Installation Guidelines

To determine if the appliance meets requirements, the appliance should always have a manufacturer’s label clearly showing if the
appliance is certified to Canadian standards. Certified testing agencies in Canada are CSA, Warnock Hersey (or ITS), OTL andWood Stove Installation Guides
ULC. This is important because Canadian standards typically require two inches more clearance from combustible construction
than American standards do.
The manufacturer’s label will list all required clearances between the unit and combustibles. Therefore, you can compare the
existing clearances with those required by the manufacturer.

Your wood burning appliance must be connected to an Approved Chimney.  Most Factory Built Chimneys confirm to CAN/ULC-S641 or other Listing Agency which will be identified by a Label fixed to every section of chimney.

Chimney requirements for wood burning appliances include:
• Chimneys must consist of either masonry or  metal.
• Masonry
– must be lined with clay, concrete, fire brick or metal.CHIMNEY 2-10 rule
• Metal
– must be a wood rated chimney.
– must have a tight fitting weather cap (metal liners must a swell).
– those that pass through living space must be enclosed to
avoid contact with combustibles and impact from people.
• With a fireplace insert, the chimney must be lined with metal insert ( stainless steel ).
• Chimneys should be cleaned on an annual basis by a certified
WETT chimney sweep.
• Chimneys must
– extend a minimum of three feet above the roof line.
– when the top of the chimney is within 10 feet of the roof line,or other obstruction,the chimney must extend another 2 feet until the top of the chimney clears the roof line/obstruction.
– once the chimney reaches five feet in height, it must be braced to the roof for stability

Flue Pipes

There are only 3 types of flue pipes permitted to be used on wood burning appliances.

• singlewall 24 and 26 gauge steel,
• black stainless steel lined, and
• double walled flue pipes.

Galvanized flue pipes are not permitted to be used.

NOTE: It is cheaper and easier to measure your clearances before you buy a wood burning appliance.  Every wood burning appliance has different clearance requirements.  Your money would be better spent on choosing a better unit that has less restrictive installation requirements than spending money on increasing size of ember pad or constructing heat shields.  You would end up with a nicer looking appliance and installation.


There are 2 types of wood burning appliances: certified and uncertified.  A classic example of an uncertified stove is any antique stove. Please check your local building code and city by-laws whether or not they have any restrictions on uncertified stoves. “Uncertified” means the stove was never tested to Canadian safety standards by one of the accepted testing agencies. Un-certified wood stoves have stricter installation rules are applied to uncertified stoves; in practice this means wider clearances between the stove and combustible materials (drywall, wood studs etc). You can greatly reduce this distance by using heat shields to cover your walls.

The minimum clearances can be reduced by installing a protective shield. The shield can be made of various non-combustible materials, such as ceramic, brick or metal. After installing a heat shield, the minimum clearances indicated on the heater’s certification plate can be reduced, as summarized in the table below:

TYPE OF PROTECTION Percentage of clearance reduction using shielding
Sheet metal, with minimum thickness of 0,013″ (0,33mm), spaced out by at least 1″ (25.4mm) by non-combustible spacers. 67% 50%
Ceramic tiles, or an equivalent non-combustible material installed on a non-combustible support, spaced out by at least 1″ (25.4mm) by non-combustible spacers. 50% 33%
Ceramic tiles, or an equivalent non-combustible material installed on non-combustible supports with a minimum of 0,013″ (0,33mm) sheet metal backing spaced out by at least 1″ (25.4mm) by non-combustible spacers. 67% 50%
Brick, spaced out by at least 1″ (25.4mm) by non-combustible spacers. 50% N / A
Brick, with a minimum of 0,013″ (0,33 mm) sheet metal backing spaced out by at least 1″ (25.4mm) by non-combustible spacers. 67% N / A

When you are heating your home with wood burning appliance (wood stove,furnace or pellet stove) or have a fireplace and have never had a WETT inspection performed, you could be at risk!  Most insurance companies will not insure a home with a wood burning appliance without having a WETT Certified Inspection completed. A WETT Certified Inspection (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) verifies the installation, condition and code compliance of wood burning appliances. During the past 15 years we have found that with wood stove, fireplace, chimney and pellet stove inspections that approximately 80% of the time they fail the requirements of a WETT Inspection. Protect your family and your home by having a WETT Certified Inspection on your wood burning appliance.

Here are just some of the typical items that are checked during a typical WETT Inspection on a woodstove, fireplace or pellet stove:

  • Chimney & Cap
  • Chimney Liner or Flue Tiles
  • Smoke  Chamber
  • Wood Stove or Fireplace Damper
  • Firebox & Firebricks/Linings
  • Hearth & Floor Protection
  • Mantle & Clearances to Combustible Walls & Ceilings
  • Heat Shield Construction for Reduced Clearances
  • Proper Flue Pipe Installation & Venting
  • Clearance to Combustible Exterior Items
  • Chimney Foundations & Masonry
  • Overall Condition of the Woodstove, Fireplace and its Chimney

These are just some of the typical items checked during a WETT Inspection. You and your family’s safety is crucial.  Having a WETT Inspection performed annually can provide you with the “Peace Of Mind” knowing your fireplace or wood stove is safe.  As a Certified WETT Inspector, The Barrie WETT Inspector can provide a WETT inspection with a report delivered on-site as soon as the inspection is completed! Most insurance companies require a WETT inspection to be performed if you have just performed a new installation of a wood burning appliance or if you have just purchased a new home equipped with a woodstove, fireplace or pellet stove. offers WETT Inspections in Barrie and across Simcoe County!

More Chimney Installation Information  

Cleaning Your Chimney

Barrie Home Inspection Process