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Comparing Tankless Water Heater Brands

Tankless Water Heater History 101


For more than a century, the tank-type water heater has been the standard in our homes for heating water. The design of a tank-type water heater is ideally suited for a device that is over one-hundred years old. A giant tank of water is kept hot, twenty-four hours a day by either gas-powered or electric heating elements.

Tankless Water Heater History

Early designs were made entirely out of rust-resistant copper, but the high cost of copper at the start of the twentieth century put them beyond the financial reach of most families at the time. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the current construction of stainless steel with a molten glass coating on the inside of the tank became available. The use of a far less expensive metal formulation made the water heater a home improvement that almost everyone could afford.

Throughout the next seven decades, water heater technology remained mostly unchanged. Sure, water heater manufacturers made improvements to the efficiency and operation of their units, but the storage tank unit is essentially the same as it’s been since 1889.

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, new technology in water heaters has emerged;the tankless water heater. Initially conceived in 1920s Europe, the tankless water heater’s main difference from its predecessor is the lack of a water storage tank. Cold water flows into the unit and passes over several heating elements before running out of your faucets, with an unlimited supply of hot water. Since there is no tank to maintain the temperature of, and water is only heated as needed, the tankless units excel in both efficiency and performance.

Another bonus that comes along with ownership of a tankless water heater is the confidence of knowing your unit has a life expectancy of over twenty years. Compare that to a tank-type water heater that is only expected to last between seven and ten years, and you can see the added value a tankless unit can bring to your home.

Tankless Water Heater Comparison

Should I Get A Tankless Water Heater?

There are several important factors to consider before you have a tankless water heater installed in your home.

With the help of your plumber, you can determine how much hot water you use per day, and whether you’d benefit from installing two tankless water heater units.

At Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services, we offer tankless water heater options from several different manufacturers. Our most popular units come from brands like Navien, Noritz, and Rinnai. Each of these brands provides excellent energy efficiency, as well as stellar performance and long lifespans.

Tankless Water Heater Brand Comparison

When comparing tankless water heater brands, the main difference between manufacturers would be technology. Navien, based in Irvine, CA, was the first tankless water heater maker to incorporate an internal recirculation system to provide instant hot water. Other tankless manufacturers have recently rolled this feature out to their higher-end units, but as is often the case, Navien was the trendsetter.

Noritz and Rennai produce tankless water heaters that are quite similar to one another in design and are generally available at a lower cost than a Noritz unit. Again, all tankless water heaters offer a tremendous value, added efficiency, and a twenty-year lifespan. Regardless of the brand you choose, you’ll be amazed at the added convenience of unlimited hot water, and even instant hot water!

Where Should I Get My Tankless Water Heater?

When it’s time to consider a new tankless water heater for your home, call Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services and ask us about a new tankless water heater installation.

New Tankless Water Heaters

Let one of our licensed and experienced technicians explain how a tankless water heater can benefit you and your family.


Comparing Tankless Water Heater Brands

Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning Live Video Transcription:

On today’s show, it’s all about tankless water heater reviews in Houston.

I’m John ankles, Richard sod. So today’s topic is gonna be one you wouldn’t think would be inappropriate. So for maybe mid summer, but we’re going to discuss tankless water heater reviews for some of the different models we carry. That’s right. So the, the, the issues with water heater reviews. And I can verifiably tell you guys, cause I sit here and read them cause I’m curious and I read that stuff. A lot of the reviews that you’re reading online are misleading when it comes to tankless water heaters. People are posting their problems, not their wins. Huh? Shocker. Imagine that. Imagine that. So when I read these posts from people that are reviewing tankless water heaters, what I’m reading is a lot of it, they’re disseminating wrong information and they’re giving you that information as it’s the Bible. Right? And they’re saying the tankless water heater doesn’t work because of this and this and it failed and it kept failing.

