Underground Pipe Locator: Types And Purpose

It is no longer as easy as it once was to locate utilities underground. However, it is vital to do so. The safety of employees and civilians depends upon it. For utility companies to locate and identify their lines and pipes, they require the right devices. For some, the logical choice is an underground pipe locator.

The Purpose of Underground Pipe Locators

Underground pipe locators are mechanical devices with a singular purpose. They locate underground pipes. Companies bury their pipes for a number of reasons. However, when circumstances warrant it, the company has to find exactly where the pipes are and do so quickly.

By locating the pipe quickly and efficiently, an underground pipe locator saves the utility or oil company time and money. It also makes it safer for the crew. It prevents accidentally digging up the wrong line by companies performing routine tasks or construction workers performing other actions in the area.


Two basic types of locators exist. These are:

1. Single–frequency unit: This is the older type of device. It operates through the placement of the unit on the ground. It then prompts a single high-frequency signal. The line responds to the signal and radiates it back towards the locator’s receiver.

2. Multiple-frequency unit: This system sends more than one frequency type into the ground. Depending upon the make, it can unleash up to five different frequencies, improving the capability of finding and separating different lines underground.

These locators essentially work using one of two methods. These are active and passive.

Underground Pipe Locator

Today, utility companies and those in the gas and oil industry place many of their pipes and lines underground. While this reduces the risk of destruction from the elements, it can create other problems. With so many pipes underground, troubles ensue if employees cannot locate them as required. To reduce this issue substantially, companies often employ a wire tracer and/or use an underground pipe locator.

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