Anybody do Radon?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by gregs1, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. gregs1

    gregs1 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Its all plumbing except for the fan. Just wondered who does this. I have a temp fan going.
    I am installing two pipes to the roof soon, one for radon and one for plumbing vent pipe.
    Up through bathroom closet from basement. My temp fan only draws maybe 20 CFM max.
    I have no reason to have a big diameter pipe as I see. Just need good suction out
    of basement slab.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There are tons of resources on line. I went through quite an extensive review involving my daughters house, becasue they would get marginal readings...about 3 or 4. After repeated testing, including some expensive ones, and a 6 month test, we decided not to do any remediation for now. The long term test was under 2, and they said that did not indicate anything needed. She opens the windows a lot. We went through quite a lot of fussing, because the high readings were discovered shortly after large new granite countertops installed, but ultimately they were ruled out.

    The most important design point is that you must intercept the radon BEFORE it gets in the house. The one thing you do not want to do is ventilate a basement, or otherwise create a negative pressure in the house, which would bring in MORE radon, assuming it is ground sourced.
  3. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Where else other than the ground do you figure it would be coming from? Do you have some decaying Uranium in your pocket?
  4. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    My understanding is that passive radon vent stacks are recommended in new construction for some areas with high average levels. The fan might not even be necessary, as passive stacks can sometimes do the trick. The advantage is that if you do have to install a fan, you already have a place for it.

    Our house tested at around 4 when be bought it, so we had the previous owner put in the radon system. The follow up test pulled the level down as expected. The unfortunate thing about having the fan is that it draws about 40 kwh a month.
  5. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    we run the pipe, install the fan and vent it through the roof but that's about all we do. Any testing we leave to others. A lot of contractors want us to add the install to the cost so we do
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Maybe, but that's a long story.


    Granite countertops are a possible source. Most granites have very low levels. There are a few specific granites which have been found to be problematic. And who knows what you might find in chinese drywall, or certain other building materials!!!!!
  7. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Granite makes a nasty countertop in my opinion anyways, I guess I'm safe for now.
  8. gregs1

    gregs1 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I would warn many about taking readings. When I moved in new old 50's home, I measured
    it about mid summer. 2.. something. I sad good. A year and a half later I started monitoring about May. It was about 10. Slowly drooped until mid summer less than 2. Mid Sep. 10. Late Oct.
    approaching 30. I hooked up a temporary system. It may go as high as 40 ??
    Thats like over two packs of cigs. a day. 16 = One pack.

    I am now doing the basement. Got everything going on. Need bathroom and radon system.
    All the installations show large diameter pipes, but it really depends on how
    much flow you have. I got a good fan, pulls 2 inches of water, and only draws about 70 watts.
    I will try to branch out and enter the slab at three points. I also worry about the cinderblock wall, and maybe I should suck them out too. One wall is mostly underground, but the others vary.
  9. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    70 watts = 51 kwh/month.

    As to variability in the radon readings, that is not a surprise. Water saturation of the soil and such moves the value around. What is a surprise is how incredibly high your values are.
  10. gregs1

    gregs1 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    With current fan on its still above 4 in the winter. My yearly average is about 4. I also want to check outside ambient in the winter.
  11. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    Man, that is high, definitely worth running the fan to suppress that. Makes you wonder about the fill or aggregate used in the concrete.
  12. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    That is an interesting point...
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