Comprehensive Critical Review and Long-Term Case Study: Rinnai Infinity 26 Performance

If you’re on the hunt for a dependable hot water system with a reputation for lasting performance, our critical review and long term case study Rinnai Infinity 26 is designed to illuminate its real-world capabilities. Spanning an installation from the early 2000s to the present, we scrutinize the system’s reliability, cost-effectiveness, and environmental footprint, providing you with a candid snapshot of what to expect over an extended period.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rinnai Infinity 26 offers precise temperature control, significant energy savings due to its demand-based heating system, and has an average lifespan of up to 20 years with a comprehensive warranty.

  • Regular maintenance is critical for the Rinnai Infinity 26’s performance, including system flushing and inspections every 2 years to maintain efficiency and prolong lifespan.

  • While the Rinnai Infinity 26 is an energy-efficient model, its environmental impact is counterbalanced by its reliance on natural gas, although it conserves energy compared to standard hot water systems.

Rinnai Infinity 26: In-Depth Analysis

The Rinnai Infinity 26 sets a high standard in the realm of Rinnai hot water systems, excelling in manufacturing precise temperature control. This Japanese-manufactured model is a shining example of precision engineering, offering a superior user experience with its consistent temperature delivery and negligible lag time.

Renowned for its reliability, the Rinnai Infinity 26 consistently provides hot water at a steady temperature of 50 degrees Celsius.

Key Features

The Rinnai Infinity 26 is particularly notable for its adaptability. Designed for one to two bathroom homes, it can efficiently service up to three in warmer climates. This versatility makes it a fitting choice for a wide range of Australian households. Its precise temperature control display and puretemp™ stability control ensure a constant and safe hot water experience.

The Rinnai Infinity 26 particularly shines when it comes to energy efficiency. The advanced combustion technology ensures that energy is only consumed when a tap is turned on, resulting in significant cost savings over time. Plus, its slimline profile offers convenient installation options, even in space-constrained areas, perfectly tailored for Australian conditions.

Performance Metrics

Besides delivering immediate performance, the Rinnai Infinity 26 is also designed for long-term durability. With an average lifespan of 25 years, this system offers exceptional durability. The manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s longevity is evident in their generous warranty provision, which includes a standard 3-year warranty and an extended 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger.

However, like any high-performance machine, the Rinnai Infinity 26 requires regular maintenance. This includes system flushing and inspection of the heat exchanger for mineral deposits, crucial steps to maintain its efficiency and prolong its lifespan.

Environmental Impact

The Rinnai Infinity 26’s environmental impact is a mixed bag. On one hand, its reliance on natural gas as a fossil fuel has been criticized due to associated gas emissions and CO2 impact. On the other hand, the system uses less gas than standard hot water systems by only heating water on demand, contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This design prioritizes energy conservation, reducing household running costs and contributing to a smaller carbon footprint.

Furthermore, the system’s Australian-tailored installation process reduces the carbon footprint associated with more complex installation procedures. The Rinnai Infinity 26 also comes equipped with a built-in condensate neutralizer kit to minimize the environmental impact of acidic condensate discharge.

Long-Term Case Study: Real-Life Experience with Rinnai Infinity 26

We’ll explore a real-life case study of the Rinnai Infinity 26, which was installed in a Sydney home in 2001 and reviewed in 2022. This will offer practical insights into:

  • its installation

  • usage patterns

  • maintenance requirements

  • performance over time.

Installation and Setup

Adhering to safety and installation standards, the Rinnai Infinity 26 is designed for outdoor setup. The compact system has the following dimensions:

  • Height (including brackets): 571 mm

  • Width: 350 mm

  • Depth: 194 mm

  • Weight: 16kg

These dimensions need to be taken into account when choosing an installation location.

During the installation process, careful planning is vital. It’s essential to determine the ideal position for both the Rinnai Infinity 26 system and its wired temperature controllers to optimize efficiency and avoid costly retrofits. A good rule of thumb is to position the system near the main water outlets in the house.

