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  • Light Up A SeeSnake?

    Can you put an inductive clamp on the SeeSnake and "light up" the pushrod?

    Thanks.

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
    Can you put an inductive clamp on the SeeSnake and "light up" the pushrod?

    Thanks.

    J.C.
    You can use an inductive clamp around the cord that goes to the monitor. What you do is coil up the cord so you have about 10 loops or so and then put the loops in the inductive clamp and energize the push rod so you can locate the line.

    Thing is the newer monitors and the LT1000 and DVD paks have a lug for you to attach a clamp from the line transmitter box so you can energize the push rod as well.
    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

      I need the inductive clamp for my 10 watt but man $418 for a clamp is killing me. lol
      Seattle Drain Service

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

        Originally posted by Cuda View Post
        I need the inductive clamp for my 10 watt but man $418 for a clamp is killing me. lol
        Yep that is a big cost factor. That is why I like what Ridgid did with putting a locating lug on the new monitors. No more need for the inductive clamp just attache the cable to the lug and have at it.
        Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
        A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
        Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
        Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

          Originally posted by Cuda View Post
          I need the inductive clamp for my 10 watt but man $418 for a clamp is killing me. lol
          Don't know if everyone needs one. But if you ever need to locate something other than a sonde, you better have it.

          So many times you will run into things with no ground or direct connection.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

            I have run into the no ground thing how does the inductive clamp help me?
            Seattle Drain Service

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

              Originally posted by Cuda View Post
              I have run into the no ground thing how does the inductive clamp help me?
              Pop it around it and induce a signal on what you're locating. You can also "drop the box" with induction through the actual transmitter.....but I feel more much more confident with the clamp.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                I tried the drop on top thing didn't feel very good about the results. I guess I just need to buy the clamp to energize my cameras and for locates.
                Seattle Drain Service

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                  Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                  Can you put an inductive clamp on the SeeSnake and "light up" the pushrod?
                  As mentioned, newer monitors have a clip-on terminal, so no clamp is needed. For older monitors you can use an inductive clamp and there's a tutorial that demonstrates how to do this in the SeeSnake Tips & Tricks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys76a4SSUuE (the tutorial is 7min 28sec into the video).

                  Guy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                    Have any of you ACTUALLY tried this? Did it work RELIABLY every time? Did it NOT jump to other lines you weren't trying to find?

                    Here's the straight dope on inductive coupling:

                    It WILL NOT work if the target line (in this case, the wiring inside the camera push rod) doesn't have at least a partial signal ground on both ends.

                    When you inductively couple to a metallic target line, you are in effect creating a transformer. Think of the clamp as the primary winding and the iron core. The target line is your secondary winding. No current (signal) will flow if it doesn't have anywhere to go (ground).

                    SewerRatz has the right idea - every coil you wrap around the inductive clamp doubles the signal. But that doesn't solve the ground problem. In point of fact, you can have too much signal which can make things hard for you.

                    You can provide an earth ground at the head end by driving a stake. But you cannot allow signal to go back into the AC supply or you'll have signal all over every wire in the structure. Makes life really interesting in commercial buildings with power in conduit under the floor where you're trying to locate the sewer. Keeping the signal on the target line ONLY is hard to do if you're running of a wall receptacle. If you're using a battery powered unit, isolation is not a problem.

                    How do you handle the camera end? Unless it's a cast iron line, you have no connection to ground at the camera. ABS, PVC, VCP - those are all insulators and you are inside - you can't "touch the dirt". The water in the line does not provide a path back. Even if it did, the signal headed OUT via the wiring would cancel the signal headed BACK as they will be traveling in opposite directions. Out of curiosity I will check my SS with a DVM to see if the camera housing and spring are connected at all to any of the wiring in the pushrod. If it isn't, then no earth ground at the camera will be possible, just a capacitive ground (not as desirable).

                    Direct connect (clip on terminal / lug) operates on a completely different principle and when used with a HF transmitter can work, but may not be traceable to the very end. Signal will bleed off due to capacitive coupling to ground such that you don't have much left for the last 20 feet or so.

