Decided to get a pellet stove and want to save money? Used pellet stoves can offer great value. Usually, the price will be less than half that of a brand new unit and you may get some extras thrown in that you would otherwise have to buy to complete the installation
Another advantage of buying a used pellet stove is that if you buy privately, you won't have to pay sales tax or Value Added Tax. If you go to a dealer for a second hand pellet stove, you may have to pay some sales tax, but because of the reduced price, it won't be nearly as much as on a new stove, although on the other hand a dealer might offer a warranty on a used stove.
People sell pellet stoves not because the stove itself is faulty, (although this is possible - more on this later), but because they can't be fussed with the maintenance, loading the fuel, or because they're upgrading to a larger capacity unit.
If the seller wants to dispose of the pellet stove because they can't handle the maintenance or refilling the hopper, the chances are that you will get a whole lot more than just the stove because they will want everything out of the way. Most importantly, the stove pipe or vent, (Type UL and already with fitments for the stove), will normally be included.
There could also be a store of unused, and now unwanted wood pellets taking up space that need to be re-homed. The hearth pad that the stove sits on could be available and, if you're really lucky, an ash vacuum cleaner and vent brushes.
But hold on there! before you go to see the stove there's something to check out. Get the make and actual model name or number from the seller and go online to the manufacturer's website. The probability is that a link is on these pages and the easy way to get there is to use the search button in the navigation bar.On the manufacturer's website, download the manual and have a look through it. If a manual isn't available, that might indicate future problems. Perhaps the seller has one in hard copy. While you're there, check out the parts situation for the stove, particularly the availability of auger motors, fan motors, igniters, circuit board and glass
The other things you can do online are go to Hearth.com's search page and type in the manufacturer and model of the stove. This will bring up any forum discussions and reviews for that stove. You could also do a search for the stove in these pages.
Used pellet stoves, being mechanical devices, can develop faults. Ideally, you will be able to go and view the stove when it's working. If possible, arrange to go to see the it when the stove is cold and watch the start up procedure. When lit, look for a clean, crisp flame. You might like to give our "Pellet Stove Problems" page a read before you go.
Listen for noises that sound abnormal such as clanking, squeaking, rattling or vibration and try to identify the source.
If the stove has already been uninstalled, there are still some things you can check. Look at the condition of the glass, if it is dirty, the stove probably suffers from lack of cleaning or perhaps it hasn't been burning well.
Have a look at the condition of the burn pot. These do wear out / burn out in time. If the holes are blocked with scale or clinkers, that could explain the dirty glass.
Ask to plug the stove in outside, then go through the start up with a handful of pellets in the burn pot. Looking through the hopper lid, you should see the auger turn. The igniter should light the pellets and the combustion fan should start up. A handful of pellets may not be enough to start the convection fan.
Online local classified ads can be found at Craigs List or Gumtree. Local areas usually have their own favourites which may be neither of the above. Ebay is not so good for large items that need to be viewed before buying, but is worth a look in case something local to you should crop up. It's best to do a general search for 'pellet stoves'. The more extra words you put in, the fewer the results that will come up.
The glass is at its most vulnerable when moving the stove so either take the door off, or pad the viewing window including a strong piece of plywood to avoid expensive accidents.
Pellet stoves are heavy. The best option is to use a pick-up, then there's no roof to get in the way of handling it, but you're still going to need a way of getting it on and off. Go down to your local hire centre and borrow an automobile engine hoist. These are on wheels so can be used to move the stove around as well if you drop the stove down onto its frame. It's a help, though, to have a trolley such as the ones pianos are moved on.
Inside the home, a bunch of strong willing arms helps a lot. To avoid back troubles, rope a beam of wood to the top of the stove. This will allow the lifters to stay upright and clear of sharp metal edges.
See the 'Installation' section in these pages. If you bought the stove locally, chances are that the same installation configuration previously used will be fine, but that may not suit your home so do check your local building codes to see what will be accepted and if you need a permit.
If you don't feel happy about installing the stove yourself, get a local installer to do it. They will already know about local building codes.