Underground pipe and electrical lines are very convenient and provide a lower-maintenance option that those run overhead or above ground, but they will eventually need to be located there is future digging, construction, roadwork or even issues with finding problems in the pipe or wire.
A simple way to solve the issue of finding underground pipe and wires after they have been buried is to use tracer wire at the time of original installation. This is simply an additional wire that is buried alongside the pipe or the other wire. This extra wire can be detected with special equipment used above the surface should the line or pipe ever need to be located or dug up.
Some Important Factors
There is sometimes confusion about how tracer wire works. This is not a wire that needs an electrical supply or source, and it is not energized. Instead, the wire that is underground emits a signal that is only readable by a wire tracer device. This device hones in on the specific signal, which is small enough that it does not provide any type of electronic or radio frequency interference.
It is also possible to use a passive location method where a specific area is swept by the operator to determine if any lines are present. This is often used when there are multiple lines in an area, and there is a need to find space between lines rather than to located a specific line.
Different options in tracer wire can be used for various systems. This allows easy location of a gas line without confusing it with an electrical line or another type of utility service. Wire options are also an important consideration, and there are different types of wire used based on the specific application, the environmental conditions, and even how long the wire needs to be operational.
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