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Thread: climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

    just curious about guys who have located in immense heat, and then back up north, about how cables locate. Textbook theory displays that less heat, less resistance...but in more heat, like here in louisiana, there's more resistance. I was just curious how this affects locators who have done their duty in both reigons.
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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

    hmmmm....would there be enough ground temperature variation to cause a noticible resistance flux in cunductors?

    I would think, that at 2ft and lower, ground temp variation is only about 5 degrees (see caves), depending on season for any given area. I also don't see that there could be much avg. ground temperature change due to region within the continental US (48), under that same 2ft.

    Damn good question though...research time! Will post findings...
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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

    I think I gotta go along with RD on this one, I believe when you hear reference to changing a conductors conductivity they are typically referring to super-cooling of those conductors......I believe it is more like -300 to -700, not even Canada gets quite that cold. RD is also correct about being buried in the ground at least a couple of feet will significantly buffer any temperature changes.
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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

    Maybe soil type and soil moisture has more influence on 'ground path return' signal than soil temperature. Sandy soil vs clay soil - wet soil vs dry soil. As for me, I locate on clay based soil. As long as I get a good ground on my transmitter, it matters not if the ground is wet or dry, I always get a good signal on my target utility.

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    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: climate affecting resistance, and how it pertains to locating

    ifinditunderground: not even Canada gets quite that cold -300 to -700.

    Ifindit: Well, your'e correct of course. It does not get that cold. It is a VERY infrequent day in the winter anymore that gets below minus 30.

    There are some factors that come in to play in winter locating that affect signal. One is the ground is usually frozen solid, so getting the return signal can be tough at times. This is most especially true if the ground is relatively dry but with enough moisture content to allow it to freeze somewhat.

    I sometimes will pour some windshield washer antifreeze into a hole my ground spike has made (in Canada, the winter windshield antifreeze is good to -40F) SHHHHH don't tell the greenies...

    The last few years here have seen no/little moisture in late fall lots of wind. Then, get covering of snow. Which makes for tough conductivity when the soil has been drying out for say 3 months. Last year we did not see snow until very late December. (One year my brother in law and I played a round of golf on Christmas day because no snow had fallen yet).

    Anothr factor can be large snow "windrows" that are created by the sides of roads by snowplows. Finding somwhwere to ground out can be an exercise in frustration (I now have a 50 foot piece of 14/3 electrical wiring that I use to extend my ground). It can also be tough finding/getting in to some of the telephone peds/manholes that are buried under those snow "windrows".

    Just ask Golden, I know he can relate to buried pedestals...he has a picture posted on this site somewhere relating to that issue.

    In the summer, we can get up towards or over 100F on the prairies. Most days though are in the 70's.

    I have no problem locating in the summer.
    Depending on circumstances, I see no difference in the winter conductivity other than those caused by the environmental issues discussed above.
    Or, of course, to me just having a seniors moment and forgetting to turn on my transmitter

    Dave72 might have a different take on this issue as he gets tons more snow out east than we do in the west
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