close call

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenmonster304, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Tom Tom

    Tom Tom LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,281

    Re-did a really small backyard (1 zone 8 mp's) few weeks ago with a similar situation. I had to re-trench about 50' of new lines so I had the area located.

    I wasn't happy to see "FIBER" spray painted in 2' tall lettering on the dirt in the middle of the yard. Luckly, I didn't have to trench near it.
  2. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Here the locates consist of them sending you a couple of maps of where the services are supposed to be. They also send a disclaimer that you have to hand dig to verify all lines because 'things could have changed", over the years.

    The only time that a gas company locator actually showed up was when they sent me a map that showed the meter to the house being on the front instead of on the side where it actually was.

    The gas company was arguing with me about the meter location until I told them that with the drawing they sent me I should be able to dig on the side without problems. I also told them to schedule a repair crew to come out to repair the pipe that wasn't there.

  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    Gas is the easiest to find yourself as they bury a tracking wire with it.
  4. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    not always, a few weeks ago i was doing a job and i was trying to locate the gas that went from the meter to the pool heater. The installed used the metallic tape and i could only tone it for about 12 feet
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    Posted this before, but it's been a while. I was once working on a job with the landscapers also doing some work. One of their workers was hammering in one of the pins that holds down the metal edging. Well, the pin is about 10" long or so, and he hits the electric feeding into the house as he hammers the pin into the ground. Apparently the grade had been brought down by previous landscapers, and maybe even the builder. The worker went to the hospital, and was mildly injured.
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    the reason you could only locate for a few feet is that you were tracing a direct earth fault (the length of the pipe or bare wire or tape) it can be handled easily on most locates. tell you later, gotta run :)
  7. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Yup, That I do know, thanks. The point that I was making was that the gas company records were wrong. I was letting them know that their meter was on the wrong side of the house and that their locate map was shifted (in relation to the house) 90 degrees.

  8. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    in a working electrical system the wire nuts and splices and insulation, protect and isolate the wire from the earth. when these are compromised you allow the current to escape and seek its path to ground, this is called an earth ground fault.

    electricity always seeks its ground, always.
    electricity takes the path of least resistance.
    a wire is a wire.

    when you have a wire, conductive trace tape, pipe, metal or copper which are bare and buried directly in the earth, you have a linear earth ground fault.the reason that you can only trace the path for a short way is that the current, signal, tone, whatever you call it is unprotected for it's entire length and creates an easy path to ground. the signal doubles back on you and travels to the ground stake.

    it's up to you to eliminate the easy path and make it easier for the signal to push to the other end of the wire, pipe or tape, otherwise the signal will double back on you in it's search for ground.

    mitchgo had a problem with a galvanized pipe a while ago, he was losing the signal after about 60' then the signal "disappeared" on him, it was actually doubling back down the path of the pipe and going to the ground stake.

    use an extension cord, either cut the ends off or you can build a couple of adapters like i have. take the ground for the 521/pro-700 as far as you can away from the wire path at a 90 degree angle and plant a good solid ground stake, if you have access to the far end of the wire, pipe, whatever then earth ground it.

    the path to ground has been made much harder than the path to the end of the wire, you are now pushing the signal like you would a bunch of cows down an alleyway and not trying to move them in a field where they can go where they please.

    the reason that i use an extension cord is that i have i always have one in the truck so i don't have to carry extra wire just for a jumper.

    on spell check i only missed 1 word :clapping:


  9. Waterlogged

    Waterlogged LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 587

    That explains alot of the things I have experienced. Thanks :drinkup:
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    the knowledge that is shared on this forum is a huge part of what makes this forum. i learn something everyday from you guys. :drinkup::drinkup:

Share This Page