Cans - the best method of radon test

I just used that topic to grab attention. Still looking to break into the radon testing field. Im wondering why inspectors (subjective opinions) dont just use cheap testing kits instead of expensive continuous monitor devices, which as I understand must be left in the residence for 48 hours and could be knocked over by the family mutt or kids, could suffer curious experimental button pushing, etc. Perhaps they deliver instant results (at the end of 48 hours) whereas passive methods have to be sent to some remote lab and analyzed.
It takes a lot of thirty dollar kits to come up to ~1000$ machine…and they dont have to be calibrated. so any subjective input please
mike in MN

That’s not how this works. **I unfriend you! **

All of those reasons… yes.

Minimum of two canisters per house = $24
Mail = $8
Plus the time to mail the test.

So you’re in each inspection about $32.

CRM is about $1,000, which is about 31 radon test. Yes, you have to have them re-calibrated every so often. However, the real plus is that they tell you if someone tries to move the test appliance.

That is the real “upgrade” and is why I’m looking to go from canisters to CRM.

Finally, some realtors prefer the CRM because the results are faster (3 days vs. about week).

I overnight packets.

The results the next day after pickup.

$20 prepaid FedEx overnight.

They can push buttons all they want and nothing will happen, but it tells me if it’s been tampered with and then we do the test again and this time the seller pays :Dand if the power goes out there is a battery back up and its not 3 days for the results its instant the minute I pickup the Continuous Radon Monitor, send report and done. Payed for its self in about 2 months bought another and same thing, now I am free and clear excluding the calibration and that’s payed for in 1.75 tests.


So, how many tests do you perform in an average month? What is the **NET $$ **(after overhead) that is applied to the “free and clear” to get it paid off in 2 months? What **NET Profit **do you earn to afford the calibration in 1.75 tests (including shipping and insurance for calibration)?

Thanks in advance for your input.

I knew I would get something stirred up, that’s good as we all have our pluses and minuses of what suits our tastes, and good for the op and me to learn.

Mike, really but it depends on the person and what they want to deal with.
To Jeff, 700.00 for monitor tests are $125.00 = 5.6 tests, Calibration is $153.00 + $23 to ship = 1.408 tests. As far as picking up you have to do that with the canisters also. But help me understand if I am not adding things up.

If you do 2 to 5 radon tests a day, do you want to tie-up the costs in all of that equipment, calibration expenses, chances of theft, etc.?

This subject has been discussed hundreds of times. Why HI’s always bring up the same questions all the time is a mystery.

I have been using Air-Chek for 12 years, cost of kits and shipping only, no questions about calibration, third party results place liability at zero, etc. I overnight to North Carolina with next day results. Shawn at Air-Chek emails you the results, in English, so everyone understands it. Having a machine print out results can be questionable.

What happens to CRM’s when they are dropped, tossed around in your truck? Nothing happens to Air-Chek kits. Two kits at $17, overnight is $32, fee is $150. Do my math.

I totally see your point and I really do understand. I for one I’m not saying 1 is better then the other or easier, but just like you what works for me and yours works for you:D

So… what you are saying is that you have $ZERO$ expense in performing Radon testing, other than the Monitor cost and maintenance? Your comparison of “picking up the canisters also” is a poor one. Irrelevant of what method is used, there are expenses associated with them. If you are charging $125 per test, and all funds are going to repay the purchase price of the monitor (5.6 tests), then how are the expenses being accounted for? As has been mentioned many times, there is little to no true profit in Radon testing, so your example of 5.6 tests to pay off the monitor purchase is a wee bit of a fabrication, is it not?

My advice to the OP… (other than the reasons that Gary already mentioned), DO NOT purchase a monitor if you ARE NOT ALREADY performing at least one test EVERY WEEK.

We have 5 business days to perform a home inspection based upon a standard real estate transaction contract. The extra day of overnighting a canister to the lab is not always convenient to the buyer since the inspection is rarely done on the day after the contract is signed. Also my view is… you advertise yourself as a professional, why use a product that a homeowner can purchase themselves and send it in?
$700 a monitor. Average radon test cost here is $200. It’s paid for in 4 tests.


And still no one is addressing the cost of quality assurance issues. What are you doing besides annual calibration?

I question if those are being performed on time. I do run across monitors in homes that haven’t been calibrated, and are outdated by 6 months or longer. Are you honestly going to tell me that if all units are in use, you are going to pull it out of service to get it calibrated? BS!

(Mike… No. “You” was not referring to “you”. It was generic).

(Others… yeah, there are always exceptions, and I’m not inferring anyone here would do that… or am I?) :twisted:

I use both.

$150.00 for the test. I don’t think its much of a money maker but it does add some revenue.
I prefer the canisters over my Alpha 2. Alpha 2 is faster and I don’t worry about the readout being hard to understand, easy enough to say “Radon read is high, or radon read is acceptable”.

This is what it costs to pay for the monitor yes, sorry I did not get analytical but yes you would also need to include costs for travel to drop off or pick up just as in with a canister, it was just a comparison.:roll: That is just good business practice if you want to have a successful business. If the Continuous Radon Monitor initial cost was lets equal to 50 tests then it would not be cost effective.
That being said and this answers Mikes question is in the state of Wisconsin

so as far as Wisconsin is concerned there are no requirements for Q.A. as in other states. Back grounds are done at the time of calibration along with aged air. Now as an example in some states, you need to do a lot more as far as spikes and backgrounds and duplicates and yes that does pose a problem with costs and your monitors are gone and etc.etc. and some states require your Continuous Radon Monitor be spiked checked 2 times a year.:shock: According to the manufactures I spoke to (several) this is over kill and I for one would not own a Continuous Radon Monitor for sure then.
I do however do duplicate checks on every 10% of my tests and you can do them when conducting a test for a client. I also send my Continuous Radon Monitor in once a year and if I lose out on a home inspection because my monitor is gone (has never happened) I lose out. Sorry but I due not fly that way and I do not write soft reports and I will not give my work away by under cutting someone. I would rather go ride my bike or watch the kids play ball and be able to sleep at night. Hmm just booked an inspection along with radon as I am writing and the realtor and client both said I was higher priced. Sorry didn’t mean to rant.
Really if you guys have more or if I missed something please tell me. I respect your posts very much and have learned much (I still research even when you post, as I have learned) from the both of you as well as many others. Okay fire away!!:mrgreen:

Just because WI does not regulate Radon testing, it doesn’t mean you should ignore established quality control protocols.

With out them you results would not stand up in court and it is less than professional IMHO.

So do you feel I am less than professional by not doing the spikes?

If you are not doing quality control beyond annual calibrations, yes.

And it is more than spikes. I posted the protocol above.