How long will a pellet stove last?

msb91932

Member
Nov 19, 2012
11
Hello,

I have a 17 year old St. Croix Afton Bay. I had it refurbished about 4-5 years ago. It seems to work okay. Last year, I had the backer of the burn pot replaced. It's like clay. It crumbled and feel apart, so the gentleman who services my stove replaced it.

My concern is with its age. I am worried that, due to how old it is, that it will eventually fail and stop working. my bigger concern is that it could cause a house fire. The guy who services it feels that as long as I can get parts, it is fine. I was thinking about replacing it, but I am wondering that given it's working, maybe I don't need to.

Anyone out there have an opinion as to how long I should push my luck? I burn it 24/7.

Thanks, Mike
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
629
Miller MO
Any pellet stove that makes it past 15 years of regular use has served its purpose. I don’t care how good a stove it is, from that point on, your on borrowed time. That said, I’ve seen a few quadrafires and Breckwells from the early 90s and late 80s that are still functioning. If you have a shop you’ve thought about heating with one, you could move it out there and upgrade. You could also sell it for a few hundred to someone who is really in need of some cheap heat or wanting to try pellets without investing $$$$. When my wife and I first got married we bought a foreclosed house that long story short, didn’t have a working furnace come winter. We couldn’t afford to replace the furnace and it was irreparable. Someone had a $300 Breckwell that was 10years old on Craigslist and thank God they did cause otherwise I’m not sure what we would’ve done, but that puppy kept us warm for 3 years.
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
937
South of Boston MA
Purchased a Whitfield brand new in 1997, replaced the blower motor and brick mold and that was it. Paid $700 on special and sold it for $850 in 2013.
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
629
Miller MO
Saved this old breckwell 1992- 93 from the scrap heap. Inspected all the welds and it chugging along good but I wouldn’t buy one unless its dirt cheap or free. View attachment 247313
The older Breckwells were built pretty solid. Once Ussc took over, they started tack welding the seems of the firebox and filling them in with high temp silicone. Needless to say, that cut down on the longevity a bit. The bearings in their new motors are crap too.
 
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MountainDweller

New Member
Oct 21, 2018
25
Upstate NY
We have a late 2007 PDVC-25 that we purchased from the original owner a year ago and did nothing but install it as was, and it ran perfectly last season. I started it up for the first time this season today to clear out the old pellets and it picked up right where it left off. The model is still made, every part is available for it, and as far as I can tell there is no structural damage to it whatsoever now that it's getting a complete new gasket set. No regrets here! (C:

- Nathan
 
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jackhammer

Burning Hunk
Aug 21, 2015
194
western ma
The older Breckwells were built pretty solid. Once Ussc took over, they started tack welding the seems of the firebox and filling them in with high temp silicone. Needless to say, that cut down on the longevity a bit. The bearings in their new motors are crap too.
I had my Breckwell for 17 years before I replaced it. I never spent a dime on repairs. I only replaced it because it was hard to clean (compared to my Harman). To the OP, I would treat it like an old car and replace it when it becomes a money pit. You have it professionally maintained and I would go with their opinion.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,486
Eastern Ontario
I am still running my Enviro a 2002 ef3 looks like new only had to ever change
the combustion motor (no oil ports) Did my fall clean up last week complete tear
down and clean fired right up and purred like a kitten. Longevity is
all in the care and maintenance
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
523
Northern Michigan
I have a couple old St Croix stoves too (2000-2004). Keep them clean in the hidden exhaust channels via leaf blower, lube auger bushings every 4 years or so, and just normal maintenance beyond that. Hopefully mine will last another 10+ years as they still function and look excellent.
 
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