How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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How can I tell if a house has a radon mitigation system?
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Because radon mitigation systems can be installed multiple different ways and some installations are concealed at the interior rooms of a house, a home may have a passive or active radon mitigation system that is not visible during an examination of the interior of the home. But most active radon mitigation systems (ones that use a continuously running exhaust fan, usually located in the attic) can be recognized by a white plastic pipe running from the floor to the ceiling in the corner of a closet. It will have a sticker, like the one shown below, that features the word “RADON” and the radiation warning symbol (shown at right) prominently.
Also, there will be a U-shaped tube filled with a colored liquid, called a manometer, on the side of the pipe at eye level. When the exhaust fan for the radon mitigation system is operating, the air suction will cause the column to rise on one side, and the tube will have inch markings on it so that a viewer can check the number of inches of differential between the equilibrium point of the twin columns in the U-shaped tube. An example is shown below of mitigation system piping installed in a bedroom closet.
Although this is an easy way to verify that a radon mitigation system is present in the most homes, and the column differential in the manometer will indicate that the system is functioning, sometimes the piping and exhaust fan are be installed on the exterior of a home or in the attic, like in the photos below, and can be recognized there.
It is also possible that the mitigation system is installed but not readily visible. Its location and design may need to be shown and explained by the owner of the home.
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