Source: Deseret News, The Radioactive Killer, by Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Jan, 29, 2020 SALT LAKE CITY…
If you have already tested your home for radon and installed a radon mitigation system, how do you know that it is working? Radon can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted so it is important to know that your radon mitigation system is functioning properly in order to protect your family. There are a few things to look at first when confirming your system is working or when troubleshooting your radon system.
Check Out That ManOmeter
The U-tube manometer is the gauge that measures fan operation. If the fluid in the pipe is equal on both sides, your mitigation system is not working. When it’s functioning properly, it will be higher on one side than the other. If it is even (not working properly), check the following things first:
- Check to make sure the manometer tube is connected properly. It has a small tube that runs off the top and into the pipe itself. If the tube falls out for some reason, the manometer will read as if the fan were not working. Simply re-insert or replace the tubing if missing.
- The circuit the radon fan is running should be properly labeled. Make sure it has not been tripped.
- Check the plug. If the fan is located in the attic, it’s powered by a simple outlet. Make sure that it didn’t just accidentally get unplugged. If the fan is installed outside, there is a water-tight electrical box with an on/off switch on it located next to the fan. Some of these can be accidentally flipped off. Make sure that your switch is in the “on” position.
- If your radon system has been at sub-zero temperatures for days in a row, it can freeze and stop working. Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. The fan has a sensor and when it determines that it is about to overheat, it shuts itself off, although you may still hear it running. If this is the case, do nothing. The fan will restart on its own when temperatures are consistently in the 20’s.
- Nothing lasts forever. The fan installed with the mitigation system will not last for a lifetime. It may need to be replaced.
Other Common Questions For Troubleshooting Your Radon System
The following is a list of other common questions and problems we receive about radon mitigation systems. Some of these problems we may need to come to fix and others you may be able to take care of yourself.
Sump Pit Maintenence
If you need to get into your sump pit to do repairs or for any other reason, go ahead. Most of these are only caulked in place around the outside and are split for easy removal. Simply re-caulk the sump cover after the repairs have been made with silicone caulk.
Crawl Space Sheeting Bubbles
Occasionally the sheeting that is used over crawl space can bubble up. This is common more in the winter but doesn’t worry – this isn’t a pocket of radon. Try placing a weight on the plastic when the plastic is flat to help prevent this bubbling up. If it still happening, additional suction from the crawl space may be needed. Give us a call and we can go over your system.
Bubbling or Gurgling Sound Coming From Radon Pipe
If you are hearing this kind of noise in the pipe it can mean that the pipe is not pitched (sloped) enough or correctly. This can happen around the elbows. This may be a simple fix of adjusting the pipe a bit or may require an increase in pipe size. In some cases maybe even adding additional suction to allow for complete drainage. Please contact us if this is happening with your mitigation system.
Radon Levels Remain Elevated With An Active System
The EPA recommends that your radon level is below 4 pCi/L but with our standard system (some exclusions may apply but will be disclosed before installation) we guarantee that we can reduce it to below the WHO’s recommended level of 2.7 pCi/L. After installation, we always leave you with another radon test to make sure this level is achieved. However, we do recommend testing your home again in a few years. If your level is elevated but your system is still working, you will need to contact us. There can be many different things we would need to look at. If the system was installed by us, it is still under our guarantee. However, if the system was installed by another company we can do a diagnostic test and give you a bid on fixing the problem.
Remember that any system installed by Utah Radon Services is covered by a lifetime warranty on system parts and labor. The fan also carries a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. We are happy to help you when troubleshooting your radon system over the phone but look at the manometer before calling us to help us better assist you.