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Tracer Wiretracer wire

RJM Trace-Safe tracer wire tests prove superior strength, corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, field tests than all others.

Trace-Safe Tracer Wire Advantages


Tracer Wire Testing for HDD Study by Gas Technology Institute Summary

Tracer Wire Testing Study 4-Page Summary by Gas Technology Institute for Horizontal Directional Drilling Complete (Company F = Trace-Safe)

Tracer Wire Tests (1 page summary) of (HDD) Directional Drilling Tests for Trace Safe Tracer Wire


Tracer Wire Tests Conclusion

In all, Trace-Safe wire out performed the other traditional wires based on its rating for the above properties. The Trace-Safe wire has the highest score on the tensile break load (with and without kink) and the scrape test. This wire was also tested in the two field test trials by HDD installation and did not show significant damage on the wire insulation. Furthermore, the continuity of this wire conductor was not affected after 2000 hr. corrosion test.


Tracer Wire Tensile Strength Tests

… The Trace-Safe wire utilizes a woven polyester core with an internal insulated wire. Such woven strip configurations have a very high strength-to-weight ratio, and larger sizes are commonly used in industrial lifting and towing applications which require very high levels of loading. Trace-Safe wire exhibits a significantly higher tensile load, ~1,800 lbs. due to the polymer fibers. It also exhibits a similar high tensile load when it was tested when kinked. In addition, this wire is very flexible

tracer wire tests Tracer Wire Strength Tests Chart  

The tensile test results from Trace-Safe wire exhibit a different behavior than solid copper and CCS wires. This wire consists of polymer fibers and a copper conductor. Its higher tensile break load is primarily due to the polyester fibers which take the majority of the tensile load during tensile testing. Since the conductor is a 19 AWG copper wire, the wire possesses the flexibility of a thin gauge copper wire but very high tensile properties attributed to the fibers.

In addition, the tensile break load of the wires from Trace-Safe did not drop when they were tested with a kink. This indicates that this type of wire is not likely to fail by kinking during HDD installations.


Tracer Wire Abrasion / Scrape Tests

The average number of cycles for the needle to penetrate through the Trace Save wire insulation The average number of cycles for the needle to penetrate through the Trace Save wire insulation containing polymer fiber and HDPE coating was significantly higher than the traditional HDPE and LDPE coating.

The scrape resistance of race-Safe insulation material (containing polymer fiber and HDPE coating) are significantly higher than the traditional HDPE or LDPE coating.

tracer wire abrasion testTracer Wire Abrasion Tests Chart 


Tracer Wire Horizontal Directional Boring Field Tests

The tracer wires below were horizontal directional drilled in with a pipe and then pulled out and inspected for damage and tested for damaged insulation. Please see the complete report for soil conditions. In both tests an additional Trace-Safe wire was chosen to be left in place for future locating to the pipe.

Test #1  Number of
Insulation Faults
Test #2 Number of
Insulation Faults
Trace-Safe fiber/copper 0 Trace-Safe fiber/copper 0
#12 A Copper PE coated 4 #12 High Flex-CCS 45 mil HDPE 1
#12 D Copper PE coated 3 #12 HDD-CCS 45 mil HDPE 3
  #12 HDD-CCS 45 mil LDPE 3

Trace-Safe™ water blocking tracer wire is the best choice for all trenching and directional boring applications in the gas, water, sewer, reclamation and telecom industries. In fact, it is the only water-blocking tracer wire on the market. It’s engineered and manufactured to deliver peace of mind, savings, and accurate location.

Trace-Safe eliminates the need to use very expensive stainless steel tracer wire for those severe directional drills and pipe bursting applications. Our standard product, which has a breaking strength of 1800 lbs. should be more than sufficient. However, in the event you need something even stronger, our tracer wire can be manufactured with breaking strengths of over 3,000 lbs. and still be considerably less expensive than stainless steel tracer wire. It is also a superior product for wire line monitoring systems.

Water-blocking Trace-Safe™ features

Whether you’re installing a new line or repairing an old one, a strong, long-lasting tracer wire will give you greater peace of mind.

If a tracer wire’s conductor is susceptible to corrosion, it will inevitably break down and interfere with signal strength. But Trace-Safe™ features unique water-blocking characteristics, so its conductor will not corrode. Combine that with Trace-Safe’s inherently higher signal strength, and you get easier and more precise location — which is especially important when locating gas and sewer lines. Check out the results of our water blocking tracer wire locate comparison test.

If Trace-Safe™ tracer wire is struck by lightning, the wire near the strike is burned open protecting anyone working further down the line and the utility. 

Greater savings.

 Trace-Safe™ water blocking tracer wire from NEPTCO is the only tracer wire that actually saves you money. It costs less than traditional solid copper tracer wire, and features superior impact and breaking strength. Its impact strength ensures continuity in open trench applications where it might contact rocks, shovels and equipment like backhoes. Its high tensile and breaking strength eliminates the need to use two standard copper or copper-clad steel wires during directional boring, so you save on usage alone.

Bright color coded for water, gas, sewer, power 

Greater accuracy.

Made with 19 AWG copper conductor, Trace-Safe™ provides accurate location because it carries a precise signal.

  Directional Drilling Tracer Wire

The stresses of directional drilling damages and breaks most tracer wires.  Trace-Safe™ underground locate tracer wire is designed and manufactured specifically for tough utility installations.

3000 pound tensile strength available for added confidence in critical or extreme applications.

Trace Safe Utility Locate Test Results

Sample Specifications for Trace-Safe™ Tracer Wire

"Tracer wire will be a 19 gauge, tin coated, copper conductor with polyethylene insulation. Core material comprised of high-tenacity, woven polyester with water blocking yarns encapsulated in a 30 mil, HDPE jacket providing corrosion resistance, flexibility, impact strength and 1800 lbs. tensile strength. Tracer wire will not conduct an electrical current when struck by lightning and is designed for direct bury and directional boring applications."  Available from RJM Company. Tracer wire shall be Trace-Safe Water Blocking Tracer wire, manufactured by NEPTCO and produced in the United States of America."

  Why use Neptco Trace-Safe™ for Ductile Iron and Cast Iron Pipes?

Most ductile iron and cast iron pipes are insulated at each joint with gaskets which greatly lower the overall conductivity of the pipeline limiting the locating distance. More importantly, a high frequency locator signal must be used to induce a signal across each pipe joint. For the same reason that the signal can jump to the next pipe section, the signal also jumps to other utilities resulting in errors when locating. A typical maximum locate distance on cast iron and ductile iron pipe is about 300 feet. A maximum locate distance with a tracer wire with a good far end ground can locate about 20 miles accurately.

RJM Water and Sewer Equipment Catalog