When you need to find the path that drain pipes and sewers take, or where those pipes are blocked or broken, you want a sonde Transmitter at your disposal. A sonde is a transmitter device that is wholly self-contained and comes in a variety of diameters for whatever pipe needs to be traced. The smaller devices can be blown through the pipes using a jetting machine, and located using a locator device.
Sonde transmitter devices are useful tools to have when you work with gas lines or other utilities. How do you use these devices and how do you find them once deployed? Read on to learn everything you need to know about a sonde transmitter.
Picking a Sonde
A sonde can range from a six-millimeter diameter transmitter made for things like fiber-optic micro ducts, up to a sixty-four millimeter by three-hundred and eighteen-millimeter sonde created for deep sewer pipes. You want a sonde with a good frequency range for its job and the right size as well. You also want your sonde transmitter frequency to match your HDD locator frequency, otherwise, you’ll never find where your sonde is located.
Prepping Your Sonde
To ensure your sonde works at peak performance, you will want to change the battery every day, whether the battery is brand new or freshly recharged. It is recommended that you change the battery after every job, instead of just every day. Before you put your sonde transmitter to work, make sure your sonde and the locator are on the right frequency and working together.
You can calibrate the transmitter and locator by putting the sonde on the ground, then move back as far as the rated depth of the sonde. Then point the locator at your sonde in line with the antenna, unlike when locating a line. Lastly, make sure the bargraph reads more than fifty percent with the sensitivity at maximum.
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Your sonde can connect to specific devices by the threads at one end, including drain rods, or tethers and floats for the larger models of sonde transmitters. They can be attached to devices used for maintenance, cleaning, and inspecting drains, such as high-pressure water jets. As another example, sondes used with drills or bores are housed inside the drill head, and behind the bit.
You’ll want to do your first trace while the sonde is still visible in the drain or duct, to make calibration easier. You want your locator’s sensitivity set between sixty and eighty percent, to better detect all three peaks of the sonde’s transmittance. To either side of the sonde’s peak, there are ghost signals that help confirm you have your sonde located.
Once the ghost signals are found, you can reduce your locator’s sensitivity so you only detect the center peak. Then you can send your sonde roughly three paces down the duct and trace again until you have your survey finished. Make sure to mark your path as you go.
When checking depth, some locators will automatically display the depth on the LCD screen. If they don’t, then you can calculate the depth using the distance between the null positions of the sonde’s ghost signals multiplied by 0.7. This gives you a rough depth estimate.
A sonde is useful in several different industries and can save lives when laying new pipes, ducts, or wires underground. Having one on hand might be a good idea if you work with utilities or anything underground. Check them out today.
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