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Old 12-04-11, 01:50 AM   #11
Xringer
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Or, I could listen to Bernard L. Cohen and just ignore the Radon..
Bernard Cohen (physicist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some people think, one of the reasons that Radon concentrations build up inside buildings is because of poor ventilation.
The problem can be severer in really tight houses, w/o good ventilation.


Maybe installing an HRV in the basement would help lower the Radon level,
and perhaps help with bio-hazards that grow in dank basements..

IF, the other 3 sumps are safe, and I only have one Gusher, perhaps a 4" pipe,
right above the sump, or maybe poking down into the sump, might work..

The radioactive by-products of decaying Radon stick to dust (and maybe water vapor).
I'm not sure that pure Radon can actually float up out of a hole, since it's the heaviest noble gas we know of.
I have a feeling that it's going to act like Propane and stay in the lowest areas.

Basically, if you had dust particles in the sump hole, how hard could it be
to drop a disc cover over the sump, (with holes for the pipes and wire),
and suck the dusty air into a pipe and send it outdoors??


I wonder if the entire basement gets filled with Radon, in the morning, when the
oil burner comes on and creates a negative pressure in the basement.?.
It only runs for 20 or 30 minutes each morning. Hey, maybe it's cleaning the air??

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Old 12-05-11, 10:01 AM   #12
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Default Watras family is doing fine??

