The Truth about WETT Inspections and Certification

Erich Kelter - Monday, January 23, 2012
p>Many insurance companies require that homeowners have their fireplace or wood stove "WETT certified". The problem is that technically there is no such thing as a WETT certification, only certain authorities (such as ULC or Warnock Hersey) can "certify" units mandated by the codes in CSA B365 through special lab testing. However, this does not mean that WETT inspections are not important.

WETT is actually a training organization that teaches inspectors how to check for code compliance and safety with wood burning appliances. They often are involved when you buy or have a wood burning appliance like a fireplace or wood burning stove installed. They also may help with maintenance and the prevention of problems. When someone is WETT certified, it means that they are certified to perform safety checks and maintenance on a wood burning appliance. The term doesn’t apply to your wood burning stove or fireplace, but rather, to the person who is inspecting these appliances.

WETT inspections typically include examinations of:

  • The chimney
  • The liner and flue
  • The smoke chamber
  • The damper
  • The firebox
  • The hearth or floor around the wood burning appliance
  • Whether combustible surfaces are far enough away from the appliance and its parts

In most cases, a basic visual inspection will be enough to tell the inspector if the installation of your wood burning appliance is safe. In other cases, you may need a more intensive type of inspection to make sure that even the parts you can't see are working properly. A WETT certified member can handle basic visual inspections, but it takes a WETT certified technician to actually conduct the more intensive inspections. Technicians can also perform maintenance on wood burning appliances or fix major problems that you may have with them.

Above Grade Home Inspections offers WETT inspections. Their inspectors will help keep your home safe. You should be having inspections at least once a year or more depending on how much you use your wood burning appliance. The only way to keep your home completely safe from fire is to prevent it before it happens, and WETT inspections will help you do that.

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