Re: OT: underground pipe locating

Malcolm Hunter

That's amazing. It's a shame James Randi's Prize is no longer available
since he retired. You could have become a millionaire.


On 20 March 2016 23:50:51 "big_sky_explorer@... [TekScopes]"
<TekScopes@...> wrote:

I'll throw in my thoughts about dowsing for cables and pipes. Have been
using the technique for about 40 years now.

I use the technique described by Mr. Partridge. Two brass brazing rods
with one end bent at a right angle to form small handles. Hold them
loosely in your hands and walk slowly keeping the long extended ends
parallel directly in front of you and roughly parallel with the ground. If
you are reasonably at a right angle to the item underground, the rods will
spread apart when you pass over it.

A couple of caveats - you must hold the rod handles so the extended end
does not brush over the tops of your index fingers. It has to be friction
free. Also, many people will place their thumbs over the top of the
horizontal portion. A no-no. Again friction that hinders the movement.
Also, movement will occur if you are walking under overhead wires.

I have shown this to engineering colleagues, telephone outside plant
people, geologists and others. There was never an instance where I didn't
receive a "you're moving the rods" or "I don't believe it." The I would
let them try it. It ended up with quite a few believers.

But it is interesting to note that not all people could get a response.
That in itself is perplexing. Possibly because they were holding the rods
too tight or something else.

I have located underground cables and smaller wires, energized or no. I
also can locate (obviously) piping even of the plastic variety. I had one
instance where we were getting ready to install a radar site out in the
middle of nowhere. It obviously required some excavation and this was in
the days when there was no "call before you dig" services. As a fun
thought, I had brought my brazing rods so grabbed them and took off across
the field where we were going to do the work. About midway the rods
parted. No one believed that there was anything out there but, to be safe,
I drove a distance each way to check. Lo and behold, the telephone company
had buried a trunk cable right through the middle of the adjacent farmers
pastures and right through the property we were working at. The giveaway
was cable pedestals discovered about a half a mile in each direction of our
location. That was a narrow miss.

A friend asked if I could locate their buried septic tank because they
wanted to have a pumping company come to clean it out. First step was to
locate the piping coming out of the house. Then I walked along the axis of
it until the rods spread apart. That was the end of the tank. Then walked
from the opposite direction and located the other end. The owner knew the
company who built the tank so I called them to determine the location of
the cleanouts. From the spots where I marked the ends of the tank, I
measured in to the center of the cleanout ports, dug down 4 feet and was
directly on center.

Many say that it is disturbances in the earth's magnetic field from the
buried object that affects the rods. But I have been a little skeptical
about that due to the nature of the material int he rods that I use. I
don't think that there is enough strength int he field to induce any eddy
currents in the rods to have them possess any magnetic qualities. So I
will say that "only the Shadow knows."

So, I guess you will never believe it until you try it. Best thing is to
find someone who does it and learn their technique.


---In TekScopes@..., <telists@...> wrote :

On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 3:53 PM, David C. Partridge
<david.partridge@... mailto:david.partridge@...> wrote:
> I use two pieces of brazing wire bent into an L shape - you hold the
short pieces in your hand and the long bits stick out ahead of you.
> They will swing as you pass over the pipes. Don't mock it does work to
detect underground water pipes.

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