Installation of a Radon Mitigation System

Installed an Active Soil Depressurization Radon Mitigation System

By Mark J. Donovan

We recently decided to have our house checked for radon levels. We bought the home, new, in 1989, and it wasn’t until the early 1990’s did the idea of testing a home for radon gas really come to fruition. However, we weren’t too concerned about radon levels in our home at the time, and only after years, okay decades, later did we finally say, “let’s have a look”.

Well, as luck would have it our radon levels were quite a bit higher than the EPA recommended 4.0pCi/L.

The radon gas levels actually turned out to be about 10 times higher than the recommend level. So we recently hired a radon mitigation contractor to install an active soil depressurization (ASD) radon mitigation system in our home.

The ASD system is comprised of a PVC pipe that penetrates through the basement concrete slab and into the gravel that sits below the slab. The PVC pipe then runs up to the sill plate and takes a ninety degree turn, through the sill plate and out of our home. From there the PVC pipe connects into a radon reduction fan that draws the moist radon air from underneath the basement floor up and out of the basement and house. On the other side of the radon reduction fan is another long section of PVC pipe that extends upward and over the roof eave of our house by at least a foot.

Radon gas pipe being sucked out from under basement slab.


The radon reduction fan runs continuously, and from what the installer told us, will cost about $4/month to operate in electricity costs. There is also a gauge on the side of the PVC pipe in our basement that indicates there is a negative pressure underneath the slab, due to the fact that the reduction fan is running. I can also hear the air passing through the PVC pipe when listening carefully to it.

It took the installer about four hours to install. He also had an electrician install a dedicated electrical circuit from the main electric circuit panel to the reduction fan motor, again located external to the house.

The radon mitigation system cost was $1,195 and is guaranteed to meet the EPA 4.0 Ci/L safe level. The installer gave us two test kits to conduct the radon test on the system. After two days of leaving the test kit canisters open in the basement, at least two feet off the ground, we are to seal them up and send them to an independent lab.

Installation of a Radon Mitigation System

If for any reason the radon levels are not determined to be in the safe level, then the installer will come out and either install a larger reduction fan, or install one or more additional PVC pipes below the basement concrete slab. With any luck we won’t need him back.

So if you have an older home, and live in an area that is notorious for radon gas levels, you may want to conduct a radon test. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, so it’s worth spending the money to possibly prevent such an illness from occurring in you or your family down the road.

To find a home inspector in your local area check the American Home inspector Directory, which maintains a national database of home inspectors. Similarly you can find a home inspector via Renovation Expert’s national database of contractors and home inspectors. Simply fill out their free form and 3 to 4 home inspectors in your local area will contact you. There is no charge or obligation to use this service or any one of the home inspectors.

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