Once you've discovered your home has elevated levels of radon, you need to have a radon mitigation system installed.
But once your mitigation system is installed, how much maintenance is required?
In this post, we'll cover general visual inspection and maintenance tips you can do as a homeowner to check and maintain your radon system.
Table of Contents
- How A Radon Mitigation System Works
- Radon Mitigation System Maintenance
- Radon Fan Unit
- Radon System Manometer
- Radon Testing Information
How a Radon Mitigation System Works
The majority of radon mitigation systems consist of a fan unit that runs 24 hours a day.
The fan creates a pull, or depressurization, to extract radon out of the soil before it has a chance to get into the home. The system is installed to pull radon gas from below the house before it can make its way inside.
Radon gas comes up out of the soil, and if the radon is elevated in the ground below your home, you'll have radon in your home.
The typical radon mitigation system is made up of several components.
They have a fan unit that creates depressurization, electrical power supplied to the fan, and piping, which runs from the fan down to the lowest level of the home.
It also has more piping to extend from the fan up to the highest point on the outside of the home to push the radon gas out into the air.
There is also typically a manometer device that gives you a visual indication that the system is operating properly.
Do you even need a radon mitigation system? Can't you simply open a window to reduce levels? Read our blog post: "Can You Reduce Radon by Opening Windows?"
Radon Mitigation System Maintenance
For the most part, the radon mitigation system should take care of itself and require little maintenance or action.
There are a few checks you can do to verify that the system is operating and is venting radon gas away from the home.
Below are two components of a system that should be checked and visually verified.
Need more information about maintaining your radon mitigation system? Read our blog post: "3 Most Asked Questions About Radon Mitigation System Maintenance."
Radon Fan Unit
The radon fan is the heart of the system. It runs 24/7 and is continuously extracting radon gas from the soil.
The fan unit is supposed to be mounted either outside the home, in a garage, or in an attic. The unit should never be inside the house.
The first thing you can do once you have located the fan is to make sure it is actually running. Place your hand on the fan and make sure it's vibrating.
Most fans run reasonably quiet, so if you feel a vibration, it's likely working. If the fan is excessively noisy, you may need to consider replacing it.
Radon fans typically have an average 10-year lifespan, and if the bearings are starting to go, the fan will get noisy.
If you don't feel vibrations and the fan is not running, then there may be an electrical issue with no power supplied to the fan, or the fan may be defective.
Often an installer will add a switch inline with the fan to allow for servicing the fan or system as an easy means of turning off the fan.
The fan cord may plug directly into an electrical outlet, or it could be run to a dedicated breaker in the electric panel.
You may need an electrician's help to determine whether proper power is applied to the fan, or to determine whether the fan itself is defective.
Radon System Manometer
If you're sure the fan is operating, the next item in a radon mitigation system maintenance plan is to check the built-in manometer.
The manometer is a liquid-filled glass tube with red or blue oil liquid in it.
It also has a number scale with a small air tube going from the manometer into the radon pipe. The manometer is usually mounted on the radon pipe near the point where it enters into the basement slab or in the crawlspace above the vapor barrier.
The purpose of this device is to visually display whether the pipe is being depressurized by the fan.
The reading of this manometer should always be above zero. This indicates that the fan is working and depressurizing the pipe as it comes out of the ground.
There is not a set level for these readings, and they will vary by the system installed and the size of the fan, length of piping, etc. As long as some reading is present, then the fan is depressurizing the system.
The oil-based liquid can dry up in these manometers over time, so if the liquid is missing or dried out, you should replace the liquid.
Radon Testing Information
The only way to know for sure that your radon mitigation system is operating correctly is to have a radon test done.
Even if your system seems to be firing on all cylinders, you should still have a radon test done every 2 years.
This will verify the radon levels in the home as well as ensure that your mitigation system is operating properly.
At Radon Eliminator, we offer professional radon testing services as well as mitigation system installation.
If you have a mitigation system, you would like checked out, or if you need to have your home tested for radon, contact Radon Eliminator today by clicking the button below.