Are Used Pellet Stoves Worth Buying?
Buying used pellet stoves can be a great idea, although you want to be sure to remember the old saying, "buyer beware."
If you are planning to buy a pellet stove, then buying a used one from someone for whom it "just didn't work out" can get you a great stove and have enough money left over to buy pellets to last for nearly two years.
However, you want to be sure you know what to look for in a pellet stove and what kinds of problems used stoves may have so that you don't end up with a problem rather than a solution.
Do Your Research
Before you buy a used stove, research the available models as if you were buying a new pellet stove. Look at the styles and features, the sizes and capacity. Read up on efficiency and fuel types.
Choose what brand and style you would buy if you were able to buy a new stove. Harman and Envirotec are two reputable brands; there are others that may work for you as well.
Once you've decided on a brand and a style, then start looking for that type of stove in the used market. When you've done that much research, you'll know if you find a good deal, and if you can't find exactly what you want, you'll know when you've found a model that is extremely close.
Look for Extras
If someone is selling a pellet stove to upgrade to a better model, you may not get much in the way of extras. But if someone is giving up on the pellet idea, you may find that they will give you the venting pipes, the log set, a hearth pad, and possibly leftover fuel for no more than they would have sold you the stove.
This can make a deal particularly sweet, and can save you a lot in setup costs.
Check Local Codes
Visit the building department in your township or city and see what you need in terms of permits.
Code governs where you can install a stove, and in many municipalities, installing a stove requires a license or building permit.
Ask about any extra requirements they may have for pellet stoves, and be particularly inquisitive if you have a mobile or modular home into which you plan to put a pellet stove.
Consider the cost of installation before you buy a used pellet stove. While new stoves usually have installation available from the dealer, when you buy used, you'll need to arrange for the install yourself.
While you may have the expertise to do the installation without hiring anyone else, it is a job that could be fatal if done incorrectly. It is usually wise to find a licensed and bonded installer to do the work. In fact, many cities require that a professional do the work.
Check references, and interview installers before you buy the stove and settle on a contractor.
Finding a Stove
Many people report good results by searching Craigslist, ebay can also be a viable option, if you are willing to travel to pick up the stove.