A Quick Guide to Underground Wire Locator

When undertaking any form of outdoor work, you need to follow certain rules. Especially if it involves some digging and application of total stations. For instance, in some cases, the law requires that you call before you begin or start the digging. Utility companies will come and mark their pipes and wires available on your property if you call ahead of time.


To do the marking, they will use an underground wire locator.

Underground wire locator
A Quick Guide To Underground Wire Locator 13

FAQ About Underground Utility Locator

The good news is that you can also get your underground wire locator and use it any time you want. This comprehensive post shares everything you need to know about underground wire locator.

As such, to learn more, be sure to go through this piece in its entirety. You can also ask questions in the comments sections, and we will be sure to get back to you.

What Is A Pipe And Cable Locator?

A pipe and cable locator is a gadget that professionals use to find metallic and non-metallic wire lines underground. It comes in a range of models, but most of them feature a receiver and a transmitter.

The receiver and transmitter let you apply directly a signal to the utility line so that it is detected. With this method, you can trace the whole line to avoid damaging it amid construction or excavation work.

A quick guide to underground wire locator 1

Leica DD 230 Smart Utility Locators Solution

Explore Smart Utility Locators Solutions

How Does The Pipe Locator Work?

The best underground wire locator should come with two primary parts; a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter will send an electrical signal that will be detected by the receiver. However, there has to be a way for the signal to travel through the line.

Cables and pipes made of non-conductor materials will have a tracer wire buried alongside them. If you like, you can use a metallic liner device that might be inserted into the pipe. That way, you can easily apply the signal.

A quick guide to underground wire locator 2

Leica DD 220 Smart Utility Locator

 

How Can You Repair A Utility Locator?

Suppose you own a pipe, utility, or cable locator that should be repaired, you can send it to several places. For more information, talk to an experienced engineer, and you will be assisted. They will share details on how you can repair your utility locator.

What Batteries Does An Underground Utility Locator Use?

A locator comes with a vast range of models and specifications. Therefore, the type of batteries it uses depends on the model. You need to go through the user manual before attempting to replace the batteries.

How Do You Know Where You Can’t And Can Dig? 

Once you have called the utility services, they will show up as soon as possible. They will perform the test and mark all the areas where they have found underground pipes, wires, and cables.

To avoid problems, you can dig around the areas the experts have marked. It is also important that you ask them a few questions about the process when they are done marking. Note that you only need to call utility services if you don’t know how to use the wire detector.

How Does an Underground Wire Locator Work?

This tool uses an electromagnetic field that originates from the underground wire being detected. The electromagnetic field comes from a circulating current. Suppose there is no electricity, you need to manually inject a particular signal. The same signal will then help generate the required magnetic field.

The field will then induce the receiver, and a voltage will be generated. When that happens, the voltage will change into sound. Some models come with a screen to make the entire process much easier.

The locator has some features that convert the voltage into a complex digital signal. There is an internal microprocessor that will transform the signal in a way that the screen understands. The screen will then transform the digital signal into numbers, letters, and graphics.

It is worth noting that the best underground wire locator can be used in a vast range of applications. It can be used to locate CATV cable, pet fence wiring, radio communication network line, utility pipes, power lines, and gas pipe.

You can use two methods to locate utility wires with the detector; passive and active methods.

1. The Active Method

When using this technique, you will have to inject any signal. It works best and will give you the most accurate results compared to the passive method

2. Passive Method

Using the passive method, you won’t have to inject a signal. The receiver will get a sense and then issue an audible tone. You can choose one of the options based on what you prefer the most. There is differential, null, or peak mode.

The peak mode will emit a climax sound when the receiver is directly above the utility wire being detected. With the null mode, the detector will go silent when it is right above the utility wire. The differential mode, but, will emit sound based on the position of the wire you want to detect.

What are the Benefits of using an Underground Wire Locator?

Cable and pipe locators have become quite common these days, especially in construction sites. You can use them to find buried conduits and electrical lines. Compared to magnetic location devices, underground wire locators are more effective and accurate.

The gadgets are very powerful and can locate buried utility lines even in non-ferrous metals. The good thing is that some utility lines have reliable signals running through them. Power lines, for instance, emit a 60Hz that your underground utility locator can easily detect and alert you.

Note that you will need a transmitter for other types of cables and pipes. You will need to connect the transmitter to the exposed section of the pipe you are dealing with. By doing that, transmitting a signal through it becomes very easy.

The location device will get the signal to let you find the buried section of the cable or wire. There is a wide range of transmitters, and you need to work with one from a reputable dealer. Unless you do that, you won’t be able to find accurate readings from your device.

To get the right model, you should compare the signal clamps, alligator clamps, and inductive antennas. If your project is a simple one, you don’t have to invest in high-end transmitters.

What to Consider When Buying a Underground Wire Locator

A wire locator made for detecting underground cables will cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Though you can opt for an affordable one, you should not expect much from them. As such, before buying your device, you need a comprehensive guide. Besides the rotary laser level, here are some of the things you need to consider when purchasing an underground utility detector.

1. Detection Mode

We have already seen that there are active and passive detection methods. It is about how you locate. You can locate un-energized or energized cables. If you get a single device that can do all the work, you will be a lucky person.

Note that passive and active detectors cost different amounts of money. In that case, you need to decide based on the nature of the project at hand.

2. Frequency

Wire locators generate different levels of frequency. If you get a weaker one, you will never detect wires buried deep in the ground. Any frequency that is lower than 1 kHz is considered to be weak.

You need to go for a detector that transmits at least 10 kHz. But if you want the best results, you will need to go with around 33 kHz.

Weak frequency is bad because it will never be able to go through a bad conductor. A high frequency is also good because it can go through corrode conductors.

3. Screen

Your detector should also come with a screen as that would give you a great result. The screen lets you watch the moving graphics to help you know exactly where the cable is. Alongside the sound, you will get the accurate position of the utility cable you are trying to detect.

Where to Get Your Locator

Quinn Equipment has mastered the game of providing you with the best cable detector for more than 25 years. Therefore, if you have a project that needs some excavation, you should get in touch with them. They have the best collection of devices with the primary features you need for a flawless user experience. Despite having the best models on the market, Quinn Equipment provides sells its products at the best prices.

Closing Thoughts

A pipe and cable locator is a gadget that professionals use to find metallic and non-metallic wire lines underground. It comes in a range of models, but most of them feature a receiver and a transmitter.

The locator has some features that convert the voltage into a complex digital signal. There is an n internal microprocessor that will transform the signal in a way that the screen understands. The screen will then transform the digital signal into numbers, letters, and graphics.

There are active and passive detection methods. It is about how you locate. You can locate un-energized or energized cables. If you get a single device that can do all the work, you will be a lucky person.

Since 1967

Quinn Equipment, Inc. was founded in 1967 by Charles and Marjorie Quinn to represent manufacturers in the distribution of construction related products.
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400 35th St.
Marion, IA 52302
319-551-3714

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