June 25, 2022

Michael Bailey

How to choose an underground wire tracer and locator in 2022

Will you be performing excavation? If yes, you surely know the risk involved in this task. It is common to cause damage to the underground wires while performing excavation. So, here comes an underground wire tracer and locator handy. It is a great option to help you carry out the excavation task precisely.

However, the rapid increase in the number and range of underground utilities has led to a rise in the chances of excavating sites burying an extensive range of electrical transmission objects. To find the varying transmission objects successfully while reducing the overall cost- you need the best device.

Several underground wire tracers and locators are available in the market. So, how do you assess the best underground wire tracer and locator? The answer to this question is not easy. However, to help you pick the best, we have curated the essential tips to look for while shopping for an underground wire tracer and locator.

5 things to consider while choosing an underground wire tracer and locator

1. Detection mode

Nowadays, people use different methods to trace and locate energized and unenergized wires. So, the first thing to consider while choosing an underground wire locator is its detection mode. Preferably, you should have a single wire tracer and locator that is efficient and effective enough to support different types of detecting modes.

Generally, a direct connection is preferred to access the underground wires. However, to trace and locate live wires such as radio networks or power lines, the passive mode of wire locator is the most preferred type.

2. Frequency of the underground wire locator

The frequency of the wire tracer and locator efficiently trace and locate the underground utilities. Regarding the frequency of underground wire locators, 1kHz is considered a low-frequency option, while 33kHz is a high-frequency wire locator.

The low-frequency wire locators are effective for tracing and locating long-distance transmissions. However, these methods do have some the issues, such as:

  • Low-frequency option is a little weak
  • Effective in passing through a lousy conductor

Contrarily, high-frequency options are effective but only travel less, breaking through a corroded conductor. As we know, the higher the frequency levels, the more are the chances to bleed off. So, high-frequency options bleed off more easily.

Therefore, you must choose a wire locator with varying frequencies. This way, your device performs a range of tasks thoroughly and efficiently. Now, you might ponder over the right frequency option to choose? Well, the frequency of the wire locator depends upon the conductor in use.

We suggest you start with the lowest frequency range and gradually move to the higher ranges. Also, remember that the different factors like corrosion, ground, and broken wires have an undue impact on the frequency of any wire locator.

3. Depth measurements of the wire locator

Different underground wire tracers and locators available in the market come in varying depth measurements. The capability of any underground wire tracer and locator is determined by measuring the depth of the wire, which in turn is determined by the frequency range the device utilizes. So, to get a reliable depth measurement, you must opt for Sode frequency.

4. The screen of the locator

The other vital thing to consider is the professional use of the screens of the tracer and locators. So, whenever choosing the best underground wire locator, opt for a device with a screen option enabling you to watch the sound and graphics to locate the actual wire.

Also, remember that the screen you put for your underground utility locator should run various orders throughout the tracking process.

5. Stick of the locator

The last thing you need to consider in choosing the best underground wire locator is the stick receivers on your device. The sticky receivers are a great way to help you carry out long-lasting excavation tasks efficiently and effectively.

Furthermore, the sticky receivers held onto your underground wire locators prevent you from experiencing back pain which can happen when you bend for a prolonged period to perform different functions along the wiring route.


An underground wire tracer and locator are specifically designed to locate underground wirings. Unfortunately, these devices can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. Still, there are chances to get an affordable device with multiple features to ease the excavation process. So, stick to this comprehensive guide to choose the best underground wire locator.