Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters – Which Is Best For You?

Rinnai RU98EN 9.8 GPM Outdoor Ultra-NOx Condensing Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rinnai it the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in North America. Founded in 1920, the company now has some of the best tankless water heaters on the market. A number of their products provide a unique feature that other brands do not offer. If you want a tankless unit which is intended to be mounted outside, products from Rinnai are definitely worth considering. Here are some options available in the market:

Value Series

The Value Series is great as a hot water solution for medium to smaller-sized new homes. This is for you looking for an easy-to-install, ultra-compact unit. Rinnai Value Series is available in three sizes: 120,000 BTU, 150,000 BTU and 180,000 BTU. The energy factor, a measure of water heater overall efficiency, is .82. The Rinnai V53e delivers up to 5.3 gallons per minute (GPM) of hot water. This product is suitable for one- or two-bathroom homes. The Rinnai V53eNG uses natural gas but Rinnai makes the same unit (Rinnai V53e-LP) that is already configures to use propane. For households where there are only one or two people, the V53e can be a good choice.

The Rinnai V65E exterior-mount tankless water heater efficiently delivers up to 6.6-Gallon per minute (GPM) of hot water. As with the V53 models, the Rinnai V65EP is certified for Installation in manufactured (mobile) homes. The outdoor low NOx tankless propane water heater meets California and Texas NOx Emissions Standards. The V65EN uses natural gas while the V65EP uses propane. If you want a unit with a higher capacity, consider to get the Rinnai V75EN that offers a flow rate of 7.5 gallons per minute. Enhanced scale detection, leak detection shuts off and temperature lock are some features that you can find from the unit.

Luxury Series

Coming with a higher output, the Luxury Series is designed for larger homes and light commercial applications. All LS units contain a commercial-grade heat exchanger but commercial controller must be purchased separately. They come standard with MC-91-1US digital controller. With a capacity up to 9.4 gallons per minute (GPM), the RL94e can simultaneously supply as many as five plumbing and appliance outlets. Isolator valves are included with the 9.4 models. Rinnai also offers units that deliver up to 7.5 GPM. They are ideal for two to three-bathroom homes.

The Rinnai’s Luxury Series units come with Rinnai Circ-Logic (RCL) feature. The recirculation program cycles an external pump at pre-set intervals and temperatures. This feature is also standard on Rinnai’s Ultra Series units. But both the Value and Luxury Series are non condensing water heaters, meaning they have only a primary heat exchanger. Condensing units have a secondary heat exchanger. To help heat the water, combustion gas is exhausted through the secondary heat exchanger. The design allows condensing heaters to operate more efficiently. The energy factor of the Value and Luxury heaters are of up to .86 while the Ultra Series condensing tankless water heaters earn a higher rating (up to 0.96).

Ultra Series

As mentioned before, the Ultra Series features a condensing design. With two heat exchangers, they offer greater efficiency that translates to energy savings. Available in three sizes (152,000, 180,000, and 199,000 BTU), the Ultra Series also offers higher hot water capacity per BTU. Natural gas and propane models are available. The RUR98e and the RU98e offers 9.8 GPM. The RU90e can provide up to 9.0 GPM. The RU80e comes with a maximum flow rate of 8.0 gallons per minute. When it comes to standard controller, the RUR98e is equipped with MC-195T-US while the RU models comes with MC-91-2US.

Recirculation means faster hot water delivery and lower energy costs. The RUR98, the newest addition to the Ultra Series family, offers a water heating recirculation technology that does not require a dedicated return line. Both the RUR98e (outdoor) and the RUR98i (indoor) come complete with a built-in circulation pump, an internal bypass line and a thermal bypass valve. Coming with the premium MC-195T digital controller, the Ultra Series RUR allows you to save even more energy. It enables the scheduling of multiple recirculation events to align with water consumption patterns. Watch the video below for a better explanation:

You do not need additional venting with an outdoor tankless water heater. Theoritically, it can be installed nearly anywhere on your home’s exterior. While it is true that tankless water heaters take a few seconds to get to the set temperature but in many cases the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And with the Rinnai Ultra RUR98e that uses thermal bypass technology, there will be less wait time for hot water.


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