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pellet insert problems?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by abcd, Jul 6, 2008.

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  1. abcd

    abcd New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
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    Loc:
    Western Ma

    Hi, hope I'm posting correctly - first time user. I've spent about a week comparing wood stove inserts and pellet inserts. I've learned a lot and think I understand most of the differences that I need to consider in making a decision. My one concern that I have not been able to find much feedback on is the reliability of the 'moving parts' on the pellet inserts. The original dealer who I saw, currently only sells wood burning stoves as a result of the many problems, and frequent repairs, he said his store encountered with the pellet insert stoves (Avalon .. but they do still carry Avalon wood stoves/inserts) that they used to carry. They know they are turning many potential customers away by not offering these, but they feel they are doing right by their customers. They now deal primarily with Jotul wood stoves and inserts. If anyone has any info on the reliability, or frequency of repair on the motors?, moving parts?, etc. of pellet inserts, it would be appreciated. Thanks for your help, I've already learned a lot through this forum.

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    while frequency of repair is higher than with a woodstove (that doesnt have moving parts) i personally feel that it isnt that high a frequency overall. units that are well c ared for generally do not have frequent issues, but units that are neglected tend to reward the neglect with issues. when we have a unit returned to ESW usually it is me that does the"pathology" on the unit , and the glaring commonality i find is a unit that was simply not cared for. occasionally a motor may not hold up , usually a defective motor will be caught by QC before a unit leaves, but some will run through tech but fail within the first season (hey its an electric motor and some just aint up to the drill) but this type situation is usually a warranty issue that gets corrected by the dealer or by a shipped replacement at no charge. my personal stove has been in since dec-2004 and had not had a single issue. i have had customers who have been "first time callers" with stoves that may be 10 years old or older. (of course i have had customers call with 2 or 3 year old units as well) overall though percentages show that its not a normal thing to have multiple issues with a pellet stove especially early in its lifespan. still though , a steel box full of bricks is about as trouble free as it gets so its not really a fair comparison. pellet stoves are "appliances" in that respect and i feel compare pretty well with washing machines and fridges and such even though they have a much harder job.
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    He's got it about right. We do not have much problems with the ones we sell either, except for lack of care by the user.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,109
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Everything is relative, they say.........

    On a relative basis, there is a vastly higher freq of repair with pellet stoves as opposed to wood stoves. My shop would sell hundreds of wood stoves (Jotul, Avalon) each year and almost zero breakdowns. We sold pellet stoves and had MANY problems. Yes, maybe they have improved but at the same time we have seen runs of defects in the last year from the largest makers in the business (Harman and Quad)....and others.

    From a CUSTOMER basis, it is not as bad - because if you buy the right model, install it correctly and keep it clean and serviced....you will have many less problems than the "norm" (who does not clean their stove, does not research enough, etc.).

    But from a DEALER perspective, hundreds of dealers including my old shop made a decision to not sell pellet stoves any longer due to the same reasons that your dealer expressed. We simply were not equipped to deal with these service issues...having been spoiled by selling wood stoves for 15 years before we saw our first pellet units.

    In short, your dealer is being honest with you. It is a personal choice, and many dealers who dropped pellet stove years ago have started selling them again - mostly because, honestly, they are afraid to turn away the profits!

    BTW, Avalon happens to make one of the most reliable pellet units.......
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