How to install a radon mitigation sump pump fan for less than $300

Edited by Anonymous, Doug Collins, Eng

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Radon gas is a silent killer. I had a radon gas problem in my house that I solved and I want to tell you about how I did it. I installed a fan on my sump pump system to pull out the radon gas. I did it all for less than $300.

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Steps

  1. 1
    The first thing I did was by this radon detector.
    I just reset it so there is no reading on it right now, but it was reading at 2.0 and now after 2 days of the sump pump radon fan running it is reading 1.0 ( UPDATE: IT NOW READS 0.5 WHICH IS THE SAME AS OUTSIDE AIR!! ). A radon level of 2 is the equivalent of smoking 2 or 3 cigarettes a day, and we don't smoke in our household so we really don't want this level of radon, so we decided to do something about it.
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  2. 2
    The first thing you need to do is get a radon detector like this one and plug it in.
    It takes about 2 days to get a reading. The long term reading is a 7 day reading. After you get a readout you will know where your at and if you need to do something about it. If you are watching this video you may have already done that and you want to know how to fix this problem.
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  3. 3
    Here is my radon sump pump mitigation system I have installed.
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  4. 4
    Let's take a quick view of the entire system.
    Here is the actual fan itself.
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  5. 5
    It is pumping air up the pipe and outside.
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  6. 6
    So let me start by going to the sump pump Hole.
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  7. 7
    Here you are going to need to somehow seal the top of your sump pump hole.
    I have elected to make a lid out of plywood.
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  8. 8
    It is a little bit homemadish but it works great.
    For about $20 you can also buy a plastic one. However the plastic one did not fit our hole perfectly and so I elected not to use it and created my own instead.
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  9. 9
    What I have done here is I have sealed the back half with caulking.
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  10. 10
    If you look here you can see I have added silicone all along the back.
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  11. 11
    I sealed it really well.
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  12. 12
    You might be thinking "Oh my goodness, how will I replace my sump pump if it breaks".
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  13. 13
    Look at this coupling here.
    I siliconed in the coupling not the actual pipe.
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  14. 14
    I have done the same thing below.
    I simply need to undo the coupling to replace my sump pump.
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  15. 15
    As you can see it is easy for me to get access to my sump pump to repair it.
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  16. 16
    To get access I can just pull on a screw I put in the lid to use as a handle
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  17. 17
    Open it up.
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  18. 18
    and you can see I have full access to my sump pump to repair or replace it.
    Whatever I need.
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  19. 19
    The only thing I am going to have trouble with is the electrical cords I siliconed in.
    If I need to replace my pump I am going to have to cut these wires free from the silicone and that is going to be tricky. I recommend you do it slightly differently than me. If I had to do this again I would have put the notch here at the edge instead so I could more easily cut the wires free from the silicone. (see my finger pointing to lower left corner)
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  20. 20
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  21. 21
    You do need to form a seal and so perhaps another way to do it would be to just stuff foam in there instead of using silicone around the wires.
    That is another option but I don't know how well it would work for sure.
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  22. 22
    Now lets look at the air vent pipe.
    You can see I have it siliconed in.
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  23. 23
    I don't think I will ever need to take it out but if I did I have a coupling up here.
    I can easily undo this coupling to pull out the whole unit if I needed to.
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  24. 24
    Again I have designed this in such a way that I can replace my sump pump without taking that second half circle of plywood out.
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  25. 25
    Up here where I have installed the pump.
    As you can see I have installed a reducer from 4 inch to 3 inch. Probably not too wise but it seems to be working great anyway. The manual said I could get away with 3 inch pipe and that is what was readily available.
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  26. 26
    The weight of the fan needs to be supported so I hung the pipe off the ceiling joist using regular metal strapping you can find at your local hardware store.
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  27. 27
    Where the air goes outside I have jammed the pipe up against a pre-existing exhaust grate.
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  28. 28
    I used foam all around the piping to prevent the radon gas from re-entering.
    If you go right outside the house with your pipe which is probably recommend (which in my case wasn't needed) be sure to put some kind of a grate cover on it so mice try to come up that nice warm airflow.
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  29. 29
    So far I have got great results.
    I reduced my radon levels in the house from 2 to 1. I measured it right away after installing it and although it takes two days to get an initial reading, there is still residual radon left in the house so I expect my results will get even better. (UPDATE: MY RADON LEVELS ARE NOW 0.5 WHICH IS THE SAME AS OUTSIDE AIR LEVELS!!)
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  30. 30
    The other thing I wanted to tell you about is that when this is sealed up I don't have a hole in the top of my lid.
    The commercial lids come with a small hole about the size of the head of this screw.
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  31. 31
    This is so if you seal it really tightly the fan may work too hard and overheat and break prematurely.
    I elected not to put it in right away until I see what my Radon levels stabilize at. I will then drill a hole later and then retest my radon levels. That will let this fan motor run under less stress.
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  32. 32
    So far its been working really good.
    I wish you well on your radon mitigation project! Happy Radon Reduction :)
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Video: How to install a radon mitigation sump pump fan for less than $300

Questions and Answers

Hi, can I purchase a fan without purchasing the sump pump? If so, where?

The sump is pumping very slow and when it gets to full, water comes up the drain that's in the middle of the floor

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Article Info

Categories : Home Safety | Green Environment

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Anonymous

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