Author – Chimney Chick (Yvette Aube)
WETT Inc is a Not For Profit entity that supplies Chimney and Hearth Technicians in Canada with a Certification in their field. We, as Hearth Technicians, are taught many aspects of fire burning safety and installation practises to ensure our clientele is getting the best in service that is available.
There are many phases to our training and it all starts with a Code Compliance Module that explains to the tech the aspect of the many requirements there are in respect to knowing how to best serve the client and make their installations as safe as possible and to work within the Building & Fire Codes and the many Canadian Safety Standards for appliance and chimneys.
Once that module is completed, we then take a Course in Woodburning to help us understand how and why wood burns and what can happen with bad burning habits. We also delve into installation methods at this point. Then it is on the Chimney Sweeping courses to better instruct the Technician on the mechanics of sweeping chimneys & the problems that ensue from improper burning habits and installations. This goes into the equipment phase of our trade as well.
Then we take the Inspection Module to even further understand Code Compliance and the issues we may find in the field and how best to advise the Client with problems we find with their units. There are 2 phases to this Module as well. A SITE Inspector is the best qualified person to inspect your hearth appliance and its chimney system to ensure your best care.
Once all aspects are completed you Chimney Sweeping Technician gains on-road experience with their company and then updates their Certifications every 5 years.
A WETT Evaluation is to ensure the installation is up to Current Code Compliance and adheres to the Rules and Regulations regarding a clients particular installation. It is usually performed for a home owners’ assurance and/or insurance, a home sale or a new-to-you home buy and should be accomplished for the following reasons…..
1/ To determine if the woodstove or fireplace chimney and venting system has been swept recently
2/ To determine if the entire system was installed to Code Compliance
3/ To determine if any reparations should be affected
A WETT Certified Chimney technician should look for several things that a Home Inspector, Building Inspector or Realtor cannot know to look for, nor has the full expertise to look for. These items can and may include…
- Are the interior black pipes oriented in the proper direction
- Is the stove installed to proper clearances according to its manufacturer
- Is the hearth to proper dimensions
- How is the system connected to the chimney system
- Is the chimney system to Code Compliance and proper for the unit
- Is the masonry fireplace built on a firm base or on a bracket style chimney support
- Is the firebox solid and not falling apart
- Is the hearth the proper depth for the height of the extension
- Is the damper in evidence and in good working order
- Is the chimney is good shape and not spawling/shaling or falling apart-Are the brick in good shape?
- Does it have a proper cement crown cap and drip lip
- How are the interior flue tiles- intact – cracked – broken – missing
- If there is a fireplace stove insert in the firebox has it been installed to Code Compliance?
- If the chimney is metal, is it stainless steel and the proper size and type for the installation?
- Does the metal show signs of corrosion, dents or fatigue?
These are the major areas we look into but there is a myriad of smaller items that must be looked at in order to ensure that this installation is not going to be a problem for the owner of the home and system.
As you can see this is a safety issue and should not be inspected / evaluated / or maintained by a person who is not aware of the codes and compliance issues that a trained and WETT CERTIFIED Chimney professional can be. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call in the future for any needs that may arise with your home heating appliances or visit www.wettinc.ca
AND REMEMBER: If you are selling or buying a new home—-Get that WETT is your assurance that the unit is in top shape or needs reparations.
~ Chimney Chick