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Topic Title: Domestic Radon Installation
Topic Summary: Domestic radon reduction installations are not monitored for continuous operation.
Created On: 10 June 2010 11:42 AM
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 10 June 2010 11:42 AM
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dhedderly

Posts: 2
Joined: 17 March 2002

I have recently had a radon reduction pump fitted in the loft, this was an authorised installation by an authorised contractor under the control of the local authority who instigated the work following a survey they also initiated. The pump motor is/was silent in running, as is necessary in a domestic situation. The pump motor has failed within weeks of installation; as has that of a near neighbour. While the motor has now been replaced the system design is obviously not fit for purpose since there is no way of knowing if the motor has failed and the whole thing needs to keep working for tens of years; at least! The system design is the responsibility of the Building Research office who issue a set of diagrams to cover a range of installation situations. None of these show any method of monitoring, either of pressure or the motor itself .
How to get this situation improved to include a realistic failure assessment?

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dhedderly
 10 June 2010 02:12 PM
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Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19759
Joined: 23 March 2004

In the first instance, I would take the matter up with your LA - as they appear to have implemented the work.

With regard to the reliability and monitoring aspects then worth trying BRE Radon Hotline 01923 664707 or www.bre.co.uk/radon particularly if they have endorsed the specific system installed.

I guess ideally a flow fail monitoring device would be useful to the user

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 16 June 2010 06:54 PM
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dhedderly

Posts: 2
Joined: 17 March 2002

I have taken the question of reliability up with the Local Authority who are in contact with the person responsible in the Building Research Establishment who drew up the various radon extraction layouts that are offered to householders; I await the outcome. However the problem is the disconnection between the reliability required of the system, which has surely to be in the region of at least 50-70 years, and the average lifetime of small motors which, I guess, is not of this order. Somewhere in the IET will be members who know about the reliability statistics of small motors but how to contact them? Further to this the reliability of the whole arrangement, hopefully including monitoring in the future, needs to have a careful lifetime analysis which must include who looks at any monitor and what they do about it. It could have been part of HIPS but.......

The critical issue is a human one. Imagine a retired couple living in a high radon area who have never smoked and who have what they beleive to be a functioning extraction system. The man gets lung cancer and dies,( his pension stops) and the woman learns that the extraction system has failed but no one has any means of knowing when it did so. She would have a strong case against someone since the extraction systems are promoted to avoid just such an outcome.

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dhedderly
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