Clearing up common misconceptions
Source: Wood Energy Technology Transfer
One of the challenges WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) faces is trying to help homeowners understand what WETT does. Most often homeowners ask about WETT because their insurance company has asked that they have their appliance WETT certified.
WETT is a training organization. As such, WETT trains people who wish to get involved with the sale, installation, inspection and maintenance of wood heating appliances. Once people complete the training program and acquire enough experience, they become WETT certified in the specific area for which they sought training. WETT certification implies that they have met the educational and experience requirements.
WETT currently does not prescribe any specific inspection processes. Inspections are completed by members for a variety of purposes including insurance requirements, code compliance, emissions control, safety and checking for signs of deterioration or malfunction. Inspections are one of many services performed by WETT certified professionals
Neither the installation nor the appliance can be "WETT certified." They can, however, be inspected for a variety of purposes, but there is no such thing as a WETT certified appliance. An appliance can be inspected, installed and even maintained by a WETT certified professional, but it cannot be WETT certified, nor can members issue "WETT certificates." Only a certification agency such as ULC, CSA or ITS (WH) can test and list wood burning appliances and venting systems and authorize them to display the logo of the certification agency.
These are common misconceptions WETT is working hard to clear up.
Typically, when people are looking for an insurance type of inspection, a visual inspection is conducted to determine if there is evidence of any problems with the installation. This includes examining clearances, chimney heights and visual signs of deterioration. If there are concerns identified, then the inspector should make a recommendation that the appliance be checked and, if necessary, repaired by a WETT certified technician or chimney sweep.
Please visit the WETT website at www.wettinc.ca to find a certified professional in your area.
You can help clear up these misconceptions by communicating these messages to your friends and associates when they ask questions about WETT.
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.