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walkman 10-16-2009 11:09 AM

Radon Mitigation piping under slab?
Anyone know if 2" perforated piping under a slab is sufficient? Planning to cap the pipe.

Base has a lot of deteriorating granite so I'd rather not have to jack out more of a trench than necessary for the piping.

ARI001 10-16-2009 11:25 AM


Originally Posted by walkman (Post 341465)
Anyone know if 2" perforated piping under a slab is sufficient? Planning to cap the pipe.

Base has a lot of deteriorating granite so I'd rather not have to jack out more of a trench than necessary for the piping.

You don't use perforated pipe for radon mitigation. You are supposed to dig a pit not a trench for that. I don't really consider this a DIY project and obviously you have not researched this at all. I recommend that if you have a radon problem you bring in a professional to do this job properly.

SULTINI 10-17-2009 01:41 PM

Questions for walkman
Q. Do you have an existing sump pump pit??

Q. Have you performed a radon level test??

Q. Are you talking about a full basement under a house??

Lets take this slow until we have some facts regarding Radon.

Don't forget to go on line to look up Radon information.

ARI001 10-17-2009 02:01 PM

ASTM E2121

Significance and Use
The purpose of the methods, systems, and designs described in this practice is to reduce radiation exposures for occupants of residential buildings caused by radon and its progeny. The goal of mitigation is to maintain reduced radon concentrations in occupiable areas of buildings at levels as low as reasonably achievable. This practice includes sections on reducing radiation exposure caused by radon and its progeny for workers who install and repair radon mitigation systems. The goal for workers is to reduce exposures to radon and its progeny to levels as low as reasonably achievable.
The methods, systems, designs, and materials described here have been shown to have a high probability of success in mitigating radon in attached and detached residential buildings, three stories or less in height (see EPA, “Radon Reduction Techniques for Existing Detached Houses, Technical Guidance (Third Edition) for Active Soil Depressurization Systems”). Application of these methods does not, however, guarantee reduction of radon levels below any specific level, since performance will vary with site conditions, construction characteristics, weather, and building operation.
When applying this practice, contractors also shall conform to all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, and laws pertaining to residential building construction, remodeling, and improvement.
1. Scope

1.1 This practice describes methods for reducing radon entry into existing attached and detached residential buildings three stories or less in height. This practice is intended for use by trained, certified or licensed, or both, or otherwise qualified individuals.
1.2 These methods are based on radon mitigation techniques that have been effective in reducing radon levels in a wide range of residential buildings and soil conditions. These fan powered mitigation methods are listed in Appendix X1. More detailed information is contained in references cited throughout this practice.
1.3 This practice is intended to provide radon mitigation contractors with a uniform set of practices that will ensure a high degree of safety and the likelihood of success in retrofitting low rise residential buildings with radon mitigation systems.
1.4 The methods described in this practice apply to currently occupied or formerly occupied residential buildings, including buildings converted or being converted to residential use, as well as residential buildings changed or being changed by addition(s) or alteration(s), or both. The radon reduction activities performed on new dwellings, while under construction, before occupancy, and for up to one year after occupancy, are covered by Guide E 1465.
1.5 This practice also is intended as a model set of practices, which can be adopted or modified by state and local jurisdictions, to fulfill objectives of their specific radon contractor certification or licensure programs. Radon mitigation performed in accordance with this practice is considered ordinary repair.
1.6 The methods addressed in this practice include the following categories of contractor activity: general practices, building investigation, systems design, systems installation, materials, monitors and labeling, post-mitigation testing, and documentation.
1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. See Section 6 for specific safety hazards.

2. Referenced Documents

ASTM Standards
E1465 Practice for Radon Control Options for the Design and Construction of New Low-Rise Residential Buildings
E1745 Specification for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill under Concrete Slabs
E631 Terminology of Building Constructions
Government Publications
OSHA “Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, Ionizing Radiation,” 29 CFR 1926.53.

Index Terms

depressurization; radon; radon entry; radon mitigation; radon reduction; Installation--building materials/applications; Low-rise residential buildings; Radon; Residential dwellings; ICS Number Code 91.120.99 (Other standards related to protection of and in buildings)

There is to much to cover about this subject on this forum. As I said this is not a DIY project. If you suspect radon get a test kit to confirm and if confirmed call in somebody qualified to do this kind of work. This is you and your families well being at stake. As much as some people here would like to think everything can be DIY that is not the case.

SULTINI 10-18-2009 07:28 AM

This could possibly be a DIY project with home test kits and
information available on the net. However first things first do a Radon level test and the findings will dictate where to go from there.

walkman 10-18-2009 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by ARI001 (Post 341475)
I don't really consider this a DIY project and obviously you have not researched this at all.

Do any of your clients enjoy dealing with you?

This is not for an existing slab. It's for a slab that I'm going to pour in my crawlspace for a utility room. In that case perforated pipe can be laid in the gravel below the slab as shown in the picture on this page.

