underground service locators

Detection Principles Of Underground Service Locators

Sometimes workers or builders can potentially damage the underground pipelines and cables while working on the new project nearby or repairing a site. This often led to much more damaging results in the end. To avoid this, underground service locators are used. These locators detect any line or path whether it is for electricity, water, gas etc to know their exact location before getting further into the work.


To detect the underground utilities, two ways are devised to use accordingly to their properties. One is a passive location and the other is the active location. Passive location is defined as the process by which the already present electromagnetic field on the desired utility is detected.  These signals can be either from the material of pipe used or the radio waves from the telecommunication cables. The limitation is that this type of detection can only catch signals from the cables which emit electromagnetic waves. For example, buried cables for street light, electricity can be detected in this case. The electricity cables may give off signals at any time in the day but street lights can only be detected at night as they are turned on in the dark.

The transmitters in the underground service locators send a radio signal through the ground at the desired spot. If there is something inside which may induce current, the signal will be returned as a sign of utility presence which is how cables can be detected. This method has a downside as it can only be used for cables which have current flowing through them making it difficult to detect with accuracy.

On the other hand, active location is defined as a method by which a signal is sent through the transmitter set up for the type of utility which has to be detected. Signal underground cable locators are a better way of detecting pipes, even the smaller ones with the signal sent according to the need. This is known as active locating. The biggest reason this method is superior is the variety of ways the device of active locating can be used. Even the tracing is better with more accurate results. There are two modes by which the pipes can be detected. One is induction mode which is a quick and easy way to detect the signal with any physical connection. Accuracy for the pipes and cables is lesser while in connection mode, the circuit is formed which is completed by a ground connection point making the signals to catch with more accuracy. This method is known to be the best and advised to be used as much as it is possible.