Takagi Tankless Water Heater Review

Hot water might look like a basic necessity. However, some homes don’t have the convenience of tankless water heaters. It might be because of budget constraints, water issues, or lack of access to high-quality water heaters. Fortunately, there’s more information on where to get good water heaters that last a long time. 

Takagi tankless water heaters are one of the high performers you’ll find in your search. They’re good for several reasons. Clients consider them good for their safety features and a long list of excellent residential and commercial use options. Industry professionals often recommend Takagi water heaters for ease of use and troubleshooting with the easy access control panel.

If you’re looking to jump on the water heater bandwagon either for your first water heater or a replacement, we offer detailed insights on why Takagi should be one of your top options. 

A Brief History of Takagi Water Heaters

Takagi has roots in Japan. It was started in 1946 as Takagi Machinery Co. However, it was established as Takagi Machinery Co. Ltd six years later. 

It wasn’t until 1956 that they built their official location and dove into developing gas and kitchen appliances. They launched their first line of trademarked single-burner and double-burner table gas stoves.

Takagi had a good year in 1962 when they launched a bathwater boiler with automatic ignition. In 1980, they pioneered an industry-first water heater with proportional control gas valves for remote reheating. In another monumental first, they launched the first water heater with water temperature control function & commercial multi-system water heater in 1990. 

They welcomed the 2000 era with a condensing water heater, “ECO JOZU,” with home heating. Condensing water heaters were picking up steam for their energy-saving capability. 2010 would be an excellent cap to the decade as they finalized their joint venture with heating giant A.O. Smith Tankless Water Heater Company LLC. They changed their name to Purpose Company Limited. A.O Smith would continue to produce its line of water heaters while Takagi would use this merger to produce for the US and Canada market. 

Takagi Company Limited cemented its place in the US by completing its Hawk Hill factory to manufacture remote controllers and PCBs for water heaters and remote controllers. 

Takagi is a company of firsts, thanks to its Eco Best Farm Research and Development facility. It boasts of several key innovations as a tankless-only water heater provider. 

  • It’s the first tankless water heater company specializing in tankless-only products to enter the North American market.
  • It launched the T-H1, a tankless water heater with a 95% thermal rating efficiency. 
  • It launched the T-K3 with a direct vent convertible feature. This feature allows you to convert the heater to a direct vent unit. 
  • Takagi is the first tankless-only water heater company to use the air-fuel ratio rod, a unique safety device found in other water heaters.

Are Takagi Water Heaters Good?

As a Takagi water heater user, you want to know whether you can count on the water heater you install. Takagi water heaters come in condensing, and non-condensing varieties meant to serve homeowners and commercial buildings. You need to look at three angles to determine if a Takagi tankless water heater is the right fit for your needs. 

  1. High Flow Rate For High Usage Homes

One of the limitations of water heaters is how fast the water heats up and gets to your outlet points. In a hot climate area, a small household needs a tankless water heater producing at least 4.5 gallons per minute (GPM).

The company has a lineup of tankless water heaters specially made for small homes. Still, there are other high-performing tankless water heaters for bigger homes – with 3 or 4 showers. These heaters can produce enough hot water for two consecutive baths and a machine wash. Heaters like the T-H3 are marketed for such heavy use. 

  1. Tankless Operation

The tankless water heater storm caught up fast. It had a promise of delivering unlimited hot water to homes. Additionally, tankless water heaters promise less financial costs by only heating the water when you need it. Unlike tank models that need to preheat the water and keep the heater running, tankless heaters stop drawing power as soon as you don’t need hot water. Plus, condensing water heaters recirculate heat to reduce wastage. 

  1. They Are Safe

A water heater can cause severe damage in case of an accident. Therefore, Takagi makes sure users don’t have to worry about their home’s safety by including these security features. 

  • An air-fuel ratio sensor
  • Exhaust and water temperature safety control that supply hot water at a steady temperature. 
  • An overheat cut-off fuse ensures the unit shuts down when there’s a heating problem that could cause a fire.
  • An internal freeze protection system
  • A built-in temperature control feature and advanced diagnostics make it easy to check for problems and solve them. 

How Long Do Takagi Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Durability is a significant influence on spending choices. If you’re spending upwards of $500 on a water heater, you expect a few good years without extensive maintenance. 

Takagi water hearts have an expected lifespan of 20 years. Still, experts will tell you to replace the water heater after about 10 to 12 years. For you to stretch a Takagi tankless water heater to last 20 years, concentrate on these factors to keep it working in top condition. 

