Do you require an inspection for insurance purposes or the pre-purchase of a home equipped with a wood-burning appliance or fireplace? A basic visual inspection is a general overview of the readily accessible parts to determine if the system meets current regulations.
As a WETT Certified Inspector, I can perform this service separately or as part of your standard home inspection.
What is WETT?
Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. (WETT Inc.) is a non-profit training and education association managed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by holders of valid WETT certificates. Through its administrative designate, WETT Inc. functions as the national registrar of the WETT program. Through professional training and public education, WETT Inc. promotes the safe and effective use of wood-burning systems in Canada.
Why do I need a WETT Inspection?
Inspections for wood-burning systems (fireplaces, chimneys, wood-burning stoves) are conducted for a variety of reasons. Typically, they are conducted for insurance purposes, real estate transactions or to investigate a concern with the way a system is functioning. The inspection will determine if the system meets current regulations.
Can I get a WETT inspection or WETT certificate?
There is no such thing as a WETT inspection, nor can any appliance be WETT certified, these are common misconceptions. What is issued to the client is an inspection report based on applicable codes and standards by someone who is WETT certified. WETT has adopted a process to help identify the level of inspection you require, called “SITE”.
What type of WETT Certified Professional do I need?
WETT primarily certifies individuals in the following categories (and combinations thereof):
SITE Basic Inspector — These are individuals who can perform a Level 1 Inspection.
Technician — These are individuals who can install or perform maintenance on wood-burning appliances. They can also perform a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection.
Chimney Sweep — These are individuals who can clean and maintain your entire wood-burning system, including sweeping the chimney. They can also perform a Level 1 and Level 2 inspection.
SITE Comprehensive Inspector — These are individuals who can perform Level 1, 2 or 3 inspections. These individuals are also technicians and/or sweeps.
Currently, Kennedy’s Home Inspections only performs a Level 1 Inspection.
What is involved in a Level 1 SITE Basic Inspection?
SITE is a set of standardized guidelines and procedures that are Recommended by WETT for the inspection and/or evaluation of wood-burning systems. SITE outlines three levels of inspection.
Level 1 Inspection – “Readily Accessible” Readily Accessible can be described as quickly or easily reached for inspection. It would not require the use of special tools for opening or the removal of any panel, door or other covering; nor would it require the use of ladders. A tape measure, light, mirror, hammer, camera, magnifying glass and binoculars shall comprise the usual tools required to perform this type of inspection.
An inspector will be able to help you assess what level is required based on your needs. For most insurance and real estate inspections a Level 1 is sufficient. If, during the course of the inspection, the inspector sees signs of system problems, a Level 2 or Level 3 may be recommended. If your wood-burning system is not functioning properly, is damaged or causing concerns such as smoke spillage, rapid creosote accumulation, etc., you should contact a WETT certified technician or sweep for a Level 2 inspection or a SITE Comprehensive inspector for a Level 3 inspection.
What kind of report will I get?
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. As part of a Level 1 Inspection, you should receive a written inspection report. WETT does provide members with sample inspection forms for use. Members may use these or they may have different formats that they use. Typically, most Level 1 Inspection forms will capture information which includes appliance type, certification markings, clearances and whether the installation meets the relevant codes. This is the most common type of inspection required by insurance companies.
You can review all of the levels of inspection and their scopes at the following website: http://www.wettinc.ca/LevelsofInspectionChart.pdf
For how long is an inspection report valid?
The nature of any inspection report is that it records what was seen at the time of the inspection. After completing an inspection report and leaving the premises, the inspector has no control over, nor knowledge of, any changes that may take place on a wood-burning appliance installation. Consequently, an inspection report can only warrant what was seen and recorded at the time of the inspection.
How do I prepare for the SITE Basic Level 1 Inspection?
Please ensure the appliance has been cleaned inside and all ashes removed safely.
Verify whether or not the label plate is accessible and legible. The plate is a required part of the inspection process as it outlines the clearance to combustibles, the serial number and certification authority. If it is missing or cannot be read, then I cannot verify the appliance meets current codes. This means that the appliance is considered a “non-certified” stove and the distance from walls or combustible material is much greater, ie. The stove will take up a larger amount of space in the room it is installed in.
Check with your insurance company to determine if they have their own forms they would like filled out on their behalf following the inspection, as this is a requirement by some providers. If not, I will include my findings within the WETT Inspection Report and will email you a copy.
WETT Code of Ethics
WETT Inc. 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. To maintain WETT certification in good standing, including the right to use the WETT logo on letterhead and advertising, the person must renew his or her certification annually, complete courses in the WETT continuing education series from time to time as required and comply with the terms of the WETT Code of Ethics below.
- A certificate holder will protect the rights and safety of others and use reasonable skill and judgment while engaged in the practice of wood-energy technical work in accordance with the terms and conditions of WETT certification.
- A certificate holder will not knowingly contravene any federal, provincial, or municipal law, regulation, or by-law relating to the sale, installation, inspection or maintenance of solid-fuel-burning systems.
- A certificate holder will not knowingly sign or issue a false or misleading report or other document.
- A certificate holder will not make a false, exaggerated or misleading statement as to the practice of solid-fuel work, or make a false or malicious statement or publication that injures the professional reputation of another person who is WETT certified.
- A certificate holder will not use the WETT logo or the words Wood Energy Technical Training in a way that misleads the public as to the WETT certification status of him/herself or of another person.
As a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI), I have made a commitment to adhere to the OAHI Code of Conduct for the Home Inspection Profession. For more details on my home inspections, please view the OAHI Standards of Practice by which I abide.