Using a fault finder

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ArTurf, May 15, 2014.

  1. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,436

    I don't use mine a lot (Dynatel 573a) but need to locate a fault on a 300'+ run. I know you follow the needle according to the initial kick but the needle is so eratic it is hard to get a direction. Any suggestions or tips?
     
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,313

    What do you mean by erratic?
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  3. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,436

    Needle bounces all over the place, even prior to putting probes in the ground
     
  4. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,100

    I've seen that happen with the probes in the ground but not ever with them out of the ground.
    Usually what I do in that case is pinpoint the fault as best as possible with the wire locator, then check the spot with the fault finder receiver set pretty low. Pretty annoying to have the needle kick back and forth but if you watch closely you'll be able to see the "red" and "black" kick.
     
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,298

    That is my guess also. Setting is too high.
     
  6. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,436

    I've got it set at the lowest setting. The needle starts moving when the probes get close to the ground, up higher and it settles down.

    The ground is pretty saturated here, been raining 3 days straight. Maybe I should let it dry out and come back??

    Are digital meters easier to read?
     
  7. cheese189

    cheese189 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    My experience with A-Frames is that the needles move quite easily just from the movement of physically moving them. When I use it, I ignore everything until the frame is in the ground securely and has had a chance (3-5 seconds) to settle down. Then I start paying attention to the kicks. Of course it is the initial kick I watch, not the recoil as it resets itself. Having said that, I have not used the 3M model, just the Progressive and the Armada. Hope that helps. Disclaimer - Yes, I am a manufacturer but hopefully that doesn't disqualify my experience. Just trying to help. I do say that experienced contractors know more than manufacturers as they live it day after day. A lot of times, we regurgitate it, but not always.
     
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,436

    Thanks, I'll give this method a shot
     
  9. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 999

    I just got the armada A frame and used it today. it didn't really help pinpoint the open any better than the 800 did the other day. in the end, i ended up repeatedly halving the distance between 2 "good" sections of wire and ohming out the open side. i ended up replacing about 20' of wire (it wasn't deep at all, and kind of chewed up from an aerator). in close proximity to the open is primary and secondary electric, the transformer, and site lighting, which is energized to the pole, so there was a good deal of distortion.

    i need to set up a controlled training field for the a frame, so i can see what happens under various conditions. that said, does anyone with experience with this piece have any other tips?

    thanks for all your help, now i'm off to watch youtube videos of fault finding.
     
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,313

    You're wanting to see what a locator does during a locate or fault find. I use all types of wire and ground them.

    Something that works for me is to use extension cords and ground the splices and ends. The visual reference of the exposed wire helps you to see the signature of each fault in comparison to the "pre located" wire path.
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