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#30921 - 11/02/03 07:06 PM locating buried wires
Tim Peters Offline

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 10
I'm trying to locate a burried wire. Its just some 12-2 uf wire. No trench tape, and my inductive amplifier is not strong enough.

Anyboady got a better method? I know there is another way but dont know how.

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#30922 - 11/03/03 03:17 AM Re: locating buried wires
gunther Offline

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 59
This may sound a little crazy but I have seen it before with results so if anybody has any comments or experiences, let me know. We used to take two pieces of number twelve wire about a foot and a half long and bend a couple of inches on the end at ninety degrees. Then walk across the area you think it might be in and hold the wires in each hand loosely. When the wires moved in together towards each other then we dug straight down and there would be the pipe with the wires. Saw it a couple of times and it seemed to work. Something about magnetic fields? Try to stop laughing ok? Kinda on the same principle that people who search for the right spot to drill water wells. Kooky?

#30923 - 11/03/03 03:23 AM Re: locating buried wires
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
If you have no luck "witching" for the wire, I would suggest seeing if you can rent a underground cable locater.

We have one and have good luck with it.

I have used it to find the far end of empty PVCs that had been installed during an earlier construction project but no one new where.

I pushed a 1/4" snake into the PVC and hooked the signal generator to that.

Worked great saved a lot of digging.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#30924 - 11/03/03 04:40 AM Re: locating buried wires
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I don't remember exactly how this worked, but another member previously mentioned this unorthodox method in a similar thread:
I have never done this, nor do I plan to ever do it
Disconnect a spark plug wire from the truck (w/ engine off ).
Run a jumper to the UG wire (be sure to disconnect all the other connections to the UG wiring)
Start truck, and walk along with an AM radio that's tuned off of any channels. The "ticking" will be picked up by the radio, and will be louder the closer you get to the UG wire.

#30925 - 11/03/03 06:08 AM Re: locating buried wires
Ryan_J Offline

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
Gunther: I didn't want to be the first to post about "witching", but I've been there and done works!
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#30926 - 11/03/03 07:52 AM Re: locating buried wires
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
But not everyone can make it work.

#30927 - 11/03/03 10:08 AM Re: locating buried wires
Ryan_J Offline

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
Very Very true! :-P
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City


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