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NYSDOH Order form for home radon test kit
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American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists


- For Radon Mitigation System Installations call -
RADON SOLUTIONS OF CNY - phone number 315-754-8187
CLEAN ENVIRONMENT SOLUTIONS - phone number 315-762-8320

Radon Mitigation Standards (RMS)

EPA Incorporates ASTMI E2121 By Reference

EPA has incorporated E2121 by reference and retained EPA’s Radon Mitigation Standards (RMS) in effect until at least 2006.  This decision is consistent with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 on Federal participation in the development and use of voluntary consensus standards, and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995.  The policy discussion and response to comments paper is available here (PDF, 8 pgs., 180KB).  If you have questions concerning this policy, contact either Philip Jalbert (jalbert.philip@epa.gov ) or Eugene Fisher (fisher.eugene@epa.gov ).

Sections 13 & 14 from the above document give you the basics of what a completed system should look like.


13.0 Systems Design
13.1 All radon mitigation systems shall be designed and installed as permanent, integral additions to the building, except where a temporary system has been installed in accordance with paragraph 10.3.
13.2 All radon mitigation systems shall be designed to avoid the creation of other health, safety, or environmental hazards to building occupants, such as backdrafting of natural draft combustion appliances.
13.3 All radon mitigation systems shall be designed to maximize radon reduction and in consideration of the need to minimize excess energy usage, to avoid compromising moisture and temperature controls and other comfort features, and to minimize noise.
13.4 All radon mitigation systems and their components shall be designed to comply with the laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations of relevant jurisdictional authorities, including applicable mechanical, electrical, building, plumbing, energy, and fire prevention codes.
14.0 Systems Installation

14.1 General Requirements
  14.1.1 All components of radon mitigation systems installed in compliance with provisions of the RMS shall also be in compliance with the applicable mechanical, electrical, building, plumbing, energy and fire prevention codes, standards, and regulations of the local jurisdiction.
  14.1.2 The contractor shall obtain all required licenses and permits, and display them in the work areas as required by local ordinances.
  14.1.3 Where portions of structural framing material must be removed to accommodate radon vent pipes, material removed shall be no greater than that permitted for plumbing installations by applicable building or plumbing codes.
  14.1.4 Where installation of a radon mitigation system requires pipes or ducts to penetrate a firewall or other fire resistance rated wall or floor, penetrations shall be protected in accordance with applicable building, mechanical, fire, and electrical codes.
  14.1.5 When installing radon mitigation systems that use sump pits as the suction point for active soil depressurization, if sump pumps are needed, it is recommended that submersible sump pumps be used. (See paragraphs 14.5.1, 14.7.4, 15.7, and 15.8.)

14.2 Radon Vent Pipe Installation Requirements
  14.2.1 All joints and connections in radon mitigation systems using plastic vent pipes shall be permanently sealed with adhesives as specified by the manufacturer of the pipe material used. (See paragraph 14.3.7 for exception when installing fans, and paragraph 14.2.7 for exception when installing vent pipes in sumps.) Joints or connections in other vent pipe materials shall be made air tight.
  14.2.2 Attic and external piping runs in areas subject to subfreezing conditions should be protected to avoid the risk of vent pipe freeze-up.
  14.2.3 Radon vent pipes shall be fastened to the structure of the building with hangers, strapping, or other supports that will adequately secure the vent material. Existing plumbing pipes, ducts, or mechanical equipment shall not be used to support or secure a radon vent pipe.
  14.2.4 Supports for radon vent pipes shall be installed at least every 6 feet on horizontal runs. Vertical runs shall be secured either above or below the points of penetration through floors, ceilings, and roofs, or at least every 8 feet on runs that do not penetrate floors, ceilings, or roofs.
  14.2.5 To prevent blockage of air flow into the bottom of radon vent pipes, these pipes shall be supported or secured in a permanent manner that prevents their downward movement to the bottom of suction pits or sump pits, or into the soil beneath an aggregate layer under a slab.
  14.2.6 Radon vent pipes shall be installed in a configuration that ensures that any rain water or condensation within the pipes drains downward into the ground beneath the slab or soil-gas retarder membrane.
  14.2.7 Radon vent pipes shall not block access to any areas requiring maintenance or inspection. Radon vents shall not be installed in front of or interfere with any light, opening, door, window or equipment access area required by code. If radon vent pipes are installed in sump pits, the system shall be designed with removable or flexible couplings to facilitate removal of the sump pit cover for sump pump maintenance.
  14.2.8 To prevent re-entrainment of radon, the point of discharge from vents of fan-powered soil depressurization and block wall depressurization systems shall meet all of the following requirements: (1) be above the eave of the roof, (2) be ten feet or more above ground level, (3) be ten feet or more from any window, door, or other opening into conditioned spaces of the structure that is less than two feet below the exhaust point, and (4) be ten feet or more from any opening into an adjacent building. The total required distance (ten feet) from the point of discharge to openings in the structure may be measured either directly between the two points or be the sum of measurements made around intervening obstacles. Whenever possible, the exhaust point should be positioned above the highest eave of the building and as close to the roof ridge line as possible.
  14.2.9 When a radon mitigation system is designed to draw soil gas from a perimeter drain tile loop (internal or external) that discharges water through a drain line to daylight or a soakaway, a one-way flow valve, water trap, or other control device should be installed in or on the discharge line to prevent outside air from entering the system while allowing water to flow out of the system.

