Earthworks that consist not only in various excavations but also in laying sewer pipes, water supply pipes, and cables involve a high risk of damage to underground utilities, which may result in dangerous accidents. European Union laws require the contractor to ensure the safety of workers, third parties, and their private property. In order to limit the risk of an accident, a number of actions must be taken, which must include determination of the location of the existing underground utilities. To do so, surveyors use plans and maps so as to determine the directions of gas and water supply pipelines, as well as power and telecommunication cables. However, one can never be sure if all the underground utilities are shown on the map. In order to make sure that all potentially dangerous utilities have been identified and marked, an additional check must be performed. This can be done with LKZ-1000, a new product offered by SONEL S.A.
The location kit, which includes the LKO-1000 locator and the LKN-1000 transmitter (signal generator) makes possible precise determination of the depth and the directions of utilities that conduct electricity (power and telecommunication cables, metal pipes, etc.) as well as plastic and concrete pipes, using additional probes. Earthworks are conducted in difficult conditions (moisture, dirt, etc.); this is why both devices have the IP54 protection rating, and the rating of the transmitter with the cover closed is IP67.
Determination of the location and the directions of underground utilities is performed in various conditions. To meet the needs of the customers, the LKZ-1000 kit can work in several different modes, depending on the situation:
The LKZ-1000 kit also enables accurate determination of the depth of specific utilities, down to 3 m. To do so, the equipment must work in the 8 kHz or 33 kHz active modes where both the transmitter and the locator are used.
The LKN-1000 generator (transmitter) generates a traced signal in the utility whose direction is being determined. In metal utilities, the signal can be generated in a wireless manner by induction, or by connecting the transmitter to the utility directly or using transmitter clamps. In non-conductive utilities, the signal can be generated by introducing a transmitter probe (taking the form of a rolled or “floating” cable) directly into the utility (plastic and concrete pipes, etc.). By using additional probes, one can determine not only the direction and depth of the pipes, but also the location of potential obstructions.
The LKO-1000 locator was designed with special attention paid to ease of use and safety of the user. Thanks to its intuitive menu and clear graphic display, the LKO-1000 locator is very user-friendly. It also has a number of options and functionalities that enhance the safety and ease of work:
Moreover, the locator always switches on in the “Power” mode which is intended to detect live electrical cables, which constitute a very high risk in the event of their damage. It is also possible to determine the direction of the detected utility. In order to determine the direction of a cable or a pipe, the detector must be placed immediately over the utility (1) and must be turned around its axis (2). When the locator’s body is located over the utility’s centerline, the signal strength indicator shows the minimum value (3). The maximum value means that the locator is perpendicular to the utility line.
The kit is delivered in a very durable cover with an extra-strong bottom which protects the locator and the transmitter from water, mud, dust, and accidental impact.
The LKZ-1000 is indispensable when it comes to comparing the true location of underground utilities with that shown on maps and plans. Thanks to its easy and intuitive operation and several operation modes to choose from, the locator enhances the safety of any type of excavation works. This allows for significant reduction of the risk and gives the contractors performing earth works the certainty that they did everything to protect the health and lives of their employees.