What are WETT Inspections?

Erich Kelter - Monday, January 23, 2012

If you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home, then the insurance company may have told you that you need a WETT inspection completed. So what, exactly, is a WETT inspection? WETT stands for Wood Energy Technology Transfer, which is a non-profit organization that trains specialists in safety inspections for any kind of energy appliance that uses wood.

In Canada, wood burning appliances are regulated by the codes in CSA B365, but how do you know if your home is safe unless you have a WETT inspection completed? A WETT inspector will come into your home to inspect your fireplace or wood stove with a number of objectives in mind:

  • Safety - the number one role of a WETT inspector is to check the safety of the wood burning appliance. To do this, they will examine all parts of the appliance, including the chimney and other parts you don't normally check.
  • Code compliance - It is important that all parts of your appliance are up to code. These codes are in place for your safety and the safety of others.
  • Preventing smoke spillage - Occasionally there may be some details that fall outside of the safety or code compliance issues. Sometimes certain factors may come into play and you may experience smoke spillage if there is something wrong with your chimney. The chimney in your home is part of a larger system, and steps should be made to ensure that it does not spill smoke into the house.
  • Efficiency - It is important that wood burning systems be built in a way that makes the system efficient for the homeowner. Not every system will work for every home, and a WETT inspection can help make sure that everything is working properly.
  • Keeping the chimney clean - It's important that your chimney is kept clean inside. If it's not, a fire could result up inside of it. WETT inspections will make sure that your chimney is swept out properly.

There are many different components to keep in mind when it comes to fireplace safety. It's about more than just the immediate threat of fire. Smoke can be harmful as well, and the only way to stay safe is to prevent these sorts of problems before they start.

Above Grade Home Inspections offers WETT inspections. Their inspectors will examine the chimney, flue, smoke chamber, damper, firebox, hearth, and clearances to combustible surfaces to make sure that tragedy is prevented before it even has a chance to strike.
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