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Spiking FAQ

  • What is Spiking?
    • Spiking is a part of QA/QC procedures to ensure the accuracy of one’s radon measurements when using passive detectors (such as E-PERM®s). The term “Spiking” describes a procedure where detectors are exposed to a known radon concentration (target value) and the accuracy (and bias) is determined by the ability of the detectors to consistently report as close as possible to the target value. Rad Elec’s Spiking Service helps the user to detect potential inaccuracies with the passive detectors themselves, as well as to test the accuracy of the user to use and analyze their own equipment and detectors correctly.

  • Do I have to do Spiking measurements?

    • NEHA-NRPP and NRSB require that listed companies/individuals perform Spiking Measurements through an accredited Radon Chamber at a rate of 3 per 100 measurements, with a minimum of 3 per year and a maximum of 6 per month. However, even if not listed, all organizations and individuals using passive detectors should send their detectors in for spiking to ensure the accuracy of their measurements.

  • How often do I have to send in Spiking E-PERM®s?

    • The EPA recommends that all organizations using passive devices expose, record and interpret the results of three spikes per 100 measurements (as averaged over the anticipated number of measurements during a several month period), with a minimum of three per year and a maximum (although more may be conducted) of six per month.

  • What is the procedure for Rad Elec’s Spiking Service?

    • Print out the Spiking Service Form from our website

    • Blow off the electrets and chambers using nitrogen. Read and record the initial voltages of the electrets (making sure each electret has over 300 volts), and load the electrets into the chambers. Make sure the chambers are tightly closed.

    • Fill out the Spiking Service Form with the company information and columns 1, 2 and 3 of the table. Make a copy of the form for your records and then send the form and E-PERM®s to Rad Elec.

    • Rad Elec will expose the E-PERM®s in their Radon Chamber. Once removed from the chamber they will be sent back to you with the Spiking Service Form filled in with the testing information (start and stop dates and time, elevation and gamma background).

    • After receiving the E-PERM®s back, take the final reading of the electrets and calculate the radon concentration using the information provided on the Spiking Form. Fill in the last two columns of the form and fax or email the completed Spiking Form back to Rad Elec.

    • Rad Elec will then provide a Spiking Report with your results

  • Is Rad Elec’s Radon Chamber accredited?

    • Rad Elec’s Radon Chamber is NRSB Accredited as a Tertiary Radon Chamber. NRSB Accreditation #TRC6002

  • What are the “Do’s and Do nots” about Spiking?

    • Do send electrets in the chambers (the electret and chamber together are what constitute an “E-PERM®”)

    • Do print and fill out the Spiking Service Form and send it with the E-PERM®s

    • Do not perform spiking at the same time your Reader is in for calibration. If the reader has to be adjusted during calibration it could possibly change the final readings from the initial readings. It is recommended that you have your reader calibrated prior to performing the spiking if it is due for calibration or needs to be calibrated.

    • It is your responsibility to keep copies of your spiking forms and spiking reports

  • Where can I find the Spiking Service Form?

  • How much does the Spiking Service cost?

    • The Spiking Service cost can be found on the Spiking Service Form.

  • One of my E-PERM®s fell outside of the ± 25% control limit. What do I do?

    • In the rare event that this happens, Rad Elec strongly recommends that you investigate the reason why the E-PERM® fell outside of the Control Limit. It is not mandatory that you repeat the Spiking Test since you are only required to perform Spiking measurements and investigate your results, not “pass the test”. Typically the reason for an E-PERM® to fall outside the ± 25% range is due to the electret being accidentally touched during the initial or final reading, the presence of tiny fibers or debris on the electret surface or the filter inside the chamber has come loose. Always blow the chamber and electrets off with nitrogen prior to taking the initial readings. Rad Elec will allow you to repeat the Spiking Test at no cost (except for the shipping) if done within 30 days. Please write “REPEAT” on the top of the Spiking Service Form so you are not charged for the repeat Spiking service.

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