  • Regularly scheduled maintenance: Like most of your home’s utility products, Takagi water heaters need proper care to keep them in good condition. You’ll need to call an installation professional or a certified plumber to check it out, run diagnostics and clean it. 

The plumber will likely check for scale, calcium buildup, and if the heating elements are running as they should. They might have to replace some parts. If you run maintenance yearly as recommended, you can make the best out of most heaters’ 5 to 12-year warranty. 

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Why Home Inspections Are Important
  • Water quality: Two words, hard water. Hard water will quickly deteriorate your Takagi tankless water heater (or any heater) fast. To make sure you’re not overworking your system, make sure you treat the water first before it runs through the system. 

You’ll need to flush the tank regularly to get rid of the scale. Additionally, check your water pH. Acidic water will not only harm the heater’s internal wiring, but it will also pose a hazard for your family. 

  • Take care of the parts: The heat exchanger is one of the tankless water heater’s most essential parts. Usually, a bad heat exchanger is changed if it’s damaged. Fortunately, you can make the most out of the extended warranty on heat exchanges. 
  • Initial installation: You can avoid most problems if a licensed plumber installs your water heater. They have enough industry knowledge to know a suitable unit for indoor or outdoor use. They’ll take you through quick troubleshooting tips to help you handle minor hitches. They’ll also make sure your water heater’s size and the output meet your home needs, so you don’t compromise on factors such as flow rate. 

Where Is Takagi Manufactured? 

Takagi tankless water heater’s manufacturing process starts at the R&D stage. The R&D department is based in Fujinomiya, Japan. The two buildings, Technical Center and Factory No.2 are tasked with research and developing the systems that later power the heaters. These two buildings are under one mega site called Eco Best Farm. 

Takagi water heaters are manufactured in the original premises at Fujinomiya. There is a manufacturing plant between Fuji and Eco Best Farm that started in 2012. Hawk Hill factory manufactures critical components of the heaters. 

They have offices in Irvine, California, with regional offices in Tennessee and New Jersey, and a global office in Canada that stamps their brand in North America. Their partnership with A.O. Smith allows for some manufacturing and distribution in the USA.

Cost of Top Takagi Tankless Water Heater Models?

ModelCost
Takagi T-H3M-DV-N Condensing Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas$768.99
Takagi T-H3J-OS-N Condensing High-Efficiency Natural Gas Outdoor Tankless Water Heater, 6.6-GPM$999.99
Takagi T-H3J-DV-N Condensing High-Efficiency Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater, 6.6-GPM$918.00
Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing High-Efficiency Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater, 10-GPM$1,219.00
Takagi T-H3S-DV-P Condensing High-Efficiency Propane Indoor Tankless Water Heater, 8-GPM$1,093.85
Takagi TK-540P-NIH Takagi TK-540P-NIH 10 GPM Residential Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater $1,450.00

Below $800: At this price cap, you can get condensing Direct Vent Takagi water heaters such as the T-H3M. The T-H3M is a small unit made for small families that only run 1 or 2 showers at a time. 

While they still have other properties of the Takagi brand, such as recirculation systems, radiant floor, and hydronic heating systems, they are best for indoor residential use. 

The T-H3M has a gas intake of up to 120,000 BTU. 

Still, you can get lower-priced units such as the Takagi TK-110. For about $600, this unit has the Takagi safety features, a 6.60 GPM flow rate, and 0.81 UEF. 

$800-$1000: You’ll find a lot of options in this price bracket. Here, you can get a Takagi T-H3J-OS-N for outdoor use only. Alternatively, the T-H3J-DV-N is in the same $900 range for indoor use only Takagi tankless water heaters. Both these units are Energy-star certified and are best for warm climates. 

The heaters in this range are fit for mid-sized families that don’t require high water flow. They come with the standard Takagi security features, low emissions, and UEF scores of 0.85 to 0.90.  

$1000- $1200: If you have a bigger household, check this price range. A few bucks past the $1000 mark will get you a T-H3-DV-N or T-H3S-DV-P. The price variation is because you’ll be getting a Takagi condensing tankless water heater with 8GPM and 10GPM, respectively. 

The gas-powered T-H3S-DV-P can provide hot water for three bathrooms in hot climates and two bathrooms in colder climates, while the T-H3-DV-N can produce water for four bathrooms in hot climates and three bathrooms in cold climates. 

