Refurbished AGA cookers – read before you buy
Today's AGA cookers are designed to be compliant with the latest stringent regulations concerning safety and efficiency. Such regulations may preclude re-installing an older appliance. There are many second hand AGA cookers offered to the public which have been 'converted' or 'reconditioned' from one fuel to another which may or may not be advertised as such. Some models are hybrids made up of parts from several AGA cookers.
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 can leave the appliance in either an inefficient or dangerous condition.
Converted AGA cookers
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 cooker 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?
It is worth asking the age of a refurbished second hand AGA; it may be that you are paying out thousands of pounds to get a cooker that is already 40 years old.
In 1994 the BBC Watchdog programme reported on converted AGA and AGA Rayburn cookers. The programme alerted potential purchasers about the problems and risks associated with buying a converted appliance and reported that converted AGA and AGA Rayburn cooker owners were having a variety of problems from ignition difficulties to dangerous ventilation systems. They discovered that in some cases a new AGA could have been purchased for the same amount of money customers were forced to spend in order to get the cheaper model modified and made safe.