A modern underground cable locator has powerful features that allow operators to locate cables and cable faults.
Sectionalizing and thumping are the traditional procedures, but there are also newer methods that can be used successfully.
- High-voltage radar method: arc reflection (which uses Time Domain Reflectometry with a filter and a thumper), surge pulse reflection (which uses an oscilloscope with a thumper and a current coupler), and voltage pulse reflection (which uses an analyzer and a voltage coupler),
- Time Domain Reflectometry involves sending a signal through the cable, but this signal is low enough to cause no degradation to the cable insulation. This method is typically used for more precise thumping, which translates into savings in time and costs.
- Open neutral and cable fault locating procedure.
It is important to detect open neutrals because they interfere with the radar in a cable fault locator. There are different tests that can be performed: shorting a good conductor to a suspect neutral and using an ohmmeter to measure the resistance, or using Time Domain Reflectometry.
An underground cable locator will help with utility location and allows operators to get any problem found and fixed.