 70 years at this point, making all kinds of large household appliances for their customer. In the states, they’re mostly known for their tankless water heaters, which is what we’ll be focusing on today.
Like all tankless water heaters, Takagi appliances use a gas connection for power. This means you’ll need a gas source in your home, which is almost always natural gas. In some cases, you might need a new pipeline installed when you purchase your Takagi tankless water heater. Some of the models from Takagi, though, run on propane rather than natural gas. This is more expensive on the whole, but some people prefer it so they can save on some of the installation costs.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater Features
Now, let’s take a look at some of the standout features of the Takagi tankless water heater. There are several models that offer a few different specifications, but we’re going to focus on elements that apply to most - if not all - Takagi tankless water heaters.
The heat exchanger is one of the more important elements of any tankless water heater. Some people will prefer one metal construction over another, but each has its benefits and reasons for picking them over the competition.
Takagi uses copper alloy for their primary water heaters and stainless steel for their secondary. This is often the preferred setup for those who want to save a bit of money on their tankless water heater.
Copper alloy is both resistant to corrosion and conducts heat very well, which is why it’s a popular choice for Takagi and a few other companies.
Stainless steel is the industry standard for secondary water heaters, and you shouldn’t buy one that doesn’t include stainless steel. It’s supremely resistant to the acidity that exhaust combustion creates.
Takagi has 316L stainless steel in their water heaters, which is marine-grade and able to endure in coastal and “salty” conditions.
Energy Star Rating
Most of the Takagi tankless water heater models come with a 5-star energy rating, so you can be sure that you will be getting some of the better energy-efficiency on the market.
A lot of tankless water heaters have this rating as well, but it’s still worth noting that Takagi considers making energy-efficient products a priority. You should still check the label on any water heater you buy, though, since not all of the Takagi water heaters come with this
The following Takagi tankless water heaters have an Energy Star rating:
Buying one of these means you’re getting industry-leading energy efficiency with your tankless water heater.
One of the biggest things we liked about Takagi tankless water heater models was their dedication to energy efficiency. A new and more stringent rating system went into effect in 2017 called Uniform Energy Factor (UEF). Takagi observes these standards, while a lot of other water heater companies do not.
This fact means that Takagi is going to offer some of the highest-rated energy-efficient water heaters on the market. Many of the other brands still go by the Energy Factor rating system, which is around 2% to 4% higher than what Takagi offers.
Additionally, Takagi models provide both indoor and outdoor water heating units. This will help you save money on your energy bills as well, along with giving you the peace of mind that you’re reducing your carbon footprint a bit.
Takagi provides a 15-year warranty on their tankless water heaters, along with a 5-year warranty on general parts. The labor warranty is also 1-year, so you won’t have to pay for any services that your tank might need within the first year.
Most of the other tankless water heater companies top-out at around 15 years, with the average sitting around 10 to 12 years. Takagi doesn’t blow this average out of the water, but it’s still helpful to have a few extra years tacked onto the end of your warranty.
There are several different Takagi tankless water heater models on the market, so the price you pay will heavily depend on which option you select and which retailer you purchase it from. Most Takagi water heaters use natural gas as a source, although some use propane as a replacement. These models will almost always be more expensive than the natural gas alternative, which is worth considering when you’re making your selection.
The water heaters alone can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200 depending on where you buy and what model you choose. One of the cheaper options is the T-KJr2, which will cost about $500. A model like the T-H3 will run you over $1,000, though.
Of course, the price of the water heater isn’t the only cost you need to consider. The installation will likely cost over $1,000 as well, which isn’t built into the price you see when you purchase the unit.
If you’re a handyman and think you can install the water heater yourself or with the help of some friends, we advise against it. You will need a licensed contractor to install it, or Takagi will void the warranty.
Also, you should consider whether you need a new gas line, a recirculation pipe installed, and whether or not you want the contractors to take your old water heater. All of these elements will add to the total cost.
How it Compares
Knowing that a water heater is decent isn’t enough - you’re probably looking to find out how it stacks up against the competition.
Well, we took a look at Noritz and Rinnai side-by-side with Takagi to see which brand of tankless water heaters came out on top.
Takagi Water Heaters Vs. Noritz Water Heaters
Noritz is another reputable water heater brand that’s relatively popular. The energy rating and temperature settings are nearly identical, and both are highly efficient which will save you money on energy costs.
The Noritz models edge-out Takagi in their water flow, but do not have the same integrated temperature controller as the Takagi brand.
The warranty is another place where Takagi shines over the competition. Noritz has the industry-standard 12-year warranty, while Takagi will cover it for 15 years.
Takagi Water Heaters Vs. Rinnai
Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Concentric or PVC venting option
- Up to 0.96 Energy Factor/Up to 0.92 Uniform Energy Factor
- The space-saving design allows Indoor Installation type
- Ultra low NOx emissions
- 199,000 max BTU
Rannai is one of the biggest competing forces to Takagi, and actually has the edge when it comes to energy efficiency. You probably want to take a hard look at Rinnai if saving on energy costs is the biggest concern for you.
Rannai is even mobile home certified, which means you can use it in a trailer without an issue. The warranty for Takagi is longer - 15 years vs. 12 years - but many of the other specifications tip on Rinnai's favor.
As you might expect, Rinnai water heaters cost more than Takagi heaters on average. The price difference isn’t too much, though, and we would give the nod to Rannai over Takagi for the few, small benefits.
What We Think
On the whole, we think Takagi presents a good value regarding tankless water heaters. There are only a few companies that we rate above Takagi (Rinnai, for instance), but it’s difficult to beat the energy efficiency, reliability, and affordability of a Takagi tankless water heater.
The warranty is one of the reasons the value is so great, here. Most of the other brands will cap you at 12 years, while Takagi covers their products for 15. This might not seem like a lot, but it shows how much confidence Takagi has in their water heaters and their ability to last over time.
Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular in homes as energy costs rise. You don’t have to pay to keep a tank full of hot water on hand, as long as you don't have a problem waiting a few seconds for the water to heat up.
All in all, Takagi is a solid manufacturer of tankless water heaters, and certainly worth considering if you need a new one in your home.