Better Safe Than Sorry – Usage and Reasons to Buy Cable Service Locator

Posted by Tim White

One of the first things that construction companies do when they start working on a project, is scan for pipes and cables below the ground where they are going to work. Nowadays, there are countless cables and pipes virtually anywhere in most inhabited areas, and each and every one of them can easily cause problems if interfered with. So, in order to avoid a hazard, construction workers use cable locators.

Cable locators are made of two basic parts – a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter sends a signal into the ground and the receiver picks that signal back, allowing the operator to trace the signal’s path and see whether it has reached a cable or a pipe. Cable service locators are the first pieces of equipment used on excavation sites, and they’re essential for preventing damage and injury on work sites.

cable service locator

The most basic use of the cable service locator is, as its name implies, locating cables and whether they work or not. It is commonly used by electricians to determine whether a cable has an intended or unintended connection. Locating a cable and verifying that an intended connection exists, or if there’s an intended connection that can’t be found, is known as an open circuit connection. An unintended connection, on the other hand, is known as a short circuit. That being said, both open and short circuit connections can be dangerous, and they can cause fire or a bunch of other problems.

Some of the features that a cable service locator can have are strike alert, GPS/GNSS and depth estimation. These features can make or break a cable locator for the task at hand, so you should really consider them before making a purchase.

The strike alert is there to alert the user whether it has detected something underground that’s shallow, which is also likely to be struck. Not every detector has this technology, so consider whether it’s something you absolutely need to have. Depth estimation is pretty self-explanatory – it estimates the depth of the cable or pipe that you locate. Lastly, GPS/GNNS receivers give you the convenience of adding positional data, which can be very useful for training with the locator.

Lastly, consider whether you need extra accessories for added convenience, such as sondes, signal clamps, a bag or a signal detector. These accessories not only add convenience, but also improve user experience by providing additional functions to the locator. When it’s all said and done, it’s all these little pieces that make up the ideal cable locator for the tasks you need to tackle.

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