There is always specialized equipment that is meant to simplify a complicated process that takes time and effort on the part of workers and technicians. It primarily falls down to non-destructive or non-intrusive methods of revealing a problem while causing the smallest possible amount of damage, and this is where the cable locator comes in. A cable locator does exactly what it’s name suggests, it locates cables that are underground but what’s nuanced is exactly how it does this. But before that I should list the components so you can get an idea of how everything clicks together.
Underground cable locators usually come with three primary components, the receiver, transmitter and power source. The transmitter is usually a seperate part of the kit, but it’s an essential one since it’s what sends the signal through the cable that the receiver receives. The receiver then converts the received frequencies to data which an operator can read to determine the exact location and trajectory of the cable. And this is done through one of two methods both of which require the receiver to be approximately above the cable. The two methods are passive and active location, active is when you have access to the cable you want to locate and can hook up the transmitter to send a specific frequency so that the receiver can locate it.
Passive location on the other hand should only be done where there is no possible way to connect to the underground cable. Underground cable locators aren’t as accurate when using passive location due to the lack of a direct connection to the cable it’s supposed to locate. Passive location is done by inducing an electro-magnetic frequency from the transmitter into the ground which is then reverted by the cables or pipes back to the surface and into the reciever. There are underground cable locators that have more frequencies for active location and two frequencies for passive location (power and radio) which can be used for identifying different cables underground.
This equipment is used by electrical technicians and construction workers for the location of cables be it for repairs or for the planning phase of a new construct. The ability to identify what’s underground without having to dig is the main reason why cable locators have become a semi-mandatory item for most construction companies, electrical technicians and even plumbers since they have to know what’s underground before they start digging.