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Thread: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

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    Cool I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Hey guys lemme start out by stating that I am NOT a professional utility locator. I am a service and repair plumber BUT I do have plenty of experience in locating sondes and line tracing gas lines and pvc lines via steel fish tape or vacumming fishing line down the line and then pulling primary wire thru and direct connect to that to get a signal on the line. and all with ridgid seek tech Sr 20 or ridgid Navi track scout and their st510 transmitter. All my line tracing experience is with direct connection. Now I also use that equipment for inside the home copper slab leaks. I direct connection to the lines then trace them out and then perform acoustic leak detection down the traced lines in order to locate the leak for a direct access spot repair. I also have done double ended connections also. I also do direct connection to "find" the point "B" of where the line comes out of the ground so I can then cut the wall open to access the manifold. Now my questions are about this.....

    I'm not familiar with manual gain....the ridgid stuff does not have manual gain.....

    And what's the rule of thumb for gain on peak mode and peak/null combined....for general use....

    What's the rule of thumb for gain settings while locating 512 sondes.....

    And another question that just happened to me today. I was on a slab leak and direct connected to a line to locate the other end..... I grounded outside the home 90 degrees to where I though the target line ran and extended the ground about 20' and had a good circuit with like 10 ohms.... was on 512 with two bars power output. Now my current measurement was HIGHER then what the transmitter was outputting.....what's up with that? The area I was locationing had several other copper water lines running in the same area....but the current measurement thru me for a loop kinda. I use the current measurement to verify that I'm on the target line and I'm not locating a line that has bled over.....

    Also how do you guys verify the locate with sondes.....I locate my peak and then find the nulls closest to the peak(the north south nulls) to verify....


    And I'm all ears for any tips from the pros.....also what would be the best ground if I'm locating water lines inside the home...? Where would you ground and I know all jobs are different....also another note.... when I get called out for a slab leak usually the soil is VERY MOIST if not saturated.....

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackdeant View Post
    Hey guys lemme start out by stating that I am NOT a professional utility locator. I am a service and repair plumber BUT I do have plenty of experience in locating sondes and line tracing gas lines and pvc lines via steel fish tape or vacumming fishing line down the line and then pulling primary wire thru and direct connect to that to get a signal on the line. and all with ridgid seek tech Sr 20 or ridgid Navi track scout and their st510 transmitter. All my line tracing experience is with direct connection. Now I also use that equipment for inside the home copper slab leaks. I direct connection to the lines then trace them out and then perform acoustic leak detection down the traced lines in order to locate the leak for a direct access spot repair. I also have done double ended connections also. I also do direct connection to "find" the point "B" of where the line comes out of the ground so I can then cut the wall open to access the manifold. Now my questions are about this.....

    I'm not familiar with manual gain....the ridgid stuff does not have manual gain.....

    And what's the rule of thumb for gain on peak mode and peak/null combined....for general use....

    What's the rule of thumb for gain settings while locating 512 sondes.....

    And another question that just happened to me today. I was on a slab leak and direct connected to a line to locate the other end..... I grounded outside the home 90 degrees to where I though the target line ran and extended the ground about 20' and had a good circuit with like 10 ohms.... was on 512 with two bars power output. Now my current measurement was HIGHER then what the transmitter was outputting.....what's up with that? The area I was locationing had several other copper water lines running in the same area....but the current measurement thru me for a loop kinda. I use the current measurement to verify that I'm on the target line and I'm not locating a line that has bled over.....

    Also how do you guys verify the locate with sondes.....I locate my peak and then find the nulls closest to the peak(the north south nulls) to verify....


    And I'm all ears for any tips from the pros.....also what would be the best ground if I'm locating water lines inside the home...? Where would you ground and I know all jobs are different....also another note.... when I get called out for a slab leak usually the soil is VERY MOIST if not saturated.....
    I am not directly familiar with that equipment, but here is something I have doen for plumbers replacing a plastic water service.

    It is usually attempted to pull out the broken serivce and pull a new copper service by attatching the new service to the old one. Usually works well but sometimes the old service wont pull out and a new trench must be dug. A common reason the old service won't pull out is because it was not installed 'straight', there is a bend or turn in it and this causes it to bind and not pull out.

    The old service is pulled out by snaking a steel cable from inside the building to a backhoe, used to make the pull, at the public utility service valve connection outside. You can find the bend in the service by connecting the locator transmitter to the steel pulling cable and any sideways / lateral bend can be found., The bend may be a change the the horizontal and can be found using the depth indicator on the locator receiver. Now just dig out around the 'bend" and when you pull the old cable it will now the constraining earth is removed straighten out and pull out freely.

    This will get your job done in the time you have scheduled for it and save your customer al lot of extra labor and landscaping money, making you the hero. Hero gets referrals.
    Jackdeant likes this.

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    The Seektech was a 10 watt why did you stop using the SR-20?

