View Full Version : Early Radon Mitigation System

Bruce Breedlove
07-26-2007, 03:10 PM
I ran across this very early (circa 1986) radon mitigation system today. There are a number of things here that do not meet today's standards.

The radon mitigation fan is located inside the living space. If the discharge pipe downstream of the fan has a hole or a crack radon would escape into the living space.

There are no gauges or indicators to show whether the mitigation system is operating properly.

There is no label identifying this as a radon mitigation system and not to disturb it. There is nothing identifying who installed the mitigation system and how to contact them. (This could be a homeowner-installed mitigation system.)

The mitigation system discharges 18" above grade below an operable window. So the radon this mitigation system collects and expels outside can now reenter the house through the open window.

Apparently the owner has operated the mitigation system only every-so-often (rather than constantly) to "flush out" the radon from the house.

I am doing a radon & radon decay products test to see how effective this mitigation system is. The mitigation fan was noisy and, being 22 years old, probably needs to be replaced.

I know, I know. Radon is harmless. But that is for another thread.

Phillip Stojanik
07-26-2007, 05:14 PM
I know, I know. Radon is harmless. But that is for another thread.

Its not the Radon Bruce, its her daughters of decay that are ultimately out to get you! ;)

We don't get to see Radon systems here in the Houston area and its not something that typically gets tested for during a RE transaction locally. What little I know about Radon I learned from my CIE training some years back in Michgan.

wayne soper
07-26-2007, 06:05 PM
Prior to AL Gore and Pres Bush buying all the stock in Radon Mitigation there was another very affective method of Radon Mitigation.
It was called a window.
Do you have any idea how many gallons of Jet fuel Al Gore uses a week to get us to pay for his retirement? Uh or is that uh well yeah, retirement.

Joseph P. Hagarty
07-26-2007, 09:50 PM
Fan should not be within the interior of the living space.

Bruce Breedlove
07-26-2007, 10:28 PM
Fan should not be within the interior of the living space.

Yes, Joseph. That's why it was the first thing I mentioned in my list of things that don't meet current standards.

Paul Ybarra
07-29-2007, 08:27 AM
You mentioned that you are doing "a radon & radon decay products test to see how effective this mitigation system is". Two questions with this.
1. Did you do a test with the system off and capped to compare the results to see if the system is working?
2. If you are actually doing a decay product measurement what WLM device are you using?

Whatever the case of the two questions above I would tell your client to contact a state licensed or NEHA or NRSB certified mitigation expert to evaluate and give a quote to upgrade to current standards. Before I leave I would unplug that fan and recommend it not to be used until upgraded due to the chance of pumping RN into the home.


Bruce Breedlove
07-29-2007, 03:25 PM

I use the E-RPISU (Radon Progeny Integrating Sampling Unit) made by Rad Elec (the makers of E-PERMs). Contact me if you would like to know more about the device.

The sellers were my client. They said they rarely plugged the fan in over the years they have lived in the house. Some people simply fail to understand that radon enters the home constantly and the fan must run continually to be effective.

The buyers' home inspector (not me) pointed out the radon mitigation system does not meet modern standards and recommended that it be inspected. The sellers' Realtor called me to do a Rn + RDP test.

No, I did not test the house with the mitigation system off to establish a baseline. The sellers (and, I assume, the buyers) were only concerned with whether radon (and RDP) levels exceeded EPA's action level with the mitigation system operating. The mitigation system had been running for 6 days when I started the test (according to the sellers).

The results of this test were Rn = 7.6 pCi/L (above EPA's action level of 4.0) and WL (Working Level) = 0.019 (slightly below EPA's action level of 0.02). Even though the radon levels were elevated the Working Level (a measurement of the Radon Decay Products) was not elevated. (More RDPs have plated out than EPA assumed leaving fewer RDPs in the air.)

I still recommended that the mitigation system be brought up to modern standards.