Noritz vs. Takagi Tankless Water Heaters
If you’ve been poking around the tankless water heater market, you’ve likely noticed the wealth of options on offer. Noritz and Takagi are two brands you may have spotted during your search. While these brands are some of the most popular on the market, it’s hard to tell them apart from the outset. So, how do Noritz and Takagi tankless water heaters compare?
With over 15 years of experience installing and servicing tankless water heaters in Los Angeles County and its surrounding cities, we’ve gotten to know every major brand of tankless water heater. We’ve helped homeowners find the right fit for their homes between these brands and understand each brand's strengths and weaknesses.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of how Noritz and Takagi stack up against one another so you can make a more informed decision or continue your research with a sound foundation. You can also use what we cover here to chat with a technician while discussing your options.
Before chatting with one of our experienced technicians, check out this Noritz Tankless Water Heater guide to have a better understanding of what Noritz has to offer.
Let’s kick things off with a brief rundown of the categories we’ll use to compare Takagi and Noritz.
Takagi vs. Noritz: What’s the Difference?
To set us up for success, we need to touch on the areas we will be looking at. We’ll compare Noritz and Takagi within the following categories:
- Parts availability
Smartphones, gadgets, and other knick-knacks are normally what come to mind when we think of technology. However, in this review, technology takes on a different definition that is more pertinent to tankless water heaters. We’ll be breaking down both brands’ heat exchanger technology and other key performance breakthroughs both Noritz and Takagi adopt.
After Navien pioneered the stainless steel heat exchanger, Noritz followed suit. Why is this a big deal? A stainless steel heat exchanger lasts up to 25 years, compared to the last-gen copper heat exchangers that last between 15 and 20 years. Stainless steel heat exchangers are also much better at preventing corrosion, which is key in areas with hard water, like Los Angeles County.
On the other hand, Takagi still primarily uses copper heat exchangers. But before we write off Takagi as an inferior product, we have to consider one massive perk these heat exchangers boast. Copper heat exchangers are about 25% more effective at heat exchange. This perk means water is heated faster, which helps limit the downside of tankless water heaters in that they don’t provide instant hot water.
Both brands offer other innovations like built-in recirculation pumps, a feature originally brought to market by Navien. Before these models pushed the industry to new levels, technicians had to install these components as an add-on service. Now, recirculation pumps have been streamlined, thanks to these brands adopting the new technology.
Noritz boasts other achievements like its EZ series, which has specially placed inlets and outlets that make upgrading from a tank-style unit easier. Going with one of these models can save you big on installation since water lines and gas lines won’t have to be relocated.
While discussing technology is important, one of the big perks tankless water heaters boast is lowering your monthly bills. But to dig into that, we’ll need to look at how Noritz and Takagi compare regarding their efficiency ratings.
Efficiency is often top of mind when upgrading from a tank-style water heater to a tankless one. Noritz and Takagi both do an admirable job of providing customers with high-efficiency models, one brand skirts by the other.
Takagi’s highest efficiency model is rated at 95% efficiency. This rating is just 1% lower than Noritz’s, which comes in at 96%. The difference between the two is somewhat nominal and shouldn’t be the key deciding factor in which brand is right for you.
These are just the maximum efficiency ratings for each brand. Typically, when people hear top models, they associate them with a higher price. The same rings true here, but let’s look at the broad range of units available in the next section to paint a better picture.
Price is the category where Noritz and Takagi diverge. On average, upgrading to a Takagi tankless water heater will cost you between $800 to $1,800 for the unit by itself. On the Noritz end, you can count on a $1,200 to $2,300 investment for a tankless water heater.
But what happens after? Well, you’ll need to account for installation. Where your installation lands depends on a number of factors, but mostly your home’s layout and needs. In total, the unit and installation costs for both brands will hit between $4,700 to $8,300.
Another factor that can impact installation costs is the type of installation. Some installers have different installation packages, like basic vs. premium. Installers may offer add-ons like recirculation pumps, water treatment, and other services you may want to take advantage of.
In Los Angeles County, it is a necessity to install some form of water treatment with your tankless water heater. This add-on ensures your tankless water heater lasts the duration of its expected lifespan due to the hard water in the area and that the manufacturer honors the warranty.
But aside from these crucial add-ons, what do Noritz and Takagi do to protect your investment?
Another big point of divergence is how Takagi and Noritz handle their respective warranties. While both brands offer great coverage, Noritz trounces the competition with its maximum warranty.
Noritz’s top warranty term clocks in at 25 years. For reference, a 12-year warranty term is considered standard, with 15 years seen as going a bit further. While Navien pushed the envelope with its unheard-of 15-year warranty term, many brands, like Takagi and Noritz, have adopted the practice since.
Both Noritz and Takagi feature 15-year warranties, though. Coverage will vary from model to model, with Noritz’s EZ series boasting a 25-year term. But how these companies handle repairs and replacements is slightly different.
Noritz is keen on honoring first-time replacements, as is Takagi. However, a big difference between the two is how they handle repairs. Takagi has been known to send out full replacement units instead of replacement parts. While this sounds like a best practice for customers, you’ll be left hanging on the installation costs.
So, then, how is it getting a hold of parts from these companies?
Getting a hold of parts for Takagi and Noritz tankless water heaters is a different process, depending on which one you choose for your home. One brand offers convenient direct access, while the other puts a barrier between the homeowner and the parts.
Noritz allows customers to purchase parts directly from its supply. This level of access doesn’t apply across the board. Unlike other brands, like Navien, you can still purchase parts directly if your tankless water heater is out of warranty.
Looking at Takagi, the brand uses supply houses and contractors to dole out parts. From the outset, this seems like a blatant negative. But many homeowners don’t fancy themselves D.I.Y. enthusiasts and will need a helping hand diagnosing and repairing. If this is you, then there’s not much to worry about in the parts department.
All right, we’ve discussed a lot of things that require an investment. Let’s shift to what upgrading a tankless water heater can do for your wallet.
California offers its citizens several ways to put money back in their pockets after upgrading to a tankless water heater for the first time with rebates and credits. In Los Angeles County, tankless water heater upgraders can net up to $1,000 in SoCal Gas rebates and up to a $600 federal tax credit. This credit is available outside of California as well.
Both Takagi and Noritz are eligible for these rebates and credits. But model eligibility is expected to change as gas restrictions tighten in Los Angeles and California in general.
And that’s a wrap on Takagi vs. Noritz tankless water heaters!
Team Takagi or Team Noritz?
We touched on several key points of interest regarding Takagi and Noritz tankless water heaters. By now, you have a broad understanding of how these brands compare, so you can continue your research for the perfect fit for your home. You’ll also be able to speak with a technician during a consultation confidently.
After over 15 years working with tankless water heaters throughout Los Angeles County, we’ve gathered a wide-reaching knowledgebase that we enjoy sharing with our customers and with those who are just curious about the evolving world of tankless water heaters.
We understand that not every brand is the best option for each home, so if you need to talk with someone about which is the right play for you, schedule an appointment using our online scheduler or by clicking one of the buttons below.
Basing your decision on a single brand comparison isn’t recommended. Looking at how other brands compare, like Noritz vs. Navien and Takagi vs. Rheem, is the best way to better understand each brand's merits and areas for improvement.
If you’re still deciding if a tankless water heater is a route you want to take, reading up on if a tankless water heater is right for you will help you determine if a tankless water heater is something you’d benefit from. If you're leaning more toward the Noritz brand, check out our Noritz Tankless Water Heater guide.