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Thread: Cable fault locates

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    Default Cable fault locates

    I am using an A-frame since it was a low budget tool but I was wondering what others use for cable faults. Pro for me is I can locate and check for faults at the same time. Con for me is when there are multiple faults in a short distance it is hard to notice that there is another one or if it was just a blip...maybe I just don't trust myself with the equipment yet. One engineer was pointing me in the direction of a thumper. Any input is appreciated.

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    Junior Member 480sparky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    If there's more than one fault in a small area, they will be discovered upon excavation. CYA and have the possibility of multiple faults mentioned in your contracts.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Depends on what kinds of faults you are looking for and on what type of cable. Tdr and the various technologies along with a thumper are used on high voltage primaries. The A frame or contact fault locator aren't usually used on these. Secondary power lines and other lower voltage direct buried cables work pretty well with the contact or sheath fault locators. I have the a frame for the Dynatel which I haven't tried yet. I primarily use the Greenlee pulser a frame and this year I have been using the Aquatronics EG3000.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Quote Originally Posted by nrp3 View Post
    Depends on what kinds of faults you are looking for and on what type of cable. Tdr and the various technologies along with a thumper are used on high voltage primaries. The A frame or contact fault locator aren't usually used on these. Secondary power lines and other lower voltage direct buried cables work pretty well with the contact or sheath fault locators. I have the a frame for the Dynatel which I haven't tried yet. I primarily use the Greenlee pulser a frame and this year I have been using the Aquatronics EG3000.
    I am doing private lines 120V conductors.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    These A frames and ones like the Timco Spitfire, Aquatronics EG3000, HJ Arnett Pinpointer are good for that. These last three are have 120v input and are little more powerful than battery operated units, supposedly better in less conductive earth. Its amazing what you'll find, foot long sections of aluminum secondaries gone with nothing but insulation left. UF wire thats used a lot for residential pole lights is another good use for these fault locators. I think for most lower voltage, non primary fault locating, you'll be fine with these units. Thumpers are big bucks and can cause damage as much as help if not used right. More of a utility thing.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Quote Originally Posted by nrp3 View Post
    These A frames and ones like the Timco Spitfire, Aquatronics EG3000, HJ Arnett Pinpointer are good for that. These last three are have 120v input and are little more powerful than battery operated units, supposedly better in less conductive earth. Its amazing what you'll find, foot long sections of aluminum secondaries gone with nothing but insulation left. UF wire thats used a lot for residential pole lights is another good use for these fault locators. I think for most lower voltage, non primary fault locating, you'll be fine with these units. Thumpers are big bucks and can cause damage as much as help if not used right. More of a utility thing.
    Ditto. If you call Merle with Aquatronics he's very informative if you have any questions. Even with these, there are still some faults that are a pain in the arse, but these will catch most of 'em.

    Mke

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    They find pinholes to the very obvious burnt out or damaged sections. Very often this stuff wasn't buried to code and gets hit by landscapers planting shrubs, sidewalk repair, drainage work etc. Sometimes damaged during install.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    What do you guys think separates the standard battery a frame that gets its juice from the transmitter and the others mentioned.?

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Quote Originally Posted by Gettinit View Post
    I am doing private lines 120V conductors.
    i locate privately myself. irrigation mainly. recently i have been usig a SSTDR by t3 innovation. so far no complaints

    i have been getting spot on distances to valves and ground faults. i locate GF's using my Dynatel 573 DL w/frame.

    the hand held TDR's are getting less expensive and yes, the thumpers cause damage to the conductor when used
    You Can't Fix It Till You Find It - Jim 3:23

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Some of the success you have depends on the moisture content of the earth and on a day when the ground is wet and the fault is great enough, any of these are going to find it. Sometimes the fault may not be in good contact with the earth and or the ground is dry. Sometimes the circuit only fails on rainy days... I think the difference is in the output of the transmitter not so much the reciever. I haven't tried any of these units on cable tv or phone.

    EG3000:
    Aqua-Tronics, Inc. | Buried Utility Locating Equipment | Cable Locators | Fault Locators | Primary & Secondary Fault Locators | Leak Detectors

    Timco Spitfire:
    Timco Instruments - Spitfire Secondary Direct Buried Cable Fault Locator

    HJ Arnett
    HJ Arnett Industries
    crummy link, but couldn't open the corporate one at the moment.

    If you really want to fry your brain on this subject check out this guys book:
    Welcome to CableFaultLocation.com

    A lot of this is geared to the high voltage primary stuff but it does get into locating and finding faults like we are discussing here. In Europe a lot of power lines are underground hence a lot of equipment for this comes from there, though there are some firms here too.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    What are you using for a VOP setting on that TDR? I have a Riser Bond 1550 and a Bicotest Tsomething and have seen that unit you are talking about. Around $300 or so? I haven't had as much luck using the Riser Bond unit and I haven't really tried the other one. It took a year to get it back from England for service. I suppose with some practice I could probably get either to work well. It may be that the cheaper one with newer technology is better. I have had so much luck using the A frame and now the EG3000 that the TDR has stayed in the truck.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    I use the Vivax a frame with their 5 watt locpro.

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Quote Originally Posted by nrp3 View Post
    What are you using for a VOP setting on that TDR? I have a Riser Bond 1550 and a Bicotest Tsomething and have seen that unit you are talking about. Around $300 or so? I haven't had as much luck using the Riser Bond unit and I haven't really tried the other one. It took a year to get it back from England for service. I suppose with some practice I could probably get either to work well. It may be that the cheaper one with newer technology is better. I have had so much luck using the A frame and now the EG3000 that the TDR has stayed in the truck.
    i mainly use the tdr at 50 - 55% VOP since i use it in irrigation the most. i actually introduced the TDR to the irrigation field about 9 years ago and have been promoting it hard for about 4 years. we can use the TDR to define the search area when locating valves and faults which helps a bunch. irrigation valves are wired into controllers at random rather than in order of physical placement so this lets a person organize the valves which lends clues to their whereabouts without unwanted digging.
    You Can't Fix It Till You Find It - Jim 3:23

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    Ditto. If you call Merle with Aquatronics he's very informative if you have any questions. Even with these, there are still some faults that are a pain in the arse, but these will catch most of 'em.

    Mke
    just got off the phone with merle, interesting fellow.....
    You Can't Fix It Till You Find It - Jim 3:23

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    Default Re: Cable fault locates

    What kinds of TDR were you using in that time besides the new one you mentioned? I hunt for faults in UF cable that looks like Romex. Thanks for sharing. I need to try mine out on some rolls of new UF with defined length. Should get me in the ball park.

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