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The cost of certification of wood stoves?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    According to one manufacturer it cost about $200 to get a stove ul approved and EPA certified. This is from an article posted
    on Mother earth dated some time in the mid 90’s Years later using the same certified manufacturing approved technique, that
    cost
    has to be considerably less. I do not know how long a certification last or how often they have before re-certification. Maybe
    some can goggle and post that info. It would be interesting I have to find the post where I outlined Warnock Hersey’s testing
    routine. Hopefully I saved that somewhere. I do remember the check the firebox capacities using 2/4’s. I wonder what cost is factored
    in to every stove sale today?

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  2. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I think what elk is saying that, after all is said and done, a manufacturer reported it costed them roughly 200 dollars for each stove they made?

    I agree that it would have to take some large quantity of chips to get a stove inspected. But 10k? Damn, that's alotta dinero.
  3. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I put a question mark after MY interpretation because I didn't think it was right. I'll have to be more clear next time.

    Yes I understand the costs of running a lab, and I understand that it could cost 10k to test a stove.

    I guess you aren't on the same page as me. Perhaps you're running a UL testing lab?

    I was just trying to say i think 10k per stove is a lot of money. I never said it was too much or too little. It's just a big quantity of money. Which is exactly what I wrote.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me make some observations and guesses.....

    1. Safety Testing: Since most manufacturers now know what it takes to pass the tests before they even try, this lowers the prices. So does the large quantity of sales possible with most models. Also, large manufacturers have "in house" testing labs so that stoves and personel don't have to be sent to the labs as much.

    Result: My guess is that safety testing is in the range of $8,000 to $20,000 per unit, which would add only a few bucks ($5. for a guess) to each stove over a few year period.

    2. EPA Certification: When this first went into effect, the figure was about 50K, since the manufacturers had to often modify the stoves extensively during the tests. Now, the makers have pollution test labs in their factories and, as with the safety test, the stoves are either:
    a. tested and witnessed in-house...or they are trusted and simply send the results in.
    or
    b. At minimum the stoves are pre-tested so they are likely to pass at the first run in the test lab.

    My guess is about the same as the safety test, maybe less - like about 10K?

    Perhaps a manufacturer can chime in here.....

    Manufacturers have to add labels AND continue to pay the test lab each year for continual checking and listing.

    Still, my guess is that the whole process does not add more than $20. to the manufacturer cost of each stove.

    The more expensive part of stove development is often in these actions:
    1. If stove is cast-iron, then design, blueprints, carved patterns and molds can cost BIG bucks. For instance, a high production mold for ONE piece of a cast stove could run tens of thousands of dollars.
    2. The time spent for a number of employees that design, prototype, test, write manuals, etc.

    As with many things today, it is the human element (labor) that is of the highest cost (and highest value, of course).....

    Well, they are my guesses.....firmly culled from ancient history. I'm ready for some manufacturer to step in and make a fool of me!
  5. Geoff

    Geoff New Member

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    $10K sounds low to me considering what has to be done, the cost of lab equipment, and not to mention dealing with the federal government (there has to be a LOT of paperwork). That's my opinion based on my experiences in lab work and dealing with the FDA.

    But, when I was at Woodstock Soapstone last weekend I inquired about moving the side loading door from the right side to the left side. I was told what I thought I might be, the stove would have to be re-certified. What I didn't expect was the price of the testing.............

    $40,000
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Woodstock has a basic lab in-house for their testing, but I do not think it is a "approved" lab, therefore my guess is they have to outsource the whole deal. That is VERY expensive.

    EPA testing was originally $50,000 when it first was required.......that may have included the tweaks needed to make the stove pass...assuming it was somewhat close already.

    Yeah, maybe my figures are low...but again they are based on the fact that that the maker has full lab in-house. When you get to thinking about it, you can't hardly get a masonry fireplace built for 8K, and a basic bathroom remodel is 10K-20K, so we have to think about todays deflated dollars. No one does very much for 10K anymore!

    Whatever the figure, think of it this way. A decent model is likely to sell 2-3,000+ units a year if you are a larger maker.

    So at $10 a stove, you still have 20-30K EACH YEAR, which should more than cover initial and ongoing testing and listing when figured over a 10 year model life. Small manufacturers are at a disadvantage both because of no in-house lab and fewer stoves made each year.

    Craig
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