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How long will they last ? What's the lifespan ?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by allenfrme, Jan 27, 2008.

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  1. allenfrme

    allenfrme New Member

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    I've been reading some posts talking about figuring out the cost of a pellet stove
    over three or four years. My Harman P68 is in its' third heating season, and running well. Haven't
    used the oil heat at all.

    Other than the cover on the burn pot, which is a wear item anyway, what would wear out to the point that
    you'd get another stove? A couple blower motors, a sensor, a switch, a control board. None of them come
    close to the price of a new stove.

    I'd planned on many years of operation. Any reason I shouldn't ?

    Oh, and I'm in Southern Maine, and the thing runs from October through til March or April, mostly 24x7.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    I think Harman is the exception.....oh, a play on model names!

    A Harman properly taken care of should last almost indefinitely with parts replacement of certain item. My guess is that means at least 15-20 years - maybe longer with proper service.

    I would not say this about all pellet stoves - although many of them tend to have problems which are repairable. The problem becomes finding the parts and people who can work on them.
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I would take "exception" to that statement. You're right about the problem generally becoming parts but that problem could happen to Harman just as easily as any number of other manufacturers. In my opinion there is nothing superior about their design that gives them a distinctive edge in longevity. There are a number of top brands that could easily last for 15-20 years with proper maintenance. It's kind of like cars. Some people will put in three transmissions and consider that par for the course, others will replace that same car when a 20.00 front end suspension part fails.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Shane, I'm talking more about weight and thicknesses. I have ripped apart Harmans and the mechanisms and pots are much heavier than most other stoves I have seen.....all based on anthracite coal units.

    As you probably know, many pellet stoves use thin sheet steel...not sure what gauge, but I have seen it quite thin. My guess is that some of this could give into moisture, humidity and other stuff after a decade or more....but, you are right that it is a guess.

    One of the first pellets stoves I sold (a Whitfield) was to a nice Belgian lady. After using is a couple weeks and cleaning it, she came back into the store very angry and said "I am from Belgium - we are world famous for our metal working - I know metal and the metal this thing is made out of WILL NOT LAST".

    Time may have proven her wrong, but seeing those 22 gauge parts (same thickness as stove pipe!) made me at least consider her opinion.

    So I stand slightly corrected - as mentioned, I would not say ALL pellet stoves would last 15-20 years easily, BUT I think "the end" usually comes because of the high cost of parts, frustration or inability to get service...as opposed to the stove falling apart. The lack of standard parts and service is probably the largest barrier to pellet stove longevity.

    I do think that the P68 could last longer than that with proper care.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Take a look at the burn pots on the Quadrafires. Ours was cast iron. Longevity and ease of finding parts was one of the prime motivations for getting the 1200i. Almost everything that could fail could be purchased through Grainger's or an HVAC supply dealer with the exception of the control board.
  6. Flammam

    Flammam Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
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    252
    Loc:
    Western, Ma.
    I have a 15 year old Austroflamm, other than gaskets and other mainenance items I think this thing will be around longer than I will be. It runs 24-7 from october till march. 3-4 tons a year.

    John
  7. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

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    Northern Cailfornia
    My Whitfield Advantage II-2 is 14 years old and running strong. This stove run's from Oct to March. I think with regular service this stove last for many more years.
  8. HD41

    HD41 Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Ohio
    Many low cost oil/gas units the choice of many builders burn out prematurely or must be replaced due to failed parts that are no longer available. I see the tipping point as the amount of sweat equity one invests in a pellet stove. With regard of repair and mechanical service cost, annual oil/gas/electric systems preventive services are in the $100 range, many offer free service calls for the season but usually exclude parts and this would be a recurring cost. I view pellet stove users as generally “I can and will install, clean and fix it myself” and most users have not and do not intend to pay a serviceman for a house call wherein lies a significant reduction in cash paid out. You lean toward Harmon but it is premium priced and is marketed as dealer only service for parts and warranty adding a middleman. I find no particular fault with their stove but from the posts I see it appears they are spread a bit thin. The traditional heating/cooling contractors have the facilities and technicians, many in number and could sell and service solid fuel units but their participation seems lacking.
  9. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maine
    yep....I like the Quality of the Quad.....I expect long term expectancy. The burn pot is my favorite part lol....I love the burn pot on the Quad lol....Even if I only had it 10 years....I feel i'll get my moneys worth no doubt...especially if oil stays high...
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