Usage Patterns

The Rinnai Infinity 26 is particularly valued for its consistency, maintaining performance even in colder climates like Sydney where temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius. However, the system may struggle when multiple bathrooms require hot water simultaneously.

It’s important to note that the capacity to service multiple points of use at once, such as several bathrooms and a kitchen, is heavily influenced by the unit’s capacity and individual household requirements.

Maintenance and Servicing

A notable feature of the Rinnai Infinity 26 is its efficient operation without the need for frequent maintenance. However, it’s essential to understand that regular maintenance is key to ensuring the system’s longevity and optimal performance. This involves professional servicing every 2 years to clean the heat exchanger, inspect and clean the burner, and test critical safety features like the pressure relief valve.

Rinnai offers a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a 3-year warranty on labor, with an extended 25-year heat exchanger warranty available when participating in their scheduled service program. Support services for the Rinnai Infinity 26 are readily available, with companies like Sydney Plumbing Hot Water And Gas providing 24/7 services for repair or replacement, and the ease of obtaining replacement parts with same-day installation services.

The design of the Rinnai Infinity 26 includes built-in status monitors for easy diagnosis of issues and high-quality brass components for connections, which are significant for maintaining water quality and system longevity.

Comparing Rinnai Infinity 26 to Other Hot Water Systems

Comparing Rinnai Infinity 26 to other hot water systems

Now that we have delved into the Rinnai Infinity 26, let’s contrast it with other hot water systems such as solar, heat pump, and electric continuous flow models. This comparison will help us understand where the Rinnai Infinity 26 stands in relation to other options in the market.

Energy Efficiency

The Rinnai Infinity 26 boasts a 6-star energy rating, classifying it as the most energy-efficient 26L continuous flow hot water system available. However, it also has a more energy-efficient sibling, the Rinnai Infinity 26 Enviro, which has an outstanding 7-star equivalent energy rating, making it Australia’s most efficient hot water system.

While the Rinnai Infinity 26 is impressive, it’s also worth noting that heat pump hot water systems and solar hot water systems can potentially offer even higher energy efficiency. Heat pump systems operate by moving heat with electricity instead of generating it, surpassing traditional resistive electric heaters in energy efficiency. Solar hot water systems, especially those with evacuated tubes, are highly efficient, often requiring less panel area due to their design efficiency. However, the performance and energy efficiency of the Rinnai Infinity 26 can vary with the regional climate and the specific demands of the household.

Running Costs

The Rinnai Infinity 26 offers several benefits, including:

  • Reduced running costs due to its operation which consumes no energy until water is used

  • A 6-star energy rating, enhancing long-term cost-effectiveness

  • Reported savings on gas bills when switching from traditional storage tank units to gas continuous flow systems like the Rinnai Infinity 26

On the flip side, solar hot water systems and heat pumps can lead to even more significant reductions in long term energy costs for most households, particularly in hot water expenses. Solar hot water systems can offer a quick payback period of around five years in some cases, but this can vary when replacing gas hot water systems, including hot water heater options, with gas storage options.

Heat pump hot water systems are expected to become more cost-effective over time due to their high efficiency, despite their initially higher cost.

Space Requirements

With its compact size, the Rinnai Infinity 26, an electric continuous flow hot water system, is an ideal choice for homes with limited indoor space. However, proper hot water installation planning is still crucial, especially in cases where wall space is at a premium. An onsite consultation with a plumber is recommended to assess the suitability of installation locations before purchasing a tankless water heater like the Rinnai Infinity 26.

The economic advantage of the Rinnai Infinity 26 is increased when used in conjunction with a renewable energy source, such as solar photovoltaic panels, which can offset energy costs while conserving space.

Addressing Common Criticisms

The Rinnai Infinity 26 has received some criticisms, often related to improper installation and inflated performance expectations.

Despite these criticisms, the Rinnai Infinity 26 upholds its reputation as a reliable and efficient hot water system.

Installation Issues

Incorrect installation can significantly impact the performance of the Rinnai Infinity 26. Some important factors to consider during installation are:

  • Adequate gas and water pipe sizing to ensure proper flow and pressure

  • Proper venting to prevent exhaust gas buildup

  • Installing the unit near the point of use to optimize performance

Failure to follow these installation guidelines may result in underperformance and negative reviews.

