Finding a Pipe-Finder

Walking home last night, I came across this odd device in the road – next to some traffic barricades blocking cars from going down a side street. As I approached, I noticed that it was emitting this high-pitched whining sound that got louder the closer I got to it.

I stood here for a while, trying to make sense of what was going on. Down the street, there was a small crew of workers. It sounded like they were breaking into the street.

A closer look at the device.

I ended up lingering by the intersection, and got to talking with a man who was headed my way. He directed me to a younger man, who was walking back to inspect the device.

I guess it’s some kind of pipe locator, used to ID the gas line. There is a valve where I took this photo, and the thing in the grass is to ground the charge. This is all so that he can test, at the end of the block, and determine which pipe is the gas.

In his words, it’s all so that they don’t accidentally go and break the gas line and cause an enormous fire. At which point I told him I really appreciated what he was doing.

All the work was due to a water main breaking somehwere down the way, and they were looking to make some repairs. We’ve gotten our fair share of street work lately, but I’m happy this is far away from our house… and also happy a crew was already hard at work when I walked by.

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