Radon History

Looks like Stan Watras has a little Radon testing and abatement service,
at 32 Indian Ln Boyertown, PA 19512-8640..

~~~

With the detector sitting about half way down inside the sump hole,


After it looks stable there, I'll go ahead and move it to the bottom of the hole.
That should give me an idea if, Radon gas acts like Propane.. Or not..



12/3 13:00 10 pCi/L
12/3 19:20 11 pCi/L
12/4 12:25 13 pCi/L
12/4 16:15 14 pCi/L
12/5 09:00 24 pCi/L (With sensor moved to top of pump body)
12/5 19:00 32 pCi/L " " " (Mode set to Short Term)
12/6 09:30 44 pCi/L " " " " " "
12/6 13:30 48 pCi/L " " " " " "
12/7 08:40 59 pCi/L " " " " " "
12/7 16:10 65 pCi/L " " " " " "
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Last edited by Xringer; 12-07-11 at 04:11 PM.. Reason: updates
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Old 12-07-11, 01:00 AM   #13
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"I wonder if the entire basement gets filled with Radon, in the morning, when the
oil burner comes on and creates a negative pressure in the basement.?.
It only runs for 20 or 30 minutes each morning. Hey, maybe it's cleaning the air??"

Measure it when your wife opens the window for fresh air, the warm air in the house escaping needs to be replaced from somewhere and it is likely putting suction on the entire house including these sump holes, since the air is escaping the house, the air to replace it may be pulling on the sumps and sucking radon into the basement and since the window upstairs is drawing air towards it, that would be the one sure fire way to draw that air upstairs. It's easy to test, open a window for the same amount of time your wife normally leaves it open and monitor for a difference.

Other than that radon generally lies low and usually you monitor the lowest occupied level, in reality there probably isn't much upstairs so the radon exposure may be limited. Have you measured the ground level a foot off the ground in a few places?
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Old 12-07-11, 08:30 AM   #14
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It's not just the occasional window, it's the bathroom fan, the kitchen fan & the stinking laundry drier..
Not more than 18 feet above the Radon Gusher, is my leaky, up-drafting attic pull-down stairs!!




Seems like my work is cut-out for me..

I've been periodically measuring various points in the basement for years,
this is the first time for this brand new sump hole..
Stupidly, I skipped testing that one this past summer, due to the big pile of stuff stored in front of that area.

The readings have always been under 3, so needless to say, I was totally shocked to find the stinkin Gusher..
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Old 12-07-11, 09:11 AM   #15
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How often do you go into the attic? If you don't go up too often you could try some removable caulking. I use it on an attic door to my knee wall because I had an energy audit that found the V-gasket that I used was nearly worthless and the gap is too thin for anything else, works great. I'm also going to seal up my 3 foot by 2 foot attic opening that pushes up with the same stuff.

I'm not sure what your attic stairway looks like but would something like this help? Owens Corning AS2 Attic Stair Insulator R-10

It might only be R10 but something like this and some removable caulking would be under $50 and likely pay for itself over a fairly short period of time. The caulking could be used in other places too if there are other things that need to be sealed off.
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Old 12-07-11, 04:29 PM   #16
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My attic door problem is going to be on the back-burner for now.
The sump just hit 65 pCi/L and I'm going to have to take some measures ASAP
to slow down this stuff down and mitigate it..

I've been looking at the installation manual of a Fantech VH704 HRV.
VH704 - Fantech VH704 - VH Series Heat Recovery Ventilator w/ Fan Shutdown Defrost, 4" Top Ports (up to 1,400 Sq. Ft.)

http://s3.pexsupply.com/manuals/1291..._PROD_FILE.pdf

http://s3.pexsupply.com/manuals/1291..._PROD_FILE.pdf


It might be a good way to ventilate our stale and radioactive basement..

I just ordered another Radon detector.
That will allow me to verify the readings that I'm currently seeing.

Since it's been raining here lately, I'm thinking about pulling the pump
out of that sump and putting a tight cover over it for a while.
At least until we decide what we should do about this problem..
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Old 12-08-11, 06:11 AM   #17
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You are never going to properly deal with this problem by making your house even more leaky than it already is. It's a band-aid fix. You probably wouldn't ever be able to get the house to radon levels that would allow you to sell it much less live in it safely. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the only way to solve this problem is to seal up those sumps (not a large or complicated job) and install a radon stack. You can probably hire someone to do it for you. In western MA radon remediation usually costs a little over $1,000 and it comes with a guarantee. They should take care of everything. Or you can DIY pretty easily. The problem is under your basement, not in your basement. Ventilation is great but you already have more than enough down there if there are no CO issues surrounding your atmospheric pressure boiler. Gadgets are cool and HRV's are no exception to this but you need to use the proper gadget for the job, and in this case that gadget is a radon stack..... or two.
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Old 12-09-11, 12:52 AM   #18
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How about a Radon Stack being driven by a small HRV unit?
Why does the type of fan make any difference?
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Old 12-09-11, 04:59 AM   #19
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I suppose you could. But almost no air is going to be moving through it so you won't get any heat from the return. The point of radon remediation isn't to move air. It's to create negative pressure under the slab. Also a radon fan costs about $150 and an HRV costs a lot more. It would cost more than all of the radon stack parts put together.

If you want an HRV so badly just install one ducted throughout your house like it's intended to be used. But first you should address the air leak issues already present in the house. An HRV/ERV is to bring fresh air into a tight house that doesn't get enough ventilation through the walls, basement and attic.

And if you do even a rudimentary job of air sealing your radon issues will increase.
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Old 12-09-11, 05:04 AM   #20
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According to the Canadian Government -- (Well, they just sued a company that was selling HRV to control Radon in basemen) -- indicating that it was false advertising and actually a dangerous practice.

According to them: HRV are only recommended to control radon in special cases/circumstance were the level is already pretty low and localized. Even then, the system must be installed following the recommendation of a specialist that understand the method of propagation of the radon... and careful monitoring must be done for a least a year ...

All of this is to ascertain that the HRV does not actually "Increase" the level of Radon in the basemen by pumping it from under the slab. (What have been noted at several customers of the company)

--------
When you instal an HRV unit in the basemen, you also have to analyze the effect of the HRV on the temperature and humidity level of the basement. In colder climate such as Winter, the HRV provide the dehumidifier function -- therefor, the problems are few.

There might be some problems at the end of the spring and in the summer were the HRV unit pump more "Heat" inside the basement... However, the unit can't control the level of humidity of this "Fresh Air" because the DELTA-T between the exterior air and the Basemen does not provide the "DE-HUMIDIFYING EFFECT". Consequently, you might get 100% humidity under some scenario.

Consequently, if you install an HRV in your basemen, be ready to monitor the situation and purchase a small air conditioning units ( Example --- a 90$ -- 5K BTU units per 1000 SF) to control the level of humidity. Don't install a big AC unless you want to freeze to dead. Dehumidifier work also... but I prefer the AC for the added level of comfort.

Sorry, all this information was available at Radio-Canada --- Broadcast "La facture" Dec 2011. However, this is a French station and I was unable to find the equivalent in the English channel.

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