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Frequently Asked Questions

Inspection Services

One of the most common reasons WETT is contacted is to find a WETT-certified professional to inspect a wood-burning appliance (wood stove, fireplace, etc.) There are a variety of reasons an inspection is requested. These may include:

  • insurance company requested an inspection
  • pre-purchase home inspection
  • system performance issue
  • visable signs of damage

1 - How do I get a WETT inspection or WETT certificate?

Answer:

A WETT inspection is the inspection of a solid-fuel-burning system, performed by a WETT-certified professional, for compliance with applicable codes and standards. Appliances or installations cannot be WETT certified.

WETT frequently receives requests for a “WETT certificate,” a “WETT certification,” a “WETT approval” or asked if it’s a “WETT-certified installation.” We also receive requests for companies that are “WETT certified.” These are common misconceptions — they do not exist. What should be issued is an inspection report completed by someone who is WETT certified. The WETT certification number of the member should be included on his or her report.

Contact a WETT-certified professional to inspect your solid-fuel-burning system. WETT has adopted a process to help identify the level of inspection required. We call this SITE®.

2 - What is a SITE Basic Inspection? / What are the types of inspections?

Answer: SITE is a set of standardized guidelines and procedures that are recommended by WETT for the inspection and/or evaluation of wood-burning systems. WETT outlines three levels of inspections.

  • Level 1: Visual inspection
  • Level 2: Technical inspection
  • Level 3: Invasive inspection

Click here to view the WETT SITE inspection table

Not sure what you are looking for? Click here for further information and to find a WETT-certified professional.

3 - What level of inspection do I need?

Answer: SITE outlines three levels of inspection
An inspector will be able to help you assess which level of inspection is required based on your needs. For most insurance and real estate inspections, a Visual inspection is sufficient. If, during the course of the inspection, the inspector sees signs of concern, a Technical or Invasive inspection may be recommended.

Visual Inspection
A Visual Inspection may be required as part of a real estate purchase, as requested by your insurer, as required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction or as part of a Fire Code requirement. It also provides peace of mind to you prior to using the appliance.

This includes a basic inspection of the solid-fuel-burning appliance and venting system components that are visible. It will include measurements of clearances, opening doors or dampers, and a visual inspection of the chimney from the ground. It will identify any noted deficiencies and red flags that may require a more detailed inspection. It will include a final report on WETT inspection forms.

If there is obvious evidence of a problem with the system, a “Technical” inspection should be completed.

Technical Inspection
A Technical Inspection may be required by the insurance company or Authority Having Jurisdiction. It can be a follow-up to the Visual inspection where further investigation was recommended.

This inspection would include all elements of a “Visual” inspection. It would also include a hands-on inspection, which may include taking apart flue pipes, opening clean-outs, entering the attic to view additional system components, and may include accessing the chimney on the roof. The WETT inspection report will include all findings and clearly define what was able to be accessed and what not able to be inspected.

This could be required where there are concerns noted in a “Visual” inspection, or after a significant period of time where the appliance was not used. If you have replaced some components in the system, this inspection will review the system as a whole. It may also include a recommendation for an invasive review where some components are not accessible.

A chimney fire, seismic event or suspected incident may require completing an “Invasive” inspection if some components of the system are not accessible through the “Technical” inspection.

Invasive Inspection
An Invasive Inspection would include an invasive review of components. It may include opening walls (drywall), or other tasks that require additional construction-related skills. The extent of the inspection and its purpose should be clearly discussed with the WETT technician prior to commencing. The WETT inspection form will be provided at the end of the inspection, and will include additional narratives to describe the results of the invasive work.

When concealed components identified in a “Technical” inspection require further investigation, this inspection should be completed. If there has been a chimney fire or suspected incident and there are components not accessible with a “Technical” inspection, complete an “Invasive” inspection. The corrective actions indicated in the report must be completed prior to the appliance being used again.

If your wood-burning system is not functioning properly or causing concerns such as smoke spillage, rapid creosote accumulation, etc., you should contract a WETT-certified technician or sweep.

Click here to view the WETT SITE Guidelines

Not sure what you are looking for? Click here for further information and to find a WETT professional.

4 - What is the cost of an inspection?

Answer: WETT’s authority does not include regulating how much WETT-certified professionals charge for their services. This question can be asked when you call to arrange for an inspection.

