During excavation projects, it is extremely important to make sure to not cause any damage to the wires and other services that are buried in the Earth due to previous works. It is an important precaution to take and the most basic matter to deal with.
Although, the question remains, how do you identify the location of such cables and underground services? The answer is simple, by using a cable locator.
If your hidden or buried wire is not working, it’s time for you to track down the error with the cable locator of your choice and convenience. The error is most probably due to a break in your wire – and a cable locator will help you locate it. The most strenuous part is finding the damaged part of the wire and these wire locators will make it a piece of cake for you! On the other hand, fixing the break is rather simple and less of a problem. Once that is done, your wire is ready to do its work again!
Best Underground Wire Locator
1. Noyafa D3IN0580-B Underground Cable Wire Locator
This cable locator is specifically used for locating hidden wires and cables. It is designed especially to locate the wires in the underground regions and inside the walls. If you need a cable locator for a comparatively smaller and homely area, this is a good choice! It can easily locate pet fence wires, metals wires, metals pipes, and electrical wires. This device can range upto 2 feet depthwise and 1000 feet in lengthwise measurement.
This locator can only be used to locate non-energized cables so make sure to check what type of wires you’re locating. The same device can only be used for single or two core parallel wires. Be careful to not take the device near multi core or bundled cables.
Under no circumstances should the locator be used on live circuits or on devices powered by the mains.
The maximum tone frequency of the NF-816 transmitter and receiver is upto 200 KHz. The maximum working current allowed is around 70 mA and less than that in both the parts. The signal voltage goes up to 15 V maximum. The type of battery used to power the device is DC and the voltage is 9 V. The dimensions of the transmitter are 49 x 135 x 33 in mm whereas the dimensions of the receiver are 43 x 168 x 27 mm. One earphone jack is provided to listen better and clear.
2. Locator Detector Tester, MY6818
This locator can be used for detecting cables along with electrical lines. It can also be used to detect water and gas supply lines that are buried inside the walls or underground. It can also easily detect interruptions in the cables. It can also detect short circuits in electrical lines that are located in the walls or underground. Detecting important elements like fuses is also possible through this device. It can also be used for assigning current to the circuits. In cases of floor heating, interruptions along with short circuits can be easily detected. It also makes it easier to track sockets or other distribution sockets that have been accidentally covered due to plastering.
This locator has a transmitter that provides you a function that is able to use both AC and DC voltmeter. It can easily measure upto 400 V starting from 12 V on an easy and linear basis.
The display screen also allows you to see the transmitting power that has been preset, transmitting codes, the battery energy remaining and the type of mains voltage that is detected — whether it is AC or DC.
The transmitter also has a self check function that allows it to detect the working status of itself and displays it for the user. It saves time and helps the work become a little bit easier.
While this may not seem to be the most important part, this device also has a very comfortable LCD display that makes it easier to read. As stated earlier, the transmitter and receiver display the power levels, transmitting codes, batteries, detected voltage types and values, and high voltage alarms. The warnings help ensure maximum safety of the user.
3. Kolsol Underground Wire Locator Cable Tester F02
This is another amazing cable locator that can easily track buried and hidden wires.
It is also a homely device that can be used to locate pet fence wires, metal wires, metal pipes and electrical wires. However, it must be used for locating single or two stranded wires only. Locating multi stranded wires with this device is not recommended. You can now determine the location you want to dig on without much hassle.
The cable locator can range upto 3 feet (depthwise) and 1000 feet (lengthwise).
This device must be used on non energized cable only. It must not be used on live circuits or wires powered by the mains. In certain cases, it can be used in situations with as low voltage as 24 V.
4. UCONTRO Underground Wire Locator Cable Tracker
Use this cable locator for pet fence wires without any issues! You can also easily locate phone cables and wires without much inconvenience. The device ranges upto 3 feet depthwise, and upto 1000 feet lengthwise.
The wire locator must be used for locating the non-energized wires in the walls and under the ground. The locator is highly capable of locating a circuit breaker and majorly useful to locate the wires with much precision.
The device is powered by a 9 V battery. The receiver of this device is specifically designed to filter any noise generated through C power.
5. Noyafa NF-816-C Underground Cable Wire Locator
Another great cable locator is this one! It helps in locating and tracking the wires that are buried under the ground and hidden. Pet fence wires, metals wires, metals pipes and electrical wires can now be easily located with this. The cable locator ranges upto 2 feet in depthwise measurements and 1000 feet in lengthwise measurements. This device is powered by a 9 V battery that is DC in nature.
This device cannot be used on live circuits. It cannot be used for multi core wires or bundled wires. However, it works greatly on non-energized cables. It also can be used to locate single core and double core wires.
The tone frequency for the transmitter is upto 200 KHz. The maximum working current allowed is anything less than 70 mA. The maximum signal voltage is around 15 V. The dimensions of the transmitter are 49 x 135 x 33 in mm whereas the dimensions of the receiver are 43 x 168 x 27 mm. One earphone jack is provided in this device as well.
6. Nf-816 Underground Cable Wire Locator
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Track different kinds of wires and cables that are buried underground or hidden in the walls with this cable locator. This NF-816 model comes with alarms, sounds and computing wires that are extremely helpful during locating the hidden utility. It can also be used for locating hidden receptacles and measuring depth of the wires and services buried or hidden. It is also useful when it comes to locating circuit breakers.
The output voltage of this device is 9 V in an open circuit. The tone frequency for the carrier is upto 447,5 KHz whereas the audio can be modulated upto 900 Hz. The device is powered by a 9 V DC battery.
The entire package will include an emitter, a receiver, one earphone set, a kit box to store it all and a colored box. Of course the instruction manual is included to make sure the usage of the device proceeds with ease.
