RCHI is proud to offer WETT inspection services for wood-burning systems to our clients. These inspections are conducted for a variety of reasons. Typically they are performed for insurance purposes, for real estate transactions or to investigate a concern with system performance. We frequently receive requests for a “WETT Certificate,” a “WETT Certification,” a “WETT Approval” and are asked if it’s a “WETT certified installation.” These are common misconceptions – they do not exist. What is issued is an inspection report completed by someone who is WETT certified.
A WETT inspection, which stands for Wood Energy Technical Training, includes a thorough inspection of solid fuel burning appliances such as wood stoves and fireplaces, by a certified WETT inspector. The installation and maintenance of wood-burning appliances is not regulated in Canada. Given the potential safety hazards posed by these appliances to those in the home, a WETT specialty inspection supplies fundamental health and safety information providing the peace of mind you need when buying or selling a home and living in a home. A WETT inspection may also be a requirement when securing home insurance.
An inspection for the wood burning systems in your home is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the health and safety of you and your family. With wood burning appliances, the potential exists for harmful flue gases and combustion products to be released into your home as well as combustible materials to be ignited. Therefore, it is important that these appliances are regularly inspected and properly maintained. If you have a home that already includes one or more of these features, or you would like to purchase one and have it installed in your home, having a WETT certified inspector or technician involved is a necessity. In Canada, many insurance companies require every dwelling which uses wood burning appliances to be thoroughly inspected by a professional WETT Certified Inspector and cleared/approved before the home can be insured. If purchasing an older home that includes any of these wood-burning appliances, a WETT inspection is an absolute necessity. Cottages often include wood-burning appliances, and often the installation of these features are not in compliance with WETT standards.
WETT trained professionals must abide by a code of ethics requiring professionalism in all aspects of their work. A WETT specialty inspection must be conducted by an inspector who is WETT certified.
Issues certificates of qualification to candidates who have the required amount of industry experience, have completed specified courses of study and have achieved a passing grade on examinations designed to test competence in the required skill areas. That is why it is recommended that you use a licensed and experienced WETT inspector because only they will have the true in-depth knowledge necessary for examining these systems correctly. While a typical home inspection includes a visual inspection of the fireplace, chimney and hearth. A WETT specialty inspection conducted by a certified inspector includes an inspection of all the available elements of any wood burning systems in the home to make sure that they are installed properly and are in compliance to building codes and regulations. It may also include a visit to the roof to examine the chimney for any potential structural, roof flashing or ventilation issues.
As part of a Level-1 inspection, you will receive an online inspection report which captures information that includes appliance type, certification markings, clearances and if the installation meets the relevant codes. The report details the areas in which the installation meets, or does not meet the requirements of the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the appropriate codes. An installation is either compliant with the relevant building and installation codes or it is not.
The nature of any inspection report is that it records what was seen at the date and time of the inspection. After completing an inspection report and leaving the premises, the inspector has no control over, nor knowledge of, any changes to a solid-fuel-burning system. Consequently, an inspection report can only warrant what was seen and recorded at the time of inspection.
WETT specialty inspections provide more than just peace of mind. If solid-fuel-burning appliances are a part of your home’s features, it is essential that these appliances are both properly installed and inspected to protect your family’s health and safety.