Japanese names are some of the biggest in the water heater industry. You have the well-known examples of Rinnai and Noritz, but you also have Takagi.
The only reason Takagi is less famous than the others is that it didn’t enter the US market until 2010. However, the company has been producing appliances since 1952 for consumers worldwide.
In this post, we will review Takagi Tankless water heaters to help you determine if one of their models is best for your home.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Takagi Tankless Water Heaters
Takagi water heaters are all high-quality, designed for optimal safety (such as their use of an air-fuel ratio meter) and minimal maintenance. The company only produces tankless, gas models for whole house use. Most of the water heaters use natural gas, although some are available as propane models as well.
Most notably, Takagi managed to bring the thermal efficiency rate of tankless water heaters up to 95 percent. The indoor models also use a direct vent for further energy savings.
Where Are Takagi Water Heaters Made?
Takagi originally only made water heaters in Shizuoka, Japan. In 2010, however, the company announced a joint venture with A. O. Smith for the North American market. Part of this agreement was to bring the manufacturing of some water heaters to the U.S. — once the company met a specified volume threshold for sales in the United States and Canada.
Types of Takagi Water Heaters
There are two types of Takagi water heaters for residential use: non-condensing units and condensing units. The company also produces some water heaters for commercial use. Prices for most of the models are lower than the industry average, although propane units sometimes cost slightly more than natural gas. In addition, some outdoor units are more expensive than indoor units.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater Reviews from Consumers
Most customers who have purchased a Takagi water heater are very satisfied with the product. They report excellent flow rate and high-temperature rise. Many people say that it made a big difference changing from an old-fashioned tank water heater to a Takagi tankless unit.
Customer Service for Takagi Heaters
Takagi says that their customers are their highest priority. For this reason, the company offers a variety of services for customer support. For instance, you can find a range of resources on the company website, including manuals, owner’s guides, FAQs, and warranty information. There are also lists of technicians, which you can use to find an HVAC professional who specializes in Takagi near you.
In addition, the company claims to be one of the few suppliers of water heaters to have a fully-staffed customer service and technical department. Customers, professional contractors, and wholesalers alike can call or talk to service representatives online.
Warranty for Takagi Heaters
All Takagi water heaters come with a warranty of 15 years on the heat exchanger. This applies for heat exchangers made of copper as well as those made from a copper–stainless steel alloy. The 15-year warranty is higher than the industry average (just 12 years). Takagi also offers a five-year warranty on parts and one year for labor, which is standard.
Installing Takagi Water Heaters
As all Takagi water heaters are gas models, for safety reasons you will need to contract a professional for the installation. Furthermore, if you do install the water heater yourself, you will void the warranty.
The good news is that the installation process is easy. It takes about an hour, after you have the space set up for the water heater. The entire process is faster if you have no need for a gas line or recirculation pipe. It also takes less time to install an outdoor unit than an indoor one (due to the lack of venting), whereas installation time will increase if you also need to remove and dispose of your current unit.
Takagi heaters come with detailed instructions for installation, meaning that even HVAC technicians without experience dealing with Takagi models will have no problem.
Takagi Tankless Water Heater Repair and Maintenance
A top selling point of Takagi water heaters is their lack of serious mechanical problems. Only around 10 percent of users experience issues in the first 10 years, and most of these cases are due to improper installation. In other words, problems are completely avoidable when you receive installation from a licensed professional.
The other way to avoid problems is to keep up with maintenance. Like other gas water heaters, units from Takagi need annual maintenance and checkups to ensure they are in proper working order. Beyond that, no additional maintenance is necessary.
Takagi’s Non-Condensing Units
Non-condensing units are the more affordable options from Takagi. They all have good energy efficiency (although lower than condensing models).
The T-KJr2-IN-NG is one of the most popular water heaters around. This indoor water heater has a GPM of 6.6, making it ideal for the average-size home. In hot regions, this flow rate is enough for up to four low-flow showers at the same time. In colder climates, you should bear in mind that flow rate may drop to somewhere between 3 and 5 GPM.
