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pellet stove life expectancy?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kurtmzulauf, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. kurtmzulauf

    kurtmzulauf New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Havre De Grace , Maryland
    I found myself in a heated conversation with coworkers and I did not have a clear cut answer to how long will my MT. vernon last? I have went to this stove as my primary heat source and was asked If the cost of the stove vs fuel oil and oilburner over the years will be a sound investment. I thought I went over these questions when I purchased but I guess I never really thought about that. My oil burner is eleven years old and still runs like new with only minor repairs. Will this stove last the test of time?
    Kurt

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  2. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,303
    Loc:
    Northern Ct
    Have my Whitfield now 13 years and had not added anything but some new firebrick this year, all depends on the manufacturer, buy a cheap home depot stove and you get what you pay for.... bust my ball's all you want Englander FanBoys!!
  3. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,338
    Loc:
    NoPellettons, MA
    Wow impressive! Who manufactures your blowers?
  4. Wood Nugget

    Wood Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    So. ME
    There are many stoves out there that are 20 or so years old and still running. Pellet stoves are made up of numerous different components which can fail over time. However, those individual components can be replaced when they fail. So, your ignighter may only last for 5 years, but you replace it and get another 5 years out of it. I would think a stove could last as long as you want it to last, if you can still get replacement parts for it.
  5. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,303
    Loc:
    Northern Ct
    Dont know there factory,Fasco? never even oil them, and the stove runs 24/7 nonstop nov/arpril every year, Friend gave me a larger/longer fasco blower for a backup last spring, still sitting in my car trunk.
    2 years ago cleaned the Convection blower squirrel cage for the first time, just saw it ws pretty loaded, blew hot air out no problem before i cleaned it.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Bout sums it up... I got a 16 yr old Englander that needed a new auger and combustion blower. But runs like a top.....
  7. stellep

    stellep Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    IMHO. As long as I can get parts, my Whitfield will last until the firebox/heat exchanger rusts through. That could be near forever. All the Fasco motors are original - 14 years. I do oil them P-K. These will be replaceable for some time because many stoves use the same parts. I've replaced the firebrick once (this year) and the ignitor twice. If the control panel goes south, I'll go the Snowy route with it. I had to turn it down to idle today when the temp went from 7 to a balmy 22.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,590
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    With proper care most stoves will last a long time.

    An individual part maybe not so long.
  9. DneprDave

    DneprDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    Western WA
    Wow! You guys have igniters!? My kit Whitfield is 18 years old. according to the plaque in the hopper lid. I have no idea how old the individual parts are.

    Dave
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Englanders ignitor is a blowtorch... So I guess I got one.. The other 2 have one. But they are 4 yrs old (Quad) and 2 yrs old (Fahrenheit).
  11. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,161
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hi Kurt

    A good stove will last a minimum of 10 years. However if not taken care of then 3 years could be the max! Case in point the Enviro EF-2I I picked up was in rental property! It was taken out and replaced with a more automated gas furnace. The stove was sitting in a garage chock full of pellet dust, the cleaning rod was bent and the over fire safety switch completely blown! That means the stove was broken and no longer operative!! Also the body was scratched and the paint was warn, very warn and dull! Now Enviro has been making these stoves for 10 years, they are built like tanks!! I picked it up, completely repainted it even the metal fire brick inside. Installed a new over fire safety switch and straitened the cleaning rod and added a lock nut so it will not warble and bend. Also gave it a professional cleaning and replaced the exhaust blower gasket! Now it is working well in it's new non rental property in very good hands! So it will last another 10 years!!

    Now as far as boilers go, my 22 year old Valliant was working well but it was not a cold start and had a tankless coil to heat the hot water!! Unfortunately some boiler companies have difficulty making newer up to date designs. I now have a new cold start boiler with an indirect water tank and a outdoor reset. This uses less than half the oil than my older 85% AFUE Valliant used. BTW AFUE efficiency just means that the smoke is as clean as it can be that is all. The old boiler had a 1.25 gallons per hour nozzle and the new boiler has a 0.65 gallon per hour nozzle!!

    Anyway, even though the boiler had a 20 year guarantee it was not worth paying for double the amount of oil to feed the monster!!

    The pellet stove I have, has a 7 year guarantee so maybe in theory it will not last as long but as we can see Whitfields 15 years older or more and others do last that long!

    However there is another trend I see to computerize these pellet stoves. Now most have digital control panels instead of a few knobs on potentiometers. Some stoves like the Mt Vernon AE with the new data displaying thermostat with many error codes coming from more electronic sensors may have a greater tendency to fail. The optical sensor that senses the auger turning fails when dirty or even just quits. Also more plastic in the Mt Vernon AE hoppers may not be quite as strong as an all metal hopper. The plastic hopper design may be there so the Low Fuel sensor can operate. But really do we need a low fuel sensor??? I am not saying that these features will shorten the life of the stove if properly maintained but more maintenance and parts replacement may be required!

    So, I am saying, the longevity of a pellet stove may depend upon how easy it is to get replacement parts, how long the stove is in production, especially if support is still there for it. Some people do believe a sturdy design and simplicity of the electronics do contribute to the longevity where support may be more difficult to get.
  12. DirtyDave

    DirtyDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
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    Loc:
    western wa
    as long as places like Grainger , Hearth.com and others are around You can get blowers and augers for the next century or two.
  13. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Surprised it lasted this long!

    probly shoulda bought a sherwood.
  14. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    Loc:
    land of giant redwoods, No.Calif
    I bought my Whitfield Advantage I a year and a half ago for $50. and left it outside but covered all through the summer and fall. Finally hauled it into the house last winter and set it up and the only maintenance it's needed was cleaning and oiling. I assume everything is original, but have no way of knowing. Anyway, it's a first generation stove. I recall that its serial number is lower than eight thousand so it was made in the early years, -the early eighties. It has no igniter or electronics so I don't have to replace those parts. The trade-off is that I have to light it manually, which I don't mind since I've never used a pellet stove before it.
  15. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Loc:
    Northern Cailfornia
    I have a used Whitfield Advantage II-T. Stove MFG in 1995. I got it in 2007, it's used in just the winter months 24/7. All parts are original. 18 years old and running strong!!!
  16. kurtmzulauf

    kurtmzulauf New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Havre De Grace , Maryland
    thanks for all the great responces, I imagine that if I keep up with my obsesive care of my mt. vernon ae then it could last forever! and I know that if it has a failure i just go down stairs a flick on the oil furnace as my back up until I get my stove repaired. So far I am very pleased with my quad Mt. Vernon AE and classic bay, I hope with proper regular maint and a little obsessivness with keeping things running smooth trhey will outlast me.
    Thanks again.....Kurt
  17. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Good to hear from another satisfied AE owner.
  18. arnash

    arnash New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    229
    Loc:
    land of giant redwoods, No.Calif
    I should add that I had to replace the "fire brick" since it was falling apart but I reused the side pieces for the center and replaced them with two layers of cement siding that I cut to fit. It cost nothing as compared to the official stuff which might have cost $150. It didn't exist when the stove was made so they had to use the softer and more fragile substance. I don't know what the modern stuff is but it costs too much.

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