Canister type Radon Test

I see many postings on this forum where inspectors use expensive hardware based radon testing systems.

Why is the canister type system not popular?

Its only about $20 per test, this includes shipping to testing company . Its know to be very accurate.

Also, in either case (canister or hardware based system) you have to go back a second time to pick up the unit (or canisters). In the case of canisters, very often the broker will send it out for you.

Lastly, if someone “steals” the system, I would rather be out $20 and not $1000.

The only benefit of the hardware based system is that it can do long term test whereas , as far as I know the canister system cannot do long term test.

Any feedback? Thanks

Aristotle - They make a slightly different canister for long term test if needed. Aside from the cost to purchase some of the fancier test equipment I have no right to get into someones house to retrieve it. If the deal goes south and the seller is blaming you you might find your equipment in the garbage.

In NJ it’s against the law for an unlicensed/certified person to retrieve radon canisters and I’ve yet to meet a licenced agent/broker.

So if you use the cheap canisters, you have the right to retrieve it?

No Stephen, if it costs $20 I don’t care if I cant get it back, if it costs $1500 its kind of a bummer if I cant get it back.

That wasn’t my question.

Why did you state that you have no right to retrieve it?

If the seller agreed to the test, you have every right to retrieve your equipment whether its a cheap canister or an expensive continuous radon monitor.

If the seller won’t allow testing, you inform your client of the sellers refusal and don’t place the equipment.

Why would an inspector opt to purchase and use a $1000 radon machine instead of $20 canisters. What is the benefit/advantage?

Air-Chek kits are the largest used radon test kits in the world. Why HI’s are not using them is a mystery, or they just want to use CRM’s to impress. Any electronic item can fail at any time, and can be a theft issue. Using a $9 red test kit from Air-Chek is, IMO, a no-brainer. (You have to use two per test). How much does it cost to radon test a school or a building? Large home? How many CRM,s are you going to keep in stock to use? How much will it cost to have them calibrated every 6-12 months?


I have been using them for over 10 years.

CRM’s are OK but the QA and calibration(if it’s actually being done) is a pain.


Most REA’s like the CRM’s because they give an immediate reading. However, using the Air-Chek kits is, IMO, easier, and no electronics or failures to worry about. I just overnight the kits to NC with next day results. Air-Chek results are very professional, explain the results, and get emailed to the client via me. More professional than numbers on a small paper strip. REA’s can wait next day if they want to serve their home buyers to the best. Nice to hear from you, Michael.

We use CRM’s (continuous radon monitors). They help by showing the recorded radon levels, hour by hour. They also help to prevent tampering with the test, like putting the canister in a plastic bag or setting it in a garage, moving it back to its original position before the inspector returns to pick it up. The equipment can be expensive and yes recalibration sucks, but I feel the testing provides better info. Given the fact that it can cost someone their life. Depending on the equipment, changes in barometric pressure, temperature, GPS location and if the machine is bumped or moved can be recorded.

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Welcome back to our forum, Chad!..Enjoy! :smile:

First time FedEx looses your package you will understand.

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