14.3 Radon Vent Fan Installation Requirements
  14.3.1 Vent fans used in radon mitigation systems shall be designed or otherwise sealed to reduce the potential for leakage of soil gas from the fan housing.
  14.3.2 Radon vent fans shall be sized to provide the pressure difference and air flow characteristics necessary to achieve the radon reduction goals established for the specific mitigation project. Guidelines for sizing vent fans and piping can be found in the references cited in paragraphs 8.1, 8.16, and 8.17.
  14.3.3 Radon vent fans used in active soil depressurization or block wall depressurization systems shall not be installed below ground nor in the conditioned (heated/cooled) space of a building, nor in any basement, crawlspace, or other interior location directly beneath the conditioned spaces of a building. Acceptable locations for radon vent fans include attics not suitable for occupancy (including attics over living spaces and garages), garages that are not beneath conditioned spaces, or on the exterior of the building.
  14.3.4 Radon vent fans shall be installed in a configuration that avoids condensation buildup in the fan housing. Whenever possible, fans should be installed in vertical runs of the vent pipe.
  14.3.5 Radon vent fans mounted on the exterior of buildings shall be rated for outdoor use or installed in a water tight protective housing.
  14.3.6 Radon vent fans shall be mounted and secured in a manner that minimizes transfer of vibration to the structural framing of the building.
  14.3.7 To facilitate maintenance and future replacement, radon vent fans shall be installed in the vent pipe using removable couplings or flexible connections that can be tightly secured to both the fan and the vent pipe.
  14.3.8 The intakes of fans used in crawlspace pressurization, or in pressurizing the building itself, shall be screened or filtered to prevent ingestion of debris or personal injury. Screens or filters shall be removable to permit cleaning or replacement and building owners shall be informed of the need to periodically replace or clean such screens and filters. This information shall also be included in the documentation. (See paragraph 18.5)

14.4 Suction Pit Requirement for Sub-Slab Depressurization (SSD) Systems
  14.4.1 To provide optimum pressure field extension of the subslab communication zone, adequate material shall be excavated from the area immediately below the slab penetration point of SSD system vent pipes.

14.5 Sealing Requirements
  14.5.1 Sump pits that permit entry of soil-gas or that would allow conditioned air to be drawn into a sub-slab depressurization system shall be covered and sealed. The covers on sumps that previously provided protection or relief from surface water collection shall be fitted with a water or mechanically trapped drain. Water traps should be fitted with an automatic supply of priming water. (See paragraph 15.7 for details on sump cover and sealing materials.)
  14.5.2 Openings around radon vent pipe penetrations of the slab, the foundation walls, or the crawlspace soil-gas retarder membrane shall be cleaned, prepared, and sealed in a permanent, air-tight manner using compatible caulks or other sealant materials. (See paragraph 15.5.) Openings around other utility penetrations of the slab, walls, or soil-gas retarder shall also be sealed.
14.5.3 Where a Block Wall Depressurization (BWD) system is used to mitigate radon, openings in the tops of such walls and all accessible openings or cracks in the interior surfaces of the walls shall be closed and sealed with polyurethane or equivalent caulks, expandable foams, or other fillers and sealants. (See paragraphs 15.5 and 15.6.) Openings or cracks that are determined to be inaccessible or beyond the ability of the contractor to seal shall be disclosed to the client and included in the documentation.
14.5.4 Openings, perimeter channel drains, or cracks that exist where the slab meets the foundation wall (floor-wall joint), shall be sealed with urethane caulk or equivalent material. When the opening or channel is greater than 1/2 inch in width, a foam backer rod or other comparable filler material shall be inserted in the channel before application of the sealant. This sealing technique shall be done in a manner that retains the channel feature as a water control system. Other openings or cracks in slabs or at expansion or control joints should also be sealed. Openings or cracks that are determined to be inaccessible or beyond the ability of the contractor to seal shall be disclosed to the client and included in the documentation.
14.5.5 When installing baseboard-type suction systems, all seams and joints in the baseboard material shall be joined and sealed using materials recommended by the manufacturer of the baseboard system. Baseboards shall be secured to walls and floors with adhesives designed and recommended for such installations. If a baseboard system is installed on a block wall foundation, the tops of the blockwall shall be closed and sealed as prescribed in paragraph 14.5.3.
14.5.6 Any seams in soil-gas retarder membranes used in crawlspaces for sub-membrane depressurization systems shall be overlapped at least 12 inches and should be sealed. To enhance the effectiveness of sub-membrane depressurization systems, the membrane should also be sealed around interior piers and to the inside of exterior walls.
14.5.7 In combination basement/crawlspace foundations, where the crawlspace has been confirmed as a source of radon entry, access doors and other openings between the basement and the adjacent crawlspace shall be closed and sealed. Access doors required by code shall be fitted with air tight gaskets and a means of positive closure, but shall not be permanently sealed. In cases where both the basement and the adjacent crawlspace areas are being mitigated with active SSD and SMD systems, sealing of the openings between those areas is not required.
14.5.8 When crawlspace depressurization is used for radon mitigation, openings and cracks in floors above the crawl-space which would permit conditioned air to pass out of the living spaces of the building, shall be identified, closed, and sealed. Sealing of openings around hydronic heat or steam pipe penetrations shall be done using non-combustible materials. Openings or cracks that are determined to be inaccessible or beyond the ability of the contractor to seal shall be disclosed to the client and included in the documentation.