Above $1200: Takagi water heaters in this price range are superb for large homes and commercial premises. Spending upwards of $1200 means you’re getting high-performing water heaters with up to 199000 BTU and 10 GPM inputs. 

Water heaters in this range, such as the Takagi TK-540P-NIH, have commercial grade copper in the primary heat exchanger that is less vulnerable to erosion. They are ideal for multiple linking since you can Easy-Link them with up to three T-H3 units to boost capacity. 

Up to $3000: You can find the commercial/residential M-series at this price range. Usually, these units use liquid propane gas and have water flows of up to 14.5GPM. These are large, capable of running up to 6 showers. 

Business owners running small businesses that require hot water would do well with heaters in this range. With temperature ranges between 100 and 185 Degrees Celsius, these indoor heaters are ideal for multi-link applications. The best part is, at this price, they’re also Energy Star rated. 

How is the Warranty on Takagi Tankless Water Heaters?

Residential and commercial Takagi tankless water heaters have different warranty policies. Most residential water heaters have a 15-year limited Heat Exchanger Warranty, 5-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty. Comparatively, there’s a 6-year limited Heat Exchanger Warranty, 5-year parts warranty, 1-year labor warranty for Commercial water heaters. 

As part of the warranty, users are expected to have a certified professional install the heater. DIY installations will void the warranty. According to the company, improper installation could shorten lifespan, compromise safety, or improper operation. 

Comparison Table of Takagi Water heaters

SeriesUEFApplicationNo. of bathroomsMulti-Link abilityGPMNOx
T-KJr20.82Residential1-2 bathroomNo6.6Low
T-K40.82Residential2-3 bathroomsNo8.0Low
T-D20.82ResidentialUp to 4 bathroomsEasy-Link10Low
T-H30.95Residential/CommercialBetween 2 & 4 bathroomsEasy-Link connectivity, Multilink connectivity of up to 20 units10Ultra-Low 
T-M32 and T-M500.80Certified commercialUp to 6 bathroomsEasy-Link connectivity up to 4 units/ Multilink connectivity of up to 10 units 9Ultra-Low
5400.93Commercial/ResidentialUp to 4 bathroomsEasy-Link with up to three other T-H3 units10Ultra-Low
5100.81Residential and CommercialUp to 3 bathroomsEasy-Link up to four units/ Multi-Link up to 20 units10Ultra-Low
TCT0.93CommercialUp to 4 bathroomsEasy-Link with up to three other CT units10Ultra-Low

Takagi Comparison With Other Brands

You can compare Takagi with top brands such as Noritz, Navien, or Rinnai. These three brands all have tankless products. 

Rinnai, Noritz, and Takagi are all Japanese products. They’re not functionally different. Noritz sells itself on its dual-burner technology. 

Rinnai has a standout feature that might give it an edge over the rest. It has a built-in condensation trap that improves the lifespan of the heater. The other three lack this feature, and you’d have to pay extra to get one. 

They share the same warranties. Cost-wise, Takagi water heaters are affordable. On the other hand, Rinnai water heaters have bigger marketing budgets, which is reflected in costs. 

What Are Common Problems With Takagi Tankless Water Heaters?

One of the most common problems Takagi water heater users often have is hard water. Installing a Takagi water heater in an area with hard water means you will have to replace your heat exchanger multiple times before your warranty period is up. 

You may wonder about the heat exchanger warranty. According to this user, Takagi might not cover the damage if you knew you installed the unit in a hard water area. 

Some users report experiencing periods of cold water while they shower. This problem is not unusual. You might experience a common problem if the flow rate is too fast for the heating mechanism. Since heating and flow rates are connected to the initial temperature of the groundwater, you might have random bursts of cold water during your shower. 

Other common problems include:

  • Improper Venting caused by using standard B-vent that wrecks the heat exchanger. 
  • Gas leakage mainly due to the wrong gas line size. 
  • Wrong heater to gas type match. 
  • Extreme temperature settings. The standard temperature setting should be at about 122°F.

According to the Takagi website, most of these problems are avoidable if you hire a plumber to install the unit for you. In some cases, they will send a service provider well versed in Takagi products. 

It’s also helpful if you flush your tankless water heater as recommended.

Final Thoughts

You will come across many companies promising great performance and energy compliance in your quest to make your showers more comfortable. You deserve a water heater from a company with a track record for excellence and innovation. You deserve a Takagi tankless water heater.

Ensure you get a certified plumber to install a condensing or non-condensing tankless water heater for you. 

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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