Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Personal Information

  • Location
  • Occupation
    Home Inspector

ollie's Achievements

Starting Member

Starting Member (1/5)



  1. 25% accuracy is pretty good. In what way is that accurate? You believe the Sun Nuclear is better that the Femto Tech? The government set low test standards to get a lot of cheap testing done. The therory was, a lot of bad tests (25%) beats a few good tests. Your Bowser calibration means nothing, zero, nada, zilch about the accuracy of the machine. Calibration has nothing to do with the machines real world accuracy. The Femto tech can scientifically prove accurate to 3%. The EPA can only verify calibration to 5%, so that is the official accuracy. It can not beat Femto Tech, that is the science and math. The Sun Nuclear is cheap not accurate. What machine does the EPA use? Which machines do the different state environmental agency use? By the way, they give the Government no price break, they pay what I pay. Why do the Scientist use Femto Tech, math and science. Guaranteed Math and Science
  2. When a Sun Nuclear comes back from the factory, it is accurate to 25% or 1pCi/L. It is the not the machine mechanics that is the problem, it is the process. Think of radon measurement as polling. We don't count every piece of radon. We take a sample, based on our sampling procedure you get an accuracy rating. When they say a poll is accurate to + or - 5%, it is not because the people counting the results are not very good at math. The polling (sampling) method is the reason for the inaccuracy. The Sun Nuclear detector size, number of counts, and detector type are the reason for its 25% inaccuracy rating. The rating is based on science and math. The real world (not lab rating) accuracy of a Sun Nuclear is 25% or 1 pCi/L. All rationalizations aside, inspectors use Sun Nuclear because they are cheap. Cheap machine means poor accuracy. Deal with it or use better equipment. I doubt any current users will see the light and change. I am hoping to get people to think before they purchase. Have you ever met an inspector that never walks roofs. They will argue all day long that roof inspections from the ground is just as good as walking roofs. The reality, they hate heights and or walking roofs. No amount of rational will get them to admit it or change. If you have, then you know how I feel about the Sun Nuclear crowd.
  3. Watched a special news report (60 Minutes type show) on the same issue. The stains were everywhere, they made a hugh deal of it. At the end, they made one quite little statement. " As gross is this was, we could find no documented history of anyone catching anything from the bodily fluids stains in a hotel room. If you think that is scary, have a vacuum cleaner salesman come to your home.
  4. Why would the main copper line have to go all the way main to be a grounding electrode? I have never heard this before. One of my local AHJs allowed a galvanized water line for an exterior hose faucet to be used as the ground when the main water line was changed to plastic. The quote was, it need to have 5 feet of buried ground contact to act as the grounding electrode. Five feet seemed odd for a distance of ground contact, but to the meter even makes less sense.Thanks
  5. I have the strap type and they work great. Yes, I do stupid things with them on, but that's me being a little crazy.
  6. Mr. Connell, You talk about your education and background being different from a home inspectors. My question is what is your background? I have been to your web-site, but have only been able to glean a little information. You sound like a person who has been in a courtroom or two. Experts come in all types, education and background. When evaluating someones writings on a subject, I like to know a little about them. From your posts and your web-site, you seem to be a full-time peace officer that has a great deal of expertise in meth-labs. I suspect that you are possibly thee expert in Colorado and one of the top in the Country on the meth labs. I have a great deal of respect for you as a officer of the law and a meth-lab expert. My question is as to your education and background on radon. Don't get me wrong, I am a simple home inspector with only a few dozen hours of education on radon. I in no way consider myself even approaching any expertise on the subject of radon. You seam to know quite a lot about radon, but it's always hard to sort things out over the web. A little information on your radon background and education would be most appreciated. Thanks Ollie
  7. RADON IS BOGUS? This is really confusing. On one side I have The American Cancer Society, The American Lung Association, The EPA, The AMA, and a host of Universities that say radon is bad. The other side is a full time peace officer and some guys on the web say it is a bunch of bull. A radioactive gas that decays into a form of lead is bad for you? The next thing they are going to say that excess exposure to the sun is bad for you. The study methods are flawed. There are no scientific human lab tests. Apparently it is considered unethical to put humans in unsafe environments and see the health affects. Although I did read about some guy in Europe doing human testing in the 1940's and some VD testing at a southern university a few years back. On an inspection once, I had a highly educated fellow explain the facts on radon to me. As he explained the flawed study methods used, my only response was " Yeah that's the same method they use to prove smoking is bad for you". He lit up like a Christmas tree, " Exactly these are the same studies that say smoking is causes lung cancer". My response was " if you don't believe smoking causes lung cancer, then you should not believe radon causes lung cancer".The study methods are the same. Yes, the figures of death rates for both are wild-eye guesses. My father has smoked for 50 years and has yet to get cancer. My mother smoked for 20 years, quit for 10 years then died of lung cancer. Why my father lives and my mother died, I do not know. Do I believe smoking was a considerable