Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

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Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  MI-Lineman on Sun May 20, 2012 12:24 am

I recently took a new position in my company being a "service worker" which is another name for trouble shooter. One of my tasks is locating faults. I had 3 old underground street light orders with underground faults I had to find. I prefer our old Aquatronics mini thumper but at times it doesn't seem to work? Today (I work Saturdays now! Sad ) I used it with the "wishbone" probe but found that the single probes worked better?

With the wishbone I lost any signal quicker than with the single probes? If I stuck the single probes in the ground as far apart as the leads would let meI could get a trace on the fault a little further than the wishbone but I couldn't pin point the faults? Anyway, I'll have to return to that one with the Dynatell that I really don't like!

Anyone else have a preference or ideas on how to get the most out of urd fault locating?
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  topgroove on Sun May 20, 2012 11:17 am

you may be dealing with multible faults Bro. I found sometimes the most simple approach works best. Go to the first light thats out in the circuit. Open the base and disconnect the load. Just try and get both legs hot at the first light. Just keep going down the line by disconecting the load as you go. I know its time consuming but it works. Kinda like fixing a christmas tree strand of lights. use a little 5 amp fuse when you make a conductor hot so you dont blow a fuse at the feed.
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  MI-Lineman on Sun May 20, 2012 1:01 pm

These were single lights on a radial feed either out of a pad mount or from an over head pole. You are right though the first light I did thumped 10 ft away so I dug it up to find a nick only? I had no voltage at the light so I knew it wasn't that so I repaired it and then it took me to a fence post (imagine that). I learned with the Aquatronics even on a lower setting it'll show ya every little fault so I'll go past any spots it shows me to see if I get any other reads or silly activity on the meter?

I'll have to try the Dynatell some more but I hate that dam thing! It's to fancy or complicated!
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  topgroove on Sun May 20, 2012 4:53 pm

I got a feeling the conductor and duct is really old. Its a pain in the ass but you might have to simply slog on. I bet their is multible faults everywhere. You may have to just go slowly light to light. I've been on jobs like that. We had to pull in new conductor as we went. We'ld use the old to pull in the new as we went.
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  MI-Lineman on Sun May 20, 2012 9:39 pm

topgroove wrote:I got a feeling the conductor and duct is really old. Its a pain in the ass but you might have to simply slog on. I bet their is multible faults everywhere. You may have to just go slowly light to light. I've been on jobs like that. We had to pull in new conductor as we went. We'ld use the old to pull in the new as we went.

Your wire's in "ducts?" Shocked We hardly have anything in ducts or conduit!
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  Highplains Drifter on Sun May 20, 2012 10:48 pm

topgroove wrote:I got a feeling the conductor and duct is really old. Its a pain in the ass but you might have to simply slog on. I bet their is multible faults everywhere. You may have to just go slowly light to light. I've been on jobs like that. We had to pull in new conductor as we went. We'ld use the old to pull in the new as we went.


We just had this Friday, 4” steel duct. The contractors ran a Roto Rooter camera into the duct. I was not impressed with today’s technology. The camera was a flat lens. I felt something with a “fish eye” lens would have been better for viewing inside the duct. Does anyone know of a better camera system?
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  Highplains Drifter on Fri May 25, 2012 6:57 pm

I will answer my own question, Greenlee makes a hand held Vison Viewer with the camera mounted at the end of a fish tape. You can place a data card in the unit and take photos of the inside of the duct.


http://www.greenlee.com/catalog/Fishing/Vision-Systems/Handheld-Units
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  MI-Lineman on Mon May 28, 2012 7:49 pm

Highplains Drifter wrote:I will answer my own question, Greenlee makes a hand held Vison Viewer with the camera mounted at the end of a fish tape. You can place a data card in the unit and take photos of the inside of the duct.


http://www.greenlee.com/catalog/Fishing/Vision-Systems/Handheld-Units

We never use any camera here probably cuz we don't use much conduit or duct? Embarassed
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Re: Locating bad underground with the Aquatronics mini thumper

Post  rcdallas on Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:49 pm

I use a Dynatel here Mike. Just have to make sure both sides are isolated; Ohm it and hope you get a solid tone. Sometimes I'll find the path of the wire first then I'll go into fault mode. If you start getting jacked up readings that your not confident to dig in then try hooking the signal box on the other end of the wire.

In West Texas we had a lot of sand kinda like your area where we'd spray the area with water then locate.

I'm sure you know about putting the ground portion of the signal box 90 degrees out from the path of the service. Then to 45 degree your A frame on where you think the fault is to confirm it to dig.

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