                    Now, I realize some of you might have gotten this to work. We wouldn't be having this discussion if you hadn't. But I have used a bunch of different locating equipment for a very, very long time in zillions of different situations. I thorougly understand the physics of the EM fields and how they are manipulated. I would NEVER, EVER feel 110% confident of a sewer locate done by energizing the wires in the pushrod. Period. Too many things can make that locate a bad locate. Using the FlexMitter gives you that 110% feeling every time. I don't care if I have to move the camera, go find the transmitter, move the camera, go find the transmitter, etc, etc, for however many times it needs to be done vs. just following the alleged path of the line via energizing the pushrod. My customers expect me to be right.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                      Originally posted by Vance G View Post
                      Have any of you ACTUALLY tried this? Did it work RELIABLY every time? Did it NOT jump to other lines you weren't trying to find?

                      Here's the straight dope on inductive coupling:

                      It WILL NOT work if the target line (in this case, the wiring inside the camera push rod) doesn't have at least a partial signal ground on both ends.

                      When you inductively couple to a metallic target line, you are in effect creating a transformer. Think of the clamp as the primary winding and the iron core. The target line is your secondary winding. No current (signal) will flow if it doesn't have anywhere to go (ground).

                      SewerRatz has the right idea - every coil you wrap around the inductive clamp doubles the signal. But that doesn't solve the ground problem. In point of fact, you can have too much signal which can make things hard for you.

                      You can provide an earth ground at the head end by driving a stake. But you cannot allow signal to go back into the AC supply or you'll have signal all over every wire in the structure. Makes life really interesting in commercial buildings with power in conduit under the floor where you're trying to locate the sewer. Keeping the signal on the target line ONLY is hard to do if you're running of a wall receptacle. If you're using a battery powered unit, isolation is not a problem.

                      How do you handle the camera end? Unless it's a cast iron line, you have no connection to ground at the camera. ABS, PVC, VCP - those are all insulators and you are inside - you can't "touch the dirt". The water in the line does not provide a path back. Even if it did, the signal headed OUT via the wiring would cancel the signal headed BACK as they will be traveling in opposite directions. Out of curiosity I will check my SS with a DVM to see if the camera housing and spring are connected at all to any of the wiring in the pushrod. If it isn't, then no earth ground at the camera will be possible, just a capacitive ground (not as desirable).

                      Direct connect (clip on terminal / lug) operates on a completely different principle and when used with a HF transmitter can work, but may not be traceable to the very end. Signal will bleed off due to capacitive coupling to ground such that you don't have much left for the last 20 feet or so.

                      Now, I realize some of you might have gotten this to work. We wouldn't be having this discussion if you hadn't. But I have used a bunch of different locating equipment for a very, very long time in zillions of different situations. I thorougly understand the physics of the EM fields and how they are manipulated. I would NEVER, EVER feel 110% confident of a sewer locate done by energizing the wires in the pushrod. Period. Too many things can make that locate a bad locate. Using the FlexMitter gives you that 110% feeling every time. I don't care if I have to move the camera, go find the transmitter, move the camera, go find the transmitter, etc, etc, for however many times it needs to be done vs. just following the alleged path of the line via energizing the pushrod. My customers expect me to be right.
                      Thanks Vance. I think I always learn the most from you on cameras and locating.

                      Appreciated.

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                        excellant vince. i only use the flexmitter and never miss i mark the key areas and problem areas. i'm not interested in energizing the entire line. even if i'm just looking for a place to tie into, i still use my camera and flexmittier.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                          I have done inductive locating for over 20 years with some locating equipment that is older than I am and have been within a few inches of the line. Yes if you overpower the locate you will energize near by lines and such but the signal you get on the bleed over is much weaker than the line you are trying to locate.

                          As for using the lug to locate I clamped my positive end of my buzz box to it and ground the other end to a grounding rod in the ground. This is no different than locating an insulated tracer wire they run along the plastic gas pipes. Doing a locate like this I am always right on top of the line I am trying to locate.