Also, some noise issues may arise with the Rinnai B26, which could impact the installation location relative to living spaces.

Performance Expectations

The Rinnai Infinity 26 claims to provide significant energy savings, often cited as a key feature by retailers. However, user experiences indicate that while the unit is energy-efficient, the actual savings can vary based on usage patterns.

With a maximum flow rate of 26 liters per minute, the Rinnai Infinity 26 is designed to meet the hot water needs of a typical medium-sized household. It also offers precise temperature control for consistent hot water delivery.

Tips for Maximizing Rinnai Infinity 26 Performance

To maximize the performance of your Rinnai Infinity 26, consider following these tips. These include having it located near where it is used, insulating the hot water pipe during installation, and knowing the temperature and water pressure requirements.

Proper Installation

Qualified professionals must install the Rinnai Infinity 26 and its components to guarantee correct setup and operation. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, current standards, and local building codes and regulations is critical during installation to prevent decreased efficiency and potential safety risks.

Safety and efficiency of the Rinnai Infinity 26 are paramount and require proper ventilation, gas supply, and adherence to manufacturer’s guidelines during installation. Placing the unit near the point of use can enhance performance and user satisfaction with the Rinnai Infinity 26 hot water system.

Insulation and Temperature Settings

Insulation of hot water pipes is recommended to maintain temperature and enhance performance, particularly when pipes run outdoors or extend more than about 4 meters. Pipe lagging made from materials like foam, vinyl, polyethylene, or glass wool conserves energy by retaining heat within the pipes, reducing heat loss as hot water travels to taps.

Achieving the best insulation outcomes requires proper insulation of the non-return valve and the hot water system valve, including the installation of a tempering valve. Setting the thermostat properly on hot water systems, such as at least 60 degrees Celsius for storage systems to prevent Legionella, and not exceeding 50 degrees Celsius for continuous flow systems like the Rinnai Infinity 26, can result in energy savings.

Regular Maintenance

For optimal performance and extended lifespan of the Rinnai Infinity 26, conduct routine check-ups every 2 years, including tasks such as component cleaning, system flushing, and other preventive maintenance activities. Regular maintenance involves checking for signs of wear and tear or damage, which contributes to the unit’s efficient and safe operation. Periodic visual inspections are recommended to identify potential issues such as leaks or corrosion that can compromise system longevity and performance.

Maintenance steps for the Rinnai Infinity 26 include:

  1. Ensuring an uninterrupted gas supply

  2. Making sure the gas valve is fully open

  3. Checking that the pilot light is functioning correctly

  4. Keeping the area surrounding the Rinnai Infinity 26 clear to prevent obstructed airflow and reduce fire hazard risks.


In conclusion, the Rinnai Infinity 26 stands out as a top-tier instant hot water system, offering energy efficiency, reliable performance, and considerable longevity. While it has its limitations and requires proper installation and maintenance, its benefits vastly outweigh these minor drawbacks. So, if you’re considering a hot water system, Rinnai Infinity 26 could be a worthwhile investment for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install a Rinnai B26?

It costs $1599to install a Rinnai B26 instant gas hot water system, fully installed.

Is Rheem or Rinnai better?

It depends on your specific needs and objectives, as both Rheem and Rinnai are top choices without one being definitively better than the other. Choose the one that best fits your requirements.

What is the difference between Rinnai B26 and 26?

The main differences between the Rinnai Infinity 26 and the Rinnai B26 are the display window and warranty, with both models featuring a copper heat exchanger which is known for its durability. No heat exchanger failures have been reported on Rinnai continuous flow systems under 14 years old in domestic usage.

What is the lifespan of a Rinnai infinity system?

The Rinnai infinity system can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance, making it a durable choice for a hot water system. Regular professional servicing can help maximize its lifespan.

Is there any smell of gas from the Rinnai Infinity Range?

No, there is no smell of gas from the Rinnai Infinity Range.

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