I was sent an email last week by someone who had seen my corn burning web site and told me that I had an illegal installation because Wisconsin law prohibited installation of solid fuel burning stoves or furnaces that are not UL listed.
Imagine my surprise.
I did a little looking around on the web and found the appropriate state agency web site, building codes fall under the department of commerce up here. After a couple of emails back and forth I was refered to chapter 23 of the building code:
Per Comm 23.045, all solid-fuel-burning appliances shall be tested and listed by an accepted testing agency. Accepted agencies are: Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Electrical Testing Labs of New York, Energy Testing Labs of Maine, Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Product Fabrication Service, and Warnock Hersey.
If you are interested in a dry read, here is the whole document: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/comm/comm023.pdf
Well, that didn't sound too good so I wrote back and asked if there was some variance that could be requested if none of the furnaces are UL listed. I got a reply back today that helps out:
If your home was built prior to June 1, 1980, and your municipality does not have wording in their dwelling code ordinance requiring alterations to homes built prior to that date to comply with the current code, it may be possible to install an unlisted boiler without a variance. Either way, to have a safe installation, you should be concerned with adequate supply of combustion air, proper installation of chimney or flue, and the distance from the appliance to combustible materials.
Since my home was well past legal drinking age in 1980 it looks like I have no problem. Your municipal or town clerk should be able to tell you if the local UDC ordinance (if any) includes additions or alterations to pre-1980 homes. If the state's model ordinance was adopted without changes, it would not include pre-1980 homes.