WETT Inspection Tips for Wood Stoves and Fireplaces
A WETT Certified inspector must obtain three courses prior to obtaining his site basic qualification. The three courses are: Code Compliance; Wood Burning Systems and Site Basic Inspection. Training in these courses includes workshops, reference books and written exams.
We are providing some interesting tips so that you, as a home owner, can use this information and check your homes wood burning appliance to see if it would comply to the WETT standards.
A type vents were used on wood stoves prior to 1983. If your wood stove has a “A type” vent and has not been changed or modified since 1983 it would still comply. ( These vents were designed for oil burning appliances and when used for wood burning appliances a large amount of failures occured.
Factory built fireplaces in Ontario are required to have combustion air provided as per Ontario Building Code which takes precedence over B-365 Canadian Standards Association.
Chimney connections are required to be inserted inside next section of pipe (downward direction) to ensure that creosote etc will remain in chimney and not leak out at the joints. Many double wall pipes will appear not to do this when in fact the inside connection does in fact insert on inside of chimney.
If you use elbows below a ceiling connector you will have to measure distance from pipe to combustibles as pipe will no longer be directly under fitting.
Connecting you wood stove directly below ceiling support fitting without using elbows requires the installation of an expansion joint.
Clay flue tile are required to extend a minimum of 2 inches above chimney cap and a maximum of 3 inches. If you have two clay flues extending from cap then you need a minimum of 3 inches between the two.
When measuring distance to combustible walls you would measure behind any non-combustible materials, (such as brick wall with no air space). So in the case of brick you would actually add about 3 inches onto distance.
New construction in Ontario is required to have either HRV unit installed or have Pressure Test performed to prevent negative pressure in home. Prior to 1993 this was not required.
Chimney Clearances are: 3 feet minimum above roof; 2 feet above roof or structure within 10 feet radius.
Factory Built chimneys do not typically have a rated elbow support.
Attic shield is required for any chimney penetrating attic.
Since 1990 Stainless Steel chimneys are required for any hearth mount fireplace installation.
Typical Hearth Clearances:
Masonry – 16 inches in front. Side is 8 inches
Wood Stove – 18 inches in front. 8 inches at sides.
Factory Built Fireplace – Follow installation instructions.
A serious effort to improve the safety record of residential wood burning has been ongoing for about 16 years. Before that time, stoves were not tested for safety and homeowners had little or no guidance on installation. The result was too many house fires. Today, after many years of cooperative effort by all levels of government and the wood-heating industry, a number of systems have been put in place to help you heat with wood safely. These safety measures include:
- the evolution of a reliable installation code CSA B365;
- the development of safety testing standards for stoves, inserts, fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys and flue pipes; now almost all of the equipment offered for sale carries a certification label indicating/hat it conforms to safety tests; and
- The creation of a thorough training program for retailers, installers, chimney sweeps, municipal fire and building inspectors, and insurance inspectors; there are now professionals in every part of Canada who have completed the courses of the Wood Energy Technical Training program.
Wood heating technology and its safe installation have become more complicated in recent years. No longer is it sensible to simply “hook up” a wood stove to an existing chimney and begin using it for heating. To get the best performance from a wood-burning system and to be assured of its safety, you should get reliable advice from a trained professional and consider having the system professionally installed. Before starting the installation, you should contact your municipal office to get a building permit and inform your insurance agent of your intentions.
The Installation of Fireplace Inserts and Hearth mount Stoves
One general rule that applies to the installation of all fireplace inserts is that there must be a full stainless steel chimney liner installed from the insert flue collar to the top of the chimney. The liner reduces the chimney flue to match the size of the insert collar and isolates the flue gas from the masonry structure, retaining its heat and producing stronger draft. The liner also makes cleaning and servicing easier since it can be cleaned from the top of the chimney and the deposits can be removed from inside the insert. A full liner makes it unnecessary to remove the insert for cleaning, a procedure that is costly and can damage the hearth.
You should be aware that the installation of a fireplace insert or hearth mount stove and its full chimney liner is a permanent installation. The structure of the masonry fireplace must be altered to complete the installation and it may not be possible to return it to its original condition if you change your mind later.
The Installation of Pellet-Burning Appliances
The installation guidelines for pellet-burning appliances are contained in the manufacturer’s certified installation instructions. The instruction manual will provide details for clearances, the materials to be used for venting of the exhaust and the arrangement of vent components. Read about installation tips
Enjoy a “Risk Free” home inspection call Barrie Home Inspections today.
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