The design of the T-KJr2-IN-NG means that there is no need to stress about finding somewhere to fit the heater. The unit is compact and lightweight, meaning it can fit in a small closet or be wall mounted without risk. Once you have set up the heater, there’s no need to access it often — you can use the digital remote control to turn it on and off. It is also possible to change the temperature with the remote control, setting it as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
A self-modulating model, you can expect constant great performance from the T-KJr2-IN-NG. The heater monitors incoming water temperature to prevent changes in temperature and water flow.
If you have propane as the gas source in your home, you can always opt for the propane version, which is identical to the natural gas model in every way except for fuel source. If you feel that you may be bothered by the noise, there is also an outdoor model. The internal freeze protection makes this a suitable option even for places where temperatures drop low in the winter.
The T-K4-IN-NG is a unique model in that you can install it either vertically or horizontally — whatever makes more sense depending on the space available to you. It is an excellent choice for average-size homes, since it has a GPM of 8. It may provide enough water for a large home, particularly if you are in a hot climate.
This indoor version has a good energy efficiency of 0.80. An outdoor model is also available, which has a slightly lower energy factor of 0.79. Again, the outdoor version has freeze protection.
Many of the Takagi models come with a remote control. The T-K4-IN-NG is one of these, although you will need to pay extra. With the remote control, you can set the heater to any temperature between 99 and 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting the temperature on the unit itself gives you four options ranging from 113 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another feature of the T-K4-IN-NG is its self-diagnostic system, which can prevent a range of problems from occurring. If the unit overheats, an LED light will appear on the console and the system will shut down to protect itself.
Although it is an indoor model, the T-K3-N is designed for easy conversion to outdoor use as well. It is best to install it in a recess box if it will be outdoors. In either case, you’ll be able to control the temperature on the unit, choosing one of eight preset temperatures between 104 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use the remote control, you can set the heater to any temperature you like between 99 and 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
The T-K3-N is more versatile than many other indoor heaters. Its power-vented flue and sealed combustion mean that it is suitable for installation in confined spaces that lack a supply of fresh air. Plus, the vent pipe to expel exhaust gases can reach as high as 50 feet.
With the T-K3-N, you’ll receive a GPM of 6.6. For greater hot water needs, you can take advantage of the easy-link system. This allows you to connect multiple units together — ideal for large homes in cold climates as well as for commercial uses. In addition, thanks to the gas modulating valve and electronic circuit board, the water heater can provide a minimum water flow of as low as 0.5 GPM.
Takagi’s Condensing Units
Condensing units from Takagi use secondary heat exchangers made from a stainless steel and copper alloy, which is more resistant to corrosion than any standard materials. This heat exchanger allows the units to heat water using combustion gases, which, as well as increasing energy efficiency, lowers operating costs.
The T-H3-DV-N is one of Takagi’s Energy Star water heaters. It is certified for use in elevations up to 10,100 feet, making it a good option if you are looking for a tank model that will work at a higher elevation than the standard 8,400 feet.
The GPM of 10 is plenty for most large homes as well as average-size homes in the coldest parts of the country. Plus, despite the high water flow, the unit is compact and great for saving space.
You can set the temperature of the T-H3-DV-N to as high as 185 degrees Fahrenheit — far higher than most models from other brands. It is possible to manage the temperature with a remote control (available for purchase separately) or on the console, where you’ll also see error codes.
A couple other features include an overheat cutoff fuse and a hi-limit switch. The first shuts off the water heater automatically if it is retaining too much heat. The second ensures that the water temperature never exceeds safe levels.
The indoor T-H3-DV-N has an energy factor of 0.93. For even greater energy efficiency, choose the outdoor model — this has an energy factor of 0.95. Bear in mind that the condensing capability means that noise is not a problem if you do prefer an indoor model.
Another Energy Star model, the T-H3M-DV-N gives you all the benefits of the T-H3-DV-N but is designed for a smaller home. With 6.6 GPM, it is sufficient for almost any average-size home, including those in cold climates.
A key feature of the T-H3M-DV-N is its primary heat exchanger, which is made from commercial-grade copper alloy. This offers a heat transfer that is 25 times better than with stainless steel.
Where to Buy Takagi Water Heaters
You can find most of the above models for sale on Amazon. There, you will also find many similar units (for instance, propane or outdoor versions of the above models) as well as other popular water heaters from Takagi.
Lastly, if you want to check out a few other brands before purchasing, you can compare all the top tankless water heaters here.