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Thread: Traceable sewer lines.

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    Default Traceable sewer lines.

    I am not a professional line locater but serve as the vice-chairman and tech rep to of the local Municipal sewer authority. Our main plant was installed in 1988 without tracer wires or tracer tape.

    This summer we expanded our service area with two gravity lines and two directional bored force mains. The gravity lines were installed with “traceable tracer tape” and the force mains have tracer wires. We also amended our rules include home laterals be installed with tracer wire as-well. On the house laterals we started using THHN #12 solid wire until the local electrical supplier ran out of solid and had to switch to stranded.

    My questions
    1.Our local one-call rep told me that the tracer tape is unreliable to trace in a few months to years and is only good to warn someone digging they are near a sewer-line. What is your experience with tracer tape.

    2.Any comments on using stranded wire instead of solid?

    3.The tap is an 8 foot stub off of the gravity main without access to the tracer tape what is the best way to terminate the tracer wire there is no access without digging up the lateral at the tap. It is assessable at the house wall at the clean out.

    4.I recently bought a used Metrotech 480B locater off eBay it is like new even had the red protective cap on the ground spike! Our city water is brought in from the next town and they will only mark to the curb box so I did an informal locate for a contractor installing sewer lateral on the new system and it worked like a charm did a direct connect to the cap on the curb box.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Not much tape in ground where I work but the last one was cut because contractor didn’t understand it was used for locating so now it don’t tone

    Stranded wire chance for more corrosion = crappy tone years done the road

    The sewers here they do nothing but measure them here from as built new ones they add wires bring up a wire by water box or in another water box

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    That's the way it is done around here. Depth, line of site and measurements.

    I have come across the tape in my time. Like Animal said, it gets cut easy (digging, backfilling etc.) When it has worked for me it hasn't worked very well. It's not shielded like wire (of any kind). I have found that to be but one of the inherant problems with tape.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    1) Traceable caution tape locates great.....as long as you don't use it near other utilities, burry it underground, or if it has been exposed to weather or UV light.....hmmm

    Maybe that makes it not so locateable... oh well.

    2)Our spec on our newly installed utilities is a 10 guage stranded wire, and the theory is that if you use a solid wire, if there is any breaks or faults that your signal would weaken or be non-existant.

    The most important thing for tracer wire is to be a large enough guage that it will not break when back-filling a trench. They have tried to use an 18 guage tracer wire, and it does no better then the warning tape.

    3) As for access for the tracer wire, make sure when installed that you are able to have access without harnessing up and going into man holes. 2' coils pinned to 10" below manhole access. For Stubs....good luck trying to get engineering to put in a clean out lid just for a tracer wire. If that stub is in the asphalt within the first year they will fog seal over the C/O lid and it will slowly become impossible to open. Or they will use the lids that are screwed down...those are great as well. If you are looking for stubs...maybe a target locator maybe the best for you. Place the targets upon installation and you will be able to take a specific locator out to the site and dial in the exact location of the target.

    4)As for the 480B... we have a similar locator and if it is truely similar its great, but for daily locating it may get a bit cumbersome. The Metrotech 810 is real versitle and one of the mainstays in the locating industry, eventhough the design hasn't changed in .....eons.

    good luck

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Mke, I like your number 3 idea. I haven't had a chance to locate anything with the 'marker' balls yet. Has anyone else? If so did they work like they are supposed to?

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    Mke, I like your number 3 idea. I haven't had a chance to locate anything with the 'marker' balls yet. Has anyone else? If so did they work like they are supposed to?
    I've used the 33k location markers....they do work well; up to 6 feet deep.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    heavy low guage wire 10 or 12 best!!! this will take the longest to corrode or decay! Being that sewer is usually put so deep though.....your ideas become far and few inbetween....because you need a locater that will easily pick up deep depths??/ that could be a problem??
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    i have seen contractors throw marker balls tiolet seats or whatever you want to call them

    all the stranded wire ive seen in the ground sucks for locating solid core 12 -10 guage would be the way i would go but thats me this is what i have seen in my 17+ years

    i did not coment on your locating device because everyone has there own preferance i use a rycom & veryfier they work for me maybe not for you if you like what you baught use it if you don't companies will let you try equipment before you buy it

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Thanks for the replys!
    We are lucky in that most of the tap stubs terminate in the customer's yards so it is just grass no blacktop. The problem we have run into with “observation” pipes at the tap is they do not stand up to lawn mowers then you have an infiltration problem. So our current policy is to not install them unless the customer wants to bury them. The clean out pipe is a sweep “T” with a section of pipe sticking out of the ground with a cap next to the foundation wall and we just have them wrap the tracer around the clean out pipe for easy access. Most of our laterals are around 4 to 5 foot deep.

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    sewer lines? What are those
    "The truth is rarely pure and never simple"-Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by scap View Post
    sewer lines? What are those
    Ya'll don't use those in the Bayou Scap...ya just wait for high tide...
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." — Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Default Re: Traceable sewer lines.

    Tape does'nt last the best way is to have a SOLID coated wire with easy access points that are staggerd apart but not too far apart and at each cleanout for the services coil the wire around the stack and bring it up for access points as well.

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