Utility Line Locating & Tracing

ACER uses a SPX RD8000 locator and TX-10 transmitter for utility line location and tracing. When necessary, GPR may also be used for locating underground utilities.  The RD800 supports a very large range of locatable, active and passive frequencies.


  • Passive frequency takes advantage of signals already present on buried metallic conductors.  The RD8000 supports four (4) types of passive frequencies: Power, Radio, CPS, and CATV signals.  These frequencies can be detected without the aid of the transmitter if they are present on the utility being surveyed.

  • Active frequencies are applied directly to a buried conductor using the transmitter.  The transmitter can apply a signal using induction or direct connection.  For induction, the transmitter is placed on the ground over or near the survey area.  The appropriate frequency is selected, which the transmitter induces indiscriminately to any nearby metallic conductor.  For direct connection, the transmitter is connected directly to the pipe or cable.  The transmitter applies a discrete signal to the line, which can be traced using the locator.


Hammonton Water Department

In order to complete remediation activities associated with a former coal gas facility, select utilities at the Water Department property needed to be relocated.  A combination of instruments including...



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Utility Line Locating

Using sondes, the RD8000 can also be used to pinpoint joints in iron gas pipes, locate blockages in plastic water pipes, and monitor the progress of horizontal boring tools.  A sonde is a small battery powered signal transmitter that can be inserted into non-metallic ducts, drains, or sewers so they can be located and traced with a locator.


The RD8000 is equipped with Bluetooth technology.  By linking it with with our Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 XH GPS, position and time information can be integrated with the survey data.  The GeoXH device achieves decimeter accuracy in real time.  Using post processing software, ACER can generate geographic information system (GIS) utility maps.

Applications Include:

  • Locating Underground Utilities

  • Tracing Lines Within Buildings

  • Utility Mapping




Underground Pipes
RD8000 Utility Locating
Additional Geophysics & Non-Destructive Testing Services Provided by ACER: