When receiving bids to design water and sewer systems, I wonder if you have noticed that the requirements for tracer wires are clearly defined within the bid?
The answer is no.
Most water utilities have very broad specifications for tracer wires.
Many state water departments do not use tracer wires at all.
Their requirements for tracer wire are very low, and warning tape, detectable tape, bare copper, coated solid copper, copper-clad steel, stainless steel, and stranded copper or stranded stainless steel are all options being used.
By the way, choosing the right tracer wire is only a small part of the puzzle. Proper installation and placement on the pipe, termination of the tracer line, and proper connection of the tracer line when splicing or connecting to the service are also very important.
Just like your fire hydrants, curb stations, manholes, pipes and other important components of your system, please take seriously for tracer wires.
This is a cheap insurance policy, especially if you can’t find out where the damage is and overspend on unnecessary repairs.