How Do You Prevent Radon Exhaust Freeze ups? - American Radon Mitigation

How Do You Prevent Radon Exhaust Freeze ups?

We’re all too familiar with the challenges that Midwest winters can bring but did you know they can also lead to exterior radon exhaust freeze-ups?

While you’re out shoveling driveways and salting sidewalks, you probably aren’t thinking about your radon mitigation system. However, frigid temperatures can lead to exterior radon exhaust freeze-ups, causing your radon system to stop working, and elevating the radon levels in your home.

Every winter we get calls from concerned homeowners asking why their radon alarms are going off. We didn’t feel right telling customers just to wait for a thaw, so we decided to find a solution.

Freeze-ups occur when ice builds up inside the exhaust pipe, preventing proper airflow.
Ice builds up inside the exhaust pipe

Radon Exhaust Freeze Up Experiment

As an experiment, we ran a temporary heat cable down the exhaust pipes of two different mitigation systems to see if it would help prevent ice buildup.
Experimented with heat cable

Neither of the systems experienced freeze-up problems that winter.
Heat cable prevented freeze-up

Radon Exhaust Freeze Up Solution

Once we knew that heat cable would work to keep the system operational in cold weather, we developed a more permanent solution. We now install a self-regulating heat cable that adjusts with how cold it is outside. As temperatures drop, the cable puts out more power and more heat.
Self-regulating heat cable

Below you can see where the power supply enters the pipe.
Heat-cable power supply

The heat cable begins just above the fan and runs all the way to the top of the exhaust pipe, makes a loop, and then runs back down about three feet inside the pipe.
Heat cable begins above the fan
Heat Cable runs back down radon exhaust pipe

Lastly, we have an electrician install a GFCI-protected outlet. From there, the customer just plugs in the heat cable during the winter, and it prevents their system from freezing.

If you have an outdoor system, don’t wait for radon exhaust freeze-ups to give us a call at 612-474-1004.

Contact us today to get a quote for heat cable installation.