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 2.GQ Geiger Muller Counter
 Found A Radiation Source
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1 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2019 :  07:35:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was playing with my 600 and set it down on an old white porcelain toilet tank cover.

Background was reading between 24 CPM and 35 CPM pretty reliably.

Sitting on the tank cover, it jumped up to 90 very consistently, staying between 98 and 89.

Once I moved it a few feet away from the cover, it dropped back down to the 24-34 CPM range.

It is very reliable, always jumps up to 65 CPM higher on the tank cover.

What would be the radioactive element in circa 1960 (or older) toilet?

Any help appreciated.

Just the facts, ma'am.
Reply #1

Stargazer 40

370 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2019 :  09:40:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, likely something in the glaze or clay that went into the ceramic. What is the brand and where did it come from (possibly molded into the inside of the tank).

Stargazer 40
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Reply #2


8 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2019 :  13:31:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I noticed the same. I also found out some of my ceramic/porcelain type plates I've been using for AGES are also slightly (about double) the background levels.

It's probably trace amounts of uranium and others in the clay or Zirconia used to make the ceramic/porcelain part.

I have some glassware plates that have undetectable (from background) levels, but the ceramic plates are higher. Makes me want to use glassware whenever possible lol. It's nothing, but might as well go safest route if you're being data driven.
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Reply #3


584 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2019 :  01:42:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
... and you wondered why it was always so bright when you went to the loo. Seems to be giving a whole new meaning to my Potty training article ;-)

Of course I tested my own "hardware" right away, and I also got increased counts - though only double from ~CPM20 to CPM ~45, but clearly enhanced. I had removed the backplate of the counter to expose the tube fully to whatever the radiation was.

Next thing was to put steel plates of 1mm thickness between tube and ceramic, and the counts were still increased, but only to cpm ~35.

While the cause of radiation might be the glace, I am more inclined to suspect the elevated presence of potassium in the ceramic. More on Potty-tassium and shielding in the already referred to article "Potty Training ..." available here :

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Reply #4


48 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2019 :  23:45:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that's what I call

a hot seat.
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Reply #5


453 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2019 :  01:58:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
now you know where to go to test your meter. :-)

Mastery is acquired by studying, with it everything becomes simple

Edited by - Damien68 on 12/05/2019 02:01:13
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Reply #6


584 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2019 :  03:25:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One could support the sanitary businesses a little bit by publishing the hot-seat results a bit broader ?

And while we are at it: can somewhere measure the radiation from those expensive granite table tops in modern kitchen? It may be time for remodeling the house, given that it is all radioactively contaminated!

Not to mention all the bananas in the fruit basket. And the almost self-glowing salt alternatives in the bio-stores!

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Reply #7


18 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2019 :  21:47:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The more sensitive Geiger counters always indicate a slight increase in radiation when packaging the coffee. You can check the floor tiles

GC: GMC-300E plus, GMC-500, GMC-500 plus, GMC-600, Exploranium GR-110G, Terra MKS-05 bluetooth, DoseRae 2, RadiaScan 701A, Automess 6150AD6, Soeks Qantum, PRM-9000, Radex Obsidian, Radex RD1008, MKS-03SA
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Reply #8


1 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2020 :  07:57:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I live in an older home, circa 1942. My bathroom fixtures are Kohler (fine fixtures from Wisconsin, US). My sinks in two bathrooms have contact readings over 200 cpm. Normal background readings run around 15 cpm. My unit is GMC-500+. None of the other fixtures (tub, toilet, wall tiles) show any increase. This is almost the same as the area cpm on a long distance flight!

EE, Retired nuclear plant worker
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Reply #9


71 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2020 :  17:54:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just checked my circa 1963 toilet (American Standard), no increase.
circa 2005 toilet (Toto) same, and 2005 granite floor tiles same. It's possible after 1960 or so they started selecting ceramic ingredients for low radioactivity.

It's known that some Granites are slightly radioactive. If it's a concern, check the store samples; it's likely from the same quarry. In almost all cases, these levels should not be a concern.
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