What's The Best Digital Radon Detector For Home Use?
There are many types of digital radon detectors, however the vast majority, with the exception of the Pro series 3 radon gas detector listed below, are designed and manufactured for the radon professional. The professional digital radon detector models are very expensive from $850 up to several thousand dollars and more. Most have features that are not needed by those looking to test their own home. Professional monitors require calibrations to ensure accuracy and need to be sent out for calibration at least once a year, usually at a cost of $100 to $150 per calibration plus shipping. For this reason most home owners looking to do a radon test purchase a radon test kit designed for home owner use, readily available from hardware stores. But there may be a better alternative, especially if you anticipate on doing more than one test.
Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector, Product Use and Description
Rated #1 Digital Radon Detector for Radon Testing by a Leading National Consumer Advocacy Group. This product is Made in the USA!
The Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector pictured at the right, is the only electronic digital radon detector that is specifically designed for the home owner to measure and or monitor the radon level in their home. There are some older models, Pro Series 2 Radon Gas Detectors still around for sell, but that model has been replaced by the improved Series 3, which carries the EPA approval due to a more detailed measurement display, with a decimal point displaying to one tenth of the measuring unit.
Why The Need To Test For Radon? It is an odorless, colorless gas that can be found in any home — new or old. Radon is highly toxic and has been named by the US Surgeon General as the second leading cause of lung cancer. To protect you and your family from the effects of radon exposure, the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends that corrective action be taken if long-term radon levels in your home exceed 4 picocuries per liter (PCi/L).
Monitoring radon levels is easy with the Pro Series 3 radon gas detector by Safety Siren. This product has been evaluated by the US EPA and meets their radon testing performance criteria to accurately and precisely measure the naturally fluctuating radon levels in the home. Evaluated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector meets and exceeds required performance criteria to accurately and precisely measure radon.
The Digital Radon Detector LED Display can be used for both short and long term tests. An alarm will sound when radon levels reach 4.0 pCi/L or higher; (this level is stated to be unsafe by the EPA.)
Display range of .1 to 999.9 shows the level of radon gas in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is the industry standard for radon measurement units in the United States.
This easy to use digital radon detector plugs into a standard household wall outlet and allows you to do anything from a short term 48 hour radon test up to a long term test of a year or more. It can also be used to continuously monitor your home’s radon gas level or used to ensure proper operation of a radon mitigation system and serve as a warning device with an alarm to let you know when the average radon level reaches 4.0 pCi/L or higher.
You can easily move the detector to different floors and areas, or even test another home. Multiple tests can come in handy and with just 3 or 4 tests this unit pays for itself vs cost of test kits.
Note: Most homes have the highest amounts of radon on the lowest floor or basement level, but more and more with well insulated and air sealed, energy efficient homes the upper levels could possible have a higher reading than the basement. Quite often I have found the second floor of a home to have higher levels than that the first floor above the basement.
In a new home built in 2010, I tested the basement radon at 5.0 pCi/L and a second floor bedroom tested radon at 8.5 pCi/L. This is unusual but the basement was some what drafty, diluting the radon while the second floor and attic were well insulated and air sealed, trapping the radon inside the upper level.
Installation and Use
The Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Digital Radon Detector is designed to plug into a standard 120 volt household outlet using the attached 10 foot power cord. The detector may be placed face up on a tabletop, counter top, or any flat surface where the ventilation slots will not be blocked. It can also be hung on a small nail (like a picture), screwed to the wall or hung by a string from the ceiling or a joist, through the mounting bracket at the top of the detector with.
The detector should be kept as dust free as possible. Unrestricted airflow must be maintained through the detector to obtain a proper air sample. Do not plug the detector into a wall socket controlled by a light switch.
Tip: I highly recommend installing the 4 little rubber feet (included) to the bottom of the detector. They help it to not slide around and prevent scratches on furniture. Also over time if they are not installed the quick use instruction sticker on the bottom of the detector will become unreadable.
How to Test Radon Using The Pro Series 3 Digital Radon Detector
The digital radon detector measures radon gas in the air you breathe. You do not want to measure the chemical composition of objects in your home with this device such as granite counter tops. There is a granite counter top radon measurement kit available. Remember, the air you breathe is the most important aspect of measuring and monitoring radon gas.
