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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Code says before a stove/ new appliance is connected to an existing, chimney, the chimney should be inspected and cleaned.
    Where code fails is, it does not identify who is qualified to do the inspection. Furthermore it implies that an inspection report is required. I know CSIA has extensive training and certification programs. Why not have the state recognize there professionalism?
    Along with identifying licenced masons qualified to inspect masonry chimneys.

    Next week I have been asked to comment on the mechanical sections of one and two family dwellings codes.

    Point #2 In our state, (MA), the only requirement to install a wood/ pellet stove is to have a Construction Supervisor's licence.
    Again I question this stipulation. I feel experienced chimney sweeps and factory train pellet stove installers should be recognised.
    I know many holders of CS licences that would be clueless installing a pellet stove or insert. I also realize that most chimney sweeps do not have CS licences. and therefore can not legally install a stove in MA.

    This is not directed to home owner self installs. Called homeowner exemptions. Instead recognise qualified professionals.

    Hopefully if a homeowner hires and installer he should be qualified, licenced, and insured. Right now if I fail an install from the local chimney sweep so be it. He is not accountable to the homeowner or under any disciplinary action of the state licencing board.

    There would have to be a grandfathering clauses licencing existing qualified installers. Maybe a compromise solution existing installers have to register with the state, with proof of employment or service in the installations. They could continue working but have 2 years to be officially certified by say CSIA

    There is no right or wrong stand here, I am looking for feedback, opinions, comments

    This is an oppertunity for Hearth.com Harry, Shane, MSG, mlouwho, Seagan, or many other installers to weigh in.
    Plus all other posters, stove owners, to help shape the way code is written. I know it is in only one State but it is a start

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  2. berlin

    berlin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    299
    Loc:
    Western NY
    Well i'll throw my $.02 in. I don't believe there is a need. I hate to see excessive and burdensome regulations in any sector. In any field there will be those that know thier stuff, and those that don't, I know a lot of "certified" individuals that still do shitty jobs. There is a point of excessive red tape and diminishing returns- once you get to a certain point of regulatory burocracy one must ask; what would we really gain if we went further? often the answer is: higher prices for consumer, prevention of new players joining the marketplace, lack of competition, and possibly an actual slide of quality because current and "certified" players in the market feel secure in thier "blanket of red tape" that now precludes small mom-and-pop startups from taking thier market share.
  3. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    There has to be regulation at some level.
    I was pissy when I found out I had to pull a permit to install our stove/chimney but during the entire installation safety of the end result was paramount.
    Of course then you have some of the horror stories that Elk has given us from his experiences which shows , as we all know, common sense isnt so common.

    My wife teaches with a guy whose wife recently passed. She never let him light off the fireplace (I guess because she was afraid of it?) and he was talking to her about maybe lighting it the next cold night we get. This guy is a smart guy but you cant be smart about everything and I implored her to tell him to have a sweep clean the chimney at the very least and if he was going to start using it he should probably have it lined.

    When putting an iron/steel box in a home that has fire in it, there has to be an inspection system if for nothing else to keep the ridiculous insurance rates from going even higher.
    Can you imagine some of the dolts you have run across doing installs on woodstoves in their homes!?!?!?!

    If you hire someone they should be a professional that has gone through some type of training/schooling.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Berlin has valid points I personally believe those qualified would welcome regulations. In a way it evens the playing field.
    Every profession has members, that are not at qualified or professional as they should be. There is no perfect profession.
    To most you experience one install, I see many. For the most part the local installers are decent. Yet most are not licenced
    to do the very installs they are. At least in MA. I have asked them if they had CS licences? Plumbers, Electricians,
    All know if they screw up they, could have their licenced pulled. Chimney sweep making the install (and there are real life safety issues) Does not have to worry as of now there is no licence, therefore no review process. no liability workmans' comp
    required.