14.6 Electrical Requirements
  14.6.1 Wiring for all active radon mitigation systems shall conform to provisions of the National Electric Code and any additional local regulations.
  14.6.2 Wiring may not be located in or chased through the mitigation installation ducting or any other heating or cooling ductwork.
  14.6.3 Any plugged cord used to supply power to a radon vent fan shall be no more than 6 feet in length.
  14.6.4 No plugged cord may penetrate a wall or be concealed within a wall.
  14.6.5 Radon mitigation fans installed on the exterior of buildings shall be hard-wired into an electrical circuit. Plugged fans shall not be used outdoors.
  14.6.6 If the rated electricity requirements of a radon mitigation system fan exceeds 50 percent of the circuit capacity into which it will be connected, or if the total connected load on the circuit (including the radon vent fan) exceeds 80 percent of the circuit's rated capacity, a separate, dedicated circuit shall be installed to power the fan.
  14.6.7 An electrical disconnect switch or circuit breaker shall be installed in radon mitigation system fan circuits to permit deactivation of the fan for maintenance or repair by the building owner or servicing contractor (Disconnect switches are not required with plugged fans).

14.7 Drain Installation Requirements
  14.7.1 If drains discharge directly into the soil beneath the slab or through solid pipe to a soakaway, the contractor should install a drain that meets the requirements in paragraph 14.5.1.
  14.7.2 If condensate drains from air conditioning units terminate beneath the floor slab, the contractor shall install a trap in the drain that provides a minimum 6-inch standing water seal depth, reroute the drain directly into a trapped floor drain, or reconnect the drain to a condensate pump.
  14.7.3 Perimeter (channel or French) drains should be sealed with backer rods and urethane or comparable sealants in a manner that will retain the channel feature as a water control system. (See paragraph 14.5.4.)
  14.7.4 When a sump pit is the only system in a basement for protection or relief from excess surface water and a cover is installed on the sump for radon control, the cover shall be recessed and fitted with a trapped drain meeting the requirements of paragraph 14.5.1.

14.8 HVAC Installation Requirements
  14.8.1 Modifications to an existing HVAC system, which are proposed to mitigate elevated levels of radon, should be reviewed and approved by the original designer of the system (when possible) or by a licensed mechanical contractor.
  14.8.2 Foundation vents, installed specifically to reduce indoor radon levels by increasing the natural ventilation of a crawlspace, shall be non-closeable. In areas subject to subfreezing conditions, the existing location of water supply and distribution pipes in the crawlspace, and the need to insulate or apply heat tape to those pipes, should be considered when selecting locations for installing foundation vents.
  14.8.3 Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems shall not be installed in rooms that contain friable asbestos.
  14.8.4 In HRV installations, supply and exhaust ports in the interior shall be located a minimum of 12 feet apart. The exterior supply and exhaust ports shall be positioned to avoid blockage by snow or leaves and be a minimum of 10 feet apart.
  14.8.5 Contractors installing HRV systems shall verify that the incoming and outgoing airflow is balanced to ensure that the system does not create a negative pressure within the building. Contractors shall inform building owners that periodic filter replacement and inlet grill cleaning are necessary to maintain a balanced airflow. This information shall also be included in the documentation.
  14.8.6 Both internal and external intake and exhaust vents in HRV systems shall be covered with wire mesh or screening to prevent entry of animals or debris or injury to occupants.


Greg Haley Home Inspection LLC · 308 Fayette Dr. Fayetteville, NY 13066 · 315-559-6666 · greg@ghaley.com
Greg Haley is a full service home inspector near Syracuse NY, serving all of Onondaga and Madison counties. Services include residential home inspections, 48 hour radon testing, Granite countertop testing for radiation and radon, pest inspections, septic dye testing, well flow and water purity testing.