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  • Navitrack use indoors

    Hi.
    I have a question concerning locating of water supply lines (copper/galvanized) using the Navitrack.

    I understand how it works outdoors, using a stake driven in the ground for grounding and clamping onto one end of the line in order for the locator to find the pipe route. But indoors, I have a problem. I can't simply just open a window and stick a stake outside to clamp to, since in some instances there are no accesses to the outside and the cables supplied with the Navitrack are only 25' (I understand these can be lengthened). I have tried various means of grounding otherwise indoors such as to an electrical box or a copper main, but to no avail, the locator will not pick it up.

    I have called a Ridgid rep on this issue and in a brief discussion was told it is a "good question" and was not able to get a comprehensive answer either way yet. I also asked if there was more literature or training materials on the Navitrack system, such as is the case with Seesnake, but was told the answer was no. The supplied manual for Navitrack is in comparison quite short.

    Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I am no expert but I see one problem with your indoor ground hookup. If you use the electrical panel as ground you are in effect attaching both clamp leads to the same point - the water pipe. Most if not all homes have there electrical boxes grounded to the water pipe. Can you not use the Navitrac Transmitter in inductive mode to solve your problem?

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    • #3
      A GOOD TRICK IS TO GROUND THE FAR END OF THE SAME PIPE YOU'RE TRACING. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU WANT TO TRACE THE COLD LINE FROM THE START TO FINISH THEN CONNECT TO THESE 2 POINTS. PROBLEM IS THAT IT WILL ENERGIZE THE PATH OF THIS LINE, BUT WON'T GENERALLY ENERGIZE BRANCH LINES. GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN THEN MOVE THE LEADS TO OTHER FIXTURES AND TRACE THESE. THIS WILL CUT OUT ON UNWANTED SIGNALS.
      THE PROBLEM WITH INDUCTIVE TRACING (SENDING A SIGNAL THROUGH THE SURFACE TO THE METAL OBJECTS BELOW WITHOUT GROUNDING OR WIRES) IS THAT YOU WILL PICK UP ON REBAR, ELECTRICAL METAL CONDUIT, AND METAL PLUMBING PIPES. THIS WORKS BEST FOR OUTDOOR TRACING WHEN YOU CAN ISOLATE THESE OTHER SOURCES OF INTERFERENCE. ALSO WHEN YOU KNOW THE BASIC PATH OF THE UTILITIES, SUCH AS A GAS OR WATER MAIN.
      I DON'T OWN THE RIDGID SCOUT, BUT I DO OWN 5 OTHER LOCATORS AND THEY ALL WORK ON THE SAME PRINCIPAL FOR THIS TYPE OF LOCATING.

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      • #4
        You should have received a training video that has locating tips on it. Was this helpful?

        Indoors it is sometimes the case where you need to extend the ground with a long wire to reach outside. Try to go in the opposite direction of the suspected trace.

        Regards,

        TCY

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        • #5
          First I just want to thank everybody for your extremely prompt replies. Greatly appreciated.

          TCY, no, no video of any kind came with the Navitarck unit, just a small app. 10 page manual, which only illustrates how to use it outdoors (with a stake in the ground). The Ridgid rep I talked with also told me no other training materials are available to his knowledge, and I DID ask abouyt a video by the way. I thought it rather odd since this is a 2 thousand dollar unit, not some 100$ drill or whatever. The supplies manual is quite lacking for such an advanced and costly unit. Is the info I was given wrong? If there is indeed a training video that would help tremendously.

          I understand the cables can be lengthened, but I would think there should be a way to use this thing indoors without having to do so, and if not, the sales literature on these things should warn or state that, which of course they do not. I find myself in many situations where getting one of those cables to the outside will involve lengthening of at LEAST 100'. I'm not just working on trailers and small homes here.

          WBrooks, thanks for the info, I understand how that would'nt work now, I did'nt think it would then actually but thought anything worth a try and I also thought I should post here what I did try with it. As far as using the Navitrack in inductive mode, I have not, and therein probably lies my problem since I don't actually know HOW to properly use that mode and again the supplied literature that came with the unit is practically mute on this point aside from briefly mentioning it and it's capabilities. I believe my shortcomings here are due totally to a lack of instruction. As Rick said, we tried that anyway, and just as Rick said again, we were picking up EVERYTHING in the shop with it, including the main line to the sewer and even the Navitrack unit itself with the locator!

          Rick, thank you for the advice on clamping to both sides of the line, but when trying to find buries lines without knowing where BOTH ends terminate or branch, I can't see how that can work either, and again I can envision it again needing a really long run of cable on the grounding side. The Navitrack is only supplied with enough lead to give you a 25' spread....not a whole lot.

          Anyway, I'll try that inductive method again and experiment with it, and looks like I'll be ordering extension cables lol. But it sure would be nice if Ridgid could supply something more in the way of educational material.

          Thanks again much for all your help and time.

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          • #6
            I don't recall receiving a viedo with my Navitrack and the manual leaves a lot to be desired. However, the Navitrack unit itself is incredible and worth twice the price.

            While tracing I have extended the ground to the outside with another wire but I was wondering if there is a specific size (GA) wire I should use when extending the ground wire based on the lenght of wire I use?
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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