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    Installation of pipes in the underground is undoubtedly a harlequin job. But the most involving and daunting part is, locating them after they are buried in the ground. Baring in mind that due to some extreme weather changes like adverse rainfall which can lead to massive erosion and consequently distorting the land terrain. These untoward changes can lead to difficulty in locating the burial lines of the pipes. It is due to this problem that led to the development of the tracer wire.

    Pipes when buried, they are out of sight and therefore they can suffer some serious damages which can lead to massive loss. Tracer wire is not just a wire; it must be a quality wire. It should by your making to choose quality products from highly trusted and accredited cable shops out of which Nassau electrical is one amongst the few.

    Remember oil pipes when leaked can cause massive soil and air pollution. Water pipe when leaked and sabotaged may lead to highly aggravating loss. These pandemics like soil pollution can be very consequential and there is a growing urge to curb or prevent such. The quicker the response towards any sabotaged pipe the better and the tracer wire makes the searching of a buried pipe earlier. You can be wondering how tracer wire works to help fix the technical hitches with the pipes, well that is why this post is here. It is for you to understand the importance, technical design, features and use of the tracer wire.

    What is Tracer Wire?
    Tracer wire just as the name suggests, is to help in tracing installations. This wire is sometimes referred to as locating or locator wire. Basically, this wire assists you in your farm or constructions to allocate pipes or other lines which are buried in the ground. This allocation may be as a result of need for maintenance or some mechanical breakages has been detected which need to be fixed.

    Who wishes not to work with reliable wires, wires which can withstand all odds and still service your well? It is all in our wishes to get quality services. The construction of a wire defines the type of service it will render to the user. Highly considered quality cables must have an exceptional design with well put through materials.

    Remember our wire is used for allocating the underground laid pipes. It therefore means that the cable has to have a well sturdy design to help it cope up with mechanical abrasion, tear and shear forces that may be involved. That is why the tracer wire From Nassau electrical is designed with a superb insulation system.

    The conductor used is copper. Copper has its high position in the ranks of electrical conductivity. The use of copper facilitates the fast relay of electrical signals which help to detect the problems in the underground piping. Though copper is highly prone to corrosive reactions, the high grade polyethylene insulation helps to protect it against these reactions. This conductor can either be solid or stranded according to the ASTM B-1,B-3 or B-8.

    Being an underground wire, the insulation system should not be underrated. The tracer wire is therefore equipped with a sturdy insulation system. The yellow, high molecular weight polyethylene material forms its insulation. This insulation is designed as per ASTM D-1248 provisions.

    How it is installed?
    You are probably grappling with how to install this wire and here is the information to help you. It is a cable’s revile to use it wrongly, install inappropriately or just abuse the cable. Take precautions, when cables are not well installed they will have a short life span and definitely deliver low quality service.

    The pipe is always laid down in the ground and then the tracer wire besides it, along and next to the pipe. When the cable will be searched in case of maintenance or when it is suspected that the pipe leaks, it is actually the tracer wire that is searched. Tracer wirer essentially assists in locating a buried pipe or line. Together with Tracer Wire is a device above the ground which has the ability to locate non-energized wire. When this device is used, there is no need to send electric signals through tracer wire in order to be located.

    During the search, once the tracer wire is found, the crews begin a more advanced and accurate dig for the pipe in search for repair, maintenance or replacement. This accurate excavation minimizes site destruction. Guess excavation is tiresome and leaves a bizarre outlook of land and here is where the tracer wire comes in handy and relevant.

    Installation tips for Tracer Wire
    As we have seen, the tracer wire serves no other purpose but to trace pipe locations in the burial installation methods. It provides the bearing to locating a cable lying in the ground which needs to be repaired, maintained or replaced. Making correct installation of this cable is a must, without which it does not serve its purpose. Generally, good and quality cables from certified shops like Nassau which have local codes and regulations which you can read before you initiate a project. Try and check on this codes and regulations before you start, besides, wear the appropriate safety gears.

    Here are some of important considerations you must make while conducting the installation process.

    1.Connections of Tracer Wires
    Tracer wire is designed and made with quite a variety of connections which you will see during your installation. Importantly, the connections must come with a wire nut called ‘direct-bury’ nut. Any connection without this nut is proof that the cable is substandard.

    So when you have your connections, remove apportion of the insulation from each end of the wire (around 5/8 of an inch) then slip the two ends tightly into the nut. You then twist the nut in a clockwise orientation as you push the wires in so as to establish a firm grip. The connection should not be so tight, and then tie the wires loosely to make a knot.

    2.Joining and Installation
    Some connections also exist, which are made at the surfaces to make crosses, tees and many other configurations. However, these types can function well when you open the lug then strip the main wire so that it fits the lug width. You then put the lug into the main wire. Branch wire is then stripped so that it has the width of the lug then it is fitted into the lug. The arrangement is finally secured with screws and the sealant cover taken off. You can finally put down the lid of the lug and then latch it to closure.