                          Now I no not rely on inductive or energized locating for sewer work, what I do use it for is when I can not pick up the sonde in my camera right away. I have had sewers that has taken some odd turns and for the life of me I could not pick up the sonde at first. So I would energize the line which would help me go in the right direction, once I got the direction of the line finding the sonde was a snap. If there is two of us on the locate job I would trace the sonde within the first 10 feet and locate every 5 feet so I would not lose the path it was going and would catch the turns early on. But when by oneself pushing it in to the problem spot, energizing the line to get an idea where the line is the locating the sonde saves lots of time.
                          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                            Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                            I have done inductive locating for over 20 years with some locating equipment that is older than I am and have been within a few inches of the line. Yes if you overpower the locate you will energize near by lines and such but the signal you get on the bleed over is much weaker than the line you are trying to locate.

                            As for using the lug to locate I clamped my positive end of my buzz box to it and ground the other end to a grounding rod in the ground. This is no different than locating an insulated tracer wire they run along the plastic gas pipes. Doing a locate like this I am always right on top of the line I am trying to locate.

                            Now I no not rely on inductive or energized locating for sewer work, what I do use it for is when I can not pick up the sonde in my camera right away. I have had sewers that has taken some odd turns and for the life of me I could not pick up the sonde at first. So I would energize the line which would help me go in the right direction, once I got the direction of the line finding the sonde was a snap. If there is two of us on the locate job I would trace the sonde within the first 10 feet and locate every 5 feet so I would not lose the path it was going and would catch the turns early on. But when by oneself pushing it in to the problem spot, energizing the line to get an idea where the line is the locating the sonde saves lots of time.
                            Right, I get why it might be desirable to follow the pushrod up to the camera and transmitter. Makes sense. I just pay attention to the turns, etc. I encounter as I go and achieve the same result. I don't think it takes all that much more time.

                            I am, however, extremely aware of the problems the cross coupling issue can cause when energizing any metallic line. And that causes me to just avoid any potential train wrecks by simply not doing it with the SS. I do it all the time with other types of utilities.

                            As far as your trace wire example goes: that works better because trace wires are usually much, much longer than a SS pushrod. Longer lines will accept more signal because they present a better capacitive ground and are nearer (if not actually exceeding) the wavelength of the frequency of the applied signal.

                            And consider this: if your SS pushrod is in a sewer 4' deep, and you cross couple to a CATV drop 6" deep (typical) in the same area, which one do you think will have the greater signal? As you said, you gotta really be paying attention and have a sixth sense that alerts you that something isn't making sense. Locating equipment mgfrs. have addressed this issue by building in the capability for most receivers to measure the direction your applied signal is traveling - away from the transmitter or back toward it. When your signal suddenly changes direction, you are cross coupled. Inducing your trace signal on an adjacent line causes phase reversal.

                            Good discussion here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Light Up A SeeSnake?

                              It is hard to pay attention to turns when you are deep inside a factory or high rise basement. 99% of the time I can figure out where my sonde is. There is just the rare times I have to energize the line, I have noticed that other lines get energized but I never get fooled.

                              I have other contractors hire me to locate the sewers for them cause they where off with their own locate. My preferred tool to locate non-metallic sewers is our 30+ year old Goldak. I went on one job I taped on the transmitter sent it down the line and when I went to locate I was in the same spot as the contractor was. So I pulled out and went back to that same spot and still got a signal right at the spot I just was at. So now this is where the old tech shines, I went back to the transmitter and tuned my locater frequency to give off a tone that was very distinct compared to the one out front which was the false tone. Ran the line back in to the trouble spot. Went out front, heard the false tone, then walked around and picked up the tone I was looking for. With these newer locaters that have a set frequency they are looking for and it wont let you easily distinguish a false signal over the one you are looking for.

                              Locating utilities, just like cleaning drains takes some skill that is learned over time.
                              Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                              A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                              Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                              Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                              Comment

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