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Archive for Installing Radon systems

Is You’re System Working

From time to time I will get calls from customers asking if there is anything they should do regarding their Radon system. The good news about Radon systems is that if they are running and quiet, there is not much to really do for maintenance. But you still need to make sure the system is working properly.

What should be done on a semi-annual basis though is to conduct a home Radon test, just to make sure Radon levels have not crept back up somehow. Most of the time levels will still be low, but there have been rare occasions when we had to go back and address an issue that a customer was not aware of to bring levels back down. Their system was working but, a crack developed in the basement slab or a gap opened up at the cold joint. One home owner had taken his sump pump pit lid off and forgot to put it back on the pit and re-seal it.

So, remember to do a Radon test every couple of years to make sure your Radon system is doing it’s job. Chances are the test will come back low. If it doesn’t then give us a call, whether it is our system or not we can take care of it.

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Don’t build over your sump pit

Because of the type of work we do, we run into things that we know can come back to haunt you as a home owner. If you are considering finishing off the basement, which is great because of the extra space you will have, there will be one thing that you will not want to do. Please, don’t build over your sump pit. If you do you will lose access to it. If the pump needs to be replaced it will make it very difficult to get to. I always recommend to build a closet around it. That way you will have access to the pit, pump and piping should anything need to be worked on. If you do build a cabinet around it make the lid low enough so you can work on the pit while you are on your knees.  We have been to plenty of houses where the customer ended up tearing the cabinet apart to change out a pump during a storm because the were not able to work in the space they had created.

Crunch Time

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Unbelievable Day

Last Wednesday was an Unbelievable Day. I was asked to go look at a Radon system that was just recently installed. The new owner did not think it looked right. So, I went to take a look. Wow! I could not believe what I saw. This system was installed by a local, “certified” company. They broke about 6 or 7 codes and Radon venting standards. The biggest thing is that the Radon fan was in the basement. When you get certified, this is about the 1st thing you learn not to do. Among other things they did not install fire collars on the pipe in the garage, they used an electrical splitter on the single outlet for the sump pump to also plug in the fan. The flashing was not installed properly. The company then told the customer that it was  a “moisture” system, so they could put the fan where ever they wanted. (even though this was for Realty and the home had tested high for Radon) Best price? Yeah, they got what they paid for. Now the system has to be completely redone. What a great service that company is doing to the public, and they are certified. Wow, what an unbelievable day.

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Did you really check out that Radon company?

Two things happened within the last week. The first was an angry customer that called me complaining about the initial price quoted, and the final bill that he received.  Turns out he was calling the wrong Radon company. He explained how he was quoted a very low price, but by the time they installed the system, and upgraded his guarantee that his bill was much higher. He got his companies mixed up because we had quoted him a system also. Our final quote was $750. The other Radon company originally quoted $540, but by the time they were done the price was $900! If he had gone with us he would have had what he wanted with no price changes. Please compare quotes item per item, then make your decision.

The second thing that happened was we had to remove an improperly installed system in Green Bay. Have you seen the cable show Holmes on Homes? Well, we consider ourselves the Radon Gurus of our area. We have fixed and replaced many Radon systems over the years. What really irks me is a certified Radon company out of Green Bay installed the system we replaced. The customer paid us $700 to remove the existing system and install a new one, and patch their roof. We were able to reuse two of the holes cut, but everything else had to be changed. This customer paid dearly in the long run. Why was the other company hired? The person seemed like a nice guy and the price was a little lower. Check out the company you are going to hire, no matter what the work might be. Get references, check out their shop/business, and go see their work. Make sure they are following local laws and codes. Does their work vehicle even say who they are? Hiring a company that does anything on the side is a big risk.

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