The installations of wood burning appliances and fireplaces in Canada are covered by very specific codes. Due to the nature of these installations there is significant fire and safety concerns. WETTor Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. is a an Association of installers, chimney sweeps, and inspectors who have been educated, trained and certified to install and inspect such installations to ensure they meet the applicable requirements. Here are some instances where a WETT inspection may be required:
- a new installation of a wood burning appliance or fireplace either in new construction or retrofit into an existing building.
- on sale or transfer of property.
- renovations around an existing wood burning installation which could change the performance or clearances.
- older installations or concern of homeowners or tenants about safety and performance of an installation.
In today’s world it is becoming more frequent that a WETT inspection is necessary when obtaining fire insurance on a building containing a wood burning installation, this is a requirement of the insurance company and must be carried out by a certified inspector. It is wise to have this inspection done as a condition of sale when purchasing a building as repair or replacement of a non-conforming installation can involve significant cost.
Our inspector at Home-Chek is a WETT certified site comphensive inspector and technician, with many years of inspection experience. We offer Level 1,2 and 3 site inspection services as described below. In most applications this type of inspection will satisfy the requirements of insurance or give homeowners peace of mind regarding the safety of an installation. It will also identify if a more intrusive inspection is warranted and recommend either moving up to a Level 2 or 3 inspection. We at Home-Chek do not sell appliances and chimneys so are able to offer an unbiased informative evaluation of your wood burning installation. We conduct WETT inspections on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni, Comox, and Courtenay.
Can I get a WETT inspection or WETT certificate?
A WETT inspection is the inspection of a solid-fuel-burning system, performed by a WETT-certified professional, for compliance with applicable codes and standards. Appliances cannot be WETT certified. WETT frequently receives requests for a “WETT Certificate,” a “WETT Certification,” a “WETT Approval” or are asked if it’s a “WETT-certified installation.” We also receive requests for companies that are “WETT Certified.” These are common misconceptions — they do not exist. What is issued is an inspection report completed by someone who is WETT certified. What you need to do is contact a WETT-certified professional to inspect your solid-fuel-burning system. WETT has adopted a process to help identify the level of inspection required. We call this SITE.
SITE is a set of standardized guidelines and procedures that are recommended by WETT for the inspection and/or evaluation of wood-burning systems.
Level-1 Inspection — “Readily Accessible”
Readily Accessible can be described as quickly or easily reached for inspection. It would not require the use of special tools for opening or the removal of any panel, door or other covering; nor would it require the use of ladders. A tape measure, light, mirror, camera, magnifying glass and binoculars may comprise are the usual tools required to perform this type of inspection.
Level-2 Inspection — “Accessible”
Accessible can be described as being reachable for the purpose of inspection/evaluation. Access could first require the moving or removal of a panel, door or other covering and could require the use of ladders and common tools such as a screwdriver, wrench, hammer or related service tools/equipment. Access does not require any invasive action to the building or property.
Level-3 Inspection — “Concealed Accessibility”
Concealed Accessibility can be described as accessible only by invasive means. This may require the removal of constructed (but not structural) areas of the system or building to gain access for the purpose of implementing a level-3 inspection/evaluation. It may also require the use of specialty tools and equipment.
SITE outlines three levels of inspection:
An inspector will be able to help you assess which level is required based on your needs. For most insurance and real estate inspections, a level 1 is sufficient. If, during the course of the inspection, the inspector sees signs of concern, a level 2 or level 3 may be recommended.
If your wood-burning system is not functioning properly or causing concerns such as smoke spillage, rapid creosote accumulation, etc., you should contact a WETT-certified technician or sweep.
What kind of report will I receive?
As part of an inspection, you will receive a digital inspection report. Typically, most level-1 inspection reports will capture information that includes appliance type, certification markings, clearances and if the installation meets the relevant codes. Given the detailed nature of level-2 and level-3 inspections, additional information will be reported.
The nature of any inspection report is that it records what was seen at the date and time of the inspection.
For more information on other levels of inspections or about WETT Inc. visit WETT Inc. website