Sultinit: I get radon levels above 4 in the winter in the crawlspace area. I'm hoping that the concrete and plastic sheeting will resolve the problem, but I'd rather have the pipe under the concrete in case it's needed since it's easier to do the work now.

The question I was trying to ask is whether anyone knew if 2" perforated pipe under the slab was acceptable for radon mitigation.

SULTINI 10-18-2009 10:23 AM


Sounds like your on the right track as long as you can get to the pipe after the slab is poured so you can pipe the under slab piping to the atmosphere. That way the radon will be exhausted out.
Trying to keep this uncomplicated I notice on these DIY sites quite a few of the people try to complicate things so contractor's such as themselves think the only way to do things is hire a pro. If people wanted to hire a pro they wouldn't be on here asking questions. Sorry enough of my opinions for now.

ccarlisle 10-18-2009 11:37 AM


No, Sultini, it's wrong to think that everything can or should be done by DIYers and for the results to be acceptable. Technically feasible, yes but there are just too many people out there in your 'saving-money-is-a-religion' land who are just too blinded by their egos or shear laziness to do the job right the first time.

Like in this case. The OP asked a question that is plainly answered, if he had only read the very documents he bases his rebuttal on. In fact, pretty well any documents on radon mitigation suggest what ARI suggested i.e that anyone tinkering around with radon in their home ought to be overseen with someone knowledgeable on the subject.

Someone who has read the literaure at least. :yes:

ARI001 10-18-2009 03:05 PM


Originally Posted by walkman (Post 342242)
Do any of your clients enjoy dealing with you?

This is not for an existing slab. It's for a slab that I'm going to pour in my crawlspace for a utility room. In that case perforated pipe can be laid in the gravel below the slab as shown in the picture on this page.

Sultinit: I get radon levels above 4 in the winter in the crawlspace area. I'm hoping that the concrete and plastic sheeting will resolve the problem, but I'd rather have the pipe under the concrete in case it's needed since it's easier to do the work now.

The question I was trying to ask is whether anyone knew if 2" perforated pipe under the slab was acceptable for radon mitigation.

The very fact that you have to post a question regarding the proper size and type of pipe to use is evidence that you have not properly researched this project. The fact you are unwilling to spend the $15.00 dollars for the information that can help guide you through the process properly indicates the job being done right is not your main concern. Your concern is doing the job as cheaply as possible while not even spending the money to properly educate yourself on how to do the project.

You go ahead and follow all the internet advice you want, it is you who will live with any consequences of doing the job improperly. Your type is not looking for the right way to do the job you are just looking for someone to agree with you so you can justify whatever it is you are going to do.

Again this is a job best left to a professional who has had the training, and has the knowledge to do the job correctly. Again not every job is a DIY job. You can join the ranks of the other idiot who posted a couple of months ago who was trying to do asbestos abatement with a vacuum cleaner.

My clients appreciate that I don't sugar coat things and tell them what they want to hear but rather I tell them the truth. They also appreciate I bring in the right people who are qualified to do the work they are doing. This is evident in that I have done very little advertising and that 80% of my business has been repeat or referral. I have no interest in working with clients who's top priority is saving money at the cost of the job being done improperly and/or by those unqualified to do it.

ccarlisle 10-19-2009 06:44 AM

The EPA literature states that 3" or 4" diameter perforated tubing under the slab is what is required in such a radon mitigation attempt by the OP; why does he ask if 2" is OK? is this a poll?

It's beyond me why anyone would come to a DIY site for either confirmation or otherwise of published EPA documents...flattering, but stupid.

I hear what you are saying Sultini and I respect your background; but my dogs' needs for walking are nowhere on this map.:whistling2:

stuart45 10-19-2009 06:56 AM

This site may help

ARI001 10-19-2009 09:25 AM


Originally Posted by SULTINI (Post 342677)
See post #14. You could care less about anyones health your just trying to drum up business, guys like you are a dime a dozen.

I don't do Radon mitigation, lead abatement, or asbestos abatement. If I need that work done I sub-contract it out to those so licensed and trained to do it properly and safely. I stand to gain no business in this type of work as that is not my companies targeted work.

I do care about the health and well being of my clients which is why I am very picky as to who I have do what in their homes. I also don't care to see half-ass unskilled work performed by those not qualified to be doing it and advice being given as to how to do it by someone not even remotely qualified to be giving that advice.

The fact of the matter is not everything is DIY whether you or anyone else here wants to admit it or not.
My apoligies to the MODS for any editing that may be in order.

walkman 10-20-2009 06:47 PM

Thanks Sultini and Stuart45. I was able to find some source documents referenced off from the Energy Dept link and have concluded that 2" perforated pipe should be sufficient as long as I've got a gravel base under the slab.

