View Full Version : Would you ever buy 2nd Hand Recovery equipment?

24-11-2016, 02:12 PM
Hello all,

Iíve been curious about this question for a while now. Iím looking for a Recovery Unit and I recently settled on my choice between one or two machines.

However, regardless of what I choose, itís my view that it is essential to buy new. That is the only way to ensure that it hasnít been abused and that Iím buying something free of faults.

My trainer who I did my F Gas Training with also said that itís possible to make a faulty machine appear ok at first, especially to the uninitiated. That is, it may switch on and operate but itís not until actually recovering refrigerant that it shows its faults. Can anyone explain/elaborate further on what he may have been referring to?

That said, I canít ignore that thereís quite a choice on, yes Iím going to say it: ebay. They do sell as well. Itís not like they all end up unsold, so they must be ok mustnít they?

And sometimes there has been the temptation to put a bid in, but I have resisted, sticking to my original golden rule. I look at them on there more for research purposes than anything.

So are these sales all to the first-time, green, inexperienced engineers who are about to learn a valuable lesson in buying 2nd hand?

Or is it unrealistic to have the view that all 2nd hand equipment is faulty and that experienced people are buying them too?

I suppose the thing is, you must be able to test it first Ė otherwise I have to conclude that if you canít be sure, then it must be viewed with suspicion as being possibly faulty. Caveat emptor and all that...

So just to reiterate, the question is: would you buy a 2nd hand recovery machine or is it new every time? (assuming you canít test the 2nd hand one before hand as in the case of an ebay buy)

And a secondary question: What faults is it possible for a machine to have that would render it ďuselessĒ? I suppose what Iím wondering is: if these are sturdy items of equipment, if the sales brochures are to be believed, what kind of use (or abuse) is the most common destroyer of recovery machines?

Iíd be very interested in the views of the more experienced people than myself and any discussion on the subject between members.

PS: Apologies if not in the correct forum.


24-11-2016, 08:37 PM
So, lets assume that you buy a new recovery machine, say £750. It comes with a warranty so any breakdowns in the first 12 months are covered. As a new machine you can expect several years service out of it. Also, you know that it has not been previously used or abused.

Lets assume that you have now purchased a second hand machine from ebay. £250 + £50 postage. It last 3 months then gives up the ghost. You are now faced with a £300 loss and a further £750 for a new replacement machine.

I'm reasonable when it comes to Maths but his one for me is a no brainer.

Then again, you might pick one up for £100 that lasts until you retire.

If you are a betting man, then 1 is a cert, the other a gamble.

Rob White
24-11-2016, 11:09 PM
I think I would be reluctant to pay a couple of hundred pounds
on one I knew nothing about.

If I knew the history, that would be different.

As for the reason why one might look better than it is,
The valves might be worn or the piston might be damaged.

You pays your money and you take your chances.



monkey spanners
25-11-2016, 08:27 PM
Why are they selling it is the first question? Stolen? Faulty? Company gone bust?

It might leak internally, the motor may stop working once it warms up, it might not pump against high head pressures, it might not be rated for all the more modern refrigerants etc

Buy new and get one that will cope with the newer flammable refrigerants.

26-11-2016, 10:52 AM
Of all refrigeration equipment the recovery unit is the main one i would never consider buying second hand , the reason being that it can be used wrong and damaged by users who dont understand them .I have walked onto sites where i could hear the machine before i got to the plantroom where too much liquid was being forced through them and guys didnt understand how to use push pull.

26-11-2016, 12:39 PM
I would buy new

01-12-2016, 12:19 PM
Thank you to you all for your replies, it's really interesting.

There's a really interesting point raised by Monkey Spanners about the newer flammable refrigerants. I've been debating with myself this very point. Do I get a separate machine specifically for the flammable refrigerants at a later date or do I get one now and use it for all refrigerants, including the A2L's?

I will start a separate thread asking about appropriate machines and the recovery of A2L refrigerants as I have a couple of questions about that.

01-12-2016, 02:14 PM
I have bought a lot of second hand machines along the working years, milk tanks, condensing units, complete coldstores, cutting machines, vacuum pumps, electronic welding machines. Even current mrs. is second hand....

My point is that there are no problems with second hand stuff, you just have to check and test it to make sure that your money which you earn by hard work will be wisely spent.

Every penny you save on good tools and machines can go to your home, kids, or pleasure.