Using A Utility Locator To Find Water Lines | Engineering Supply - EngineerSupply

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How to track underground water pipe?

Blog How Can You Track An Underground Water Pipe If you plan to dig in your yard, you’ll need to know the location of water pipes or any other utility lines because doing this type of work without it will increase your risk of damage. This can cause your yard or even your entire home to flood, which can cost a lot of money to repair. Most water pipes are made of PVC or some other similar material, so a utility locator with a metal detector isn’t going to work. Finding a PVC pipe isn’t easy. And because it requires the use of a special process, not every underground utility locator will do the job.

Steps for Underground Water Pipe Location

Blog How Can You Track An Underground Water Pipe

To find an underground water pipe, you’ll need to use a utility line locator that can find both metal and plastic pipes. Depending on the area in which you’re currently working, these lines could be made of either material. So if you want to get the most accurate results, you’ll need a tool that can find both. From there, you can follow the following steps:
  • Set up the utility locator as directed — This will depend on which model you’re currently using. Some locators will make a noise (usually through the use of headphones) when a pipe has been found, while others will indicate it on a built-in display.
  • Aim the underground utility locator at the ground as you walk — The device will tell you either visually or audibly if you’re standing above an underground pipe. Mark each location according to your preference.
This is the basic process for finding underground water lines, but a utility locator can use any of the following methods to look for these subsurface structures:
  • Acoustic Method — This method has been around for hundreds of years. It involves the use of branches or rods that are held over the ground, as they look for a subsurface location based on their movements. Some people question the accuracy of this process, while others swear by it.
  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) — This method can be effective for finding underground water pipes, because it can locate both metallic and non-metallic objects. But because you have to remove the hydrant’s cap, place a leak detection device the right way, and pressurize the hydrant, it requires a little more effort.
  • Electromagnetic Conductivity (EM) — This is a more specialized way of finding underground utility lines, and it’s more expensive. While it can find wires or underground electric lines, it can’t find underground PVC pipes. But it can find metallic pipes if you know how use it properly.
  • Ultra-High Radio Frequencies — This method works well in wet soil, snow, clay, or standing water because it can penetrate surfaces that might inhibit some of the other methods. A hand-held device is swept over the ground, while the user reads different indicators on the unit.

Blog How Can You Track An Underground Water Pipe

If you’re looking for a quality utility locator that you can use to find underground water pipes, feel free to look at what we have at Engineering Supply. We’re sure you’ll be able to find a tool that will meet your specific needs.
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