Types of underground pipe locators in the USA

Types of underground pipe Locators and How They Work:

A pipe finder finds high-precision concealed pipes using conductive or inductive technologies. For instance, a coated metallic line may receive a tracing signal from a conductive pipe finder at an access point like a valve or meter.

A ground stake or a building’s grounding system may be in the signal’s return route from the transmitter to the receiver. Locating tracer wires that are buried underground with nonmetallic pipes can also be done with the use of a conductive pipe locator in the USA.

  • Before restoration, destruction, or digging out , a pipe finder offers a safe and efficient means to inspect walls, ceilings, floors, and underground for concealed pipes.

Underground pipe locators:

 It is crucial for construction personnel to be able to find and track the course of underground pipes due to the growing use of underground plumbing and cabling. Also, To avoid accidentally digging into a tube, In the case of an accident, underground electric lines and pipes carrying oil or gas products might seriously hurt people and harm property.

  • Construction workers can prevent cross-boring into subterranean pipes by using underground pipe locators to determine where the lines are installed.

Underground pipe installation is a regular procedure that is becoming increasingly popular. The aesthetic attractiveness of a new structure has become a concern for architects, engineers, and landscaping businesses. It has become crucial to keep ugly industrial machinery out of sight.

Another justification for burying pipelines is safety concerns. Hazardous materials should be buried below rather than on the surface. There is a risk of an instantaneous explosion in the event of a pipe rupture. The pipes are shorter and safer because of the more direct path from source to destination.

Types of underground pipe locators in the USA:

The following are the types of undergoing pipe locators in the USA:

Passive Location

Passive localization is the most straightforward but least accurate technique for locating an underground pipe or cable. The confidential source’s naturally released signals are looked for using a receiver. In addition to the magnetic field that live electrical wires create due to the current running through them, subterranean pipes also allow some low-frequency radio waves to move through them. These signals may be detected by a receiver, which you can then use to determine the route of underground pipelines.

However, transmitters and receivers are used by the majority of underground pipe locators in the USA. To find the pipe using this technique, a signal is produced in the pipe by the transmitter and is then measured by a receiver.

Direct connections:

Another type of pipe locator in the USA is a direct connection. A magnetic field is generated as current passes through a coil inside the transmitter. 

A transmitter clamp is placed around the pipe to transmit the signal into the pipeline. As in the direct connection method, a receiver is tuned to the transmitter frequency, and measurements are taken at ground level to determine the position of the pipe.

Cables are used to connect the transmitter to a pipe directly. One thread is connected to the earth by hammering an earth rod into the ground. The pipeline, or a valve linked to the pipe, is the last point of contact for the other cable from the transmitter. The transmitter produces a radio signal that travels the whole length of the tube at a preset frequency. Measurements are made at ground level while the receiver is set to this frequency to locate the pipe.

Induction Direct

Instead of utilizing electrical connections, direct induction uses a magnetic field to power the pipe at a particular frequency. It is possible to push a duct rod containing copper wire into the line for nonmetallic pipes. You can then use direct connection or induction to energize the copper wire, and the receiver can pick up the signal and, thus, the position of the pipe.

How to use the pipe locator in the USA?

The region is split into grids so that it may be thoroughly investigated and marked to track the path of an underground pipe locator in the USA. By direct connection or the induction mentioned above, a transmitter is attached to the pipe. The receiver is then tuned to the transmitter’s frequency.

Once the apparatus is ready, the operator moves the receiver along the grid lines and stops when a signal from the underground pipe is detected. The operator send the  action to the receiver around the area to determine the strongest signal (which occurs directly above the underground pipe locators in the USA).

The operator then resumes the grid sweep after placing a marker in the ground to mark the position of the pipe.

Use of pipe locators:

Underground pipe locators in the USA are ineffective on nonmetallic materials without a duct rod carrying copper wire since they rely on the conductivity of the pipes to transfer signals.

It’s also vital to remember that if several pipes are below the surface, transmitted signals might seep into the other lines and skew the receiver’s readings. It might not be able to set seprate these pipes from one another if they are put next to one another. 

  • The background noise of some industrial locations makes this situation worse. The underground pipe finder may not operate if there are a lot of signals at the site broadcast at different frequencies.
  • The likelihood of unintentionally digging into a hidden pipeline increases as more pipes are buried. To avoid accidents and property damage, it’s crucial for anybody working on a construction project to locate any existing lines before breaking ground.
  • Over time, technology for locating subsurface pipelines has advanced. The leading technologies in use are direct connection and direct induction. Equipment is portable and straightforward to operate, but it’s crucial to know its limitations and work with skilled professionals to avoid making expensive mistakes.


Using a pipe locator in the USA, which employs conductive or inductive methods, makes locating hidden pipelines considerably simpler. A conductive pipe finder can send a tracing signal to a coated metallic pipe at an access point, such as a valve or meter.

You can get these and other top-notch pipe locators in the USA at Greenway Enterprise. You can contact us for further FAQs and information, and we would be pleased to assist you.


What is the process of a pipe locator?

In its simplest form, Cable and Pipe Locators in the USA consist of two parts: a transmitter and a receiver. The wand, or receiver, is utilized to find the signal the line is creating after the transmitter component induces it into a pipe or cable.

How accurate are pipe locators?

Lines are closer together, according to the locator, although individual line identification is still achievable down to 1.2d of separation, where inaccuracy can reach 60%. If separation is at least twice the depth, you may achieve more than 10% accuracy.

How does equipment location work?

The most often employed utility-finding tool is ground penetrating radar (GPR). A radar signal is used in GPR to scan the ground, and when it hits an item, it bounces back to the receiver. The information generated reveals an object’s location.