5 - What kind of report will I receive?

Answer: As part of an inspection, you will receive a written inspection report. WETT provides members with inspection forms for their use. 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 in compliance of the inspection area or it is not.

Typically, most Visual Inspections will capture information that includes appliance type, certification markings, clearances and if the installation meets the relevant codes. Given the detailed nature of Technical and Invasive inspections, additional information may be captured.

Where an “Invasive” inspection is a follow-up to a previous “Visual” or “Technical” inspection, the previous report should be made available by the client. A full new WETT inspection form with additional notes should be included, as a number of UTIs will now be reportable.

6 - How long is an inspection report valid for?

Answer: 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 the inspection.

7 - How do I find a WETT-certified professional?

Answer: In order to find a WETT-certified member in your area, please go to our website search page.

Once on the members search page, choose the following:

  • Service: inspections, chimney sweeping or installations
  • City/town: the city or town where the inspection, installation or sweep is required
  • Province: the province where the inspection, installation or sweep is required

Click on the “Start Search” button. This will bring up the complete list of all members in your area.

8 - How I can verify that someone is certified?

Answer: You can verify that someone is certified by checking the WETT Inc. website or by calling the WETT office at 1-888-358-9388. (NB: not all WETT-certified members wish to have their information listed on our website.)

A: It is important to note that WETT certifies individuals, not companies. Companies may advertise that they have WETT-certified people on staff. When contacting companies, you should make it clear that you are looking for a WETT-certified individual to complete work on your behalf. WETT-certified professionals are issued photo ID cards, which include a sticker. This sticker should be for the current year.

9 - What type of WETT-certified professional do I need?

Answer: WETT certifies individuals in the following categories (and combinations thereof)

SITE Basic Inspector – These are individuals who can perform a Visual Inspection.

Technician – These are individuals who can install or performance maintenance on wood-burning appliances. They can also perform a Visual or Technical inspection.

Chimney Sweep – these are individuals who can clean and maintain your entire wood-burning system, including cleaning the chimney. The can also perform a Visual or Technical inspection.

SITE Comprehensive Inspector – These are individual who can perform Visual, Technical or Invasive inspections. These individuals are also technicians and/or sweeps.

For more information on their training please see the Paths to Certification.

10 - What is a WETT Candidate?

Answer: Candidates listed on our website are individuals who have successfully completed their training courses for certification but are still working on gaining the necessary experience to become certified. Individuals must complete a series of training courses and also have a prescribed number of years of experience. This takes some time. We allow five years for Candidates to become certified.

In areas where there are a limited number of WETT-certified persons, or when WETT-certified persons are unavailable, we encourage homeowners to contract services with WETT Candidate members. We feel it is better to have someone who has some formal training rather than use individuals who have not been exposed to professional training in the inspection, installation and maintenance of wood-burning appliances. Please ensure you first check with your insurance company to confirm they will accept a inspection report from a WETT Candidate members.

11 - I have a complaint about a WETT-certified member.

Answer: Keep in mind that WETT does not act as a regulator. Our role is education. If this is an issue with business practices, please contact the Better Business Bureau.

WETT-certified professionals must abide by a code of ethics requiring professionalism in all aspects of their work. The installation and maintenance of wood-burning appliances is not regulated in Canada. As a non-profit training and educational association, WETT does not oversee, nor is it responsible for, the workmanship of its members. As such, WETT does not act as a regulator. WETT does maintain internal processes to address breaches of our code of ethics. However, WETT cannot become involved in resolving consumer disputes.

All communications regarding complaints must be received in writing. Please fully complete the Discipline and Dispute Form located on our website at this link. Additional documentation including letters, inspection reports and pictures are encouraged. Completed forms can be either mailed to:

Disputes c/o WETT Inc.
1-189 Queen St E
Toronto, ON M5A 1S2
or
scanned and sent electronically with supporting documentation to [email protected]

12 - How do I become WETT certified?

Answer: The Paths to WETT Certification in the following order are as follows:

  • Successfully complete the three-day Code Compliance course.
  • Successfully complete the two-day Wood-burning Systems course.
  • Successfully complete the one-day SITE Basic Inspection course.
  • Submit a verifiable declaration of 80 weeks industry experience as well as a letter of reference

Please see the Paths to Certification. Please also visit our website for upcoming course dates and to register for courses at this link.

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