It seems like every week I get a call or an email from someone who is looking to buy a used pellet stove and wondering if it’s a good idea and what brands are good to buy. Also, what is a good price for a used pellet stove?
Personally I am a big fan of used pellet stoves. I have a used pellet stove that is nearly 20 years old and other than an initial $200 invested into repairing a circuit board; I have not had any other expenses associated with it. This is in spite of the fact that I left it outside, fully exposed for a full winter in Utah. I was very surprised to have it fire up and work perfectly now for over two years.
Brands to Buy
There are a lot of stoves out there but only a few that I recommend to buy used. These are Austroflamm, Breckwell, Quadrafire, and Whitfield. This is not because these were the best stoves ever made or that their quality is better than the others. Very simply, these are the ones that parts are readily available for. These four brands have suppliers in the marketplace today.
Buying a used pellet stove is like buying a used car; while you expect most things to be in perfect working order you’re not surprised if something is not working perfectly but as long as you can get it fixed your not worried. Imagine buying a used card that you could not get parts for. That wouldn’t make any sense at all.
Another reason I recommend the above four brands is that there is more than one place to buy parts from. If the only place to buy parts from is the manufacturer and they go out of business you may be stuck with something you cannot get parts to fix. With the above brand pellet stoves there are plenty of suppliers out there.
What to Look For
There are a few things to look for and a few questions to ask before you commit to buy. The first thing you want to know is when it was last professionally cleaned. I cover what that involves in another blog. The best scenario is that it has been cleaned at least once a year.
Next you should ask what parts have been replaced and keep a note of that. Most parts have a year long warranty so get receipts if you can. Getting receipts is also good if you need to buy another part. Chances are you can use the same supplier in the future if something else goes wrong.
If you find a stove that is in good working condition but has a bad paint job or rust showing through don’t turn away from it. As long as it’s in working condition it’s a good buy and you can use those cosmetic factors to bring down the price. On your way home stop by your local stove shop (or buy online) for a can of stove paint. Stove paint requires little or no prep work and you can have it looking brand new in just a few minutes.
Test It Out
Do not take their word for it that it runs. Whether it’s inside or outside of the house you want to fire it up and let it run for at least 15 minutes and then turn it off and see it shut down. This whole process from startup to shut down takes about 30 minutes.
Most pellet stoves have at least a 12 minute start up cycle. If at any time it stops feeding pellets and the fire goes out either pass on it or offer them very little for it. Then call me (Jason 530-409-5051) and see if I have the parts to fix it.
If after 30 minutes it will not shut off completely it probably has a bad low limit switch. This is the same part on almost every stove and you should still consider buying it at a discounted price. When you do get it, call me and I’ll quote you a price between $25-50 for a replacement low limit switch.
What’s a Good Price?
I would not pay over $500 for a used pellet stove. That’s on the high side. If I had to buy another one I would be looking at something I could get for free or around $100. Sometimes people are very excited to have someone interested in buying their stove so knocking a few hundred dollars off the price in negotiating is perfectly acceptable.
This should give you a good start in shopping. Craigslist.com is a great place to find used pellet stoves.
If you are looking for parts for your pellet stove or technical assistance visit my store at by clicking this link.