Natural Gas Measurement, Underground Utilities and More Blog
We provide insights on natural gas measurement, underground utility damage prevention, utility contractor services and various natural gas products. Formerly the Linc Energy Blog.
Corrosion proof locating wire connectors
Tracer wire manufacturers routinely strive for advancements to prevent situations where tracer wire fails. Recently Copperhead Industries introduced a new product, corrosion-proof tracer wire connectors which minimize connection failure while backfilling, provide corrosion protection and save time and money.
In an earlier blog post “What makes utilities and pipelines locatable?” I mentioned that without carbon or low allow-steel pipeline, utility workers have come to rely on tracer wire to locate utilities and pipelines.
In this case, the underground tracer wire is installed next to a pipeline and made accessible at various access points like utility holes, valve boxes, vaults, or other enclosed access devices. When the tracer wire is charged at an access point, a magnetic field will provide a signal the locator can use with ground penetrating radar (GPR) or electromagnetic pipe detection (EPD) equipment. The locating wire makes non-locatable lines (made of polyethylene, plastic, fiberglass or concrete) locatable when they remain intact.
Unfortunately tracer wire or direct burial wire is not flawless and there are a few common reasons wire typically fails:
- The common material used in tracer wire is copper. Unfortunately, copper is expensive which has made tracer wire prone to theft, and you can’t trace a line if it’s not there!
- Copper wire is inflexible and can break during installation and a broken line won’t carry the current.
- Many tracer wires have vinyl or nylon coatings which fail prematurely when the line is exposed to moisture.
To address these common weaknesses, manufacturers like Copperhead Industries have introduced tracer wire breakthroughs which include: corrosion resistance, stronger and more durable tracer wire (Copperhead steel clad) and less expensive alternatives to copper.
Recently, Copperhead Industries, a leading tracer wire manufacturer has introduced SnakeBite tracer wire connectors demonstrating another step forward. The new connectors require no wire stripping. By inserting the wires into the SnakeBite openings and simply turning 90 degrees, the tracer wire connector is locked shut, giving the installer peace of mind that the connectors won’t unlock while backfilling the line. With no reason to strip wire, installers require fewer tools and save time. What makes this new connector even more unique is the dielectric waterproof and corrosion proof sealant inside the SnakeBite connector. The connectors are color-coded by industry with 3 APWA colors: yellow-natural gas, blue-water, orange-telecom.