A cable locator is a practical tool for non-destructively determining the position and route of the concealed cables. Depending on what the cable locator is to be used for, there are great differences between the available models. In order to determine whether power, water or heating lines are located in a certain area, a simple cable locator with a material selector switch is often sufficient. Other types of devices make it possible to determine the exact position even of the deep-set cables, to locate short circuits or earth faults or to allocate individual cables in cable ducts or on switch cabinets.
Areas of application for cable locators
There are many compact cable locators on the market that give craftsmen and handymen a rough indication of whether there is an electrical cable, a metal pipe or profile or a wooden substructure in the ceiling, wall or floor at the location being examined. However, there are also many cable locators on offer that have been optimised for special tasks. For example, a suitable cable locator helps electricians, telephone and network technicians to assign a cable to a specific connection during new installations, repairs and extensions of systems. With the suitable cable locator, the exact position of the cable breaks or short circuits can also be found quickly and without time-consuming and costly destructive actions.
It is also often a good idea to use cable locators when working outdoors with the laid cables on public or private properties. If it is certain where which cable is located, it is usually only necessary to uncover the relevant area for repairs or new connections. This can significantly reduce the costs for uncovering and covering the cables again. In the case of the earthworks that do not affect the pipeline, prior testing with the cable locator can specifically prevent the supply lines in the affected area from being damaged by the construction work.
Selection criteria for the cable locator
Many professional cable locators for electrical cables and metal pipes actively give signals to the line to be identified. These models consist of two devices, a signal generator and a receiver. With the signal generator a fixed high-frequency electromagnetic signal is produced and injected into the line to be located. The receiver picks up this signal and evaluates its strength. The closer the sensor of the receiver is to the cable, the stronger the received signal is. If the transmission channel for the signal can be set in such a cable locator, several transmitters can be used at the same time, as the transmission channel is also shown on the receiver's display. By changing the transmission strength, the signal can also be adapted to the ambient conditions.
Before comparing different models, it is useful to define some minimum requirements that the cable locator should meet. The following list can serve as a basis for this.- Which cables or materials can the cable locator locate?