7. Noyafa NF-820 Underground Cable Wire Locator
This device is an upgraded version of the NF-816 device! It can be used to locate hidden wires or invisible fences without going through the pain of digging it up! The device also allows the user to fully control the signal sensitivity in order to reach the maximum capabilities and limits of the device. The device also rejects the AC power so the tracking process becomes much easier than before!
The device can also be used to look for single conductors or wires with multi cores. The range of this device is 2 feet depthwise and 1000 feet lengthwise. It also comes with an earphone jack that helps work in noisy environments. The battery used in the transmitter is a 3.7 V lithium battery that is also rechargeable. Thus, making multiple usage of the device convenient. The receiver uses a 9 V battery. The maximum charging current of the device is 800 mA. The maximum signal output level is 21 V. The dimensions of the transmitter and the receiver are 152 x 55 x 34 mm and 252 x 45 x 28 mm respectively.
8. TEMPO Communications Cable Locator
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This wire locator also is a wonderful device with excellent performance. It helps trace the path of hidden wires. It also helps in determining the depth of wires and metallic pipes on active or dead systems without having to deactivate the system. The receiver is also capable of providing audible and visual indications of signal strength.
To ensure maximum precision, the device also allows the user to be able to completely adjust the sensitivity of both — the transmitter and the receiver. The transmitter also lets you choose between three different ways to connect — direct, inductive coupler, and inductive antenna, for your convenience.
The transmitter has a high frequency range which also increases the range of the device. The device can range upto 7 feet depthwise and upto 4000 feet lengthwise. While this device can be used near live cables, one must always exercise extreme caution in such situations to avoid dire problems. As a precaution, it is recommended to use the direct method to connect the transmitter to the dead cables. It is safe and also lets you trace the area till the maximum extent of the device. In case where the dead wire cannot be isolated and such, the other two methods can be used after proper safety measures are taken.
The instruction manual provided helps in better understanding of each method and must be carefully read before the actual procedure.
9. Seesii MS6818 Cable Locator
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Last but definitely not the least, this is another great cable locator that is highly capable of detecting cables and electrical lines. It can also detect water and gas supply lines with ease whether they are buried in walls or underground.
It is also exceptionally good at detecting interruptions. In cases of electrical lines and cables, this device can also detect short circuits. Detection of fuses and assigning of current to circuits possible with this one. Interruptions and short-circuits in heating systems of the floor can also be detected. You can also locate sockets or other distribution sockets that have been accidentally covered while construction.
The Transmitter of this device has a function that can follow up self-inspection. This feature allows the device to detect its own working status. It also displays the data on the display screen for the reference of the user. The sensitivity of the receiver is designed so that it can be adjusted either manually or automatically. The receiver is also capable of sweeping the frequency automatically, which makes it easier to use. Another notable point is that both the parts of the device — the transmitter and the receiver are capable of working under the mute mode.
The device also allows the usage of additional transmitters in order to extend or distinguish between multiple signals. This feature sure comes in handy when locating different types of wires.
This device is also highly durable and portable. It also switches off automatically if the device is unused for more than 10 minutes. It also has a flashlight function so that the user can also work in the dark.
Some other important uses of this device include the installation and maintenance of weak current system, communication line, comprehensive wiring circuit, telephone system, computer network, and other metal wire circuit.
The range of the voltage measurement of the transmitter varies from 12 V to 400 V for both AC and DC. The dimensions of the transmitter and receiver are 190 x 89 x 42.5 mm and 241.5 x 78 x 38.5 mm respectively. The maximum output signal of the transmitter is 125 KHz.
What is a cable locator?
A cable locator is an instrument that has been used by the people in order to detect the presence and give an estimated location of the wires and other underground services without actually having to dig it up. This process helps in avoiding any unnecessary damage and causes less inconvenience to others.
These instruments are widely used in various aspects of electrical work such as communication cable construction, electrical cable construction, building pipeline construction, telecommunications cables, power supply circuits and electric line maintenance.
How does it work?
The cable locators detect the electromagnetic signals that are emitted by the utilities present underground. They then amplify these signals and then give us the desired information about the location of these services.
Radio frequencies, metal detectors and underground radars are also used in order to measure the location of the same.
The system of cable locator has a transmitter that is used to send a signal down the cable being traced or to a solenoid valve that is being located. A receiver is later on used to pick up the signal and follow the cable or locate the coil.
Certain specifications to be careful about:
You will need a lot of variations in the range of the frequency inorder to get as close to the accurate location as possible. Start from the lowest and keep increasing to get the best results.
- Detection Range
Make sure to check the depth that the cable locator can reach. Choose a cable locator that can give you an accurate measurement of the depth that the underground service is located at.
- Mode of detection
There are two different modes for locating a cable — active and passive. In the active mode, a particular line can be easily found by injecting a specific frequency signal. On the other hand, in the passive mode, unknown lines can be found using the electromagnetic signals emitted without injecting a frequency signal. Energized cables can be easily found with this method.
- Null or Peak or differential mode
Most devices use sound in order to give information about the completion of a task. This device too, does the same. In the null mode, the devices make a sound the entire time and only stops when the location has been determined. For the peak mode, the device makes a sound only when the location of the cable has been found. The differential mode, however, makes a sound depending on the proximity of the wire or cable.
One has to be careful about these specifications in order to make the right choice. Some other things that need to be kept in mind are the display, current measurements and the stick. Display is important to make sure you can perceive the information clearly and accurately.
That completes the list of all the cable locators we recommend! It is now up to you to choose the right device for this meticulous task! If you are not sure on the instructions to the device, it is highly recommended to take the help of an expert. Better be safe than sorry!