How to use Underground Wire Locator?

Suppose one fine morning, you have some issues in your electricity line and your house is out of electricity. In this modern era, we cannot pass several times without electricity. If the main line of electricity is at the underground section of your house; then you need to find out the exact route of the wire before tracing the fault in the underground wire or cable.

So how can you trace a problem when you don’t know about the location of the wire? Yes, sometimes the maps of the wire routes can help you; but what if you have none? So in this situation, an underground wire locator can be a great tool for you. An underground wire locator can help you to trace the wire before any kind of digging or fault solving.

What’s along with an underground wire locator?

A general underground wire locator is consisted with following item:

  • Transmitter that locate wire.

  • Receiver

  • Headphones

  • Batteries

  • Case

How does an underground wire locator work?

Like I said earlier, the underground wire locator device is used to trace the faulty cables buried under the ground. The other great use of this device is; it can be a great helping tool whenever you need to dig around your yard; it will help you to trace the wire or cable lines before you dig.

The underground wire locator is made to trace the way of wires that are non-energized under the ground or behind the walls. Usually an underground wire locator is constructive up to 3 feet deep in the ground or wall and up to thousand feet in length.

How to use an underground wire locator?

An underground wire locator may seem a little bit complicated to some, but in this very article; we will try to give a proper and easy instruction about the using of this device.  

Step 1: Purchasing Wire Locator from a Reputable Brand

Before buying an underground wire locator, be sure that you are buying the device from a reputed and reliable company. In a wire locator set, you will get all the essential accessories that are needed to operate the device and a detailed instruction book on device operation. 

Step 2: Unpacking and Setting up the Batteries

Generally wire locator set consists of a probe, a transmitter, an adapter and a probe. Be sure of having all these accessories with your device. The device is operated with batteries. Unpack the device carefully and set up the batteries in the back of the receiver and transmitter. 

Step 3: Test the Voltage

Before using the device, be sure to check the source voltage. Some of the wire locators work under a specific voltage range; and if the voltage range is higher than the sustainable maximum voltage, a short circuit may be occurred and it would damage the device. 

Step 4: Perform the Essential Checking Before Operation

Before using the underground wire locator, it will be best if you perform some basic and necessary tests of the device. The test is basically important for the transmitter and the probe parts. Put the sensitivity level of the probe to its maximum range.

Then turn it on and start passing the probe near the transmitter to inspect the resulting effect and connectivity. If you need to replace the batteries; this action will also let you know about this. 

Step 5: Using the underground wire locator to trace a wire

When you are done with all the above procedures and sure about the right working order of the device, you may now start using the device and track the wire. You will get an alligator clips set; you have to use the clips to connect the cable with the transmitter. Turn on the transmitter and adjust the sensitivity of the probe for the accurate output. 

The tip of the probe will be insulated for security causes. You have to grip it against the cable that you are checking and inspect the signal that is show on the transmitter screen. You will have either a light or a sound; this will depend on the type and model of the wire locator you purchased. 

You will see a brighter or blinking light or hear a louder and shriller sound if the wire locator can sense wires or cables that are connected to the transmitter directly. 

Step 6: Checking the Continuity

Another use of an underground wire locator is to test the continuity of the wire’s setup. After setting up the connection with the specific cables by joining the alligator clips, the user will see a blinking light or hear a sound that indicates if there is any continuity in that area. If not, then the user will be notified.

Best Underground Wire Locators

Some of the best and reliable underground wire locator devices are:

  • Kolsol Underground Wire Locator

  • Greenlee 501 Tracker

  • Noyafa NF-816-C Underground Cable Locator

  • Mastech Wire a Tracker Ms6818

  • Armada Pro300 Residential Wire Locator


Tracing wire is important to fix the fault and also to dig here and there; because if you have no idea about the location of wires that is buried underground, you may cause a serious damage or accident. Using the wire locator accurately is important because the procedure is breakable when the case of wiring and electricity is involved.

So you should follow the proper guidelines and rules before using the underground wire locator.

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