Can someone suggest a few different options for real-estate transaction testing devices that are on the more affordable side? I was thinking of charcoal… I am certified with NRPP, but am feeling a little lost with all the options and equipment out there. Thanks
Charcoal canisters are okay…however you need to add a day or two for transit and testing time at the lab. There are quicker options, with a price tag.
I have had very good results with AIR-CHEK (Radon Pro) over the years.
There are Pro’s and Con’s for any device you use.
First and most importantly, be sure your device of choice is approved for use in your state, assuming your state regulates testing.
Next, whichever device you use, be certain it as least appears to be a Professional Device! As an example, some of the charcoal devices are no more than a charcoal impregnated sponge that hang from the ceiling on a string. They may work, but talk about RED FLAGS from everyone that sees it in use!
Suggestion: Until you get your Radon service “up to speed” and you’ve actually determined if providing the service is a good fit for your company, use a quality, professional charcoal canister from a reputable Lab. Over the 12 years that I provided the testing service, (I no longer do), I used the kits from EMSL, then switched to RTCA and was much happier with their service and pricing.
(Sign up as a client, and the fee is roughly half of what the website states… for confidentiality from the general public).
Kinda’ steep for a new inspector to get started in Radon testing, considering he doesn’t even know if he has the market and business to justify the expense. Starting with my suggestion above for one year will answer all the questins he has!!
I just provide options, I’m not his financial adviser.
I have a set of these for sale on the forum if it’s helpful. They worked very well for me.
Unfortunately, shipping is not as reliable these days as it might have been in the past. And timelines/deadlines are tighter than they have been in the past. We have the ability to do radon testing using a CRM without involving an external lab and my recommendation would be to take advantage of that. That means using a CRM (Continuous Radon Monitor).
If you go charcoal, which is cheaper but relies on shipping times, be aware that the client/agents will not care who’s fault it is that the results were delayed. You will take the fall for it.
Yes, it is a bit of money upfront to get set up with monitors, but you are setting yourself up for future success by providing fast and reliable service right out of the gate.
One of the subscription services may be your best lower cost alternative for reliable instruments. I used radon canisters for years until a “clever” home owner put a mason jar over it or maybe they just bagged it. In any event, a result under background levels was my clue.
Here, with licensing radon testers being darn expensive, a lot of home inspectors refer it out and collect a concierge fee for handling it for the client. No overhead and no scheduling how and when the hell to go put it in or pick it up when you are friggin busy.
just being a measurement professional, wouldnt i still need to send to a lab for results? Could i bypass that with a CRM?
The CRM will give you the results directly. No need to send it to a lab to get the results. But there are some other things you need to do, such as have the monitor calibrated yearly and perform periodic cross checks with another device. If you are in a licensed state, check with their requirements for using a CRM.
Be sure to check the NRPP approved devices list…compare device abilities versus price. Probably the most affordable CRM, for the long term, and the high level of CPH is the RadonEye PRO. The downside of this device is that it does not record barometric pressure sensors and it does not have a battery. I think the best bang for your buck (sturdy, high CPH, easy of use & additional IAQ sensors) is the Femto-Tech LPT. They definitely have the best rental price. Some manufactures will claim a certain level of accuracy…but they all claim the same thing. What separates the devices is the CPH (an industry standard metric for nuclear & radiation professionals).
Not to mention all the red tape… The renewal wasn’t too bad but the initial costs are $$$$$$$$$$$
@rerbes if you were to consider leasing a CRM get ahold of QJ Henderson at Red Dog Radon. He is a great guy to work with and his rates are very reasonable. Just something to ponder.
Part of your cost to consider is the result of your QA plan and how you address tampering. With the lab fees, canister costs, and extra time to secure the home (tamper tape, etc), I figured I had $30 to $50 per test to cover those costs. I took that cost and purchased two CRM devices, financed it with the bank, and used the monthly accrued $30 to $50 per test to pay off the loan. Within a year the loan was paid off, and I kept the overhead money for calibration costs and profit.
Canisters are very easy to tamper, and you need to use two of them. Canisters are hard to use within the parameters of your QA plan. Radon testing in real estate is an adversarial undertaking with a few sellers looking for a way to defeat the accuracy of your test. A major component of your responsibility is to provide your buyer-client with reliable results, using documented methods that can stand the scrutiny of an attorney, should that situation arrive.
Also, with canisters, what do you do when closed house conditions are not established 12 hours prior to setting your canisters? With a CRM, you establish closed house conditions and set the device with a 12 hour delayed start. With canisters, you need to return to the property to set the canisters. Keep that in mind as a cost when using canisters.