And I had somebody over here that can’t fix it. And okay, well how is that the tankless water heaters fault? That’s my first question. I can tell you, most of the information that you guys are getting when these water heaters are failing is going to be from an installation problem. And I can read it right there. It’s the people that they’ve hired that don’t know what they’re doing. Tankless water heaters are not something you can just go snip, snip in, right? That’s your Richardson. That’s right. Unless you’re me. That’s right. But that’s what they’re doing. And then people are putting these in, not having a clue on what they’re doing and they think they know and they tell you they know and they’re confident and they go in wrong and they’re blowing up, not literally blowing up, but they are failing. They’re not operating correctly, not operating correctly, called failing.

Right? Then what these people are also doing in about 10 years, you can create the the burner assembly where it heats that water, where it looks like a radiator. You can create that to completely fail within 10 years. So if you install it wrong and it fails, then 10 years warranty doesn’t cover it, even though the warranty is 12 years on that item. Wow. But warranty won’t cover it, and I can’t tell you countless times we go in there and it’s installed wrong and it burned up that whole assembly year, eight nine, 10 and they gotta pay for it and then they’re angry and they blame the water heater. It’s not the tankless water heater, it was the installation company or lack of that put it in for you. That’s what you guys really have to think about when you start researching, looking at tankless water heater reviews.

You’re looking at me funny, Hey, you’re in on me. Oh, I’m on it. I’m on it. I’m passionate about this one. Right? Because it’s just disseminating wrong information. And it’s not, I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose, but what they’re doing is they’re, they’re, they’re saying out to the universe, maybe on purpose, maybe not, but they’re not understanding what the problem is. And they don’t hire a good plumbing company to come in there and say, okay, look, the point of failure was this and this to let you know that, okay, the guy who put it in was a moron, didn’t know what he was doing, but Oh, he’s installed a thousand of them. Ah, okay, great. All thousand are waiting to fail. And they will. That’s the issue. You should be getting 20 plus years out of your unit. They’re awesome. Back in 2006 I think it was, I couldn’t wait for my tank water heater to fail so I could get a tankless. And you know what, I’ve had one every since, but it’s installed. Right? And I’ve had no problems. I’ve never even had to clean it. And it’s been in since Oh six explain that. Right. I recommended by the way, no, but I’ve put things on it to make it where I don’t have to clean it. Right. So there’s things that you can do too. So I’m off my soap box now. Right. So when you’re looking at reviews, right, what are we gonna focus on? So

When you’re talking about the water heaters that we carry, you know, we carry several we’re only going to talk about the three main brands that we carry, which is going to be Navien, Norris and Rinnai. We want to discuss, you know, kind of the three, how does, how do they interact with one another as far as these different questions that we get. And, and we’ll go through kind of how it works out. But like w one of the questions we get is what’s the best tankless water heater on the market?

I think that’s an argument at a point. Absolutely right. Absolutely. All three of those units are awesome. They will all provide you hot water. They will all have the 20 plus years. So what makes them different? What makes one unit better than the other? And that’s where people are reading online and reading these reviews and they’re getting wrong information. Right? It goes back to that. Okay. I won’t get on my soapbox again. So

Pretty similar. There are some different features for different models, right? Within those brands. Now how they interface and interact with the actual customer homeowner that that’s a preference thing and that’s where, that’s where you’re gonna get a big difference. And of course they’re all, you know, priced close, but there’s a price difference in home, you know. So as far as which one’s the best in the market, it’s, it’s more of which one’s best for you. That’s

Right. How the house was built, how far the bathrooms are, where the kitchen is located. All of those things come into effect when you’re sitting here pricing out and looking for a tankless water heater. Yeah. You need a professional to come in and figure out the gallons per minute you guys at home. That’s extremely difficult to do on how to PR, how on how to get the correct model cause I’m going to buy it on the internet. Right. And that’s another thing that I see that people are buying tankless water heaters on the internet, not having a clue and they’re buying the wrong unit for the house and then it fails and they blame the water heater instead of themselves. I see that all the time. Emission in the mechanical component. Right, right. But it’s gotta be sized accordingly. So going back, our topic today is water heater reviews, right?