The detector should normally be placed in the lowest living area of the home in a location where it will not be disturbed. The audible alarm should be able to be heard from areas frequented on a daily basis. A second detector placed in a unfinished basement or a basement room rarely used will allow you to monitor radon in different parts of the home. It is a good idea to at least do a short term test in second story bedrooms on newer or well insulated houses, as they can sometimes have higher radon levels than other parts of the house.
The location of the digital radon detector should be at lease 3 feet away from windows, doors, or any other potential openings in the exterior walls. The location of the detector should be at least 1 foot from the exterior wall and at least 20 inches from the floor. No other object should be placed within 4 inches of the detector. For short term tests of 2 to 4 days the windows should remain closed and no window fans used. It is OK to use central air conditioning or window air conditioners.
After taking air samples for approximately 48 hours, the initial reading will display on the screen, which is an average of the first 48 hourly tests. If allowed to continue each hour a new test is performed and the radon average of all tests is updated.
To start a new test, clear the stored data by simply holding down the button for 20 seconds until the detector reads CL, for “clear” then let the button up. The display will show two dashes indicating a new test has begun. Pushing the button for 1 second will change the detector test mode from long to short term or short to long term testing. After 48 hours the digital display will display the new average radon test results. If a power outage occurs or power gets switched off, no problem, the test resumes when the power is on again.
Areas To Avoid Placing Detector
• Near drafts caused by heating, ventilating, air condition vents, doors, fans and windows
• Near excessive heat, such as fireplaces, direct sunlight and areas of high humidity
• Near TV's, computers, radios, fluorescent lights or other electrical devices
• Near furniture, curtains, or other items that may inhibit air flow through the ventilation slots of the detector
• Do not place in kitchens, laundry rooms, closets or bathrooms
• Do not place directly on metal, granite or slate.
The Pro Series 3 Gas Detector Specifications
• Made in the United States
• US EPA evaluated and approved
• Power Source Adapter: 120V AC, 60 Hz, 6.5 W
• Input for Gas Detector: 18V DC 200mA
• Sensor Voltage: 250VDC
• Sensor: Ionization Chamber
• Full Scale Reading: 0.0 to 999.99 pCi/L – Numeric LED Display
• A four function menu button: switch display options, conduct a manual test of the detector, clear and reset memory, mute and reactivate audible alarm
• Two display options: short term or long term
• Audible Alarm: 85dB at 10cm - Beeps every hour if readings reach 4 pCi/L or greater. It takes at least 48 hours to get an initial reading. Alarm can be muted and reactivated by user
• Operating Environment: 32 Degrees F (0 Degrees C) to 104 Degrees (40 Degrees C)
• Storage Environment: -4 Degrees F (-20 Degrees C) to 185 Degrees (85 Degrees C)
• Dimensions: 4.7" x 3.1" x 2.1"
• Power – 120 V, 60 hz, 6.5 watts, UL and CSA certified
• Weight – 12 oz.
• Warranty – 1 year
Warranty: Guaranteed to be free of defects for One-Year. I have purchased dozens of these digital radon detectors for use in my radon business in the past few years and have had no problems with any units all of which see heavy use. Only two that have been dropped by clients were broken, and one of those still works even though you can hear loose parts inside. I have sold many of these to homeowners who have been pleased with the convenient and simple testing they provide.
If the customer deems the device defective, it must be returned to the Manufacturer, and undergo testing. Upon the results of testing; if the device is defective it will be replaced at no charge to the customer. If the device in not defective a $35.00 testing fee may apply.
The manufacturer list price for this Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Digital Radon Detector is $165 and that is what they sell for if you contact the factory. They do not allow The Pro Series 3 Gas Detector to be listed for sale to the public for any sale price below $129.95 on line or in stores. Some online retailers will include free shipping for that price.
You can purchase these detectors at our on line Radon Supply Store (coming soon)for $129.95 which includes free shipping in the United States and Canada. We strive to provide the best products at the best price with best service for your home safety and maintenance needs. When you buy from us you help us to keep this informational web site up and running.
For information on other radon testing options for the homeowner, for long and short term tests, testing radon in water, and on hiring a professional radon tester
return from this "Digital Radon Detector" page to the "Radon Testing" page.