Saturday, April 30, 2011

Radon Mitigation System Cost Breakdown

Previously I've posted about installing a radon mitigation system in our house, and the testing that we did afterward. This time I'll tell you what we had to spend to get all the pieces put together.

The components of the system that are specific to radon systems were purchased online since they could be found cheaper there or were not available at all locally. I made my best attempt at achieving the lowest overall cost, which meant I spent a little extra on some of my items in order to save on shipping.

Fantech HP190 radon fan: $120
Rubber connectors: $18
Exhaust cap: $33
Condensate bypass kit: $17
U-tube manometer: $22
Shipping & tax on online items: $36

All of the rest of the items were found locally.

4" PVC Sch 40 pipe, elbows and couplings: $77
Roof flashing: $6
14/2 romex wire: $12
15 amp breaker: $6
Hanging strap, concrete mix, glue: $6
Tools: $40
Tax: $12

All materials total: $405

I didn't keep track of my time spent on the project, but with muliple trips in and out of the attic, concrete hole cutting done the cheap way, and roof flashing work done in the dark, I probably spent close to 30 hours to complete everything. I'm told a contractor would probably charge about $1,200 for the type of system I installed, but as I mentioned in my first post, I prefer to do this kind of project myself. My conclusion: I think this kind of project is well withing the skill level of most DIYers; a bit of planning and testing ahead of time can streamline the project; and like most home projects, there is an opportunity to save a little money.

Related posts:
Radon Mitigation System Installation
Radon Mitigation System Testing

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First mowing of the year

Two weeks ago, I thought the mowing season couldn't be pushed off any longer. A good bit of cooler weather since then seems to have halted the grass growth, but with lots of rain in the forecast, today looked like one of the few dry opportunities. The mowing season is starting 13 days later than last year, but two days earlier than in 2009 (the grass piles in the photo above suggest I waited too long this time). Coincidently, the first mowing day for all three years fell on a Wednesday. Although the cut grass is pleasant to look at, it looks like we're committed to tending to it for another 6 months.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Heard today...

... at the American Vision Midwest Conference at Providence Church in Morton, Illinois

"Your view of the future determines how you live in the present."

- Gary DeMar

"Your children were ordained by God to be born in your home."

- James McDonald

"You can't destroy a Christian civilization unless you destroy its economic power. You can't destroy its economic power unless you destroy the family."

- Bojidar Marinov

"The church has bought into the lie that government's resources are unlimited, and that God's resources are limited."

- James Lansberry

If you weren't there today, you missed Gary DeMar speaking on the importance of eschatology on how you live in the present and a biblical view of Ezekiel 38-39 and Matthew 24. James McDonald emphasized the importance of training our children by our words and our example to the end of establishing the next generation. Bojidar Marinov explained how socialists have been attacking the institution of the family in Europe for centuries, and defined what socialism can and cannot take away from us here in America. James Lansberry spoke on God's ability to work through his church, and the vision some believers have for wresting back from the government what belongs to God.

If you missed it, I'm sorry for you, but I guess you could try again next time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Heard this evening...

"The more you learn, the more humble you should be."

- Kevin Swanson, speaking at the American Vision Midwest Conference at Providence Church in Morton, Illinois

Mr. Swanson's lecture emphasized the book of Proverbs as the foundation for any education as it is dedicated to inculcating wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. One doesn't have to look far to see the lessons of Proverbs lived out in society around us. When commenting about how the leaders of some churches in Colorado have embraced the homosexual movement there, Mr. Swanson quoted Proverbs 28:4a, "Those who forsake the law praise the wicked...." "Do you know how America got to be the way it is?" he asked, "America forsook the law!"

Come join us on Saturday for more challenging teaching from God's word.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Radon Mitigation System Testing

About a month ago I posted about installing a radon mitigation system in our home. Our active sub-slab depressurization system started running February 5, but we didn't start measuring the radon level in the house until about March 9 when we left on vacation. At that time we set our new SafetySiren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector on a table in the basement, where it monitored and averaged the radon level over the ten days we were gone. Because the unit requires about 48 hours of sampling before it displays the radon concentration, we don't know what the level was when the testing began. When we returned home, we were pleased to discover the radon concentration in the basement averaged 1.3 pCi/L while we were gone.

I next moved the tester to the other side of the basement, and recorded the 1.1 pCi/L average (shown above) over a three-day test. Those two tests were enough to convince me that the mitigation system was adequate to keep our home below our 4 pCi/L goal. Armed with this handy device, gathering data was so easy I felt compelled to measure more areas of the house. Upstairs, in our living room, the tester surprised me by reporting a concentration of 1.8 pCi/L after two days, which was higher than any of our readings in the basement. I let the tester continue to run for several more days, over which time the tester found the radon concentration continually dropping such that the average dropped to 1.3 pCi/L before I reset the tester and moved it into our bedroom. A reading of 1.1 pCi/L after two days satisfied my curiosity for that room.

Why was the radon concentration higher upstairs than in the basement? Since the house was closed up quite a bit between the time the system started operating, and the upstairs testing commenced, the sub-slab system may have removed more radon from the basement than was removed by the natural ventilation of the house upstairs. We had never tested the upstairs prior to installing the mitigation system, but one would expect the radon concentration there to be lower than the level in the basement without active mitigation.

We purchased our tester from Radon at Tahoe through, as they were one of many stores on the internet selling the item for $129.95, including free shipping. Now that I'm confident we've got our radon problem licked, I'm willing to let my local readers borrow this tool to check the radon levels in their homes. Let me know in the comments section or by email if you're interested.

Thanks for visiting!

Related posts:
Radon Mitigation System Installation
Radon Mitigation System Cost Breakdown