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Best Tracer Wire for Locating Underground Gas Lines

by | on | in Damage Prevention of Utilities | 2 Comments

While historically copper wire has been the standard for tracer wire, a new benchmark is emerging, and Pro-Line Safety Products Pro-Trace is doing the job better and saving money.

What is tracer wire?

Tracer wire is also known as locating wire or locator wire because it is used to find pipelines or pipe after it is buried. When laying PE pipe in the ground, tracer wire is buried alongside the pipe, and if the line needs repair or maintenance, an underground wire tracer or above-ground wire detector can locate the non-energized pipe.

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Most gas or oil transmission lines use carbon or low alloy steels. These lines will generate a magnetic field when charged so that the lines can be detected. However, most gas distribution lines are polyethylene (PE) and do not carry a current (non-energized). Therefore, the line will not be locatable by itself unless the tracer wire is buried at the time of the pipeline installation.

Tracer wire is commonly used to locate gas, water, sewer, electrical, and telecommunication lines.

A new standard is emerging

underground tracer wire by ProLine safety productsPro-Line tracer wire combines the strength of a steel core with the corrosion resistance and conductivity of a copper wire.

Over the years, copper wire had become the standard for this application. Unfortunately, the product has many shortcomings, but because there had not been alternatives, copper wire remained the top choice. That viewpoint has shifted, however, with the introduction of reinforced tracer wire.

ProLine tracer wire combines the strength of a steel core with the corrosion resistance and conductivity of a copper core. The end product is more durable and lasts longer than solid copper wire. It has superior impact strength and is twice the tensile strength of solid copper wire.

The ProLine Safety Pro-Trace HDD-CCS is over six times the breaking strength of solid copper wire, making it an excellent performer for directional drilling and eliminates the expense of re-bores.

With the fluctuation of copper pricing, the reinforced copper wire is less expensive and has a more stable long-term price. There is also a reduced threat of theft and vandalism since the wire is not all copper and not sought out by copper thieves. Lastly, because it is lighter, shipping costs are less.

Pro-Line wire outperforms copper wire, is more durable, cost less in material and transportation, which is why the new benchmark for tracer wire has emerged, and Pro-Line Pro-Trace is the best tracer wire for locating underground gas lines.

More information on Pro-Trace, visit Best Locating Wire.

Linc Energy is no longer representing Copperhead Industries; we are the national master distributor of ProLine Safety Products.

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About The Author

Susan Bender started selling to the natural gas industry in 1980. In 1990 she founded Linc Energy Systems, where she remains as President and CEO. She attributes her success to her philosophy, “The customer is king (or queen),” which remains part of her company’s mission.


  • Guest
    Gage Gottermeyer Saturday, 01 June 2019

    May I wrap gas, water and electric all together?

  • Guest
    Thomas Sunday, 14 July 2019

    Unless you know the benefits of installing copper tracer on gas pipe in every form of installation you will not understand the shortcomings of stiff springy clad tracer wires.

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Guest Saturday, 22 February 2020
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