Ground fault locator

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcr4au, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. jcr4au

    jcr4au LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Just wanted to pass along my recommendation for owning one. I got one about a month ago and practiced a little at home with a wire above ground so I see what the receiver was "seeing." Finally got to use it on a job today and it put me right on the compromise in the wire. I only had to dig one hole as opposed to estimating in the past. For those that have never used one it literally pinpoints where the fault is. Saved me a good hour on the job. For me the time saving is secondary to the mental frustration that comes with locating. I showed up at a second call today and was excited to locate the fault and had the same result.

    If you don't have one and do enough repair/locating work this is a must. It is an investment up front but it is an investment. My new favorite toy. Thought I needed to pass this along for anyone out there like I am.
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    SWEET! Bet it pays for it'self in a short while.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. garciajj612

    garciajj612 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    How can I I find this? Who makes it?
  4. jcr4au

    jcr4au LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Armada and Greenlee are the two I know of.
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    I have located quite a few faults on wells. Since the electricians normally use DB wire for power, the wire is prone to varmints chewing on the insulation and other problems.

    Letting your suppliers, as well as the electricial suppliers, know that you find faults may open a few doors.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,323

    Found these recently with the GFL 3000
    I couldn't do without one with the 100+ zone systems I work on.



  7. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Seems those ground fault locators can be a life saver and a means of making good connections with other irrigation and small eletrical companies.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I have one and I think it takes a bit of practice to trust it. I think we really on our 521 a little too much, but my tech seems to have the touch of finding broke wires with a 521. On our last job in the fall he found 3 broken wires with a 521, but he has been using that locator almost exclusively for 10 years.
  9. the irrigator

    the irrigator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    We use a Radiodetection RD7000 with an A frame. It's a great for locating and finding ground faults although not made specifically for the irrigation industry like the 521 and others. Sometimes it's tricky using it to find valves. The signal seems to "bleed" over onto other wires and you can easily pass the valve. Tried using different output levels and it seems to help using lower output. What is the best frequency for locating solenoid valves? My unit uses either 512 hz, 8k, 33k or 65k.
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    512hz can be used to locate the 60hz buzz of power lines using the receiver only. 512hz is a telephone rack signal. That is a signal transmitted from the CO.

    8k will work if you use null rather than peak mode. The vertical orientation of the solenoid is the easiest explaination i can give you.

    33 and 65 bleed too easy and don't travel well on small conductors. They also tend to cancel through xtalk.
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