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Thread: locating water help

  1. #1
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    Default locating water help

    I know this is the place to get answers.
    Ok, I have many years under the belt locating phone copper/fiber/composite/lead/pulp/pic/screen/ you name it. TV & power.
    Only have about a year locating water but that was years ago. What are the best access points? Hydrants. meters,Spickets on the house? Dropping box on a valve? I know the theory of path of least resistence, and ground path return and isolating your target, using the lowest posssible freq w/ the least aount of power.. How can someone locate water when direct connecting not lose signal to ground since the water main or service is not insulated from the ground... what are the best freq. for iductive and conductive for locating water. cast, steel, copper, and that new flex shit ect. Best Machines? 810, rd 8000, PipeHorn. vivax, subsite,
    anyone know any threads on these types of locating questions and answers?
    Or anyone got any links to help a brotha out who may be locating water again sometime in the near future...
    Or if have any of you water pros have any tips Id appreciate it greatly.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: locating water help

    does water lines have tracer wires or are they all metal???
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: locating water help

    All Metal, Just nervous about locating water again when in a busy city intersection is loaded with 3 phone duct runs, 2 power duct runs 2 gas mains, street lights, dot traffic, and up to 3 to 4 water mains plus all the services
    .... I havent had any damages in like 3 or 4 years locating phone power and tv, so im getting my self ready to start slinging blue again .

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    Default Re: locating water help

    no tracer, this company is in the northeast, very established plant, 2'' up to 72'' mains and still some old wooden mains. I know their facility can run as deep as 30 feet

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    Default Re: locating water help

    water meters is usually end of the line and the first place I would start ....and then after that I would go to shut off valves or valves of any kind ....please wait for some responses from some other guys also ..Ok?? you will get alot of good info you seek if you are persistent in your questioning....have good day.
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: locating water help

    They have pipe knockers that are good for pvc but I have never tried it on wooden mains. I have used an RSP-3 by Metrotech with good results but I have never tried it below 5' but you will need a leak detector to help find it. I refuse to use the ones that send pulses of pressure through a system. Without tracer wire on none metallic pipes you are boned without GPR and they have serious limitations.

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    Default Re: locating water help

    not to worried about the wooden mains, they are rare, and located by measurements off permanant land marks

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    Default Re: locating water help

    Hydrants are a great starting point. Keep in mind that the Tee is always on the outside of the valve. (Never at the valve itself) Water meters (Always have a shutoff on the road side which is best to clip. I would generally try to start with those two as your primary access points because they are easiest to get the best grounds on. Dropping your clip inside a valve, or clipping a home spicket are feasible, but often not nearly as reliable connections because of bleed-off. You would be surprised at how many people ground stuff to water lines at a home heh....But keep in mind, water is an extremely systematic utility to locate (in my opinion one of the easiest - if its locatable at all) Valve layout spells out mains extremely easily and most all installed in my area is ductile or PVC. It is really a hit or miss utility as far as locatability and the area you are in...keep your eyes open for tracer wires inside of water meter boxes, and water main valves. After a while, you will get a very good feel for each city, and or specific geographic locations as far as what the material type is geographically.

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    Default Re: locating water help

    Also I would advocate for using the 810 for locating water. It is designed to locate pipe systems, and in my personal experience, I have had the best of luck with higher frequencies due to gaskets/joints and overall water lines just have so many transitional materials in them. I would also say that if you are using an 810 that is properly calibrated, locate the mains slowly and dot them out, you should have a strait line, and the tee's should be easy for hydrants due to foot valves, but make sure to sweep for the domestic services (but even more i would advocate for hooking up to each service just incase) but its pretty easy to tell if your bleeding off on something else because domestic svc should take you right to the water meter in the box (assuming you dont have to go beyond the meter, you should be golden) Take your time with stand pipes, PIV valves, and other fire-water system segments until you know how they run.
    Last edited by jdixon485; August 12th, 2012 at 09:05 PM. Reason: more information

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    Default Re: locating water help

    I was a supervisor for a county government in charge of locating water/wastewater/reclaimed lines. We had over 5000 miles of non-traceable lines in the ground. Everything from sch-20 pvc, c-900, a/c (asbestos/cement), cast iron, ductile iron and the old wooden lines. EVERYTHING was without tracer wire until the new ordnance went into the tech manual in 2001 and they were required to put it in.

    We had a RD 500 but we kept blowing the old lines so we quit using it but we did find the line due to the leak. We ended up buying 15 MALA GPR's. Once everyone was comfortable with them we could locate about 90% of our lines.

    With ductile and cast iron you can direct connect or drop box. The problem with ductile and cast you have to use a high freq to overcome the lead joints in cast and gasket joints in ductile.

    We had all our as-builts on the computer and had to know the name of the project to find them. It was a nightmare and then the as-builts were never correct. Needless to say many damages we ended up eating.

    This is just my take.

  11. #11
    Mke
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    Default Re: locating water help

    EeeGats UULC. Scare him a bit why don't you. At least its more realistic description of what he will be faced with.

    No matter what, there is always bits of water lines that can't be located for one reason or another. I find that some mechanical joints are difficult to get a signal past. God forbid someone use a Fernco style fitting on a water line. You signail will never jump that gap.

    Dixon was on the right track about knowing how the valving lines up with mains. Hydrant valves are easier to line out, but other shutoff vavles and the styles can really throw you off. For example; if you are locating a main and your signal by passes a valve by 12" don't automatically assume there is a "T" or branch off, if the Main is big enough or if it has a butterfly style shut off, it may be an "Inline" valve but saddled to the side of the main. Trust your equipment and your eyes.

    As for equipment.... I again love the 810 for this.

    Mke

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    Default Re: locating water help

    Mke,
    I thought about lining up valves. But plug & butterfly valves have their stem on the side. Hydrant valves are usually right off the main if it was tapped or on a tee. you would have to see a as-built to know. Then i have seen hydrants 40 feet fromwhere thee valve was tied in.

    Water/wastewater/reclaimed to me is one of the hardest to locate if it was not built with tracer wire when installed. I wish you the best of luck.

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    Default Re: locating water help

    When dealing with many plumbers and utility contractors, anything goes. I have seen ignorant plumbers repair a water line with three different materials just to keep from doing it right. Some municipalities do not even have guidelines for installs nor do they take the time to check behind the contractors. At least with private locating I can usually remove the water meter and put a traceable rodder in it. There is no chance to do this on the city side.

    I see the 810 thrown around for these types of locates...is the pipe horn not best suited to do this locate? I hear Metrotech came out with a version of the Pipehorn, anyone try it?

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    Mke
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    Default Re: locating water help

    Gettinit, I'd go cautiously with the rodder in the water line, that will contaminate the line and you will have to chlorinate the line before putting it back in use.... Big pain in the arse.

    As for the Metrotech... not sure which one you are refering to as a "version of a pipehorn" The only thing I can think of is the new 810, looks different then the old 810.

    Mke

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    Default Re: locating water help

    Agree with Mke. You don't want to start dealing with water contamination issue. Haven't tried any of the newer pipehorns and now aware of one that Metrotech-Vivax makes currently, but the old 810 is great for induction, doesn't use a too high or low of a frequency for general use in my opinion which makes it a very strong contender. IMHO you are going to want something good with induction, and that you are comfortable with.

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