A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

May 03, 2017

A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

Guide To Cable Detectors

  1. What is a Cable Detector?
  2. Cable Detectors: To Buy or Hire?
  3. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cable Detector
  4. Cable Detector Brands
  5. Cable Detector Accessories
  6. Cable Avoidance Training

We hope our guide to cable detectors helps you make the right decision!

1. What is a Cable Detector?

A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - What is a Cable Detector - One Point Survey

Generally, a cable detector is made up of two parts; the transmitter and receiver.

An electric signal is transferred through a cable pipe by the transmitter and the receiver will pick up the signal. This allows the operator to trace the signals path and detect the cable or pipe.

Buried cables and pipes can present a real hazard to construction workers and every year site workers are injured due to inadvertently striking buried utilities such as electricity cables or gas pipelines.

Cable detectors are used to detect utilities before excavation work, allowing workers to do their job without any major safety issues or costly damages.

As industry standards get more and more regulated, it makes sense to buy the best and most recent cable and pipe location technology.

Some popular cable detector ranges include:

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2. Cable Detectors: To Buy or Hire?

One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors - To Hire or Buy?

If you’ve decided you need a Cable Detector you’ve completed the first step. Next, you should consider whether you should buy or hire the tool.

To make this decision you must consider how often you will be using the tool. If you require a cable detector for a long period of time and will use it regularly, it may be wise to consider buying it outright.

However, if you will only use it here and there, perhaps hiring is a better option.

We offer a hire or buy service full of comprehensive of Survey and Safety equipment, including cable detectors.

Hiring vs Buying »

3. Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Cable Detector

One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Accessories

There is a lot to consider when trying to choose the right cable detector for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • Strike Alert – This technology sends an alert to the operator to let them know that they’ve detected something below the surface that is shallow and likely to be struck if work is done. Some cable detectors have this technology but others won’t. If this is something you think would be useful to you, you could consider the gCAT4 or gCAT4+ as they both come with this technology.
  • Depth Estimation – Some cable detectors will be able to locate a cable or pipe, but aren’t equipped with the technology to give an estimate to the depth. If you require this feature on a budget, you might want to consider the CAT4+. However, both the eCAT4+ and EZiCAT i750 have the same technology.
  •  GPS/GNSS – An internal GPS/GNSS receiver which adds positional data to log records showing not only how the operator was working, but also where the cable detector was being used. This is useful not only for training but also traceability. You should consider the gCAT4+ or EZiCAT i750 if this is a feature you require.

Top Cable Detector

Winner: Radiodetection gCAT4+ 

The gC.A.T4 cable detector includes the StrikeAlert and CALSafe software as standard as well as GPS / GNSS capabilities.

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gCAT4+ Cable Detector - Available at one point survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

4. Cable Detector Brands


One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Radiodetection

Radiodetection was founded in 1970 and is now considered a market leader in cable avoidance tools.

Radiodetection have produced the amazing C.A.T4™ and Genny4™ ranges of cable avoidance tools to enable users to quickly and safely find buried cables, pipes and other utilities.

With such a wide variety of cable detectors to choose from, you are sure to find something suitable for you!

Their innovative tools reduce the risk of personal injury and damage to utilities on any excavation job where cables and pipes may be encountered.

Radiodetection have used their 30 years of cable avoidance experience to produce the C.A.T4™ range.

The C.A.T4™ range of cable locators offers quality cable location as standard along with a range of excellent features!

Bestselling C.A.T4™ cable detectors to consider include:

  • CAT4 – A excellent budget option that features all standard features including: avoidance mode and optional strike alert!
  • CAT4+ - A High quality cable detector with many useful features found in more expensive cable avoidance tools. Some of these features include the depth estimation, optional strike alert, SWING warning & more!
  • gCAT4+ - A relatively new product to the cable detection range, the gCAT4+ has a full range of brilliant features including a GPS receiver, Bluetooth technology, depth estimation, strike alert, CALsafe and much more!

View The CAT4™ Range »

Best Budget Cable Detector

Winner: Radiodetection CAT4

The C.A.T4 digital platform delivers highly refined locate capabilities, specifically designed to help the operator find more buried utilities.

