Medium Frequency Conductive Pipe and Cable Locator Overview

Medium Frequency Spectrum: 8kHz – 33 kHz


Medium-frequency locators stand out as the most adaptable utility locators, performing effectively across different soil types, and capable of detecting utilities at ideal depth of upto about 9 meters.


Medium frequency conductive locators operate within the range of approximately 8 kHz to 33 kHz.

Advantages of Medium Frequencies

They strike a balance between depth penetration and signal clarity, making them versatile for a wide range of locating tasks.


They are effective for locating metallic pipes and cables, offering a good mix of range and accuracy.


Medium frequencies are less susceptible to interference from other utilities and can be used in both congested and less crowded areas. 


‍‍☑️ -Good for most pipes and cables at most depths
☑️ -Direct connection and inductive signal clamps
☑️ -Reasonable distance for most locate jobs.

What types of underground utilities can be identified using Medium Frequency Conductive Pipe and Cable Locators?

Here are some examples, including those for specific locating and tracing tasks with medium frequency locators:

Medium to Large Ferromagnetic Objects: This category includes pipes and cables made from materials like iron and steel, which are highly conductive and can be detected due to their ferromagnetic properties.


Examples include:
-Medium to Large diameter steel pipelines.
-Medium to Large iron water mains.
-Steel conduit for electrical or telecommunications cables.
-Medium size and conductive materials are detectable at depths up to about 9 meters.


These utilities and objects are critical to locate accurately for construction planning, excavation work, and infrastructure maintenance to avoid damaging them and to ensure safety. The choice of detection technology depends on the specific utility type, material, and the surrounding soil conditions, which can affect signal transmission and detection depth.

Medium Frequency Utility Locator Technology Comparison Q&A.

Medium Frequency Locator Technology Q&A Overview.

Can find ferrous objects? Yes

Can find non-ferrous objects? Yes with tracewire.

Works in silty soil? Yes

Works in clayey soil? Possible

Works in organic soil? Yes

Works in sandy soil? Yes

Min frequency (KHz): Model specific, examples as low as, 0.5 (500Hz) and some manufactures have  8 (8000Hz) models as the devices lowest frequency for this range.

Available frequencies: Locator Specific, Standard frequencies may included 8kHz, 32kHz, 64kHz.

Max frequency (KHz): 82kHz (82,000Hz), 200kHz (200,000Hz)

Effort, training for data interpretation: Low/Med, manufacture training, online course, in-person field training recommended.

Relative cost: Medium ($6000~$9500)

Max depth: 9m

Specific Applications: For general locating pipes and cables.

Specific Utilities that can be located: For locating and tracing pipes and cables such as energized or inducted signal power lines, communication cables/trunks and pinpointing other ferrous utilities.

📚🎓 Medium Frequency Utility Locating Knowledge Quiz

🧠 Test you knowledge about Medium Frequency utility locating.
Click the link to take you to a google form quiz. 🏋️ Its free and you can get the questions and answer sent to your email. 📧

https://forms.gle/4zAKyfeCHsZvhPE77

Medium Frequency Conductive pipe & cable locators

Other Models:


CAT4 + Genny4 KIT
Genny4, Transmitter Frequencies:
-32kHz +20Hz
-131 kHz +20Hz
Cable Avoidance Tool dxl4 CAT4, Receiver Frequencies:
-50 Hz to 1.5KHz/1500Hz power signals
-15kHz to 30 kHz radio signals
-33kHz and 131kHz