Many Canadian home owners are surprised that their insurance company requires them to have their wood burning appliance inspected. Although your stove may be “certified” by ULC or another listed rating agency, that only supplies the required installation instructions for that particular appliance. There are three agencies which test or list wood burning appliances; C.S.A., Underwriters Laboratories, and Warnock Hersey. Your insurance company will require that your stove be inspected by a WETT Certified Professional Inspector prior to issuing an insurance policy.
The testing agency will set up a manufactures appliance in accordance with the installation instructions and perform a test firing. They set up thermal couplers at all sides of appliance to ensure unit does not exceed safety requirements for temperature. Only when the unit passes this test will a ULC rating sticker be allowed to be attached to appliance.
As part of your Wett Inspection your appliance will have all its parts inspected including chimney, damper and vents. All parts have to be in good condition and operable in order for your appliance to pass this part of the inspection. A broken damper or cracked chimney would be cause for failure.
When installing your wood burning appliance you will have to ensure all clearances on rating data tag are met. If there is not rating or listing tag then the minimum distance to combustibles will be 48 inches. If required, you may install a radiation heat shield which can allow up to 67 percent reduction in clearance. This shield has to be constructed in strict accordance to CSA B365 requirements.
Wood appliances will usually have either a single wall or double walled pipe. Usually most people use a double walled pipe to avoid the 18 clearance required by use of single wall pipes. When passing through a wall or chimney a listed thimble is required. A listed thimble can reduce the required 18 inches of clearance required to 2 inches.
If your masonry chimney has damaged clay flue tiles most experts will recommend installing a flexible stainless steel liner. These liners come in various sizes and are guaranteed for life. This re-lining method is both faster and cheaper than repairing a damaged masonry chimney.
Many fires are caused by individuals not cleaning their wood burning appliance and chimneys. Regular inspection and cleaning is the most important method of preventing chimney fires. Take down the stove pipe at least once or twice during the heating season and clean out the soot. Removing the accumulated soot saves fuel, increases heat and minimizes the danger of fire.
For more information visit Barrie WETT Inspections
ULC – Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) is an independent product safety testing, certification and inspection organization.
CSA – CSA Group is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace.
Warnock Hersey – The Warnock Hersey Mark (WH) is North America’s leading product safety and performance mark for building and construction products.