Pulling & Detection Blog

Take a load off.  Don’t STRAIN your connection.

Posted by Tom Auger on Nov 7, 2019 2:06:39 PM
Tom Auger
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How to slice trace-safe tracer wireIn the underground utility environment, tracer wire is placed to protect all dielectric utilities from damage. Fiber optic cable, water, natural gas, sewer -- all are within plastic pipes that require the use of TRACE-SAFE® tracer wires to accurately identify their positions for the purpose of preventing damage or catastrophic accidents.

During the installation of TRACE-SAFE wire, it’s not uncommon to splice the wires. The two most popular splices are:

  1. end-to-end splices involving the simple connection of one end of TRACE-SAFE to another.
  2. the connection of perpendicular lateral wire off a continuous main line. Both splices can be made quickly with TRACE-SAFE Universal connector TS-UCB but should always be made deploying a strain relief.

End-to-end splice using TST600 TRACE-SAFE and TS-UCB connector. 

End-to-end splice using TST600 TRACE-SAFE and TS-UCB connector.Make this strain relief by tying a loose knot about 12 – 15 inched down the ends of the wire before placing the ends in the connector.



Main line to lateral splice using RT1800 TRACE-SAFE and TS-USB Universal connector.

Main line to lateral splice using RT1800 TRACE-SAFE and TS-USB Universal connectorMake this strain relief by wrapping the lateral line around the main line twice before placing the end in the connector. 



Why a strain relief?  It only takes seconds to install and will greatly increase the amount of force it takes to pull the wire out of the connector.  For example, the pull-out force required to pull TRACE-SAFE RT1800 from a TRACE-SAFE end-to-end splice without strain relief is about 60 lbs.; however, with the installation of the strain relief shown above, it takes over 3 times the force to lose continuity. These wires are placed in rugged environments where people are always digging around the areas and pulling on the wires as they excavate near utilities. Why increase the risk of damage by not using a strain relief? 

Contact us if you have any question. 


Topics: trace safe, tracer wire