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It's a Jungle out there. Underground Utility Detection & Inspection Services

What is Non-Metallic Line Detection and Why It Is Important?


Non-metallic line detection is the detection of any utilities that are non-metallic or have breaks in continuity with the use of a locatable flexrod, flexitrace, fish tape, tracer wire, or sonde combine with the use of an electromagnetic transmitter and electromagnetic receiver. Non-metallic line detection is important because electromagnetic transmitters and receivers are not able to send/receive a signal on a utility that is not metal/conductible, unless those utilities are inserted with something that is metallic (e.g., flexrod, flexitrace, fish tape, tracer wire, sonde, etc.). CNI performs non-metallic line detection along with an array of other services in all of Oregon and Washington State.

Examples of Non-Metallic Utilities

Some examples of non-metallic/nonconductive utilities are sewer, drainage, plastic water, fiber optics, empty conduits, etc. These types of utilities need to be detected with non-metallic line detection, video camera inspections, sewer crawler inspections, ground penetrating radar, or acoustical plastic pipe detection. CNI Locates has the sophisticated pieces of equipment to perform all of the services above.

Limitations of Non-Metallic Line Detection

Below Are Some Limitations Of Non-Metallic Line Detection

  1. We must have access to insert the utility (e.g., clean out, catch basin, manhole, handhole, stub, empty conduit, etc.)
  2. We can only insert our equipment as far as we push (90 degree turns, angles, and other variables will limit our pushing strength)
  3. We cannot push past most blockages.
  4. Depth of the utility can limit our ability to receive a signal. (We can locate most non-metallic utilities up to 10-15 ft)
  5. Size of the pipe. If the pipe is too large our equipment can coil up inside of the line and if the pipe is too small, it can be difficult to push past angles in the pipe)
  6. Length of pipe. We have flex rods up to 500’ for larger pipes and flexitraces up to 300’ for smaller pipes.
  7. Pipe Material. Cast Iron and Ductile Iron pipes can be difficult or impossible to send an electromagnetic radiofrequency through.

Contact CNI Locates Utility Detection and Inspection Services in Oregon and Washington State

C-N-I Locates LTD offers a wide range of services to ensure your safety, the safety of others, and the property the work is being performed at. With us, you can get Aerial Drone Imagery, Design Survey Locating, Electrical Fault Detection, Ground Penetrating Radar, Leak Detection, Magnetic Detection, Metallic Line Detection, Non-Metallic Line Detection, Plastic Water Pipe Detection, Public and Private Utility Locates, Sewer Crawler Inspections, Structural & Concrete Imaging, Utility Mapping, Video Push Camera Inspections, and more from experienced technicians in all of Oregon and Washington State. We have field offices in Eugene, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Everett, Washington, Renton, Washington, Seattle, Washington, and Tacoma, Washington. To learn more about our wide range of services we can offer you, visit our website and request an estimate or schedule a work order today! You can also call (877) 826-1177 or email [email protected] with any questions or to schedule a service within 24 hours’ notice Monday – Friday.