Reasons to Use Underground Cable Pipe Locator: Find Buried Utilities With Ease
Construction work is never easy. It demands that you’re focused, and willing to do hard work burdensome to the body. And of all the tasks in the toil of construction; sometimes the hardest one is making do with what was left before. For example, you surely have many stories where getting the materials and permits required was easy. You even found the building process a walk in the park. Nonetheless, you had one consistent problem through everything – the hidden underground utilities beneath the ground.
The “roots” left behind by previous jobs need to be found and undone. If not, you cannot continue with your work unless you’re willing to risk possible bad construction and further damages. As such, you did your best to find them, digging everywhere and making lines trying to figure out where they are. Yet, they remained elusive, derailing you from your work. Or even if you do find them easily, you can still cause some damage. This is especially bad if you damage cables and pipes for which you don’t have the jurisdiction to touch. Lastly, and this is the harsh truth; no one likes construction work in their area. You don’t want to bother the environment around you by causing unnecessary noise and air pollution.
With this in mind, you’ve certainly thought about ways to avoid this problem. One possible way is for you to go through the old city documents, but that is time-consuming as there have been many changes. However, there is one other popular technologically advanced alternative which is both time-efficient and economical. Today, many contractors get an underground cable pipe locator to find hidden utilities with ease.
How Do Underground Pipe Locators Work?
In the simplest terms, an underground pipe locator has a transmitter and a receiver, and by using those two allows you to sketch the ground you’re scanning. Additionally, it notifies you if you’ve found any metal or activity of electricity. This is done by the transmitter sending out an electrical current which the receiver can then pick up. But, they’re not without their limitations. As mentioned before, they can find metal and only metal. Therefore, what you’re looking for must be made of that material. Despite this limitation, an underground cable pipe locator has a great benefit.
Furthermore, there are many different ways to use the locator, depending on your needs and possibilities. Let’s say you need to find a utility, and luck would have it, it has an unbroken connection and is made entirely out of metal. Then, you would need to use the active mode. You do this by imposing a current to the utility with the transmitter, and you pick up the movement of electricity with the receiver.
You can make a current go through a utility in three ways. If you have clear access to the pipe or cable, you can use the direct conductive method which produces the largest amount of current. However, you might be blocked off by not having access to the cable. Then, it is best to use the inductive clap method as it can safely access it. This method is used mostly with primary electric, telephone, and cable lines.
Finally, you have the inductive method, which is used when you have no accessible line. In this method, you put the transmitter on the ground, and it produces an electrical single through its antenna. By using this, you can easily find most cables, unless they’re too deep or if there are more pipes. Although, you must also focus on the frequency, which is instrumental. Thereby, you should always see how many active mode frequencies your locator has. For long-distance locating, you need to use low frequencies. But, they’ll have a difficult time with bad conductors. On the other hand, high frequencies travel smaller distances, but they break through even the toughest conductors.
Aside from the active mode, there is a passive mode. You use this when you already have an unbroken electromagnetic field present on a utility. For this method, you only need the receiver. You have three ways of using passive mode. If you want to find a live cable, you use the power mode. If you generally want to find metallic utilities, you should use radio mode which uses radio signals to find them. Finally, you have auto-mode, which is a mix of the previous two.
Also, most locators come with the sonde option. This option is however a last resort, as it is only used when the radio mode doesn’t work due to highly congested settings. With this method, you use the sonde to send out a radio signal that you pick up with a handheld transmitter.
How Do I Know What’s for Me?
Now then, despite all the practical and fancy technological characteristics, how do you know what’s for you and your line of work? Luckily, there are many locators with a lot of detailed specifics. Let’s say you’re working in telecommunications and need to find cables deeply hidden into the earth with very little electrical activity. In that case, your best choice is a locator with an option of high frequency combined with sonde frequencies. A great example of this is RD7100TL locator.
But such a locator won’ work if by some possibility, you’re both in the power and telecoms industries and you need to find cables that are both active and inactive. Furthermore, some of these cables might be buried deep underneath the earth. And to make matters even more complicated, there are a lot of bad conductors or extra cables in the are. In that case, you should focus on getting an all-rounder, like the RD8100PTL locator.
Although, if you’re working on a construction site and only need a specific type of underground pipe detector, then something like the RD7100SL is ideal. It doesn’t have a huge range of options, but it’s easy to use and covers everything you need.
Optimal and Industrial
All in all, when properly used with the correct technological knowledge, an underground pipe finder can save you both money and time. It allows you, in the best possible case, to skip all the unnecessary digging, making it especially important when excavating. Or, at the very least gives you an outline of how the cables are structured underneath the ground.
Nevertheless, it is not perfect. Small mistakes can happen, and you’ll still have to dig. The laborious process of digging is inevitable. But, It’s a new technological advancement that gives you an edge and allows you to work better and more efficiently.