Rated 4.0 out of 5 by 8
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Greg Works to locate buried metal pipe
Works to locate buried metal pipe. Unfortunately the signal can be transferred to other pipes if they are mounted on the same uni-strut.
May 11, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Texas Easy to use, accurate, and well built
This two piece cable and pipe locator quickly and accurately locates electrical cables and metallic pipes, without having to punch a hole in the wall and use an inspection camera.
I used it to locate the rebar in my concrete workshop floor before drilling holes for concrete anchors to mount a vehicle lift. I simply connected one end on to a ground rod that was tied in to my rebar at construction, and used the locator to trace each length of rebar. In the past I had built stud walls and anchored them to my concrete base, and in one location I had drilled through the concrete and hit a piece of rebar. With this tool I was able to quickly map out all the rebar and locate the ideal position for my vehicle lift anchors.
When tracing a concealed 110v circuit, I found the probes were too large to place in a regular outlet. I had to remove the sub panel cover and use the supplied Alligator Clips to connect to the breaker instead. A minor inconvenience.
In many instances, you will likely be using this with the electric power off. So the inclusion of a flashlight in the tip of the transmitter and receiver is a nice touch, as is the option to have the display on the receiver be backlit. The LCD displays are large, clear, and easy to read.
A canvas style, soft, carry case is included to store transmitter, receiver, probes, 5 foot long test leads, grounding rod, and alligator clips. I wish the case was marked with the company logo or device name. I have many similar style cases for other test equipment, and it is helpful to know at a glance which case holds which tool - I marked my case with a Sharpie marker, but it seems a shame to have to do that.
This is one of those tools you will use again and again. It is perfect for projects on the job site, or around the home.
December 3, 2013
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by john not for use with underground pipe
I bought this to locate an underground plastic pipe. I inserted a very heavy gauge copper wire down the cleanout and approx. 6' into the pipe. I connected to the instrument but I could not get a signal through the concrete slab. So, if you are wondering if it is possible, I say NO.
February 17, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by tms20 Great tool at a great price
The General Cable and Pipe Locator tool is a high quality tool for a price that doesn't break the bank. The instructions are very easy to understand and the tool works great with it's multiple settings and options. Used it the first day to locate a specific conduit several inches inside a wall with several other conduits and pipes and it nailed it down to the exact inch. Once inside the wall it had absolutely no problem identifying the correct conduit. Can't wait to use it on some other projects that have been on hold because I didn't have the right tool. I DO NOW!!! How did I ever get along without it.
September 15, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by ThomasF Not a very good pipe locator...
The 9v batteries that were packaged with the unit were dead on arrival and the AAA batteries were low powered. After changing the batteries, this unit proved to be incapable of detecting a underground pipe more than 8 inches in the ground. The portion of the pipe that it does locate is not very accurate, you can expect it to tone upwards of 12 inches to each side of the pipe. Which means you may have to start with a foot wide trench to make sure that you find the pipe. I tried running different wires into the pipe, and changed out batteries to no avail.
The unit may be sufficient for detecting wires behind drywall but it will more than likely not give you a very accurate location.
May 3, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by sandiegohaunted Well designed
This product is packed with functions and delivers on all of them. If you need to, Trace a short connection from a circuit breaker to outlet (like I did), trace live wires, even find breaks in pipes, this is your tool.
The system uses two pieces of equipment a transmitter and receiver, both with super bright led flashlights built in.
The included Red and Black test probes do not fit into a standard 120v outlet. Which is odd, and requires removing the plate and attaching alligator clips.
December 11, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HomeRemodeler533 An electrician's best friend
By far the coolest device I own. There are many different uses to this product. The best use obviously being to find wires behind walls. There are 2 pieces to the set, one you attach to the wire (or pipe) that is accessible, the other you use to track the wire/pipe through the wall. The system is very accurate, the manual says it can track up to 7 feet behind a wall, while I didn't get to directly test 7 feet I did a "ground truth test" and was able to get a solid 5 feet so I believe that 7 is possible.
The pair are very well built, they thought of everything - they even put a flashlight on both units!
My wife and I are renovating a 100 year old house, when we started the electrical was a complete and total mess. Using this device saves hours of work! Whether its tracking down old circuits, running new wires or adding light switches - this device comes in handy every single time.
This is a must have device for every contractor and electrician, and especially anyone working on electrical in their house.
October 29, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Garry Hi power tone tool, battery compartment needs refinement
This is a high power tone tool, designed for tracking electrical circuits. It has a lot of flexibility, the tone generator has three different power levels ranging from low to very powerful. It also sends several different "codes" that are identified on the probe, so you can make sure you're getting the signal from YOUR signal injector. That could be really handy if you have a crew using several at a time. It's overkill for a home user, though.
The receiver has the ability to manually adjust sensitivity in addition to using it in AUTO mode. This way you can really drill down and find the specific place a wire is located.
The only CON I would mention relates to batteries and their replacements. When changing the batteries, the screw holding the battery compartment closed is NOT A CAPTIVE SCREW. That alone caused me to drop the review a whole star. Be very careful changing the batteries, if you're at a work site and drop that tiny screw, it will be quite hard to find and the battery compartment will not stay closed properly without it. This is compounded by the batteries that came with the unit are of poor quality (The 9v was already dead, the 6 AAA for the transmitter lasted part of a day.) Thus making me have to open it a second time, and I very nearly lost one of the screws when I dropped it on dark carpet. This is inexcusable for an otherwise good device.
I purchased it for tracing cat5e cables in a wall. Cat5e cabling is twisted internally, intentionally attenuating any leaking that might be piked up by a tone tool.
My original tests were fairly unsatisfactory. Knowing that cat5 cable is tough to trace, I put the black lead on one color twisted pair, the red on a different color and couldn't detect it more than a couple of inches away with the transmitter on HIGH.
I emailed the company support, and they suggested using it in "unbalanced" mode, by only connecting the red lead, and leaving the black unattached. That helped a little, I got a few more inches away, but wasn't really helpful for finding cables in a wall, it was still hit or miss.
Reading online I saw someone suggest grounding the black lead and hooking the red to the cable you're tracing. Their comments were for a different type of tester, but I thought it worth trying. I built a plug that just used the ground on an electrical outlet for me to connect the ground lead.
WOW what a difference. With the transmitter on HIGH, the signal was so strong the unit was unusable. It bled over in to adjacent wires, and essentially walking into the room caused the toner to sound off. Dropping it back to medium power and I was able to trace every wire I needed.
Other than the battery compartment issues, the unit works pretty well.
September 30, 2014