Why Is Passive Locating Equipment So Important?

As time goes by and the demand for new housing and buildings rises, you’d be forgiven for only noticing the changes going on above ground. But as building after building pops up before your eyes, you might want to consider what’s going on underneath the surface – especially if you’re a builder yourself.

Locating piping underground has become much more difficult due to the sheer volume of piping and cables that now exist. With the current and growing congestion, it’s become more important than ever to be able to precisely locate the utility lines – water, gas, sewage, telecommunications, and fibre – to be able to carry out your work safely and without damaging any of the other complex networks.

How do locators actually work?

For this reason, many contractors are utilising locating equipment to ascertain exactly where each of the utility lines lie beneath the surface. Locating equipment operates by locating the electromagnetic fields that are created when an AC current is carried by an underground service – they are tuned to pick up unique frequencies. Passive locating is used for cable avoidance and active locating is used for cable tracing and identification.

There are two types of passive location, passive power and passive radio. Passive power works by picking up the 50Hz frequency generated by power cables when a current is being drawn through them, passive radio works because metal services buried under the ground become low frequency(LF) radio antennas and retransmit LF radios which the locator can pick up.

Which locating device is best for your job?

There are a lot of options on the market, so it really does come down to what will best suit the type of work you do. Some innovative new tools have been introduced in recent locators that work to assure damage prevention whilst also analysing the data it’s collecting. Along with classic locate screens, devices such as the vLoc3 series offer new locate perspective screens of Vector Locate which allows for fully automatic non-walk over locating.

At Vivax Metrotech, we stock a wide range of locating devices so we’re confident that you’ll find one that suits you.

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