Locating, Inspecting, & Fault Finding Utilities Equipment for Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, and Data
Top Ten Things You Need To Know Before Purchasing An Underground Line Locating System
- Research not only the manufacturer, but also the factory authorized representative that sells the underground line locator equipment. Be sure the representative has a website that you can visit to view all the line locator equipment they sell.
- When purchasing an underground line locator, make sure you are working with a factory authorized specialist that offers free on-site demonstrations, not just a manual or CD. A huge bonus is the specialist offers free on site training, not only after the sale, but yearly training for the life of the equipment. This goes a long way as your company may have promotions and new employees. Also, make sure the representative is available 24/7 by phone. This is very important at 3 a.m. when your technicians need help right away.
- Never purchase an underground line locator without a free on site demonstration, even if you are purchasing from the same manufacturer you have purchased from before. There may be upgrades and changes in technology that are unfamiliar to you. Remember, you want the most advanced technology for your technicians. This tells your technicians you care about them and how they perform their job.
- Ask your representative if the line locator transmitter and receiver have multiple frequencies and multiple power levels. This is important for long range locates and difficult locates. Also ask if the receiver will locate and sonde locate. If you are an electric utility, ask if the system has a volt ohm meter and can fault find and locate at the same time. These features can cut your fault finding capabilities time in half.
- Make sure you are purchasing an underground line locator system that is upgradable, both transmitter and receiver, preferably over the internet. This way you do not have to send in the system to a service center and more importantly you can eliminate downtime. One very important point, make sure this is a free upgrade. A multi year warranty is also highly recommended.
- Make sure the locating system has dynamic overload protection. This is very important for the operator to use on difficult locates with excessive signals present. A good example of this is high voltage overhead lines and underground lines. Make sure the depth reading is accurate not more than plus or minus 5%.
- To be sure your representative has the knowledge and experience about your industry, always ask about:
- Grounding procedures
- Bleed over effect
- What frequencies are best suited for your needs
- Current measurement (not signal strength)
- Current Direction
- Theory of locating and the difference in peak and null signals
In other words, make sure you are working with a company that truly has the knowledge about locating and your needs.
- Ask about what accessories are available. For example, 2”, 4” or 8” coupler clamps, stethoscope, current direction receiver and transmitter clamps, and sondes. Be sure to ask about all accessories, they may save your company time and money.
- Ask about line locator equipment repairs. Find out how long it takes for a repair turnaround and whether the representative’s company is a factory authorized repair facility for the locating system they sell. Ask if they will give you a free loaner to use while your system is in for repairs. If you do not have the time to pack up and ship the locating system, ask your representative if they will pick up and deliver after the repair is made.
- In today’s economy cost is certainly a concern, but make sure the locator you purchase is going to be able to locate difficult locates. Make sure the company you are purchasing from gives you the customer service you deserve.
Call us today at 513-608-5063 to purchase from the best in the industry!