    Going along with Berlin post, Being licenced is more home owner protection. My CS licence did not make me a better carpenter. What it did do, is to test us, to indicate a knowledge level of construction practices and code. Along the way
    studying for the exams everybody had to get familiar with code span charts we all came away learning more that we did before

    Could it cost the homeowner more? For many the same guy is making the install, only now he is recognised as a professional.
    I supose professionalism quality and skills cost more. Right now, my battle with a mason substituting solid masonry with hollow core block, Bangs home this point. These chimneys (2 ) are compromising clearance to combustibles. Why he is doing this is hard to fathom, the cost savings is $135 per chimney. This is a 6700 sq ft home going for over 2.5 mill. In this case did it cost the home owner more? What the potential homeowner should have done, is hired better more professional people, to build their custom home
    Would another contractor cost more? This is an example where it pays to have quality people. Would they have paid $135 more to have minium safety?
  5. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    I can't agree more Elk. There should be licensing for chimney sweeps and fireplace installers. It is a profession or trade and should be recognized as such. As for cost it would not add to the cost of my installs because I already charge as a professional even though I am denied such status from my local and state governments. And your dead on when you say it would leval the playing field. As it sits anyone can throw on a top hat buy a brush and a vacuum and call themselves a chimney sweep. This is no less insulting to my profession, and the leval of dedication I show to it than it would be to a plumber who goes through the trouble of learning and perfecting his trade being on the same leval as someone with a monkey wrench and a pipe threader saying their a plumber. What separates the plumber from the guy with a monkey wrench? His license, he has proven his knowledge and ability by taking a written test and performing his job under the supervision of a master for the required amount of time. It would protect the general public from unscrupulous business owners who hire any joe blow put him in a van and send him to install or clean/service an appliance. Seems like a win win situation for everyone to me. BTW I have not yet obtained my CSIA certification, so maybe my post is semi-hypocritical. The reason I have yet to get the CSIA cert is simply economical. I recently invested in getting all of my NFI certifications and that costs lot of $$$, so now I wait for a while before any more funds can be allocated to my un-official professional status. One major gripe I do have is that with the NFI certifications only one person in the company has to be certified to claim certified status for the whole company. There should be a requirement like the CSIA has that states a certified individual must be present at each job.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I looking for oppinions discussion
  7. Hokerer

    Hokerer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Manassas, VA
    Hey Elk - you gonna make 'em attend a certain number of seminars to keep that certification? :)
  8. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Elk-What do you mean by value judgements? I didn't mean to be judgemental simply trying to make a comparison that my profession should be considered a trade just like many others.

    Hokerer- Yes you do have to attend a specific amount of seminars to keep your certifications, or you can simply retest when they expire.

    One valid point that my local inspectors made was that they couldn't/wouldn't require 3rd party certifications like CSIA or NFI but would consider basing their own testing/licensing requirements on the testing requirements of above mentioned organizations. It makes sense in that as a govt. entity they shouldn't be supporting private 3rd party organizations and in essence generating revenue for them. To require testing and licensing for hearth professionals would require changing city statute and honestly none of the inspectors seem to concerned with doing this.
  9. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Interesting discussion Elk.

    In the state of Michigan, it is required to have Mechanical license to install hearth products. It is my understanding that we are one of only a handful of states that require it. With a full HVAC license we are allowed to do everything from furnaces & gas piping to wood burning chimneys & stoves. If you are not qualified for a full HVAC license, you can get a specialized license, for just venting or just wood burning or just service which ever you are qualified for. In order to get the license, you have to have a required # of years of on the job training before you can even take the test. One problem tho is that any Joe Heaterman with a HVAC license thinks he can install hearth products, they don't realize how different firepalces are than your basic furnace. But that keeps my service guys busy, going out to fix other people's poor installations.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    This is just a discussion. I have no answers all I can do is make recomendations at the code reviews. maybe I was unclear I think it important the qualified people do the work
  11. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    not to go off topic, but I just noticed that I went up in rank, Whoo hoo!
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    around 75 post you will be in the honnor society
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