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#196495 - 10/08/10 09:42 PM Radon Fan
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
Hi gang,.. i installed a radon fan this week and the homeowner asked me a good question,..."How will I know if the radon fan motor quits on me?".. he went on to ask if there is a sensor or device to tell him of a motor malfunction as the location of the fan motor will be concealed after dry wall is installed.. short of installing a typical pilot switch which would only tell him that power was or was not GOING to the fan,.. he wanted something to alert him,..whether it was a light or an alarm buzzer,..something of the sort...any ideas guys? a friend of mine said to wire a pilot light in series with the fan lead and when the light went out would signal a malfunction with the motor,..but I wasn't too keen on that idea for obvious reasons.. HELP!!!!
thanx in advance..
A.R.
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#196496 - 10/08/10 10:42 PM Re: Radon Fan [Re: Attic Rat]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Attic Rat,
Welcome back, mate.
You could probably do that with something like a current-held relay to switch an alarm.

I remember reading Popular Mechanics magazine back in the mid-80's and pretty much every single issue had an ad for a radon alarm.
Now at the time, we didn't have the Google (or the Net either) where you could go and see what this was, it actually sounded pretty scary at the time.
Is this a US-wide thing or is it confined to certain areas?


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#196497 - 10/09/10 12:15 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: Trumpy]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Trumpy, Radon is bad in some areas, virtually non-existent in other areas. In true American fashion we still have plenty of hucksters trying to scare us everywhere.

A.R., I am not sure if merely monitoring current will really help you much. If these are the small fractional HP fans that I am thinking of they are as likely to fail with a bad bearing as a winding going bad. Some can live with locked rotor. I guess after a while it will blow the thermal fuse but it can run with a seriously degraded output for a long time. If you can live with that, monitoring current should work for you. The other choices are to look at differential air pressure, probably the best solution or to look at shaft RPM like PC fans
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#196499 - 10/09/10 01:28 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: gfretwell]
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
Thanx guys,.. I was thinking about perhaps an air flow switch drilled/tapped into the PVC pipe that would go to a relay, so if the fan decides to quit, the air flow leaf/reed switch opens and trips the relay, thus sending a signal to a strobe or alarm device.

Hey Trumpy, how's it going man? I hope all is well... I missed this place, glad to be back!!

Greg, thanx for the advice man, I've never encountered a dilemma such as this.. I love a good challenge...
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.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

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#196501 - 10/09/10 08:01 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: Attic Rat]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
I think the 'proof' switch is the best idea.Given the location of the fan.These can be installed before or after the fan.
I'm concerned with the 'no access' after drywall part.

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#196502 - 10/09/10 09:04 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: leland]
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
..^as I am,..but it seems that the fan was an afterthought installed at the last minute by the plumber and the only place to put it was inside the closet wall,..I suppose there will be an access hatch to be able to service the unit though..by "proof switch" are you referring to the air flow switch I mentioned above?
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.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

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#196505 - 10/09/10 11:06 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: Attic Rat]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
There are differential pressure switches you could install with the high and low side on opposite sides of the fan but at the low deltas I see on the radon fan specs they are expensive.
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Greg Fretwell

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#196506 - 10/09/10 11:41 AM Re: Radon Fan [Re: gfretwell]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
As someone who lives in a granite 'high Radon' zone, it might be moot to point out that an 'added on as an afterthought' fan will very likely not work anyway. Radon is 8 times denser than air, tends to collect in basements and is often expelled from a sump or collected from under the slab before it can get in the dwelling.

http://www.seered.co.uk/radon52.htm makes interesting reading.

The client may be better off [peace of mind-wise] by investing in a test kit rather than motor monitoring.

http://www.radonzone.com/ ... is just one I found.


Edited by Alan Belson (10/09/10 11:42 AM)
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#196509 - 10/09/10 02:26 PM Re: Radon Fan [Re: Alan Belson]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Rat:

There are two commercial items that are made to monitor radon systems. One is a 'negative pressure' guage that is installed in-line in the 4" PVC pipe, somewhere where a HO can 'look' at it to see if the fan is operating. This install is prevelant at an apt complex for the 'grade' units; guage is installed outside, for mgmnt and tenant to see.

The other is an 'alarm' that sounds if the fan is not functioning. These devices are prevelent in town house complexes, and the sensor device is in-line. This is the method of choice in a newer townhouse complex. The condo units have the radon units tied into the central station FA system for monitoring.

You should have some 'exposed' radon 4"PVC that you can mount the sensor into; the 'alarm' type gets power from a wall wart. You should use a device that is UL listed/labeled, I suggest contacting the radon fan mfg.
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John

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