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    The Seektech was a 10 watt why did you stop using the SR-20?
    Yes the st510 was a ten watt transmitter. And reason why i stopped using that is cause I got a new job ....... and your the same Cuda from the ridgidforum and plumbingzone right? I think I've actually watched some of your videos on YouTube if you do a lot of trenchless work correct? And you're a plumber also correct?

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    yep same guy. Did you turn off the transmitter when you where getting that high reading and double check the line again?

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    yep same guy. Did you turn off the transmitter when you where getting that high reading and double check the line again?
    Yeah I did several times and same thing..... it was really strange. And hey what equipment do you use for line tracing and sondes? Are you familiar with the rd7000 and tx5? I'd like to know what the general rule of thumb is for the gain setting when direct connected on 512 or 8....... or is it one of those personal preferences deals? Also the gain setting for locating sondes on 512


    All the plumbers I ask have no clue what I'm talking about or don't really understand line tracing to begin with, they are used to using the ridgid equipment that is like dummy proof....all they know is find the poles and then the center of the sonde lol

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    My goto equipment is a seektech sr-24 and sr-60. I have a vivax vloc 2 and a few radiodetection pcm units (like rd4000 and rd400) And keep a pipe horn for the impossible ones. The whole peak null thing is usually only needed when something doesn't seem right most of the time I am just using peak mode. On using gain control read your manual of course because now most seem to have auto gain, but you usually bring the gain down to stabilize the signal in the middle so that you can see the high points found compared to med. and lows. Sondes the main thing is to make sure it's actually on the sonde mode because the sonde patterns are different than line trace patterns. And if you ever see a good deal on a Pipe horn unit pick it up they are super high freq range and on really hard to locate items they come in handy when nothing else will work.

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    My goto equipment is a seektech sr-24 and sr-60. I have a vivax vloc 2 and a few radiodetection pcm units (like rd4000 and rd400) And keep a pipe horn for the impossible ones. The whole peak null thing is usually only needed when something doesn't seem right most of the time I am just using peak mode. On using gain control read your manual of course because now most seem to have auto gain, but you usually bring the gain down to stabilize the signal in the middle so that you can see the high points found compared to med. and lows. Sondes the main thing is to make sure it's actually on the sonde mode because the sonde patterns are different than line trace patterns. And if you ever see a good deal on a Pipe horn unit pick it up they are super high freq range and on really hard to locate items they come in handy when nothing else will work.
    Ok gotcha thanks for the info man! And would you ever be willing to part with that vivax vloc 2 kit????

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    The new vivax 5000 model is out so vloc2's will start being cheaper than they already are on ebay.

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    I got another question for you guys, ok so if you have to locate a water line from the water meter to the street main line tie in, do you guys just hook up at the curbstop and trace it like that? Cause I've been having difficulty doing that because out erected in southern California. alot of those lines have been replaced with pex or plastic piping with no tracer wire.... so at that point I'm screwed unless we sub out GPR correct????

    Also another thing I've noticed alot lately is, on my rd7000 is that I'm not able to use the combined peak and null setting at the same time due to them not lining up or "agreeing" with each other very often. like if I try to locate a line they don't agree as in, the peak reading will be in one spot but the null indicator arrows won't be in the same spot, and sometimes both null arrows won't ever even come on......like one will but the other won't...... if that makes sense..? That is due to lots of distortion correct? If that is the case are there any tricks I can use to sort that out, try a better grounding location? I usually try to ground 90degrees from the target line and behind the direction that I'm going to locate.... sometimes it tough to do that cause the area is congested with multiple services. Any words of advice from the pros.....

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    1st question: Unless there is a joint that has a gasket that you need to jump and it is pex or hdpe you just can't trace it.
    2nd When you get in to congested areas with lots of utilities there can be distortion and you have to try and deal with it, change the freq up and down, try to complete the circuit better by moving your ground around, add more ground spikes and hook them together, add water if the soil is dry and maybe sandy. When you have tried everything with the equipment you have on hand you may have to go with the highest and best logical readings you have.
    Newbie likes this.

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    Default Re: I'm a plumber and just bought a rd7000dl+ and a tx5, few questions.

    Huge, huge pro tip on using the RD7000 and 8000 units. Do not ever use the 'null' function on the receiver, what-so-ever. The 'peak' is the only response that can be trusted.

    Why? The 'null' response only uses a single vertical antennae to detect the magnetic signal, where the 'peak' uses 2 horizontal antennas.

    The radio detection manual even tells you that the 'null' response is only to be used in an area that is confirmed to have no signal interference, and should not be used for locating. I swear, go read it.

    I had this same problem with a brand new rd7000. I direct connected to cable television, and used 33 khz as a frequency. So best possible connection, medium frequency should not bleed off much.

    The peak and null responses were 8 inches apart, at least.

    I repeat, only trust 'peak'.
    daman1, TheCableVine and Newbie like this.

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