WETT Inspection Service
A WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) inspection is an in-depth inspection of fireplaces, stoves, and any other appliances used to burn wood. They are performed by WETT-certified inspector.
Please note, McCrea’s offers WETT Inspections for products that we install. For a WETT inspection on non-McCrea’s installed products, please reach out to your local WETT inspection provider.
Why do I Need a WETT Inspection?
You and your family’s safety is the main reason to have your home’s wood burning technologies inspected. Burning appliances increase the risk of combustible materials igniting and of harmful pollutants being released into the premises.
You need regular inspections and proper maintenance of this equipment. A WETT inspector will look at all the wood burning appliances in your home. You should involve an inspector if you want to buy and install an appliance.
The home insurance process requires WETT specialty inspections today. Some insurance companies ask homeowners to have their appliances examined. That’s the first time many of them hear of WETT inspections.
Elements Subject to Inspection: Fireplaces
Even older homes with fireplaces that work well need to get them inspected. This is because in general, homes built before 1954 didn’t have a flue with a liner. Fireplaces were used very often, the mortar was strong, and moisture stayed out. Today, fireplaces are used far less often. Moisture creeps into the structure, causing the masonry to deteriorate. It tends to form a hole, where gases and heat can enter the living spaces. Even well-functioning fireplaces might have a deficiency that brings a risk.
You need a WETT inspection if you’re buying an older home. For example, cottages are frequently equipped with wood-burning appliances. WETT standards are not upheld all of the time. You need appliances that are not compromising your safety and health, in good structural condition, and operating optimally.
Multi-unit residences are at greatest risk because chimneys are often adjoined or pass through other units. These units typically have factory-built systems of metal chimneys. An inspector will review the site quickly and give you a professional opinion. This is much more affordable than cleaning all the chimneys if issues rendering them unsuitable for use are on hand.
Metal chimneys can be a safety concern too. Many homeowners aren’t aware of this. Whether you have problems or not depends on your chimney’s vintage. Older factory-built versions contain an insulation that can erode through the casing. The chimney might look fine, but you need to have it inspected for less obvious signs of problems.
The chimney won’t be the only object of the inspection. It will also include an examination of a flue pipe, a wood stove, or a wood-burning fireplace. The inspector will look at the system’s distance from combustible materials as well as its positioning.
You must hire a licensed WETT technician if the technology in your home is not functioning optimally. A specialty WETT inspection will cover wood burning technology elements to guarantee they’ve been installed properly and comply with regulations and building codes. The inspector will examine the chimney for ventilation or structural issues. McCrea’s has licensed WETT technicians that can provide this service.
The purpose of heat shielding (or air-cooled) clearances is to keep the temperature of combustible materials around an appliance for burning wood below 90°C, also in the event of a chimney fire. An air-cooled radiation shield can limit clearance. The reason is that moving air is one of the best ways to cool the atmosphere.
When the heat from an appliance hits the shield, the shield gets hot and heats the surrounding air. As this hot air rises, it moves up and escapes through the shield’s spaces. The cooler WETT clearance air replaces this air as it’s drawn in at the bottom of the shield. With increasing heat of the shield, the heated air rises more quickly. The shield cools down faster as the amount of air passing by it increases.
A system made of a single big sheet of metal is more likely to buckle that one made of small sheet panels. One must hem the edges of the metal to make it stronger and make it look better. You can adapt this affordable kind of system to many situations.
Specifically, wall shields need to extend 500 mm above the appliance and 450 mm or more beyond each of its edges. You need at least 21 mm of space between the wall and the shield and at least 25 mm at the bottom for air to flow behind it. You need to leave a 75 mm space at the top of the shield if it has to cover the wall to protect the flue pipe. This is so the cooling air can escape. Use screws to mount the shield on the wall permanently.
Your inspector will make sure all heat shielding is in good condition and secure.
Preparing for an Inspection
There are quite a few things to do to prepare for a WETT inspection well. Start by checking the damper’s operation. It’s often the case that dampers are broken or seized, leading to poor or even dangerous work conditions. Check the firebox for lining material and cracked firebricks. To keep it functioning optimally, replace any cracked bricks to stop it from overheating. This can turn the unit into scrap because it will warp the steel components.
Replace any spalling or deteriorated masonry for masonry chimneys. Also replace caulk flashings, if needed.
In order to get a proper inspection, you need to clean the unit. Properly placed rain caps will stop water from leaking inside chimneys and chimney liners. After checking damper operation, check the door glass for cracking and the door gasket for deterioration. Make sure flue pipes are properly secured. Per pipe connection, there should be three screws or three pipe clamps installed as per the manufacturer’s specifications. Make sure the pipe is sloped correctly and the fittings are oriented properly.
You should keep combustible and wood storage materials at least four feet away from the stove, always and in each direction.
As you can see, WETT inspections are anything but simple. They’re worth doing because safety is more important than anything else. Want to know more? Call McCrea’s at (613) 432-9739 to get a quote or fill in the form below.