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CAT4 Cable Detector - Available at One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors


One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Cabledetection

A leading manufacturer of cable detector equipment, Cabledetection aim to help protect your workforce, reduce cable strikes and avoid costly repairs.

A well-known and effective cable detector range manufactured by Cabledetection is the EZiCAT Range!

The EZiCAT™ range from Cabledetection of Cable Locators from Cable Detection is a true market leader when it comes to cable and pipe location.

Obtaining accurate information about the location of buried utilities is vital in protecting employees and equipment during any project that involves excavation.

Offering both the i-Series range along with the ‘xf’ range, there are plenty of cable detectors to choose from to meet your needs!

Some bestselling cable detectors from the EZiCAT Range include:

  • EZiCAT i500 – A brilliant option for those on a budget, the EZiCAT i500 is a state‐of‐the art digital signal processing (DSP) and intelligent software, the EZiCAT i‐Series locators make ground surveys a simple and speedy task; increasing onsite safety and ultimately saving time and money.
  • EZiCAT i600 xf – This product is packed full of intelligent, beneficial features plus extra lower frequencies make tracing buried utilities over long distances easy and efficient. Unlike the i500, this tool has features such as data logging and Bluetooth technology.
  • EZiCAT i750 xf – This intelligent cable detector is well worth the price tag! This tool can has a full range of features, unlike all the other cable detectors before it. These features include: GPS Technology, current level indication, service depth indication, data logging, Bluetooth technology and much more!

View The EZiCAT™ Range »

    Best Cabledetection Cable Detector

    Winner: EZiCAT i750 xf

    Packed full of all of the intelligent, beneficial features included in the EZiCAT i650 xf but with the additional benefit of integrated GPS technology.

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    EZiCAT i750 xf - Available at One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

    5. What Cable Detector Accessories Will I Need?

    One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Accessories

    Choosing the right accessories for your cable detector allows you to increase its capabilities and improve safety.

    Accessories to consider:

    • Signal Clamps – These work alongside a signal generator to identify utilities by applying a generator signal along a pipe or cable. The Radiodetection signal clamp works with the CAT4 range of radio detectors. When using a EZiCAT detector, the Cabledetection Signal Clamp is ideal.
    • Sondes – Sondes help with the detection of non-conductive utilities. Radiodetection offer a range of Sondes for the CAT4 range of detectors. The Standard Sonde is a great place to start! For the EZiCAT range, the Cabledetection Sonde is offered.
    • Flexitrace– Flexitrace helps to locate pipes, ducts and drains – even when made of non-conductive material such as plastic. Click here to see our cable installation range.
    • Carry Bag – If you want to comfortably carry your cable detector you may consider a carry bag. Both Radiodetection and Cabledetection have released individual bags for their own tools. If you use a CAT4 cable detector, consider the Radiodetection Carry Bag. For those of you using an EZiCAT Cable avoidance tool, you should use the Cabledetection Carry bag.

    View Our Accessories »

    6. Cable Avoidance Training

    One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Cable Avoidance Training

    Buried Utilities represent a major hazard to construction workers and poorly planned excavations can cause cable or pipe damage resulting in personal injury, costly repairs and delays. 

    Therefore, it’s so important to have the knowledge you need to avoid these problems and know how to effectively use cable detection tools and other avoidance information!

    At One Point Survey, we offer cable and pipe avoidance courses that cover:

    • Reasons for using locators
    • The theory of locating services
    • Safe systems of work covered in HSG47.

    All courses are conducted to a high standard using comprehensive slide presentations along with video presentations and supporting samples of products and accessories. Classroom sessions are followed by practical instruction performed outdoors.

    Our qualified trainers are all experienced in using cable and pipe locators in a wide range of situations.

    One you complete the course all our candidates are issued with a certificate of competence!

    It’s easy to get in touch and discuss your individual training course:

    Call: 0800 633 5131

    Email: info@onepointsurvey.com

    Find Out More »

      Contact Us

      One Point Survey Contact Us - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

      If you have any queries feel free to contact us.

      One of our experienced team will be happy to help

      Email: info@onepointsurvey.com

      Phone: 0800 633 5131

      Contact Us »

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