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Should I by a 1990 Enviro?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by restorer, Apr 14, 2007.

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  1. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Have an offer standing on an Enviro built in 1990. The owner has not given me the model number, so I can't be more specific. He claims he was told the control board needs replacing. My question is, should I buy it and can I get a control board. I have tried to look at the manuals Rod has at Hearthtools.com, but I don't know which unit, I suspect it's an EF2. If you can give me any information, I would appreciate it greatly. The stove is 175 miles away in the real frontier, so I am not tempted to make a casual visit. The seller comes here often and said he'd bring it to me. I'd be buying it to rehab and resale, already got my fleet.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I say no.

    Pellet stoves from that day and age had many problems, and I personally would not take one if given it!

    But that is just my opinion.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I second Craig's oppinion ,unless you have a handle on replacement parts, I would pass
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    If you were buying it for your own use then yeah it might be worth it. The EF2 is basically an ADVII-T, so much so I'm surprised Whitfield didn't sue (or vice versa). They're tanks and run well. By the time you put a control board in it I don't think you'd be coming out ahead selling it. The only thing that I really despised about the EF2 is the firebacks. They're steel and over time could warp and become a PIA to re-install after cleaning (I forgot to mention in the PM).
  5. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    If it has a control board then it is a EF1
    the EF 2 and 3s had Timers and Dial O fires controls NOT CONTROL BOARDS
    I dont think the control board is available.

    The EF2 is NOT THE SAME as a AdvantageII at all ?
    There is NO control board. and NO BAY window
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I have to beg to differ Rod the basic design is very similar. The whole layout of the stove. Admittedly the controls are not same and didn't mean to ensinuate that they would be interchangeable the suing each other comment went overboard. However the comparison that I was trying ot make and that I think is very valid is that the layout of the stove (same as many others) is very much like the ADVII-T and that being said is a good thing. In my opinion the ADVII-T is one of the more reliable pellet stoves ever built. The burn pots were the same until Whitfield made the Ultragrate. They're similar enough that my rookie sweeps often mistake the EF2 as a Whitfield and a ADVII-T as an Enviro. In fact I would venture to say that the majority of pellet stoves built take alot from the ADVII-T. The exceptions being the Quads & Harmans which are markedly different.
  7. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    For the sake of argument, let me assume it's an EF2. The not high quality picture I got is a non-bay door with chamfored sides and a heavy looking gold frame. I have tried to compare it with on-line pics of older stoves and that's the best I can do. The seller was told the CB was bad, probably someone wanting to haul it off for scrap value. So, if it's an EF2, are off the shelf parts available, or the special parts available say from Hearthtools? If I find an adaptive user, that's someone like me foolish enough to tinker with fire, can we both be happy? Remember I bought my Kozi with a dead auger, that turned out to be plugged with fines and a loose wire. Could I be so lucky again?

    The big question, even with the best above scenario, is there any life left in a 17 year old pellet burner? I just wonder if the quality of manufacturing is as good as industrial woodworking machines made in the USA. A 60year old Delta Unisaw is selling for about 3/4 the price of a new one, and well over ten times the original price. Good machines, well made good parts. An Oliver planer that sold new in 1950 for $500 is now selling for $3-5,000 and they haven't been made is 15 years. So, is there a phenomenon in wood burner/pellet burners?

    A close friend restores Volvo autos. He uses "used parts" where appropriate and new top line wear parts (bearing, bushing, etc) He's not cheap, but his work is better than new. His point of reference is the autos were made to be rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt. Are there stoves with that reliability? Are there units that were built to not become obsolete in a few years?

    My Jamestown that's over ten years old is a current model with the addition of an auto-igniter and some electronics. Although I haven't set a new one side by side with mine, am I not seeing something? The manufacturer's specs are the same as my stove, (I have the original documents) and they haven't improved the efficiency, or cleanliness of burning. Now the nasty for the industry members: Are we encouraging current owners to "upgrade" for cosmetic reasons, and not significant performance improvements. Should we be "spreading the good news" about solid fuel burning to the un-warm masses, and encourage the current owners to look at the advantage of keeping last year's model?

