Sep 15, 2016

Final sauna inspection by the city inspector

About a year ago plus a couple of months, I made the decision to build an outdoor wood fired sauna. I wanted to do it honestly and following the city rules so that I didn’t have any issues down the road. I started my build by talking to my city inspections department and figuring out exactly which permit is needed. In my city, any outdoor structure under 200 sq feet does not require a permit, however, it still needs to be approved by the city as far as where it’s placed, how it looks and such. I learned that my city inspections department had a pretty foggy idea of what a sauna is. One concern they had is there would be too much smoke outside. Apparently, as I found out, they thought a sauna was a wood boiler—the tiny house size oven you see placed outdoors behind a house in rural areas that heats the house in the winter and creates lots and lots of smoke. Eventually, the inspections department told me I needed to pull a stove permit and that the stove needed to be UL approved up to the UL 875. I paid my $90 and got the permit. As you recall from reading the blog, there are only 2 or 3 stove in the country that are even UL listed. From my further research, I found out that the listing my city inspections requested that I get actually applied to “Electric Sauna Stove” once I looked up the particular UL number. (http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=875) The correct UL listing for a wood burning stove is actually UL 1482 (http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=1482&edition=7&doctype=ulstd)

Well, I did find and install a great UL listed stove- Kuuma wood sauna stove by Lamppa Mfg (http://www.lamppakuuma.com). I followed the stove clearances and worked closely with my city inspector. When the chimney was first installed, I had my initial inspection and passed. After the stove was installed, I had my final inspection and FAILED. The inspector had some changes for me to make, such as getting half of one of my benches out of the clearance range of the stove, and covering the floor with cement. I complied.

Yesterday, I had my follow up “final” inspection. I am pleased to announce that the inspection PASSED and my sauna is now in full compliance and is ready for official use! 

2 comments:

  1. That is awesome! What was your total cost start to finish?

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  2. Hi Adam,

    I tried my best to keep tabs on my spending, but couldn't keep up 100% :) Luckily, Home Depot emails you receipts, and that's where I did most of my shopping. My last estimate was about $10k even. I'd say that's within about $100 of a true cost.

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