Radon fans are designed to reduce the build-up of radon gas. As a homeowner, you may be wondering if a radon fan needs a dedicated circuit. Luckily, we have consulted experts in this field, and here is what they have to say.
Radon fans do not need a dedicated circuit because most of them run on a small current and even the bigger ones can pull only a little more current. Radon fans are usually installed on the exterior of the house and hard-wired into an electrical circuit.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at what a radon fan is, how it works, and why it doesn't need its own circuit. We'll also see how to install a radon fan yourself and more. Read on to learn more!
What Is Radon Fan?
Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas. Radon fans prevent the build-up of this potentially harmful chemical. Unmitigated, radon can even cause lung cancer.
Radon fans remove radon from your home or other spaces, thereby preventing it from accumulating to a level that may later affect human health.
The radon mitigating system can lessen radon levels by up to 99 percent and has been essential for a lot of people to reduce the radon in their homes.
Does A Radon Fan Require A Dedicated Circuit?
Typically, a radon fan does not need its own circuit because it has low wattage. This means that they use less current. Most radon fans make use of 1 amp and there is no code requirement for a different circuit.
It is also better to put your radon fan on a circuit connected to commonly used lighting fixtures. By doing so, if the breaker trips, you'll know that your radon fan isn't working by the lack of lights.
Most professionals advise fixing a weatherproof switch outside since the fan is expected to be fixed on the outer part of the house. When it is being installed, ensure it is hardwired into an electric circuit.
How Can I Reduce The Radon In My Home?
While radon is dangerous, it can be mitigated. To reduce the radon in your home you need to install a radon mitigation system.
In most cases, professionals will charge you more than what you budgeted for installation.
However, you can also do it yourself. You will need some plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills, as well as the needed materials.
The installation of a radon mitigation system involves several steps as you will need to run a PVC pipe through multiple slabs and roof. This is done to prevent moisture from coming into your house.
Follow these steps to install a radon mitigation system:
Step 1: Determine Your Radon Reading
The first step to reducing radon in your house is to know the radon level in your house and how high they are. To be able to do this, you will need a radon detector.
It is advisable to get a long-term detector. They are costlier than short-term detectors and unlike short-term detectors, they can be used and reused.
Also, it is also important to know the age of your home because this will help you to plan the "do it yourself" radon mitigation system. This is to know if the fill under the cement slab foundation is an ideal fill or not.
Step 2: Analyze The Structure Of Your House
Before running a pipe through the foundation of your house, you need to carefully analyze the structure of your house. If the structure was added after the first construction, you may need to reduce radon from different areas of your home.
Step 3: Plan The Piping
To plan the pipe, ensure you don't run the pipe through your living room because it won't look good. Check if there are ways to take in order to avoid the frequented areas. If not, you can run it from the basement all the way to a garage or the closet inside your home.
Also, this pipe needs to be out of your roof, and feet away from any horizontally planed windows. This is done because the pipe can expel radon gas and if it is too close to your window, it can come back into your house. It is advisable to keep it 10 feet away.
Step 4: Fix Your Radon Fan
You will need to place the fan outside the house, this may be in the garage. It is recommended to do this when installing a radon mitigation system because it will keep you from a leak at the fan's site.
Next, find a good spot in your foundation, near a wall and drill it. You will need to make use of a hacksaw in order to get through different floors, roofs, and walls that will be seen when running the pipe.
Step 5: Lay the Pipe
When laying the pipe, begin from the roof to the basement and ensure that everywhere is sealed. You can seal the roof and foundation with the help of hydraulic cement and a backer rod to fill the space between the foundation hole and the PVC pipe.
Step 6: Check If Your System Reduces Radon
Finally, test if your system has started mitigating the radon. You can also install a manometer as this will tell if the system is creating the pressure necessary to pull air from the ground.
It is not advisable to install your radon fan horizontally. This is because there is an exposed pipe at the end of the radon fan. Although it is small, there should be a way for rain to drop and drain the system.
Are Radon Fans Supposed To Run All The Time?
In order to mitigate the radon level in your home, the radon fan has to run continuously. It must not be turned off or unplugged.
It is normal to have variations in the radon level but you can still test your home every two years to ensure the radon level is low.
How Long Should A Radon Fan Last?
All electrical systems have a lifespan. For an appliance to last long, proper maintenance has to be carried out. A radon fan is an essential part of the system and it is more susceptible to issues.
Radon fans can last for up to 20 years and more. Replacing a radon fan is expensive and may cost more if you include labor. This is why it is advisable to test your house at least every two years.
If your radon fan is making a loud or strange noise, it is likely that it needs replacement. It is not common for radon fans to produce a loud noise. If this happens, you should check your manometer.
Water splashing around the fan can also cause a radon fan to make a loud noise. This usually occurs during cold spells.
How Long Does It Take For A Radon Mitigating System To Work?
You may want to know how long it takes a radon fan to start working and get rid of radon in your home. On average, it takes the system 48 hours to reduce the radon level in your house and it will take one to three days to get rid of radon.
Does A Radon Fan Need GFCI Protection?
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is an electronic device that watches over the current in white and black wires of an air conditioner circuit. If you install a radon fan, you may want to know if it is being protected by the ground fault circuit interrupter.
A radon fan doesn't require GFCI protection. Almost all radon fans have plastic housings, meaning they will not expose homeowners to shock danger. The nuisance trips make the system ineffective for the gas.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) has mandated the GFCI to protect some areas in your home from possible electrical hazards. These areas include the basement, kitchens, garages, bathrooms, and water which are within 6 feet.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are efficient and are not expensive. They are mandatory in homes situated in certain areas. Check with your local codes for more information.
To Wrap Up
Radon fans make use of so little current that they do not need a dedicated circuit. You can easily install a radon mitigation system without the help of a professional but you can contact one if you encounter any problem during the process.
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