    Sorry, just did a site visit and spent a couple of hours on the highway. Noticed over twenty tandem trailer rigs hauling '95-05 cars to the metal recyclers. We make trusses and grinder balls (for mining) out here from recycled steel. Seems like such a waste.
  8. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Rich, I wasn't meaning to insinuate that you didn't know what model your looking at I was simply trying to make a quality comparison. Used pellet stoves don't hold their value. They're the exact opposite of good woodworking tools. Buy a pellet stove brand new this year and sell it next year don't expect to get more than 1/2 of what you paid for it. Old wood stoves we see lasting years and years so the metal part of a pellet stove should be the same right? I suppose that depends on material gauge and the actual usage this thing has seen over the 17 years of it's life. I think the key is parts. Merkle Korf auger motor should always be available, the combustion and convection blowers should be available as well as they're fairly generic in size. The timing blocks and dial o fire might be something of a concern in the future. I'm sure you could find them from the parts supplier or some other vender but eventually I would imagine Enviro will label that stove obsolete. How soon is hard to say, If memory serves they have to support anything they build for a minimum of 10 years.

    BTW at the shop we have an old Rockwell Unisaw. When I called Delta to get an owners manual for it the guy on the phone offered to buy it. My boss picked the saw with a ton of accessories, a rockwell drillpress that is 6' tall and an old Craftsman 6" jointer for 750.00. The old ladies husband had passed away recently and we were installing a stove for her. She offered the tools up at the 750.00 price, my boss told her she could get more, she said I know but I want them out of here so haul them off today and they're yours. One of the best deals I've ever seen in my life.
    My brother picked up an old Monty Ward lathe the other day for 25.00. Had all the shaping tools and calipers with it, which were worth far more than 50.00 alone. The piece on the end that has a point that stabs the wood is too worn for the lathe to work. We're going to have one machined since we couldn't find the thing on the internet.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'd agree that the less expensive models lose their value quickly, though the premium units seems to do better. Based on what I've seen sold locally and my own sale, I would say that a quality pellet stove with a good reputation is going to hold it's value a bit better than that, especially in larger markets. Market demand is strong enough an urban area that one can expect to sell maybe 25% under average selling price for a stove that is less than 4 years old and at about 50% for a stove 6-4 yrs old.

    My 5 yr old Quad 1200i went so fast on Craigslist that I wasn't prepared for it. Selling in May, I expected it to take a few weeks, but sold for $1250 in 2 days and there were several offers. Paid almost $2400 new. If you had a 2 yr old Santa Fe or Mt. Vernon in good condition, I'm betting that it would go for about $3-400 less than local retail prices if one was buying used in September and would expect the same for a Harman.
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Wow your market is very different than mine. On average the dealers have 400-800 dollar off sales on pellet stoves. So selling a used on usually you start at half price and it just goes down from there. I have sold some stoves for well above the half price mark but I had to keep them in the shop for over 6 months.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I suspect it may have to do with higher fuel prices and maybe because pellet stoves originated here? They have a good reputation locally and pellet prices are still reasonable. I'd like to know what Harry sees in the New England market with used Harmans. I could be mistaken. Maybe this is just a regional thing?
  12. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Enviro Is still making the EF2 and EF3 for there over seas market. I seen them on the production line when I was there in March.
    here is an EF2 http://www.enviro.com/fireplace-products/pellet/freestanding-fireplace.html#EF2
    and here is the EF3 http://www.enviro.com/fireplace-products/pellet/freestanding-fireplace.html#EF3Bi

    I still dont see how your service guys can mix up an EF2 and Whitfield. They look totally different for they have a FLAT face and a boxy look and you need a T20 torx bit to work on all enviro stoves. A EF 3 is close because of the bay face but not the same.
    Whitfield has firebrick with a Baffle behind it. Enviro never had refractory brick they have cast panels with no baffle.
    Almost every stove that came out around 1991 copied Pyro’s burn system in some form but a pellet stove is like a Gas motor you can only change a few things the basic principles of all pellet stoves are the same. Air, Fuel, Heat transfer and safety and with the new stoves Ignition source.

    The Timer block and Burn rate potentiometer design is the most reliable type of controls for the different types of Current cycles used in New Zealand and Europe this is why they still make them. Enviro is the larges supplier of pellet stove in New Zealand.

    They have made a few changes in the components for the EF 2 and 3 and the upgrades are available. Like Ignitors kits that are easier to replace. The older EF 1 and 2 and 3 are a pain but with a halogen socket kit you can put the ignitor out from the front to replace. Better Burn pots and Blowers.
    They are all still available on my website or can be ordered if not listed.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I poked around a bit and found that prices do seem better for used pellet stoves near urban areas. Though some of these prices seem over optimistic. Others are right in line with what you predicted Shane.

    http://boston.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=pellet stove&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max
    http://worcester.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=pellet stove&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max
    http://nh.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=pellet stove&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max

    PS: There's a new Harman Advance for sale in Madison, CT. Owner must sell, moving.
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