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  1. #1
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Hi,
    Just thinking out loud and wondering if this would work in theory (even if not practically helpful).

    If I did a Radon screen on the outside of a house and got a baseline , then brought the tester and did a screen of the lowest point inside the house (assume 2 hours for each screen) , could I then correlate the two reading to get a very general idea of how efficient the ventilation system(s) are working?

    Was just curious if this method makes sense to anyone or if it has ever been used in some form or the other.

    As always , Thank You

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Not only does a two-hour radon test (screen) not meet EPA Protocols, it will prove to be incredibly unreliable.

    1) The radon that we typically measure is at a very low concentration and must be measured over at least 48 hours to obtain reliable results.

    2) Radon levels in a house are not constant. They continually fluctuate over time. A 48-hour test (or longer) averages out the highs and lows to give us an average concentration over time. If you only do two-hour tests you have no way of knowing if you are measuring radon concentrations at the daily high point, the daily low point, or somewhere in between.

    3) It typically takes a radon measuring device a certain amount of time (an hour or two) to acclimate (if that is the right word) to the radon concentration inside the house (or other environment you are measuring). The first hour or two of the test will be significantly influenced by radon (or radon decay products) remaining in the device from its enviromnent prior to deployment. The acclimation period would constitute a large part of your test (if not the entire test).

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Setting up a monitor outside for two hours is a waste of two hours of your time, and a small amount of electricity.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Raghav Singh View Post
    (assume 2 hours for each screen) , could I then correlate the two reading
    Yes ... 2 hours wasted outside + 2 hours wasted inside = (correlates to) 4 hours wasted.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Fair Enough I had a suspicion that would be the case . Thanks for adding insight into this.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Many years ago (early 1970's)
    PP&L (Pennsylvania Power & Light)
    did surveys on homes in the Allentown PA area with a weatherization project.
    They used data from Radon
    to determine Pre-Weatherization Conditions
    as opposed to After-Weatherization

    data was widely scattered but they concluded Radon Levels increased...

    Stanley Watras
    going to work at the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant in PA
    created the Radon Business that we are all involved in now.....


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    raghav

    are you certifide to test for radon. with this question it does not seem likely--attend a certifide class before you teat for radon

    chas


  8. #8

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Hello Raghav –

    Nope won’t work, not even in theory. For a start, your radon monitors don’t even measure radon.

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    teat

    test


  10. #10
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Hi , I am not certified for radon testing , at the moment I am not doing any testing/inspecting (as I'm sure is obvious) just going along on as many inspections as I can and trying to learn the fundamentals through outside study materials.

    I had read that Radon level are usually increased (relative to outside concentration) in areas of the house with poor ventilation and was just curious to see if that could (in theory) be used to determine air quality.

    But it seems that I need to look into how continuous radon testers actually function. I know that some home inspectors leave the unit on for two hours or so and if they get a reading of 4 pCi/l or above they will suggest a 48 hour screening but from some of what I read here I am starting to wonder if this is effective.

    I plan to attend many workshops and do alot more reading , many of my posts so far are just me thinking out loud as I work towards gaining my own understanding. Before I do any of this in the real world I will be sure that I have all the relevant information needed to perform the tests properly.

    Thank You all for your helpful responses


  11. #11
    Shawn Price's Avatar
    Shawn Price Guest

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Hello Raghav –

    Nope won’t work, not even in theory. For a start, your radon monitors don’t even measure radon.
    It seems as though you should do a bit more homework on the operation of radon measurement devices. One place to start would be a call to the engineers at femto-Tech, Inc., manufacturer of the CRM-510. Nearly all of the counts detected by their units originate from the ionization energy that takes place when the Rn222 atom decays.

    There are other devices that also measure the Rn222, some measure the Po218/Po214 produced as a result of radon being present, some measure all of the above, while others have the ability to measure and discriminate Rn220 (thoron) and its decay products and distinguish it from the Rn222 and its decay products. So the real answer is that it depends on what type of equipment is being used instead of a misleading blanket statement like the one above.

    Shawn Price


  12. #12
    Shawn Price's Avatar
    Shawn Price Guest

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Raghav Singh View Post

    But it seems that I need to look into how continuous radon testers actually function. I know that some home inspectors leave the unit on for two hours or so and if they get a reading of 4 pCi/l or above they will suggest a 48 hour screening but from some of what I read here I am starting to wonder if this is effective.
    Raghav,

    Unless a monitor has a pump to pull the room air into the detection chamber, 2 hours is not long enough for the monitor to even equilibrate with the room environment, so the home inspectors that you mention are providing a huge dis-service and could be illegal depending on their location.

    Many of the devices on the market don't actually measure the radon gas, as suggested by Caoimhín above, and in those cases once the radon in the room has equilibrated inside the machine (which can take a few hours), another 4 hours is needed for the radon decay products to reach equilibrium with the radon gas.

    There are some devices that have sniffing capabilities (i.e., 5-10 minute samples) but due to the fact that radon in a dwelling fluctuates during the day naturally, one must wait at least 48 hours before any judgment can be made at all, which is why there are protocols and why adherence to the protocols is the beginning of any defensible service.

    My advice is to not touch radon testing until you've at least taken the 2-day radon measurement course. There are a ton of details that are important to understand and even reading through the EPA Protocols isn't the same as taking a course. If you need help choosing a training course in your area or a distance based class, feel free to email me at shawn@radon.com and I'll be glad to give you a few places to start.

    Shawn Price


  13. #13
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Re: Using Radon Testing to determine quality of ventilation

    Hi Shawn,
    I was half asleep but wanted to reply to your post and instead of hitting the reply button , I hit the report button and somehow didn't notice the difference (I know , I know) .

    Anyway I'm sure the admins will pick up on that since I basically thanked you for the info and let you know that I will email tomorrow.

    Just wanted to let you and any admins know what happened , time to go to bed before I make any more blunders

    Sorry about the mistake , thanks for the offer of help , I will be in touch shortly. Have a good night


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