Nick BeckwithWater & Sewer Inside Sales

Yellow Tracer Wire 

Yellow tracer wire is used to precisely mark and locate gas non-metallic or metallic pipelines for detection after burial of pipeline, allowing installers to precisely locate pipes and determine proper location and maintenance or removal of pipelines.

What Are Its Applications

Most commonly used in the utilities industry for identifying metallic or non-metallic buried gas lines, tracer wire (also known as locating or locator wire) is buried in the ground along pipelines to assist in locating for the life of the pipe.

What to Take into Consideration When Choosing Different Types of Tracer Wire

When purchasing tracer wire, it is critical to have a solid understanding of the different types and specifications. At Kris-Tech our tracer wire is UL-listed and American-made. We can make it to meet customer specification. We provide several spool lengths including 500, 1000, 2500’ as well as several made to order custom lengths, available in 14, 12, 10 or 8 AWG.


We manufacture two different types of insulated tracer wire:  

  • HDPE: (High Density Polyethene) 
  • HWMPE (High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)  

HMWPE is our standard PE insulation. When selecting plastic construction, it is important to understand the difference. HDPE is a less flexible but more durable bonded compound. HWMPE can be used for direct burial wire as it provides the cable with optimal strength and flexibility. Both compounds provide protection for the cable and prevent corrosion and damage to the conductor.  


There are three conductors used to locate pipelines, the most common is copper stranded or solid, as this conductor can be soft drawn bare or hard drawn bare. These conductor types are ideal for open ditch and direct burial since they require less wire strength. Copper Clad Steel is a great conductor choice as it carries many benefits and is less expensive since it is a steel conductor with a copper clad coating. CCS comes in four different specs, dead soft annealed (DSA), stress relieved (SR), high strength (HS), and extra high strength (EHS). Each variant holds different tensile strengths in order to meet requirements for specific project needs.  

Another benefit to CCS is the weight of the product. Since it is light, it can save on shipping costs.

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount when it comes to installing your tracer wire since this wire is used to locate gas pipelines. Improper installation and removal techniques could lead to serious injury, property damage, loss in time, and money. Some key safety tips are:

  • Verify that the wire components meet specifications for application
  • Test the yellow tracer wire connection before burial (ensure no breaks in connection)
  • Repair immediately any damaged wire during installation
  • Ensure marking when removing

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