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Johnboy555 12-31-2007 04:23 AM

HELP! Need to find cable locator for low voltage
Help! Need way to locate low voltage light cables


I'm a handyman and sometimes I need a way to find breaks in low voltage light cables. Usually they're less than 6 inches underground, but sometimes the landscapers will cut through them and then it becomes my problem.

I've seen lots of cable locators, but they range from $400 +. That's a little high for something that I would use only about 3 times a year. I'm looking for something that injects a signal into the wire and then has a receiver that can locate the wires ( and breaks). Not a lot to ask for, but all I've seen are ones that are meant for house voltage, and such.
Has ANYONE got an idea where I can even look for something to accomplish what I need for under $200???

480sparky 12-31-2007 03:42 PM

You're asking way to much for what you want to spend. Locators that are capable of finding both cable paths and faults start at 2 grand for a used setup, so if you can get one for $400, you're getting a real bargain.

If the cable is only 6" down, a good telephone 'tone set' MAY find the path, but they aren't capable of finding faults and breaks. Those run about $100-150.

Johnboy555 01-02-2008 12:19 AM

Tone generator?!
I don't exactly know how to put this without causing myself or someone else to look stupid...

I'm trying to find a way to locate landscaping wiring (low voltage) without having to dig up all the landscape or flower beds.

I've been a handyman for 34 years, everything from plumbing, electrical, carpentry...just about anything inside a house (I really don't like to work outside if not required, and too old to still be climbing on roofs etc>)

If you put power into one wire it obtains a "potential" there has to be some "meter" that can read this potential. Just like some of th studfinders can find wires in the wall. Just like a "tone generator" has a matching meter that can read the "potential of that tone!

Someone has to know where I can find such a piece of equipment.


480sparky 01-02-2008 12:29 AM

You're referring to these:

Which are used like this:

They're utility locators, and you will spend a minimum of $1,000 to do what you want, even for a used one.

Johnboy555 01-02-2008 02:02 AM

Thanks Sparky!
I thought of a telephone tone generator but I need something that I can read from a max depth of 18". In order for a "TTG" to work the probe (receiver) signals when the wire, or coating is actually touched. It would be hard to find a single set of wires in a bundle of 50 if it went off at 6" away! :)
I found one that runs about $270 that looks like it will do what I need and much more.
Everybody seems to think that I need something outragous when I only need something very simple!
And..I'm not the one who buries the lines, just the one that my customers ask to fix them!! lol (When they're living in 2-7 million dollar houses, you try to accomidate them, if you get my drift!!) Hell if I can make $60/hr for poking around fixing some landscape lighting, who's to say no? It's not like I'm trying to hook-up a whole house generating system, which is something I wouldn't try anyway! lol

ToolGuy 01-02-2008 06:02 AM

Hi Johnboy,

I've been watching this thread and hope you'll tell us how it works out. Maybe post a photo of the $270 device so I can take a peek at it. I don't have to locate any cut cables just now, but I like to know these things just in case I ever have to.

Johnboy555 01-02-2008 10:02 AM

Wire locator
This is the lowest price locator that I've been able to find so far.
It's from Greenlee, and when I called them this is what they gave me just to locate the cables. Then I needed another thing to find the break!
( This is getting pretty involved!! lol)

Wire Finder/Mini Locator

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