Height of Radon Vent Pipe

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I'm wondering why radon vent pipes have to be at least the height of the house to which they are attached. As long as the output of the pipe is under pressure from the fan, I don't see why the vent pipe cannot end just at the outside surface of the house, as long as it is not an area where people congregate. Like behind a big evergreen where the evergreen is close enough to the house that no one could even get there. The height should not make it draw better, there are no sparks to worry about, so what's the reason?
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:15:30 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

So that the wind doesn't carry the radon back into the upper, living, areas of the house.
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On Jun 23, 1:54 am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Yes, I agree that's the reason. If the discharge was located on a side of the house where it's far away from any window or door, then the problem of it coming back into the house is essentially eliminated. Although if there are soffit vents, some of the air could still make it's way into the attic. Then you still have the problem of people standing near it outside. I don't know how you can say for sure where people will or won't congregate. Just vent it where there is no chance of any of it getting back in and be done with it.
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On 6/22/12 11:15 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

FWIW, mine was installed using aluminum rain gutter downspout pipe, instead of PVC, from the fan to roof line. Not quite so obvious, and easily painted same color as siding.
One thing I've wondered about. Why no rain cap, does the fan have a rain diverter built-in ??
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I have a neighbor who has a radon vent without a cap and it fills with debris. She isn't too happy!!!
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2012 14:52:55 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Has she bought the cap yet? If not, she deserves having a PITA.
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2012 14:52:55 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Having a cap does not guarantee no water or debris. Water can easily condense as the temperature changes. So, the fan needs to handle water regardless and to return to the original question, maybe the pipe should be higher to avoid debris from trees.
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Yes, about 75 ft high should avoid most trees. Any more practical tips?
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wrote:

You just said what I was thinking.
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2012 09:16:58 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

One doesn't need to avoid "most" trees. One only needs to avoid the trees in your particular installation. My vent is above the roof line per code and that happens to be above the nearby small trees. If it was at the roof line, it would not be. The OP asked why the vent needed to be higher. I gave one *possible* reason. My main point was why it is not necessary to keep rain water out.
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Obviously the concept of a simple rain/debris cap escapes you
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On 6/25/2012 9:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think that they do know about those ideas and wondered why the usual radon remediation exhaust looks like this:
http://inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Figure7-8s.jpg
I wonder if he/she is a hippie?
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On 6/25/12 10:46 AM, George wrote:

That's fine for new construction, but a retrofit on an older home usually looks like this:
http://www.coloradohazard.com/images/radon-mitigation-system-3.jpg
(FWIW, while Googling for this image, I saw none with rain caps, and a few did not go past roof line !!)
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On 6/25/2012 11:43 AM, Retired wrote:

I think the old work version in your image is basically the new work version mounted on the outside. They install around here them just like your image shows.
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You mistakenly assume anyone cares about what's really going on. Histeria, and all (sorta like AGW). I had to put a system in my NY house, >20 years ago, to sell it. There was no way I'd put it in for myself.
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The thread is about pipes.
Would you care if someone forced you to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day ? That's what's happening if I didn't install fan.
Greg
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Well, I'm going to leave mine terminated on the outside wall about 20 inches above ground level with a dryer vent cap to keep critters out until I am ready to sell the house, then I'll see if I even really need it as my levels were about 3.5 in the middle of winter many years ago, and the ground water levels have changed quite a bit with the addition of storm water drains in a nearby subdivision that have lowered the water table so much that my sujmp pump rarely even runs any more.
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wrote:

From a practical standpoint, my guess would be that it's OK. While there is the theoretical possibility of the air making it's way back into the house via an open window, door, etc, if the pipe terminates a reasonable distance away, I would think it's unlikely. Also, the radon exposure thing is cumulative over years and years. Even if a bit of radon made it's way back in once in a while through an open window, if you average it out, I doubt it amounts to squat.
It would be interesting to see some actual experimental data that shows how quickly a concentration of any gas dissipates after coming out of a pipe like that into open air when discharged. Going above the roofline is definitely the safest, to code, not going to raise any issues with inspections, etc.
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Of course that all depends on the severity and where the radon is measured. In my case it was varying between 4 and 12 pCi/l in the basement. I would never have spent $1200 (in '93 money) on it for us. OTOH, my brother's house was almost glowing (120 pCi/l, IIRC).
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I did not see much difference between basement and upper floor. I sent fliers out to others on street. Pretty much didn't care. I measured neighbors newly built house, and it was elevated, but not like my 60 year house. I got into measuring it and trying to remedy situation when I sold a house. It measured just over at the time. They wanted it fixed. I did some sealing, and hired another measurement, and it passed. They still wanted the money.
Greg
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