The use of PVC material pipes especially HDPE is now widely accepted by assets owners. Most of the old steel pipes is now being replaced by HDPE pipes and this pipe do not have tracer wire attached therefore making locating difficult compared to steel pipe.

There are various methods to locate PVC pipes that does not have a tracer wire. Below are some of the widely used methods.


ElectroMagnetic Pipe Cable Locator with accessories

First step is to understand what type of utility you are locating, whether there is access i.e. manhole or not. Sewer tends to have manhole. If there is an access to the pipe, you will need Electromagnetic (EM) pipe cable locator with signal sonde and rodding. RD-Palmer’s full range of Radiodetection’s CAT4, RD5100, RD7100 or RD8100 series of pipe cable locator is able to meet all your needs.

Then choose a suitable signal sonde with pre-fixed frequency, normally 8KHz or 33KHz to be attached to the front-tip of the rodding. An operator holding the locator pre-set to the same frequency as the signal sonde will them follow the movement of the rodding pushed by another operator through the manhole. The operator will be able to trace the alignment and depth of the pipe.

Operator may find tracing the signal sonde tedious as the rodding movement must go in line with the movement of the operator to ensure traceability. A better option available is to use Radiodetection’s Flexitrace which have tracer wire embedded in the rod and comes in various length and diameter. The Flexitrace is powered by the Radiodetection’s range of transmitters such as Genny, TX1, TX5 or TX10.



Ground Penetrating Radar

For utility without any access i.e. manhole or open valve, RD-Palmer’s MALA GPR is the best option available in the market and is known to be user friendly. MALA Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Easy Locator HDR is designed for pipe cable locating and is accepted as the industry standard in the GPR market.

MALA’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the latest technology designed to better filter noise, give better clarity and depth penetration. For user who need further processing on the data collected, we recommend MALA Object Mapper 2 which is specifically designed for utility detection or mapping features.




RD500 Plastic pipe locator using acoustic

RD500 is a plastic pipe locator and it comes with a transonde which create vibration in the water pipes as it passes through it and across an internal spring system sending a minute sound wave back along the pipe. This sound wave is then detected using the RD500 receiver which give the indication of the alignment. However, this system is unable to give user any depth and works well at field with less noise environment.