Buying A Used AGA Cooker
Points for consideration if thinking of purchasing an AGA cooker.
The purchase of an AGA cooker is an investment for you, your family and your home. It represents the best in cooking, creates a welcoming ambience in the kitchen and copes superbly with modern lifestyles.
Unlike many domestic products the AGA can hold its value, providing it is properly built with genuine parts, installed and maintained. Because of the longevity of cast iron there is a second hand market value, however there are important issues when cnsidering a second hand model. It may seem cheaper in the short term but if you are not careful in your purchase it may lead to long term problems and not meet your expectations.
You may find it helpful to ask the following questions when buying used.
- What guarantee do you get?
- Are the installers fully trained?
- Will the stove be assembled in your home or does it come ready assembled?
- AGA stoves are designed to be built up on site, if they are moved fully assembled then the ovens may come out of alignment and the heat conduction through to the ovens and hotplates will be inefficient.
- Also the insulation may not be up to specification as there may be a loss through leakage or settlement.
- Loss of insulation means that the stove will be hotter to the touch and more heat will be emitted into the kitchen.
- What cooking accessories/equipment, if any, are supplied with the stove?
- What is the finish? Is it painted or vitreous enamelled?
- All new AGA stoves have a high gloss vitreous enamel finish, which takes up to three days to complete. This is hygienic, durable and easy to clean.
- Has the stove been converted to burn a different fuel?
- If converted, does the stove have automatic thermostatic control?
- Have parts been replaced or just cleaned up and painted?
- Have genuine AGA parts been used to replace worn parts?
- Has the AGA got the appropriate mandatory approval?
- Do you service?
- What choice of models is there?
- Are the gas engineers qualified engineers?
- Does it contain asbestos products?
- Selling products containing asbestos is now illegal in Australia.
There may be hidden charges:
- Is there a charge for delivery?
- Do you deliver into the kitchen?
- Is there a charge for assembly?
- Is there an extra charge for different colours?
Second Hand & 'Converted' AGA cookers
There are many second hand AGA cookers offered to the public which have been 'converted', from one fuel to another, which may or may not be advertised as such.
When an AGA is referred to as 'converted' it is generally meant that a fuel change has taken place, from solid fuel to oil, or less commonly, gas. Whereas each new AGA stove is individually designed to achieve maximum performance from the fuel used and typically will operate more economically than a conversion.
Each fuel model requires significant variations in cast iron internal components as well as the burner area and controls. It is not possible therefore to merely exchange a burner type to use a different fuel. Can you be assured that a conversion is successful and safe?
AGA-Rayburn has never encouraged fuel conversions for two main reasons:
Safety - The AGA has specific approvals, from the appropriate official body, for each fuel model. The approvals major on the safety of appliances. Altering or modifying the product will nullify the approval and in the case of gas fired products could be illegal.
Performance - The original performance of the cooker can rarely be achieved if a fuel change has been carried out, in particular the Simmering and/or Baking Oven heat is usually significantly reduced. This lowers the product specification and reduces its cooking capability and can affect fuel usage, as compared to one made for a specific fuel.
It is worth asking the age of a converted second hand AGA; it may be that you are paying out thousands of pounds to get a stove that is already 40 years old. To identify older models go to identify your AGA.
There are some independent Authorised AGA Distributors who may have completely rebuilt an AGA and exchanged all the necessary components to make it into the equivalent of a new appliance with a different fuel. In this case it is not really a 'converted' model and would have the same status as a factory supplied model. However this action is rarely commercially viable for customer or vendor.
Problems with a converted AGA
A converted AGA may have problems from ignition difficulties to dangerous ventilation systems. In some cases a new AGA can be purchased for the same amount of money you'll be forced to spend getting the cheaper model modified and made safe.
Identifying a converted AGA
- Does it say it is oil or gas fired? Look to see if it has lift out plugs on the Boiling and Simmering Plates, if there are it has been converted from solid fuel.
- Are the oil or gas pipes taken into the stove through the front burner door? If they are it is 'converted'.
- Is the AGA front plate of the old Standard design, but advertised as oil or gas? If is is then the AGA is converted.
Reconditioned AGA cookers
Reconditioning is taken as meaning a major strip down and rebuild of an appliance. If you are enquiring after a reconditioned AGA, then check that inferior metals have not been used to make replacement or inferior pattern parts, this could result in a significant reduction in performance.
In addition, inexperienced personnel not trained by AGA-Rayburn can leave the appliance in either an inefficient or dangerous condition. We do not certify or endorse any reconditioning companies.
Second Hand AGA cookers
There are certainly some worthwhile second hand AGA cookers to be bought, but they are not as plentiful as it may seem and not always the bargain that you may be led to believe. Be armed with questions and information to ensure you make an informed decision. If in doubt by all means seek professional advice from AGA-Rayburn.