Today, more than ever, it is a challenge when installing new pipe and cable to accurately detect, trace, and mark all existing pipe and cable lines. It is also crucial for utility companies to be able to find their own lines when necessary repairs, upgrades, or maintenance is required on the system.
In urban areas, in particular, neighborhoods or industrial areas have sewer, water, gas, telecommunications, as well as electrical lines and even fiber optic cables all running somewhere under the surface. Not all of these have been accurately mapped by the utility, and there may even be privately installed lines and pipe systems that are not known to the utility company working in the area.
Different options in pipe and cable locator systems can be very effective in detecting the presence of these lines and pipes. Even if systems are marked on a map, it is still a wise idea to verify their location with a pipe and cable locator before any digging or work begins.
The Basics of the System
All pipe and cable locator systems work by detecting a specific signal that is transmitted by the lines under the ground. The signals are in the form of a charge or a specific signal, and the locator has the ability to sense and detect various charges or signals that indicate the presence of different types of underground pipes or cables.
Some of the older cable or pipe systems do not have this charge or transmit signal capability. In these cases, it is possible to use a transmitter to create a signal in the line, which can then be read by the locator unit.
The new options in locators offer high levels of sophistication, including power adjustments for different frequencies, the ability to map the display, simultaneous readings, and increased portability and ease of use. Comparing systems and choosing the one that is best suited for the types of locating work required is essential in choosing the right system.