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Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

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  • Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

    Any way to find the location of a break in a wire underground?

    Scenario: Multiple wires in a trench about 30" in the ground. Total distance about 250'. One wire has a break.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

    You could use a TDR or time domain reflectometer. It sends out a short pulse and measures the time it takes to get back and converts it to distance. They are not cheap, however. The power company might do a locate or call up a company specializing in locating underground wiring.

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    • #3
      Re: Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

      Originally posted by killavolt View Post
      You could use a TDR or time domain reflectometer. It sends out a short pulse and measures the time it takes to get back and converts it to distance. They are not cheap, however. The power company might do a locate or call up a company specializing in locating underground wiring.
      Thanks. Questions:

      Will this work for something buried?

      Have you done this before? Good success?

      I ask because they specifically make ground fault locators & just wonder why they would if you could simply hook up a TDR to one end and get a similar locate.

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      • #4
        Re: Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

        Telco's use the TDR's to locate underground faults.

        If its done properly from both ends you should get in the right area of the break. The TDR operator has to adjust for wire guage, temperature etc to get the right location.

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        • #5
          Re: Locating A Broken Wire Location Underground

          Thanks killavolt & hydro. Checking TDR's......

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