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Buying a used stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Geoff, Mar 24, 2006.

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  1. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    I've been working towards picking out a new stove and have thought a bunch about a Lopi Liberty and a few other similarly sized convection stoves. I came across a used Avalon Olympic and went to take a look at it today. The stove is 3 years old and was used moderately (not as the primary heat source). The owner said that her husband had installed it and they had "problems with the chimney" and they would get smoke into the house. They were using it as an insert. They removed it and had a pellet stove professionally installed. I showed up to the house thinking I'd see a 2-flue chimney and would be able to deduce that they were getting a downdraft in the unused flue, but instead I found they had a single prefab chimney. The stove has some rust on top around the outlet so it looks like water was getting into the chimney and somehow got on the outside of the stove pipe and onto the outer surface of the stove. There was also some green stuff on top of the stove which sort of looked like corroded nickel... We did have some intense rain around here last fall (which lead to some intense flooding) and people without chimney caps got rain inside... One of the baffle supports in the stove had some light rust.

    It looks like they were using the bypass damper so smoke probably wasn't pouring into the house when they reloaded. I did the dollar bill trick to check the gasket (which looked clean and felt rather soft) and found that the top edge of the door, mostly near the handle side, was somewhat lose while the rest was tight. The stove dosen't appear to have been over-fired, the burn tubes look OK, the firebrick baffle looks OK. I also found that the door was a little lose on the hinges, as if the pins had worn the holes in the aluminum door open larger, but that could be due to factor hole sizing to accomidate for manufacturing tollerances. The handle also had some significant play where it passed through the door. I don't know if this is normal on these stoves or not. I don't know if the stove is warped or if the gasket just needs replacement. The last gasket I replaced didn't fit snugly all the way around and I tried to build up the lose area with a thin section of gasket underneeth but all I could accomplish was that I built up the lose are too much. That stove dosen't leak even with a door that dosen't seal very tight all the way around.

    Other problems I found consisted of a broken fire brick and the stove being in need of some paint. Also I would have to buy legs for it to use it as a free standing stove.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the stove (so far) or buying used stoves in general? My girlfriend is a little nervous about buying a used one, even though we could save a good amount of $. The asking price is $1000 or best offer.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a great deal to me. I'd offer them 800 though just to see if they'd take it. Can you take pictures of it and post them?
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    If money is a factor Home Cheapo was selling the np20 Englander for $430 season clearance 5 year warranty
    for that price that has to be considered if buying a plate steel stove. For instance I just Bought a Vermont Castings Encore used only 2 seasons $500. I plan to replace the gaskets. Be carefull buying used stoves 3 years old should be in decent shape.
    Hopefully othe lopi owners will charm in about the handle. The handle I do not think is any indication of over firing.
    the fire brick could have cracked way back during the breakin fires if it were still very moist. . Me I have taken chimney fire
    bricks and cut them down to 1+ inch and used them as replacements worked fine for me. More important is its manufactures tag and getting an opperation manual which usually have an exploded parts list. Legs can be bought sometimes on Ebay as many times they are not used in fireplace insert installations Hot Flame where are you he has a Lopi
  4. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    That was the price I was thinking of offering.

    Attached are some photos I took yesterday. There are no pictures of the inside as I took them so my girlfriend could see what the stove would look like.

    The secondary burn tubes are straight but the holes are recessed as if the tubes were dented inwards maybe 1/8" before or while the holes were formed. They look uniform and I seem to remember them being like that on the Lopi stoves I looked at so I think its normal.

    Attached Files:

  5. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Looks to be in decent shape. That rust on top is just surface rust right?
  6. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    Yeah, it should come off with a wire brush. When repainted it might leave a little pitting but it shouldn't be too bad.
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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  8. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    I don't know what your market is like over there, but I wouldn't be willing to pay more than $700 for it. First, I would call a Travis Industries dealer and get a price for legs, so you know what that will add. It is Avalon's big stove, and that makes a difference for sure.

    My neigbor got a used Avalon Rainier insert with the brass door, surround, some stainless pipe, and cap for $500. It had very minor rusting, and cleaned up nicely.

    That was a good deal in my opinion. It really depends on how much you want it and the availability of quality used stoves in your area. Have you tried a local dealer to price one out new?

    Good luck. The specs on that unit suggest it is quite heavy so be prepared if you are going to move it.

    MarkG
  9. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    well, I just got home with the stove. $800 for it including 1/2 cord of well-seasoned wood, blower, wood rack that probably holds about 1/3 cord, and a few other small misc. things.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    congrats! now all you need is a little naval jelly and some paint, i shure like saying "naval jelly" :D
  11. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    The legs are 45.00
    That stove new with a set of legs and blower would be 2007.00 at three years old I'd say you got a pretty good deal especially with the wood thrown in.
  12. martel

    martel Member

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    more importantly, what does your girlfriend think?
  13. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    Well she is disapointed that we didn't get a brand new stove, but happy that we saved the money. I'm going to try to change the brass colored trim to silver before I put it in the house, that will help some more! The trim is aluminum with a brass colored coating (possibly annodized) and will probalby polish off.

    Shane, thanks for the price on the legs. I remembered seeing around $100 to $200 for the different style legs at one of the local dealers, but I think those were the cast and the brass legs. The first owner said it cost $2250 new, but that might have included the prefab chimney that her ex-husband had installed.

    Hehe, "naval jelly"... I've got some naval lint, I wonder how that would work....
  14. martel

    martel Member

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    good firestarter I hear...
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    you have all spring and summer to get that stove ship shape
    Keep us posted Just tell the misses you can't always get what you want.
    When the reduced fuel bills come in you will look like a genius. Good luck
  16. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    Having been away for a while I missed chiming in on this one sooner, but it doesn't matter as I have nothing bad to say. I have a Lopi (though not a liberty)
    convection stove, and it is a solid thing, well built, and puts out some solid heat. When the stove is upto temp you can put your hand above the baffle and literally feel the convection current as though you had a blower on at low speed. No reason for a blower on this one, it does one heck of a job as is.

    The handle can get loose, but it is easy to re-tighten. I can't speak to the warpage, but in all I think you got a very good deal.

    Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes.
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