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Old 07-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Radon System


Hello,

I have a couple questions regarding my radon system. I am finishing my basement and have hit a wall because of a condensation drain that comes off of the radon vent. As you can see in this picture, The vent I assume runs from the foundation to the attic where it vents. However, there is also a horizontal line which runs along the wall, I-beam, and eventually drains into the sump pit. The problem is that the drain line is not high enough and is slightly in front of the window. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about what I can do with this drain. The onlly thing I can come up with is to run the pvc behind the lower stud wall while keeping a slope. This is probably a dumb question but is it necessary to have this drain line? If there was condensation, wouldn't it just run back into the foundation anyways since the condensation drain is connected to the vertical pipe with a T connector. I can take some better pictures of this tonight but I thought I would see if there were any easy solutions.

Thanks!
Andy
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Radon System


Since posting this, I have done some research on a radon system. From what I can understand from confusing "code talk", the line that runs to the sump pit is actually not a condensation line but rather another vent. Apparently if the sump pit is open to the sub slab aggregate material, it also requires a vent.

If this is the case, the vent does not need to be sloped and I could elbow the vent up around the window and elbow it back down to continue the run.

Can someone confirm that this is the case?

Thanks again!

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Old 07-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Radon System


Save your money, and put it somewhere else. Radon Mitigation is the biggest scam out there. No proof showing anyone has passed due to Radon.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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Save your money, and put it somewhere else. Radon Mitigation is the biggest scam out there. No proof showing anyone has passed due to Radon.
This is a pretty brazzen response to a known issue. Full disclosure, I am part owner in a Home Inspection company that offers radon testing.

To say that it is a scam and doesn't deserve attention since nobody has died is crazy. People die all the time from lung cancer who don't smoke.

The EPA is addressing the issue, and for good reason.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Radon System


The radon system is in place and functioning. I have no intentions on removing it or reducing it. I am only wondering if the pvc that leads from the main stack to the sump pit is a drain for condensation or a seperate vent which vents into the main. And if it is a vent, if there would be any issues from adding a couple elbows to raise it above the window.

JCarliles - perhaps as a fellow Saluki you can give me some advice from an inspection company's standpoint?

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by andybeck View Post
The radon system is in place and functioning. I have no intentions on removing it or reducing it. I am only wondering if the pvc that leads from the main stack to the sump pit is a drain for condensation or a seperate vent which vents into the main. And if it is a vent, if there would be any issues from adding a couple elbows to raise it above the window.

JCarliles - perhaps as a fellow Saluki you can give me some advice from an inspection company's standpoint?

Thanks!
Saluki!

Sorry Andybeck. I am part owner in the home inspection company but ultimately an Architect, thus I am no expert. We test for radon but direct owners to contractors for installation of a mitigation system if needed.

We don't actually do the install as we view that to be a conflict of interest.

I am not sure what that line is for, but I can ask our radon expert and get back to you if you want me to.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Radon System


Thanks! If it's not too much trouble I would love some clarification!

Just wondering, what have you guys seen as far as testing in the Aurora area? I am in south Aurora, very close to Plainfield.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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Radon System


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Originally Posted by jcarlilesiu View Post
This is a pretty brazzen response to a known issue. Full disclosure, I am part owner in a Home Inspection company that offers radon testing.

To say that it is a scam and doesn't deserve attention since nobody has died is crazy. People die all the time from lung cancer who don't smoke.

The EPA is addressing the issue, and for good reason.
Sorry, but gregzoll is quite correct. Having worked over 30 years in the nuclear power industry, I know a thing or two about radioactivity. The risk of getting sick and dying from radon is so miniscule as to be ludicrous. There are many, many other things that will get you first.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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jcarlilseui, I have lived in homes for the 45 years of my life, my mother grew up with cellars and basements. In the 70+ years that my parents and myself have grown up in homes with basements, no sign of cancer in any of our bodies, from Radon.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Radon System


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Save your money, and put it somewhere else. Radon Mitigation is the biggest scam out there. No proof showing anyone has passed due to Radon.
The fact remains that when you sell your home you will almost certainly end up having a Radon test performed. Anything over 4.1pC/L was considered too high when I bought my house in late 2010, that was the EPA's figure. Since then I think it is generally accepted that the WHO's figure of 2.9pC/L is the benchmark for "action".

My numbers came back at 3.3pC/L... too low at the time to demand action from the seller. Of course the fact that the basement had (2) full sized windows that could not be completely closed, and a completely busted out casement window probably had an effect on that... oh, and not to mention that 2" gap between the bottom of the basement's walk out exterior door and the "sill" which had completely rotted away...

After replacing/fixing the windows and door sills my Radon level has jumped to >11pC/L, I suppose I should be thankful it's not higher. I fully expect to be required to install a mitigation system when I sell the house.


If Radon is a scam, then it's up there on the scale of the shared hallucination we all have that paper money has real value...

Key points from Cancer.Gov Radon Fact Sheet --
  • Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil.
  • Radioactive particles from radon can damage cells that line the lungs and lead to lung cancer.
  • Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is associated with 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
  • Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels. Health authorities recommend radon testing and encourage corrective action when necessary.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Radon System


The purpose of this thread is not to determine whether or not radon is a real threat. A government agency in the country in which I reside, defended, and trust in, has determined that it is and I will take that into account when it comes to the health of my family.

"In June 2003, the EPA revised its risk assessment for radon exposure in homes. EPA estimates that about 21,000 annual lung cancer deaths are radon related. EPA also concluded that the effects of radon and cigarette smoking are synergistic, so that smokers are at higher risk from radon. EPA's revised estimates are based on the National Academy of Sciences 1999 BEIR IV (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) Report which concluded that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. See www.epa.gov/radon/risk_assessment.html"

That is an excerpt from the EPA website. Sounds pretty clear to me.

Again, I do not intend on removing or reducing the effectiveness of my radon system. Furthermore, it is something that I will look for and expect in any future home that I purchase.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by andybeck View Post
Apparently if the sump pit is open to the sub slab aggregate material, it also requires a vent.

If this is the case, the vent does not need to be sloped and I could elbow the vent up around the window and elbow it back down to continue the run.
If both vents lead to the sub-slab, then I would think it shouldn't matter which way the slope is directed, however directed toward the sump would be preferred if any volume of moisture is expected. Is there another condensate drain or trap elsewhere in the system? I know that these things do generate it, so you would want to avoid trapping moisture somewhere, but I'm not sure if it's as big of an issue where your pipe is running through conditioned space (as opposed to most of the retro-fits which have a pipe on the exterior).

Another option might be to separate the sump vent from the other--so it has its own exhaust pipe and vent fan. It's not a great idea, but it's an idea...
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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Radon System


One other thing... I am not endorsing a company, but I will say that "Val" at www.indoor-air-health-advisor.com spent quite a few emails answering my specific questions on a radon system. He may be a good resource if you are thinking of buying any equipment and want to ask questions.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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Radon System


Bubbler - It is sloped toward the sump which is ideal if it is a condensation drain, however it is also ideal if it is a vent for gas that would accumulate in the pit. This is why I was confused initially. After researching designs for radon systems, I believe since the pit is open to the below slab material which is where gas accumulates, the pvc that is in the pit is a vent. If this is the case, I wouldn't think a couple elbows would create a problem. The worst that would happen is that the gas would accumulate in the area between the elbows. But I would think with the constant air flow, it would be vacuumed out through the main vent.

There is not another condensation drain anywhere in the system. I do agree though that there would probably be minimal condensation if any since the entire run is below grade.

Thanks for all of your help with this!

Andy

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