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Old 09-09-2014, 11:15 AM   #1
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Sump pump/radon


Hello,
Old home, unfinished basement with a sump pump and pit. Pump runs during heavy rains and spring snow melt, etc.. have had french drain consults..
Concrete slab with block walls, open sump pit, with a failed dirt drain on one side that possibly drained under slab at one time, decades ago. the slab is on dirt, no stone under it. thus the drainage difficulty.

The sump pumps into the laundry tub, then out to the sewer. I know this needs to get re-routed, and again, have had plumbers with estimates on doing this.

The sump is not covered at all.. If i have a perimeter drain put in, i have requested to not have any gaps at the wall/foundation. I have had a radon test done and was high, 5.1. I plan on having another one done soon to re-check.
So radon a concern.
If my new sump pit is covered/sealed, but the water still gets pumped into the washtub, is this putting radon gas back in the room? via the waterflow? It would appear any gas that would be discharged to the outside via a proper discharge pipe from the sump pit, would go outside, I assume that is why they say to seal the sump pit? Am i letting the radon back in the room by continuing to have the water pumped into the tub?

thanks.. dilema, and time to spend some money i guess.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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follow up.. i was just informed that radon gas does not flow thru water.. so i guess i don't have to worry about any gas coming from the sump when it empties into the laundry tub, until i get it re-piped out of the house.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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The problem you have dave is it is no longer correct to pump storm water to a sanitation plant in most areas. All it does is add extra expence on the citys end cleaning clean water.

As for radon you need to seal the sump and pipe a 4 inch pipe from your sump out the roof with a blower if that is an issue.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #4
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Radon does in fact dissolve in water, however it dissolves slowly, so there is no issue with radon bubbling out of the sump pit into your basement. However, if you are on a well, it is not uncommon to have dissolved radon in your water supply, if you have radon in your soil. Personally I think the whole radon issue is overblown, but there are those who think that radon will destroy the world. For a reading of 5, I wouldn't do anything.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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I'm with Mr. Holzman. I worked for 30 years in the nuclear industry so know a bit about this subject. Radon exists everywhere on the planet. Mitigation in a basement or crawl space (or anywhere, for that matter) is a total scam and a waste of your money. You'd have to live in it 24/7 for a very long time for even the slightest chance of radon affecting you. There are many, many more things that will get you first.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:56 PM   #6
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I sort of thought that radon was another made up scare. We seem to have a lot of made up scares today.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:57 AM   #7
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Thank you guys.
Yes, the plumbers have been there , and due to the "strange" layout of the property, we are trying to determine the best place to run the sump discharge pipe outside.
I did hear after i posted about the radon in the water... good to know i don't have to worry about the radon gas re-entering the basement after it's pumped out of the sump, even if into the laundry tub for the time being (back into the basement environment).

Also, i tend to agree that a reading of 5, especially in an unused , unoccupied basement is not bad.. i will check the first floor living area now , just to check.
And i did find out how simple it would be once the new sump, lid, etc.. are installed, to simply run another pvc pipe outside,, hooked up to the blower fan, and straight up past the roof line... says it's dries out the slab as it pulls from the interior stone drain.. anyways. may not do anything like that, but will seal up cracks, etc.. and work on getting that french drain put in (with no gap at the walls).

Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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Run the sump pump discharge pipe where the water runs away from the house.

Caulk the crack (if any) between foundation walls and basement floor slab.

The tighter you can seal the sump pit lid, the less powerful a blower (and less expensive to run it will be) is needed to evacuate possibly radon laden air from the sump pump and French drain system.

You might consider having the radon vent(s) to which the suction blower is attached at the far end(s) of the French drain pipes rather than at the pit. This will cause the blower to draw out subterranean air first, since the hardest place to seal against room air is the pit lid.
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Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really pours. Otherwise the storm might miss and the part that gets watered last (3 days away?) will dry up.

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-10-2014 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
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Good idea. could have the pipe, if i decide to mitigate, at the far corner of the basement floor instead of at the pit. Could ease some crowding in the pit corner.
thanks
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