Advantages and Disadvantages of Copper-Clad Steel Tracer Wire

Copper-clad steel tracer wire serves as a versatile material used for tracing and locating buried utilities. It offers several advantages, but also has some limitations to consider.

Advantages of Copper-Clad Steel Tracer Wire:

  • Strength: The steel core provides high strength and durability, making the wire resistant to damage from digging or other underground activities.
  • Conductivity: The copper coating ensures excellent electrical conductivity, enabling the wire to transmit signals effectively over long distances.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Copper-clad steel wire is resistant to corrosion, making it suitable for long-term underground installations, even in harsh environments.
  • Flexibility: The flexible nature of the stranded core tracer wire allows bending and routing around obstacles during installation.
  • Detectability: The tracer wire emits a signal that receivers can detect, making it easy to accurately locate buried utilities.

Disadvantages of Copper-Clad Steel Tracer Wire:

  • Cost: Copper-clad steel tracer wire can be more expensive than other types of tracer wire, such as polyethylene or aluminum.
  • Susceptibility to Damage: The steel core provides strength. However, the copper coating can be damaged if the wire is bent too sharply or handled roughly during installation.
  • Limited Signal Range: Soil conditions and other factors can affect the signal emitted by tracer wire, limiting its effective range in certain situations.
  • Prone to Theft: Copper-clad steel tracer wire contains copper, which can make it a target for theft, especially in areas where scrap metal is valuable.


Copper-clad steel tracer wire is a valuable tool for tracing and locating buried utilities. Its strength, conductivity, and corrosion resistance make it suitable for a wide range of applications. However, it is important to consider the potential disadvantages, such as cost, susceptibility to damage, and limited signal range, when selecting tracer wire for a specific project.

When tracing, consider the soil conditions, the available budget, and the level of security required to prevent theft.

Additionally, it is important to follow proper installation guidelines to ensure the effective and long-lasting performance of copper-clad steel tracer wire.