Pipe and Cable Locators

Electromagnetic locators are the worldwide standard for locating buried pipes and cables. These pipe and cable locators are a family of instruments used to detect magnetic fields around utilities constructed with conductive materials. They receive and can follow signals (electro-magnetic fields) emitted along a conductive material – even from underground!

Signal Detection

Most utility locating instruments are active signal application, two-piece devices; they have a transmitter and a receiver. Other instruments are passive, one-piece instruments, which detect a range of frequencies commonly emitted by telephone and electric lines, radio towers, pumping facilities, etc. Some instruments combine both. Pipe and cable locating instruments typically have frequencies ranging from 8 Hz to 500 kHz and power settings ranging from less than 1 watt to 10 or more watts. Instruments can be single frequency or multi-frequency with pros and cons for both.

Active signal can be applied to conductive materials by way of direct connection or induction.

Making Non-Conductive Appear Conductive

Pipe and cable locating accessories (e.g. conductive snake or rod and the sonde) allow for the detection of non-conductive piping and conduits with pipe and cable locators. These accessories are inserted into non-conductive piping. A snake is unreeled and pushed into the empty conduit or sewer pipe. If there are no obstructions, then the full length might be fed into the pipe or conduit. The snake is conductive and can be detected like conductive utilities. Sondes are self-contained waterproof transmitters that provide a point source electromagnetic field and can be detected by a pipe and cable locating receiver when inside a utility. Sondes can be attached to the end of a snake or video inspection camera. They can also be fastened to a rope and floated down a pipe.

A/I/DATA has an array of pipe and cable locators and accessories to actively apply and detect these and passive signals in a variety of settings.

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