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    Hello Everyone,

    We have been faced with a dilemma which has delayed our opening of a brand new brewpub in the Northwest Territories Canada. We purchased a small direct fired 3.5BBL system manufactured in the U.S and it doesn't have its CSA certification. The manufacturer has supplied a couple breweries in British Columbia with similar systems without CSA either but their local inspectors approved everything just fine. I've asked our local guys to get in contact with the brewery owners and the inspectors in that area because it doesn't seem right that we are under such strict guidelines when there is literally the same system in operation a couple provinces over.

    So i'm asking all Canadian breweries out there that know for sure their system doesn't have a CSA sticker on their brewhouse to come forward and help us. These NWT inspectors are abusing their power and I don't want to just roll over on this one…ITS JUST THE PRINCIPLE at this point.

    Again any help from our other provinces would be great.


    Fletcher Stevens
    NWT Brewing Company

  • #2
    Now whilst I have a degree of sympathy regarding your situation, it is only a small degree. You should have enquired before you purchased anything what the local regulations are, and if, in this instance, alternative certification to American standards is required. I'm afraid If I was the local inspector, I would simply not do what you are asking to be done - I would tell you where to get off. It is your responsibility (or your consultant if you employed one to cover this) to get the correct certification. I suggest you find out from the breweries you know about how they approached it with their local standards officers, and perhaps get your equipment supplier to compare and contrast whatever standard they have built to with the CSA standard. The NWT guys are NOT abusing their power. They are employed to ensure the kit is safe to use. It is up to you to arrange proof that it meets the CSA standards.


    • #3
      I am assuming it is the burners they are having issue with.....what does the vendor have to say about it all?


      • #4
        Thanks Dick for your comments, but unfortunately I disagree. I did perform my due diligence in researching our equipment, hiring a local Architect/engineers, and also held several meetings with the fire marshal about this project. The topic came up several times and no one identified it as being an issue as there were already a couple of these units allowed for use in Canada. I do understand that these inspectors have a job to do and must put public safety first, but this isn't the first issue that we've had from these guys…They've also questioned our Hot water tanks from Weil McLain(North America's leading manufacturer of boiler systems), we had to remove the compressor/condenser off our walk in cooler and place it in a fire rated room, they wanted our keg cooler to be explosion proof as kegs are pressurized vessels…and the list goes on.

        So Yes I do still believe we have unrealistic inspectors that are abusing their power. Moving forward however I had hoped to hear from a CANADIAN Brewery who had come across similar issues. I have contacted an agent at CSA to provide a quote to have it certified, but I wanted to exhaust this option first before spending the extra money if we could develop a valid argument.


        Its not the burners they have an issue with, its just the unit isn't CSA. The frustrating part is that all the little components which were used to build our brewhouse are CSA or UL listed(solenoids, gas valves, all electrical wiring and components,etc), but because the unit as a whole was not CSA certified its not allowed.

        As for the manufacturer, seeing as they haven't had any issues up until now, they are baffled by this. We are keeping an ongoing conversation with all the inspectors and CSA agent and hoping someone will slip up eventually.



        • #5
          I bought a 10 bbl system from Premier Stainless in California and had similar issues. Every component of the brewhouse was approved by the CSA and every US equivalent, but the brewhouse as a combined unit wasn't approved. Apparently that's not an issue in the US, but it sure can be here.

          I can't say that there was a reasonable solution to my problem. I had my gas line capped by the gas inspector the day after my first brew. After more than a year of struggling to put my brewery together and fighting with four levels of government, I was finally brewing, and I got shut down over this. I went into panic mode and found an engineering firm that specialized in CSA approvals. I paid them way too much money to come for an emergency inspection, and they inspected it and gave it CSA approval. Then I waited two weeks for the BC Safety Authority (which, in spite of the name, is a for-profit private company that's been granted regulatory powers) to get back to me and give me my gas permit so I could get my gas line reconnected.

          I wish I could help. My advice is to spend the money and get the thing CSA approved. What else are you going to do?


          • #6
            I had this happen in Alabama in '96, Criveller brewhouse from Canada... all parts were either UL or CS listed, but because it wasn't listed "as a plant" the electrical inspector wouldn't sign off. We ended up having to have a field inspector from UL come to the brewery and put stickers on everything. It was a real pain in the butt and cost a fair chunk of change... after half a day looking at items that already had stickers on them, the UL agent looked at asked, "what am I doing here?"


            • #7
              Our experience w/ certification of direct fire 3.5bbl in BC

              We purchased a direct fire 3.5bbl system from a BC manufacturer. We thought that since it was manufactured in BC it would be ready-to-go. Plug and play. Well when it arrived it did not have the CSA sticker on it. That began our year long journey with local gas fitters and the Safety Authority Ben talked about.

              Even though it didn't have a CSA sticker we could go through a 'field certification' process whereby you can submit drawings and other specs to get it approved in the office and then approved via field inspection. This was lenghty for us and expensive due to the fact that field certifications tend to be more rigorous that manufactured certs. They just overbuild everything.

              Contact the certification authority for the Territory and go from there.