Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) locating is the most common and fastest form of underground utility location. If involves the use of a transmitter to induce a frequency into a target and then by matching this frequency with a receiver, the target can be accurately traced in both linear location and depth.
EMF locating relies on the frequency being delivered to a conductive target, so you might think that it won’t be useful for polyethylene and other plastic or other nonconductive pipes but we can locate them also. To locate these pipes, we need access to one end and them we simply insert a fibreglass trace rod, that has conductive wires manufactured within it, into the pipe and employ the same methods as for metallic targets. If the pipe opening is not easily accessible, we are qualified to employ confined space access to complete the job.
We use the same techniques to find fibre optic cables with the addition of sondes, which are small stand-alone frequency transmitters that can be located by the receiver. Additionally, our locators are equipped with EMF marker locators. These markers are sometimes used by asset owners to designate the location of underground services.
If the service isn’t metallic, we can’t insert a trace rod, or if we can’t get access to the end of the pipe, don’t worry, we can utilise ground penetrating radar (GPR) to carry out the work.
We use the Precision Locate range of Radiodetection’s underground utility locators and in particular, the RD8000M that combines the ability to find buried markers with finding underground cables and pipes. We combine this with the powerful TX-10 transmitter, to achieve full performance.