loading

Tracing Plastic Water Pipe Underground.

Earlier today, while removing tree stumps, on of my crew struck water. The theme song for the Beverly Hillbillies came up. "when up from the ground came a bubbling crude! ...oil, that is... " except it was water, and we went scrambling to find the water shutoff.

Lawn Sprinkler systems usually have plastic pipe a few inches underground.  No metal.   :.   Can't find it with metal detector.

Potential Options:

AC wires can be tracked through walls by the electromagnetic flux around them. Stud sensors today also have a circuit for AC wiring. Could something like that be used?  Although city water has some minerals in it, does it have enough to conduct electricity well enough for an electric pulse sensor? If the water in the system was temporarily made salty enough for an EM signal to be traced, would it mess up the lawn once you dumped that salty h2o? Whata bout conductivity of a fertilizer mix?

Medical scans- barium- mildly radioactive. mmmm.... yeah. right.

Chemical sniffers- sniff out those semi-soft pipes? Like dogs sniffing out contraband in the airport...

Use water flow to carry a fine wire through the pipe, then track an EM signal in that wire.

sonic imaging (or at least detection- like the stud sensor)

ground penetrating radar...

That's all I can think of.  Every option I can think of has issues. Is there any precedent for something that works in this situation?




sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 12Next »
crapflinger2 years ago

run a length of metal wire that you CAN use a metal detector to find into the pipe from the end you broke...then use your metal detector to detect the wire that's in the pipe.

Every state I lived in had a number you called and the utility companies came out and marked where burred lines/cable /pipes were located. It was manditory to call before you dug

Toga_Dan (author)  thematthatter2 years ago

I've had em do that, too, madhatter. That's just the mains, in my experience. The pipe we hit was not the water main, but a supply for a sprinkler system. But Perhaps they could locate those, too with the same equipmnt.

Are you trying to find a solution you can make yourself, or buy one ?

Toga_Dan (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago

either/ or. depending on cost, i might buy somethin.

I don't know what these cost, or how often you have a problem. I had one of these in pieces for a friend to find out how they work.

http://www.pvcpipedetector.com/archives/buried-pvc-pipe/#.U6Kh6kBn3wE

mat0001112 years ago

A twist on steveastrouk maybe you could use sound or sonar to find the void. Not sure how large the pipes are but it would be a continuous void in the ground. I wonder if you could hack a stud finder since it's almost doing the opasite of what you want.

Toga_Dan (author)  mat0001112 years ago

in this case, 1 inch pipe about 6 inches underground.

mat0001112 years ago

A twist on steveastrouk maybe you could use sound or sonar to find the void. Not sure how large the pipes are but it would be a continuous void in the ground. I wonder if you could hack a stud finder since it's almost doing the opasite of what you want.

RavensCraft2 years ago

Check out the Simple Leak Detector at Farm Show.
Lots of interesting DIY stuff there .

1-10 of 12Next »