Learning Hub

Learn why most tracer wires are installed wrong     
and how our Grounding Devices can help. 

Tracer Wire Technologies has developed a product to enhance the accuracy of locating tracer wires.

At Tracer Wire Technologies LLC, we have recognized a serious deficiency with regard to tracer wire construction.  With 52 years of combined locating experience, we decided to conquer the problem.  That’s when Tracer Wire Technologies, LLC was born.  

If you have any formal line locating training, you most likely know how important the concepts of frequency and grounding are when locating any underground utility line.  Low frequency provides the most accurate results because it tends to stay on the line you are trying to locate.  Low frequency requires a direct connection and cannot be use inductively.  Line locating equipment requires a complete circuit in order to energize a locate target.  This can only be accomplished through proper grounding.  If you ever located tracer wires, you know the ends are rarely grounded.  Usually, the ends of the wires are sticking out of the ground or laying in the weeds.  This is incorrect for 2 reasons.  

1) In order to properly locate a tracer wire, both ends need to be grounded for best accuracy? Chances are likely that the other end of the wire you are trying to locate is ungrounded.  Most locating technicians are forced to increase the frequency in order to perform the locate. This is a poor practice and will most likely bleed-over onto unintended lines, causing the electromagnetic field to distort on the line they are attempting to locate. Ultimately, this can lead to inaccurate locates and devastating consequences.
2) If a locating technician is performing a passive sweep of an area to detect any possible lines
 and the tracer wires are not grounded on both ends, their instrument will probably not pick up a signal.  This could lead to a very dangerous and costly outcome.   

Although 100% grounded lines is the correct orientation for normal operating, this is not the best approach while performing a locate.  Instead, the ideal solution can be achieved through Selective Grounding.  This allows the locating technician to turn on or off the grounding for individual legs, thus allowing them to design the locate path.  Our specialized grounding switches not only provide continuous grounding for tracer ends, but also allows the technician to interrupt the grounding in order to select a specific locate path.  We also include convenient, corrosion resistant, termination lugs for easy transmitter connections to each leg of the tracer wire system. 

Simply put, our grounding devices allow the user to:
 – Use low frequency knowing the other end of the line is grounded
 – Interrupt the grounding configuration to segment the locating path (Selective Grounding)
 – Easily connect the transmitter to the tracer wire

Tracer Wire Technologies    Safe   -   Effective   -   intuitive