Need to Trace Underground Wire

We currently have a Romex cable that was used to feed loudspeakers in a remote building. The cable is buried probably not more than a foot underground. We have access to both ends but have need to trace the path of the cable underground. We can if necessary connect one end to 120V and the other to a high resistance load like a space heater. What equipment will we need to trace the path of the cable? Is this easier (and less expensive) to do if the cable is energized? And if we choose not to purchase the equipment, where would we look for rentals or for someone to come out to perform the service? Help much appreciated! Thank you. Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
frank1492 wrote:

If the return current flows thru an adjacent wire, the external fields cancel.
There are companies that hunt for hidden stuff before roadwork is done. Call the city engineering department and see if they know or can refer you to one of the finder companies. Fone company probably has the stuff too.
You can get field detectors at Home Depot used to find wires in walls. I tried three different ones. A Fluke LVD1 had about twice the range of the others. Nearly a foot in air. Ground may make a big difference. I'm too lazy to dig a hole.
Metal detectors, especially older ones, work by putting a signal into a sense coil and looking for frequency changes caused by the metal.
If you put a signal of nearly the same frequency into the underground wire, you may be able to hear the beat frequency in the metal detector.
That's the simplest thing I can think to try using equipment you can likely borrow for free from your friends.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

clip the transmitter on one end and trace away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 12 Nov 2011 16:03:33 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Time Domain Reflectometer. Measure. Dig. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<stuff snipped>

Gack! I agree with Mr. Morgan. A line voltage detector won't work through a foot of dirt, AFAIK. Energizing a wire previously used as a low-voltage speaker wire with 110VAC is not the preferred method in any case. The wire could be compromised, hooked up to controls in an unknown area or even part of some previous, ill-conceived "shock a burglar" system. Best to use low voltage tools like the Fox/Hound set or something similar.
Even that advice comes with a caveat. We don't know what the OP wants to do with this wire. If it's to carry significant current, like a space heater, I'd be tempted to pull up what exists and re-lay cable of known good quality installed as per the NEC and/or the local rules governing outside wiring, and that usually means putting a GFCI in the loop somewhere, at least.
The OP has no idea if the wiring was being used for speakers because it's unsuitable to carry line voltage because of damage or some other problem. No way to tell if it's spliced every 20' with nothing but black tape or wire nuts or has long gashes in it from being pulled against some sharp edge.
I wouldn't, in any case, energize it with line voltage in the hopes of being detectable by some means other than a standard wire tracing kit with a tone generator and a matching receiver/tracer.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I know, I know but... Ask around for someone who dowses. If he'll do it for free you can then dig a test hole to confirm the findings.
I had never tried to find a buried wire before so just went out and tried the only one I have around here. It worked. I don't trust the rods without digging to confirm though. In this case I got a firm indication on a wire buried a couple feet with no active current (feed to shed with nothing turned on).
BUT I knew within a couple feet where the wire was. Same as all my other "finds", I either already know the location of something or there are clues that say the logical place for it to be...except one and I would sure like to dig in my neighbor's lawn to see if the pipe is there. :).
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

WTF? --
"I don't like to discriminate against terrorists based on nationality. If you declare war on the United States and you want to kill us, We're going to kill you first, period."
October 19, 2011 - Ali Soufan (Colbert Report)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/13/2011 11:21 AM, Steve B wrote:

If you could actually do it you could make $1 million http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html
Strangely no one has succeed.
The only dowsing I had anything to do had a true believer in his abilities dowse for a buried high voltage distribution line. He was nowhere near right. (And there was an obvious likely path that was the right path.)
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is very easy to criticize something if you haven't seen it done or can't do it. I will do a youtube today.
Fergeddabout it. It's so easy, I just went out in the yard and did one.

http://youtu.be/SoeXNIww7T0

http://youtu.be/SoeXNIww7T0

So, where do I collect my million dollars? You have said before that this could not be done, and that they were offering a million dollars. Well, I just proved that I can do it, and I believe that the offer is bogus, or I would have been paid by now. Thousands of people have proved they can do this, yet that bogus site hasn't payed anyone yet, renegging for one reason or the other. By the way, the earth is flat, and man didn't go to the moon, but to a remote valley near Tooele, Utah.
- Whether you think you can or can't, you're right. - Henry Ford
So, Bud, I know you don't believe in this. So, PUHLEEEEZE don't bore us with any more statements that it can't be done. Just because your small brain can't wrap around it doesn't mean it isn't so.
Another good youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7R8ul7vABM&feature=related

Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/14/2011 12:24 PM, Steve B wrote:

I didn't say it couldn't be done. I said it hadn't been done.
The offer is very real.
Many have tried, none have succeeded.
Apply and get your $1 million.

Millions of people believe in astrology...
The nature of the test is agreed to by both sides. There is no "reneging". The dowsers failed to pass a test they agreed was fair.
There have been a number of other tests, detailed in wikipedia dowsing. They have failed.
------------------------------------------ Sort of related, alleged psychic Sylvia Brown said on Larry King she would "take the million dollar challenge". Strangely it has never happened. One excuse was she couldn't figure out how to contact Randi. (Apparently her psychic abilities aren't very good.)
--
bud--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So to take the current proposed use. He can go buy, rent or steal an expensive piece of gear OR ask a dowser to do it for freebie and he only has to dig a one foot hole to confirm. Geeze but that is one hard decision to make.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Asking a dowser "to do it for a freebie" is indeed an easy decision to make.
Actually *getting* a dowser "to do it for a freebie" is an entirely different matter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Asking a dowser "to do it for a freebie" is indeed an easy decision to make.
Actually *getting* a dowser "to do it for a freebie" is an entirely different matter.
reply:
I live in SW Utah. I would do it for free if someone lived close, or provided me a round trip plane ticket.
I do it for free all the time.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

dowsing incidents. But I have a hard time believing it's a reliable method.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Well, go rent a backhoe and git r done.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So rather than trying it at no cost you would just start digging at random. there is skepticism and then there is damn foolishness.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Power it up and connect a vacuum cleaner or drill motor (or any motor that has brushes and sparks); trace it with an AM radio.
On 11/11/2011 9:51 PM, frank1492 wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.