    Installation efficiency has everything to do with the wire operation. For the tracer wire, install it in a continuous flow while putting it on top of the main pipe. While keeping it in position, tape down the wire after every five feet. There are three essential devices: cc box, blue plastic marker and a vault. Wherever these devices are placed, you should bring the wires up to the surface. Use the tracer wire connectors and dead-end hydrants whenever you bring the tracer wire into these devices. Whether are no markers, remember that tracer wires must be brought to the surface after every thousand feet of length. For cases where you find the electrical cable coating is damaged, you can use the electrical tape to cover it, no wire should be left exposed.

    Here is a comprehensive instruction you must take in as you do the surfacing. Your safety is a vital concern so when you bring the tracer wire to the surface vaults, do not wrap it in away or any areas where they can cause tripping or falling those who are walking. Use the direct-bury wire nut to connect wires and pull the branched tracer wire to the outside of the vault. Then you slip it through a hole on an opposite side against the steps and coil it up such that it extends above the ground for an estimate length of one foot

    Another device we talked about which works hand in hand with tracer wire to help locate underground pipes is the blue plastic marker. To bring a tracer wire to this device, you have to bury a U-shaped channel which is four-feet into a two feet underground ditch. Then lead the wire up the marker, this must be done before it is run over the post. When putting the markers, consider putting then six inches deep underground while attaching the wire to the connecting screws. The connecting screws are made of brass. Brass is not prone to corrosive reactions and is also very strong.

    Though we talk about this tracer wire as basically being used to trace underground buried pipes, it is however not limited to that. This underrated wire is actually a multi-use or general purpose wire and that is why it finds applications in residential, commercial and industrial set-ups. The common uses for the wire would comprise: internal appliance wiring, wiring of electric circuits, machine wiring.

    The common applications where this wire is duly used include: control panels for various systems, refrigeration equipment, air conditioning equipment plus other applications. So we find that besides being used for locating plastic pipes and fiber optical lines, this robust wire serves well in other applications. It comes with various advantages which I would like to also mention upfront.

    One of the major mistakes that technicians do is to mistakenly use THHN cable where Tracer Wire really fits well. Technically, for any underground installation of applications, durability, flexibility and strong insulation are key factors to consider. Use of cable with weak insulation and are susceptible to moisture damage may be a big letdown to you. This weak wire will incur varied maintenance or replacement costs which you can easily avoid by using the tracer wire. The wear and tear of a cable has everything to do with the lifespan of your project.

    • Temperature rating is -65°C to 75°C with 30 Volts or 600 Volts
    • Available with UL labeling and print
    • Direct burial
    • Custom print available upon request
    • Sunlight resistant
    • Other stranding available upon request
    • CCS Electrical Conductivity (IACS), nominal 21%, ASTM B910, Class 21A
    • Advantages of Tracer Wire
    • Tracer Wire made up of high molecular weight and high-density PVC compound which provides good insulation
    • The insulation is heat, moisture, chemicals, oils, abrasions and crushing resistant
    • It can withstand high temperature.
    • It has a wide scope of applications.
    • It is very flexible and durable.
    • It has high electrical conductivity since it is made of either solid or stranded copper conductor.

    In a nutshell, the underground tracer wire is hugely important. Where it is laid alongside with underground laid pipes and optical cable lines during installation, this wire has made relocation and excavation of these pipes easier. Time and capital is no longer wasted in haphazard excavations. In fact guess excavations at times cause damage to cables when they are ploughed unknowingly. So tracer wire leads to safe digging.

    This wire is imperatively used in the utility industries like water, gas, sewer, fiber optics plus many more. Besides, tracer wire can also be used directional drilling systems, irrigation systems and in the golf course sprinkler systems. When there gas leakages or cable fault occurs, it will be required that the pipe is dug so that the precise location of the leak is determined. The time consumed in the search may increases the aggravation of the sinister. Tracer wire makes the search faster and easier. Thanks to the wisdom and the technical applications that led to the manufacture of this important wire.

    Buying the Tracer Wire
    Nothing will paralyze your project as the use of substandard wire. I bet you don’t put your money on poor products. There are many cable shops in the world, whose main objective is to siphon money from customers even without delivering quality products. Nassau electrical is dedicated towards providing its clients with quality products and services. Besides, it offers informative resources about cables on its website. You can scroll down and view more.

    At Nassau, tracer wire is available alongside a wide range of other cables. Its availability spans from Performance Wire and Cable of sizes 14 to 8 6AWG. There also various standard and custom lengths of wire according to your need. Various arrays of colors specific to intended applications are also provided, so when you are on the cable shelves at Nassau, you definitely meet a huge variety. In case you have questions regarding any of our services, feel free to ask via the live chat, you will get a timely and valuable response.

    Gauge Stranding Insulation
    Thickness (Inch)
    Insulation Thickness (mm) Nominal O.D.
    Nominal O.D.
    Shipping Weight Lbs/1000ft
    14 SBC 1/.0641" 0.030 7.62 0.127 32.26 16
    14 SBC 1/.0641" 0.045 11.43 0.157 39.88 19
    12 SBC 1/.0808" 0.030 7.62 0.144 36.58 25
    12 SBC 1/.0808" 0.045 11.43 0.174 44.20 28
    10  SBC 1/.1019" 0.030 7.62 0.165 41.91 37
    10 SBC 1/.1019" 0.045 11.43 0.195 49.53 40

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