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Monday, June 4, 2018


Flashback to the Radon Mitigation System Activation

In my 'Ridding Radon' Blog Post I made mention of how one of the LEED requirements for homes built in high radon areas like Cincinnati, is that a passive Radon Mitigation system be installed during construction to facilitate the ridding of radon should it be present. The passive system consists of a PVC pipe that starts under the basement slab and runs vertically up the wall framing until it vents out the roof above, as well as a junction box roughed-in in the attic space to provide a place for power to run the radon ventilation fan needed to activate the system. 
Above: Radon Monitor Used to Detect Radon Levels
Sure enough, it turned out when the Oakley Home was tested for Radon as part of the part of the comprehensive home inspection package, the levels came back slightly higher than the EPA maximum recommended level of 4 pCi/L (pico curies per liter), meaning the mitigation system would need to be activated. Fortunately, with all the infrastructure already in place, the activation was very simple and straightforward, simply requiring the installation of the vent fan in the attic and a manometer in basement to show that the system is operating correctly. Below are some more details on the specifics of each of these elements installed and guaranteed by Radon Protection LLC along with results from the radon retest once the system was activated.
The attic ventilation van Installed near the access hatch above the master bedroom closet exhausts any radon gases collected in the pipe under the slab up and out of the house. It operates continuously, but is so quiet that you can only hear it working when you are right up next to the fan itself above the ceiling, which is one of the reasons for having the manometer in an easy to observe location.
Above: Radon Mitigation Ventilation Fan in Attic
So what is a manometer? It is actually much simpler than what the fancy name implies. A manometer is simply a U-shaped tube plugged into a small hole drilled into the radon pipe that measures the pressure in the pipe to easily show if the fan is working. Having the levels UNEVEN is what you want to see. With the location of the radon pipe being concealed in the finished basement closet at the Oakley Home 2.0 project, I had to cut out a small portion of drywall and install an access door so that the manometer could be installed and easily viewed. 
Above: Access Door to Radon Pipe Manometer
Once the Radon Mitigation System was activated, the levels were retested and came in significantly below the 4 pCi/L (pico curies per liter) EPA requirement, ridding the radon as promised.