Down time with Radon Monitors

I had some down time with a couple of my radon monitors, and decided to do some experimenting.

I placed two Sun Nuclear 1027’s right next to each other in my office. One I placed a salad bowl over to “cover” it, and the other I left exposed. Left them there.

Here is the result. They are virtually identical. The uncovered one was 0.6, the covered one was 0.7.

I was expecting something more on the lines of a flat line on the covered one. I may re-run this again sometime, but seal the bottom of the bowl with plumbers putty.

In this case, covering the monitor did absolutely nothing to alter the results because the thickness of the cord, “propped” the edge of the bowl up enough that secular equilibrium was established through that crack.

That tells me that even if a home owner tried to do this too, it wouldn’t make any difference.

What do you think?


Were did you come up with the graph charts? Very nice.

I copied the hourly values from the text file downloaded from the machines. I then pasted them into MS Excel. Once in Excel, I created the charts, and copied them into Word so I could display them together, and label each. I initially tried put a PDF of the word file in this post, but the PD was too large. So I then did a print screen of the file, pasted it into MS paint, and clipped out just the image that I needed and saved it as a JPG for insertion here.

All in all, it took about 10 minutes to download the data from both machines format it, and generate the post here.

I’ve got an excell spread sheet that I use regularly for radon test analysis. I chart each one to see if anything “fishy” is going on.

I did this test to see what covering the monitor would look like, and discovered it looked pretty much like not covering it. I didn’t get to sophistocated with “sealing” the cover, because I figured that a home owner might not likely get too sophistocated either.

One of these days I’ll re-run the test, and actually put some plumbers putty around the bowl rim to see if sealing the cover makes a difference. But that will be for another day.

good experiment

I’d be curious to see your results if this test was done on a Granite Countertop.

Me too! :mrgreen: That’s what gave me the idea of covering one of them. Unfortunately I don’t have access to one at the moment to give it a try. This test was actually performed on a wooden TV tray that I use to set the monitors on in vacant houses.

I have a friend in the countertop business and am in the process of getting a box built to test this . Should have it done in a week or so. I will let everyone know when I am finished and have the results. Thanks for getting me thinking Mark.

I have visited many countertop/flooring businesses over the last year. I acted as a customer seeking information about radon emitting from granite countertops and flooring. Not one single person had any clue as to what I was talking about. (Or they weren’t willing to admit it). One salesperson actually spent 30 minutes making calls to get me an answer. She was not able to locate anyone who could give her an answer. At least I piqued her curiosity, and she wants to know also. I gave her my card, asked for hers, and told her I would let her know if and when I found an answer. She promised the same.

Speaking of radon tests. Do you guys send a cover letter along with your results to the client?

Because the concentration levels at the test site are so low, it is unlikely your equipment is sensitive enough to differentiate between the two control groups.
Outdoor air concentrations are reported to be 0.3. Your awfully close to total dilution at 0.6 and 0.7.

Also, you have background gamma radiation levels that must be removed from the equation.

Anyway, like any testing, you should be loading the tester to at least 30% capacity to receive a significant comparison.

just my thoughts on the subject

Food for thought- I’m not sure if the sun is an RDP monitor- if so, keep in mind that it’s not so much about measuring a gaseous substance, but rather solid particles. Might these high energy particles have penetrate a salad bowl?

Stainless steel? more likely the wood tv tray it was sitting on.

The Sun counts Alpha.
An Alpha Particle can’t pass through a piece of paper.

The Sun counts Alpha.
An Alpha Particle can’t pass through a piece of paper.

I wasn’t sure if the device counted alpha only- i’m pretty sure there’s a beta released between Bi and Po. And of course- I was picturing el’ cheapo plastic salad bowl.

You may be right about some things passing through.

The thing is that when your working with .1 pCi/l differentials, any inconsistency can swing the test to extremes.

any inconsistency can swing the test to extremes