ARI001 10-21-2009 10:23 AM


You did not answer the question to the OP you told the OP to do an Internet search. There are 1000’s of pages of inaccurate or flat out wrong material on a variety of websites relating to just about any subject imaginable. The correct answers are found in ASTM E2121 and the bare minimums are available in the IRC book appendix F Radon Control Methods. You simply encouraged and continue to encourage the OP and other unqualified individuals to do work they should not be doing.

The information on how to do virtually any project as well as the necessary tools to do so is available to anyone who chooses to seek it out. The problem is most (not all) of the diyer’s seem to be to cheap to even invest in the literature to learn the proper methods and techniques much less spend the money on the equipment and materials to meet the bare minimum requirements

I base that on the high number of posts I see asking the most basic of questions. Questions such as: Do I really need to tape drywall? Can I remove asbestos with a shop vac and hepa filter? Should I use nails or screws for framing? Can I hang drywall over existing tile? How do I hang a door? How do I wire a ceiling fan? The information to answer all of these questions correctly is available, but you must be willing to pay for it and actually read and comprehend it. If you are unwilling or unable to spend $20.00 -$100.00 dollars on a book to learn how to do a project then most likely you are not going to spend the money necessary to do the project correctly.

The jobs I have had to fix behind some DIYer’s speak volumes as to the quality of work done by inexperienced individuals unwilling to learn how to do the projects correctly they where attempting. Examples of this are (these are by no means not all I have seen but are some of the more extreme examples): Basement wall framing floating in place, no fire blocking, untreated sole plates, studs spaced at 5’ or greater intervals. Speaker wire run for electrical fixtures. Ceramic tile installed on a sub-floor with each tile receiving five dabs of liquid nails (one in each corner and the center). Kitchen cabinets nailed in place with casing nails. Joists cut completely through to make room for a trap. Entire deck built with 2x4s (all framing including joists), 4 x 4s for the posts sunk 8 inches in the ground with no footings, 2-1x4s for the railings, and 8d nails almost 8’ off the ground. Many of these repairs fell unto the new unsuspecting owners of the properties who then got to foot the bill to have the work done properly.

What many would be DIYer’s fail to understand is their actions can not only put the well being of themselves and their families at risk, but also the well being of others. Those others could be visiting friends or people who purchase the property at a later date unbeknownst to them what hazards may be lurking in their new home.

The three or four pages of boilerplate and regulations you feel to be unnecessary are only the minimum standards allowed by law. They by no means indicate a well-done or well-built project and are intended as the bare minimum to try to protect the general well being of the public in large. If the person who is doing the work is unwilling to do the necessary research, purchase the necessary information from reliable sources, and are going to rely primarily on advice administered from any forum to complete the project they should not do the project as they have not adequately equipped themselves to do so.

Additionally if conforming to building codes, accepted industry standards, and obtaining permits are too much trouble, to costly, to much red tape, or to much investment in material, literature, and equipment then the project is obviously beyond the person’s ability and budget to accomplish safely and correctly.

Finally some projects should be left to those that are professionally trained to do so. The people trained to do it have at their disposal the knowledge, tools, and training to do the project more efficiently and safer than someone who is not trained to do so. Some projects are just over the head of those not trained to them whether or not they choose to acknowledge it. I feel very strongly that radon, lead, and asbestos abatement fall into that category and should be left to those adequately trained to perform such activities. I feel this way due to; the high liabilities involved with doing such projects and the high potential of causing harm to those potentially unaware of the consequences that could beset them due to the actions of one that may be well meaning but are otherwise ill-equipped to accomplish the project correctly.

That said I do feel that I owe you an apology for the language and demeanor directed towards you in my previous post. I hope I have explained my position on this adequately enough for you to comprehend why I feel the way I do on this particular subject. I still do feel however that you are encouraging the OP to continue doing a project he/she is not qualified to do. Furthermore you have now given them and possibly others who view this thread the impression that (in stating that as a professional contractor and former building inspector) the minimum standards are in actuality unnecessary boilerplate regulations intended only to confuse homeowners and aid contractors in obtaining work. If that is the way you truly feel then you lack the understanding as to the reasoning behind why those codes and regulations where developed. Though some may try to argue government control or income they where primarily developed to protect the public and establish the minimum safe standards of building a structure. Not adhering to these “boilerplate” regulations and standards will result in an unsafe structure.

I do not feel that I was out of line with any of the posts directed towards the OP. The OP needs to research this properly and if advice is needed he/she should consult with someone that is well versed and trained in the subject matter. The OP should not seek advice from those that he/she has no idea as to the qualifications or accuracy of the advice or information given. Again there is a high potential for harm to occur to those unsuspecting if the project is not done correctly.

stuart45 10-22-2009 09:14 AM

walkman, did you think that a simple question about Radon would start off World War 3? Bet you wish you had gone on House Repair Forum now:wink:

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