How do I Perform a Radon Water Test?

T. Broderick

Radon is a known carcinogen, so it is important to know its concentration in your home. A radon water test is an easy and accurate way to measure the radon level in your water supply. The process involves taking a water sample from your home and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The sample needs to be pure, so there are certain steps that must be taken, including removing any aerator from the faucet before taking the sample, making sure there are no air bubbles in the sample and sending the sample to be tested right away. Any extra instructions provided by your radon water test kit manufacturer should be followed.

When performing a radon water test, find the faucet that is closest to your home's water intake.
When performing a radon water test, find the faucet that is closest to your home's water intake.

You can purchase a radon water test kit from a local home improvement store or online retailer. Next, find the faucet that is closest to your home's water intake. If the faucet has an aerator, remove it with pliers. After the aerator has been removed, allow the water to run cold for a few minutes. Doing so will flush out your water system.

With the water still running, fill a large, clean bowl with water. Your goal is to submerge the faucet. Make sure that no bubbles appear for two to three minutes.

Turning off the water, submerge your testing vial into the deepest part of the bowl, and cap it while the vial is still submerged. Make sure that the cap is free of bubbles, because the introduction of foreign gas will make test results inaccurate. Repeat these steps if your test kit came with a second vial.

You will need to check your vial for bubbles. Holding the vial to a light source, turn it up and down. If a bubble appears, discard the sample, and take another from the bowl using the same procedure as above. Before sending in your vial for testing, make sure that all of your information is correct on the card provided by your kit. Testing companies need to know about the type of source from which your water comes if they are going to provide meaningful results.

Your testing vial is not completely airtight, so radon present in the water will escape over time. Make sure to send in your sample within 24 hours of taking it in the envelope provided in the radon water test kit. You should receive your results within two weeks.

Interpreting the results of your radon water test is the last step. The results should indicate whether your water's radon level is too high. If it is high, the results might provide suggestions for lowering your water's radon level.

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