factor in my mothers death, YES. Do I believe everyone that lives in a high radon environment ( or smoke filled) will get lung cancer, no. Do I believe high radon levels can affect your chances of getting lung cancer, YES. When I question many studies, I often look for the peoples or the organizations motives. For example smoking studies may have been eschewed by the tobacco industry for financial considerations. Where is that financial consideration? I don't see the big bucks in the radon testing and mitigation business. The real estate industry does not like this talk and I do see their financial interest. With in the last year I have done inspections for 3 Oncologists, one a professor at our local medical school. All 3 believed in radon testing. All 3 believed that radon is a major factor in lung cancer risk. If radon is not going to kill you from lung cancer, it may cause ill affects from the stress when your house won't sell. Disclosure is a real concern around here. If a seller, especially in this market, won't re-mediate they are a fool. In every home inspection, I lay out all the real concerns that will effect the homes use and safety. Then I explain the concerns that are not real to the home, but that is likely to effect them at sale. As for the test being unreliable, our whole business is just a snapshot in time . What I say about a house is only fully valid that day. Why test wells for coliform, it's only valid at the moment of the test. Reality, all inspections are only valid at the moment they are done while being dependent on the tester and their equipment. About 20 years ago, when I first started home inspection, I received the same argument about home inspections and their value. I had many of your attitudes for the first ten plus years of my home inspection career. I always considered myself and educated man of science from a family of educated scientists. I went to the 16 hour class on radon convinced it was a bunch of ########. I was wrong, it is a valid issue. The more you educated yourself the more flaws you find in much of our scientific data. That does not invalidate science, welcome to the real world. Don't be a member of the OJ jury, really educate yourself. Go to the real classes put on by experts and universities. I have a great deal of respect for Caoimhin P. Connell as a full-time peace officer and I have been to his website. For now I will believe the AMA, The American Cancer Society, The American Lung Association, The EPA, and a host of others on radon. Mr. Connell on the traffic laws of Colorado. Thanks this has been amusing. Ollie
  8. It's too bad they are dropping the RS 500. It has a lot more features than the RS 300. The delay feature is a great plus and the tamper feature is really nice. It takes a minute to set up, but is well worth it. The RS 800 can't be beat, but the price is hard to take. I am renting the RS 800 and love it. The RS 300 is good, but very basic. I would lease the RS 800 or find a used RS 500 to buy. Good luck Ollie
  9. WOW! You guys make it sound tough. Yeah, I have had a few issues with agents. To the agents when they say "that is not what my inspector does" , I say I'm sorry they don't. I'm not responsible for their inspections. I then re-hand them a card and say " you seem to be a really sharp agent, you need to protect your reputation. I would be happy to give all of your clients a higher level inspection." That shuts up most of them. After a similar statement a couple more time it stops almost all of them (Yes, I never hear from most of them). As for the general contractor, handyman, or friend of the family who knows construction; I greet them warmly and explain the way I inspect and the basic rules. I say how great it is to have someone who knows construction along. I talk about my background and how hard it was to switch from contractor to inspector. I ask them to make comments to me about the area I'm inspecting, while I am looking at it. When they say something stupid, I try to say " It's interesting that you saw that, you obviously have some experience. Normally I to would be concerned about that also, but this time I am not because of ___. Your knowledge of construction is remarkable". Generally I can convince them quickly that I know what I am doing and that the best way for them to look like an expert, is to agree with me. I win over 95% of the "Experts" getting rave reviews after I leave. When I use to fight these guys, I always thought "I so won that fight", only to find that after I left he trashed me ( It is hard to win an argument when you're not in the room). My client has to choose between me and the family expert. The family connection is what makes it tough. I love and respect my family elders and don't like putting my clients into that situation. It gets even worst when Grandma is helping with the down payment. Most of these guys just want to protect our client and keep their status as Expert. Since changing my attitude, I can't remember the last time I had a problem. Last week on a reinspect, I had the son-in-law of the Seller's who has been an inspector for over 10 years insist on being there. He was extremely defensive and quite upset at the start. He had inspected the house before it went on the market. He had fixed some of the issues and could not find the others. I made him feel as good as he possibly could. In the end he was quite nice and even agreed to do a couple of extra things to make the house perfect. My Client and the Agent made a point of thanking me for handling the situation. The Agent initially wanted her inspector, but my clients had a strong referral and wouldn't budge. At the initial inspection she made her feelings obvious. The only words she said was " my inspector this or that". The last thing she said to me was " my inspector wouldn't have handled that anywhere near as good as that". Always try to be the nice guy first, you can always be the tough guy later. The opposite order never works. Back in the day, I always started with both barrels blazing. Now, I reserve them for special occasions. Stay strong and confident Ollie
  • Create New...