Inspecting Wood Stoves

Inspecting Wood Stoves for Insurance requirements

Why a WETT Certified Inspection is Important

  1. To have the full assurance that your wood-burning appliance is installed in accordance with building and fire code requirements. Safety is paramount, and wood-burning appliances are manufactured to work safely and efficiently when they are installed, used and maintained properly.
  2. To satisfy the requirements of the insurance company.  95% of Insurance Companies now require a WETT Certified Inspection when you buy a new home.
  3. Having a WETT inspection done before listing a home prepares the seller of any potential repairs that may require attention.
  4. Most Offers to Purchase will include a clause requiring any Wood Burning Appliances to have a WETT Certified Inspection for compliance.

What is Included in a WETT Inspection?

The WETT Certified wood stove inspection will ensure your stove is structurally in good condition, and that burning wood that will not compromise your and your families safety or health. When the WETT Certified Technician is examining your wood stove, they will be making sure that it was installed correctly and is compliant with applicable codes.

Every wood stove has minimum clearances that are required to met during installation.  When completing the wood stove inspection your WETT Certified Technician will make sure the minimum clearances from the Wood Stove Certification Labelbottom, top, sides, front, and back are met from the manufactures label or installation instructions.  When these clearances are not met, they pose a threat that could cause a serious fire and the appliance is identified as being non-compliant.

The Wood Stove label on the right identifies the Listing Agency (There are three agencies which test or list wood burning appliances; C.S.A., Underwriters Laboratories, and Warnock Hersey)   Product safety testing assures consumers that what they are buying is safe and compliant with applicable requirements.

Your Wood Stoves label will include the Standards to which your product has been tested to,  ( Wood Stoves will typically be tested to ULC627 but could also use CSA415).

On the label there will be a chart dictating the required clearances to combustible material.  A = Side Clearance,  B = Clearance to back wall  C = Clearance when installed on an angle in a corner.   The label will also include the distances required for both Single Wall Flue Pipes and Double Wall Flue Pipes.

Most Single Wall Flue Pipes require a clearance of 18 inches from wall or ceiling.  All flue pipes have to be secured and typically 3 metal screws are required on each joint.

Your chimney is visually checked for structural stability, chimney cap condition, cracks in flue pipes, chimney caps and screens.  Any Factory Built Chimney requires bracing to be installed if over 5 feet above level of roof.  The chimney must extend 3 feet over peak of roof or meet clearance of 2 feet higher than point of roof 10 feet away, towards peak.

Reducing Clearances to Combustibles

You can reduce clearances to walls and ceilings etc by using approved methods of shielding.  You can construct these shields your self or buy an approved product which has been tested by Listing Agency.

Read our complete guide on Reducing Clearances to Combustibles