How to Install Underground Tracer Wire

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Installing tracer line reduces the chances of digging into a gas line.
Installing tracer line reduces the chances of digging into a gas line. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Tracer wires assist in the location of underground pipes after they are buried. They are required by many building codes for the gas and sewer lines into buildings. Modern pipes are made of non-metallic materials, making them difficult to find using traditional magnetic resonance techniques. Installing a tracer wire creates a safer work environment for excavators or homeowners in the future. Make sure to leave several inches of tracer wire above ground for future use.

Things You'll Need

  • 14-gauge insulated copper clad steel wire
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire cutters

Hold the tracer wire at the start of the pipe near the street and fasten it to the pipe by wrapping it with electrical tape.

Roll out the tracer wire along the pipe, taping it to the pipe every 5 feet.

Run the wire up the pipe to the point where it exits above finished grade. Cut the wire so there is 6 to 12 inches of wire above the ground.

Fasten the wire close to the end of the pipe to ensure it is visible for future use.

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