Radon Fan Not Working? 6 Troubleshooting Tips to Get It Fixed

A properly functioning radon fan is crucial for keeping your home’s air free of radioactive gas. But when your radon fan stops working right, don’t panic. In many cases, DIY troubleshooting steps can identify and resolve minor issues to get your fan running optimally again.

Let’s explore 6 troubleshooting tips to diagnose and fix common radon fan problems before they require professional repairs:

  1. Check the Power Source

Start troubleshooting with the basics – verify the fan is getting power. Radon fans are usually hardwired to a dedicated circuit with a wall switch. Flip the switch off and on to reset power. Listen for the fan motor attempting to start. No response likely indicates a tripped breaker or GFCI outlet if plugged in rather than hardwired.

Inspect the breaker box and reset any flipped switches powering the fan circuit. If it immediately trips again, you likely have an electrical short that requires professional assessment for safety. For plug-in fans, reset the GFCI outlet if tripped.

If the breaker isn’t tripped, use a multimeter or voltage tester to check for power at the fan wiring. Contact an electrician if voltage is abnormal or nonexistent to track down the electrical issue.

  1. Eliminate Clogged Piping

Radon fans create suction through attached piping to draw gases from below the home. But any obstructions or blockage prevents proper airflow. Pipe interiors can gradually accumulate dust, sediment and debris over months of use.

Detach the fan carefully to access the piping inlet. Use a flashlight to visually inspect for obstructions. Insert a wire pipe cleaner brush into the piping to dislodge any built-up sediment or dirt restricting airflow. Avoid using sharp objects that could puncture interior piping walls. Clear any extracted debris before reattaching the fan.

  1. Check the Fuse

Radon fans contain an interior fuse designed to “blow” and disrupt power as a safety precaution if electrical issues occur. While it protects the fan motor, you’ll need to replace the fuse to restore normal operation.

Always disconnect power before opening the fan housing. Locate the fuse holder compartment on the fan exterior or interior circuit board. Fuses are typically 1⁄4” x 1 1⁄4” cartridge or automotive blade types rated 3-7 amps. Pull out the fuse carefully using pliers and inspect the thin interior filament for a distinctive break or separation. Any discontinuity means it’s blown and requires replacing. Install an identical new fuse with the same amperage rating. Then restore power and test fan operation.

  1. Clean the Fan Blades

For maximum airflow, the fan blades inside the housing must spin freely without resistance. But dust accumulation over time creates friction that strains the motor. Marks or scuffing on the inside housing around the blade path also indicates rubbing.

Cleaning the fan blades and housing interior restores unrestricted movement. Unplug the fan first. Then wipe down each blade carefully using a clean cloth. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol helps clean the motor spindle. Remove any housing exterior covers to vacuum debris and dust inside. Lubricate bearings if noisy. Reassemble everything tightly before testing. The fan should run more smoothly.

  1. Test the Motor

If you’ve addressed all other potential issues but the radon fan still fails to start, the interior motor itself likely requires replacement. You can isolate whether the motor is defective through a simple test before needing professional service.

With power disconnected, carefully prop the blades in position mimicking normal spinning using a straw or pencil. Then restore power. If the motor cannot spin the stationary blades, it confirms worn out windings or internal damage. Replacements matching your fan’s specifications are readily available online with detailed installation instructions. Swapping out a bad motor fully restores function.

  1. Upgrade the Fan

If replacing parts fails to resolve chronic radon fan problems, upgrading the entire fan unit may be your best option. Look for key features in a new fan:

  • CFM rating high enough for your home’s size
  • UL-listed and designed specifically for radon mitigation use
  • Durable anti-corrosive housing
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Multi-year warranty on parts

Work with a radon mitigation professional to size and install a replacement fan properly matched to your piping system’s specifications. An upgraded fan provides reliably enhanced radon reduction for years beyond temporary repairs.

Take Action Before Radon Builds Up

Don’t let a broken radon fan go unaddressed. Without continuous airflow, hazardous radon levels build up unseen inside occupied spaces. Wasting time on DIY repairs unlikely to succeed also prolongs the problem.

If the issue proves too complex after working through basic troubleshooting, call your radon mitigation contractor promptly to schedule fan repairs. An investment of a few hundred dollars fixing or replacing a radon fan is minuscule compared to the health risks of active radon accumulation left unchecked in your home’s air.

With the right attention, a balky radon fan usually resumes working effectively to keep your indoor air safe to breathe deeply. Consistent radon fan care protects what matters most – your household’s long-term health and safety all year long.

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