PVC pipe locator

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otu
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PVC pipe locator

Post by otu »

I am trying to find the sewer line going out to from my house to the street. I asked the technician from the electric company who located the electrical power cable coming to my house for me. He said since my house was relatively new, the sewer line could be PVC pipe and he don't know any ways to find it. He used a cable locator for the power cable. Is there a locator for PVC pipes?
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uulow98
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by uulow98 »

Common cable or pipe detectors/locators use electromagnetic (EM) signals to energize the pipe and use EM receivers to pick up the signals. So the pipes have to be made of metals such as steel, copper and cast iron, etc. But if you can put an acoustic signal on the PVC pipe, you can use a leak detection device to locate the buried PVC pipe. The theory is similar, only in this method the sound waves instead of the EM waves are used. Radiodetection RD500 is a good example utilizing this theory.
otu
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by otu »

Thanks! Who can provide such kind of services?
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geophix
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by geophix »

Have you tried your local plumbers or utility locating companies? If they can’t help, then you probably need to find a geophysical consulting company to help you if you don't want just to dig to find them. You can try this map to find them:

http://detectation.com/service/service.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you can’t find a company close to you, try to google “ground penetrating radar services” in your area.

A typical practice for utility locators for locating a PVC pipe is to insert a steel snake into the pipe and use the conventional cable/pipe locator to find it. Sometimes it doesn't work because there are no access points or there are too many elbows along the pipe. Another option is to use the acoustic systems as mentioned by uulow98, although RD500 is typically used for water pipes instead of sewer pipes. Ground penetrating radar can also be used to locate PVC pipes if the soil is not clay.
leakdaddy
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by leakdaddy »

Hey.

Have your plumber contact ProtoTek (http://www.prototek.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) for a flushable transmitter. 512 Hz, which he can trace with a typical sewer camera locator. Or, if your plumber has a camera system, it should have a built in transmitter which is easily traceable. (The GPR guys usually get $1000 per day for commercial locates, which is a little on the high side for residential. Of course, the plumber used to be a brain surgeon, but he didn't make any money at it, so he went into plumbing.)

Next house, (as all new houses must have) make sure there is a clean-out on your sewer lateral (pipe) before you close. The clean-out gives access from your outside property.

Good luck.

PS. Depending on the age of your house, your sewer pipe/lateral may be clay. Yes, VCP, which means you're going to have much bigger issues when the EPA cracks down on your local utility for chronic infiltration and water quality issues, whose source can be on private property (yours). Large cities are going through the "who's problem is it" syndrome right now, and will pass the cost on to you. I.E. Atlanta, Kansas City, Los Angeles.

Bye.
otu
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by otu »

My house is about 30 years old, and I know it's a PVC pipe. I don't see any clean outs. I didn't realize that it's really going to take some efforts to do this. I am going to make some calls. Thanks, guys!
ul890hrhr
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by ul890hrhr »

Yeah, you can run either a fish tape or a sonde into the pipe and trace it with a cable locator, a wire locator or other pipe locating equipments. It can be applied to other non-metallic pipes such as abs, clay and concrete pipes. Has anyone used the INNSPECTOR? I am not sure how it works.
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by nsm »

I really doubt the claims of Innspector 07, the wave frequency of the microwave is higher than those of the GPR. How can it work better than GPR on clay soils?
janjenny83
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by janjenny83 »

Yes the sound wave is perfect way to locate the PVC pipes. You should contact a local plumbing service company. They must have a machine that uses sound waves to detect pipes. Definitely they are more capable of doing this kind of job for you.
Last edited by janjenny83 on Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Simon
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by Simon »

If you got sandy soil, I can ALMOST guarantee I can find the PVC pipe with the ground penetrating radar. 8-)
ul890hrhr
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by ul890hrhr »

I recently used a flushable sonde. Although I bought this sonde almost two years ago, it's still usable. I have to say it's a great tool for those pvc pipes causing us headaches.
GaryM
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by GaryM »

Hi There,
There are a two methods that come to mind:
1. You can use a 3M Sonde (a small electric transmitter) which can be pushed into the pipe and then located above ground with a 3M Dynatel locator.
2. You can push a metal fish tape into the pipe and connect a transmitter to the tape and use a locator to find the signal.

Once the path is found you will be able to mark the path with 3M Markers or our marking tape which will be available in early 2012.

I am an Applications Engineer with 3M and would be happy to discuss our products and solutions with you. Please call me at 1-800-426-8688 and press option 3. You can then ask to speak to or leave a message with me - Gary Morris.
hugh
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by hugh »

Here's another method:

Hire a plumber to snake your waste line with a sewer cleaning machine (for residential). He will have to remove a commode in the house if there is no clean-out. This thing makes quite a vibration and you can hear, more or less where the line is, even once it has left your house. I would then install a clean-out where it exits the structure. Then he can retract the snake and start over at the clean-out, giving you the full length of the snake on the exterior. It can be hard to pinpoint the sound underground, but you will get a general idea.

A caveat: if you have orangeburg or terra cotta line connecting to the municipal main and it is in fragile condition, you risk damaging it with this method! I have orangeburg and snaked about thirty feet without a problem. But there is a risk!
locaoe
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by locaoe »

Listening to the sound from sewer cleaning machine -- good way to narrow down your searching area. I am sure how loud the sound could be, but maybe we can use other small devices which can make really loud noises.
jeffchen235
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Re: PVC pipe locator

Post by jeffchen235 »

Here're 7 ways to locate underground sewer lines, https://findchinatools.com/blogs/articl ... ewer-pipes
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