Does Your Radon Mitigation System Freeze Up In The Winter? - American Radon Mitigation

Does Your Radon Mitigation System Freeze Up In The Winter?

Does Your Radon Mitigation System Freeze Up In The Winter?

Protect against winter radon system freeze-ups, which can lead to increased radon levels, by installing a deicing kit for your radon mitigation system.

We offer two options:

16 FT Radon System Deicing Kit 

28 FT Radon System Deicing Kit

Measuring for a Radon System Deicing Kit

Before ordering a deicing kit from our website, you will need to measure your radon system to determine which length of dicing kit you need.

Start by holding the tape measure 1 foot above the top of the radon pipe.

Measure for Radon System Deicing Kit

This will give you extra room for the cable to loop back down inside the pipe.

Radon System Deicing Cable Loop

Then, measure the piping length, including fittings, from the top of the discharge pipe to the radon fan. Round your total up to the appropriate length kit we offer. This will give the electrician room to work with when hardwiring the power connection. The electrician will trim the excess cable.

Tools Needed:

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Preparing Your Radon System for Deicing Cable

Start by shutting off your radon fan.

Make sure there is no power to it.

Before removing the radon fan, make a mark above the radon fan and rubber coupler where you want the deicing cable to come out of the pipe. This is where the strain relief will be installed at a later step.

Mark Strain Relief

Strain Relief

Using a 5/16 nut driver or flat-blade screwdriver, loosen the rubber couplers above and below the radon fan that holds your fan in place.

Loosen Rubber Couplers

If your fan is hardwired, you must remove the electrical box cover on the fan and disconnect the wires before removing the fan. Make sure you take a photo before disconnecting the wires to help you remember which wire goes to which connection.

Fan Electric Box

Once the rubber couplers are loose, slide the top rubber coupler up to access and remove the radon fan.

Remove Radon Fan

Installing The Strain Relief

Once the fan is removed, cover the opening of the bottom section of the radon pipe so that the PVC shavings don’t land down the radon pipe while drilling the hole for the strain relief.

Cover Radon Pipe

Use a 3/4″ drill bit to drill the hole at the spot you marked for the strain relief. You will need to enlarge the hole a little bit so the threads of the strain relief catch. You can also tap the hole and create your own threads if you prefer.

Drill Strain Relief Hole

Once the hole is drilled, use a reaming pen or the drill bit to make the hole a little larger until you can thread in the strain relief.

Strain Relief

Once you have a good fit, remove the strain relief and use some caulk along the threads to get a good seal. There is an o-ring, but it does not create a tight seal on the pipe since the pipe is not a flat surface.

Caulk Strain Relief

Next, tighten the strain relief with a Channellock pliers.

Tighten Strain Relief

Once the strain relief is in place, take the locking nut and thread in on the strain relief inside the pipe to lock everything in place.

Place washer on Strain Relief

Next, you will remove the rubber grommet from the outside of the strain relief, allowing you to thread the deicing cable. Be careful as you remove it, as there is a little washer in there, too. Make sure to keep the orientation of the 3 pieces, pictured below, for reference. 

Remove Rubber Grommet

Installing the Deicing Cable

Next, you will go up to the top of the radon pipe to run the deicing cable down.

At the top of your pipe, you may or may not have a critter guard cap. This mesh cap goes over the top of the pipe to keep debris out. If you have a critter guard cap, you will need to snip the mesh to allow the heat cable to pass through the screen.

Critter Guard Cap

Next, drill two 3/16 holes on either side of the pipe. These will be used with zip ties to hold the cable in place.

Zip Ties to Secure Deicing Cable

To install the deicing cable, you first want to note that one end of the cable is heat-sealed and one is not; the unfinished end is for the electrician. Start by threading the unfinished end down the pipe until you have about 1 foot left sticking out the top. Thread the heat-sealed end down the pipe to create a loop at the top with about 6″ double coverage.

Thread Deicing Cable Back Down 6"

Thread Deicing Cable Back Down 6"

Once the deicing cable is in place, thread zip ties through the 3/16 holes drilled on either side of the pipe to hold the deicing cable in place and prevent it from falling down the pipe.

Secure Deicing Cable with Zip Ties

Put the critter guard screen back in place, carefully adjust any sharp edges around the cable, and reinstall the cap. Install the 2 screws from the critter guard on either side of the pipe, being careful not to hit the deicing cable. Clip the excess off the zip ties.

Radon System Deicing Cable Loop

Finishing the Strain Relief Install

Back at the strain relief, you will pass the unfinished end of the deicing cable through the strain relief, being careful as the edges of the strain relief are a little sharp.

Deicing Cable and Strain Relief

Instead of pulling the cable tight through the strain relief, leave a little slack in the cable, creating a U-shape inside the pipe so any condensation isn’t diverted towards the strain relief but drips off the bottom of the cable instead.

Thread Deicing Cable through Strain Relief

Finally, you will reinstall the rubber grommet, washer, and nut, threading it over the cable to the strain relief until it seats. Hand-tighten the washer over the rubber grommet to form an air-tight seal. Use a Channellock pliers for the last quarter turn. The de-icing cable is now ready for the electrician to wire. Provide the electrician with the remaining items from the power connection kit.

Install the Rubber Grommet

Install the Rubber Grommet

Reinstalling the Fan

The last step is to put the radon fan back in place.

Reinstall the radon fan

Place a small level on top of the fan electric box to plumb and level the fan as you retighten the rubber couplers.

Level the Radon Fan

Hire an Electrician to Hardwire the Deicing Cable

You will need a licensed electrician to hardwire the de-icing cable to a switch on the outside of the house once the installation is complete.

Radon System Deicing Wiring

When to Turn On the De-Icing System

You will get to know your radon system. You may want to turn the deicing system on only when the temperatures drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for multiple days in a row and turn it back off once it warms up to conserve energy. Other people prefer to leave it on all winter to avoid freeze-ups.

It is best to turn the deicing system on as a preventative measure before the system starts to freeze over. You do not want to let your radon system freeze up, let the radon system alarm go off, and then turn on the deicing system. Once the ice starts to melt, it could fall down and damage your fan or shorten its life. 

Need Help?

Installing a Radon System Deicing Kit is a task that can be tackled on your own, provided you have the right tools and a bit of technical know-how. If you prefer professional assistance with a deicing system to prevent radon system freeze-ups and live within 1 hour of the Minneapolis, MN, area, don’t hesitate to reach out.