So if you take Nordson Rinnai they’re built compatible components, a little bit different. The only one that’s truly different is that Navien, right? The Navien is a condensing unit and they make it with a pump. Now Rinnai and or rich are also making theirs with pumps. So the playing field is getting a little bit more equal, but used to be where Navien was the sole provider of the research collating system. Yeah. And I love that internal internal circulating system. Yes. Now Rinnai in the words are getting into that market and I think they’re doing a good job. We put one in the other day, it’s working perfect. Working flawlessly. And I really like it. Yeah. I don’t think, I mean all it’s made for a retrofit, whereas the Navien was more for new construction because it had to have return lines for the research collation of the system. The Rinnai and Noritz now have made it words retrofit where you don’t need the lines. You have manifold systems. Yep. And you put those underneath your fixtures, it’s awesome. Big proponent of that not wasting water is what it is. Right? Absolutely. So going back to those three units, I’m confident, comfortable and killing you by any one of those three, they’re all going to be awesome, but you need to have somebody assess the house to guide you so you can make the best decision for you and your family. Right, right, right.

No. So life’s, you know, the, another big one is lifespan. You know, which one has the longest lifespan. I think this goes right back into a lifespan. They’re all similar again. Now warranty’s a little different. All similar though, pretty similar though. But all it comes down to on tankless units is, is if it, again, installation correct is a big thing and maintaining it, you know there are things that you can pay up front to help that maintenance be less invasive and a lot easier to deal with or not. And then you got to do it yearly. It’s, it’s, it’s not a big deal either way. Oh yeah. The tooth all the same. Except for the venting. Yeah, yeah. I mean

You were comparable. They are. They are. The thing, and here’s another thing that I read that a lot of them are failing on their gas controllers. You’ll read that in reviews. Why? Because the guy who put it in doesn’t know how to do gas pipe sizing. That’s right. He doesn’t understand BTU loads. So in other words, it’s installed wrong. So when you’re going and reading these reviews and it’s a gas problem, 99% of the time it’s because they’ve got the wrong gas pipe size hooked into it. It can’t get the volume. And

Just to kind of simple fly that for the homeowners, simplify, simplify and understand that when you take out your tank water heater, that thing normally is calling for 38,000. The 50,000 beats you depended on the heater. The tankless water heaters on the low end is like 130,000 now I think, I think it’s 10,000 low end or 50. Oh that’s the start. That’s a start up. You’re talking about full, raw high at one 99. So 109,000 beats uses a lot more than that. 30 to 50 so when you’re looking for max performance and you’re putting a strain on your unit, that’s a lot more gas demand. And if it’s not sized dry, then you’re not going to be able to feed it what it needs. Top right. Problem.

It will fail. It will shut off. It will spit out error codes and not give you hot water. And that’s any of the units. That’s any of them. Yeah, that’s any of them. It’s not one. It’s all the same. So the only difference between these brands is how you vet the system, right? It’s simple. Yeah. All gas is done by math. All right? You do the math properly. The unit works perfect. You do the math wrong. The unit will not. It’s that black and white and simple. Now the venting is what creates the difference. Yeah. Right? So read the directions. You’re going to hire some guy that’s not a plumbing company like us. Tell them to read directions. Right? So I hope this helps today. You want the most bang for your buck, right? You have any questions you want to call us, ask us.

We’ll tell you exactly what to do. It’s not a problem whether you use us or not. We want your tankless water heater to be installed properly. If you think there’s a problem, take photos of it. Email us, John, and I will tell you, okay, this is wrong and this is wrong. You need to tell him to go fix that. I have no problem with that. We do it all the time. In fact, we got a call the other day from, where was it? I think Florida. They took pictures and sent it to us. Yeah, it’s completely wrong. Right, and what do we do? I’m not flying to Florida, but I told them exactly how to fix it. Yeah, we gave him some pointers and what to look forward. That’s right. How to fix it. Yeah, so you guys, thank you for watching. We’ll see you next week. I have a great one.

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