Are you purchasing a cottage with an old fireplace? Do you want to install a wood-burning oven in your house? If so, you have some steps you’ll need to take first! In order for a home to have any wood-burning appliances, it must first undergo a WETT inspection by a certified professional. This is so you can insure your home while also making sure it is safe to use. In Canada, it is a requirement by insurers to have wood-burning appliances inspected by a professional and cleared before insurance approval. Read on to learn everything there is to know about being WETT certified!

What is it?

A Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) inspection is a check-up of any wood-burning appliance that is located inside a home. This can include a stove, an open fireplace or an outside boiler. This is due to the fact that fires are a constant threat to any home. When these older wood-burning appliances are used, the potential for fires and harmful pollutants released into your home is increased. By conducting a WETT inspection, you are able to rest easy knowing your wood-burning appliance isn’t a threat to your family or your safety.

What are the objectives of WETT?

The objective of WETT is to promote the safe and effective use of wood-burning systems within Canada. In order to do this, WETT conducts the Wood Energy Technical Training Program. This provides training to those who install and maintain wood-energy products and systems, as well as conducts inspections of wood-burning systems. This training consists of several courses which touch on the various types of work done by wood-energy professionals! When one has completed the training, they will receive a certificate stating that they are certified to inspect any wood-burning systems.

How much does an inspection cost?

How much your WETT inspection will cost will depend on a variety of factors. It usually will depend on what exactly you are getting inspected and how old the appliance is. WETT’s authority doesn’t necessary include regulating how much professionals charge for their services. Generally speaking, you’d want to call ahead when arranging for an inspection to see how much money you’ll be spending.

Do I need a WETT inspection?

If you have a wood-burning appliance in your house or cottage, then yes. Throughout Canada, WETT Specialty Inspections are now being required as a part of the home insurance process. Generally speaking, a homeowner will first learn about WETT when their insurance providers inquire about the wood-burning appliance located in their home or cottage. Your appliance must be thoroughly inspected by a professional and approved so that you can purchase insurance for your home or cottage. Most older dwellings have wood-burning appliances that are not yet WETT certified, so it is absolutely necessary to receive one so you can insure it.

What does a WETT inspection entail?

That depends. There are actually three different types of WETT inspections, each dependent on the situation at hand. The three levels are:

Level 1: Visual Inspection

A visual inspection is generally required during a real estate purchase. This is usually requested by your insurer as part of a Fire Code requirement. A visual inspection is usually just a basic inspection of the appliance and whichever venting system parts are visible to the eye. This will include measurements of clearances and making sure doors work. It may also comprise of a visual inspection of the chimney from top to bottom. Once complete, you may see some red flags that will require a higher level inspection. If you just bought a new home or cottage and have changed some parts to your appliance, you should have this inspection done.

Level 2: Technical Inspection 

Generally, these will happen as follow-up inspections when your insurance company sees you have failed the Visual WETT inspection. This will usually include all of the parts of the visual inspection, with the addition to some hands-on aspects. Some examples of these include taking apart the appliance, examining the chimney on the roof, and cleaning it. At the end of this inspection, your WETT inspector will write a report that states what is found and if the issue can be fixed or not.

Level 3: Invasive Inspection

The third level of the inspection usually takes place when an incident occurs involving your wood-burning appliance. An example of this can be a chimney fire. Though this inspection doesn’t include any repairs to the appliance, it showcases what needs repairing and the steps to take in order to do so. Hence the name, this level requires a more thorough inspection of your appliance and surrounding areas. Inspectors may have to open dry-wall or hire other construction workers to assist. Once the issue is resolved, another technical assessment will be made.

What happens if I don’t get WETT certified?

Being WETT certified is crucial when it comes to the safety of using wood-burning appliances. If you are to use a wood-burning appliance that does not have an inspection, you risk putting you and your family in harm’s way. Wood-burning appliances can be dangerous if not installed or maintained correctly, emitting dangerous fumes and smoke, as well as having the potential to cause fires. But what happens if you fail an inspection? When you receive your paperwork at the end of a WETT inspection, it will state whether or not it is compliant with the relevant installation codes or not. If you fail, your inspector will give you a thorough breakdown as to why. They will also inform you of what the next steps will be. This can range from contacting the original retailer of the appliance, or discussing what repairs will be needed.

At the end of the day, a WETT inspection is a lot more than just peace of mind. Though it’s a bonus to feel safe and sound in your home, these inspections are absolutely mandatory. If you are purchasing a new cottage or a house that has a wood-burning appliance, make sure a WETT inspection is the first step you take. With that being said, why not take a look at your insurance policy while you’re at it? isure offers the best rates when it comes to insurance for your home and cottage. Get a quote today!

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