Trace Safe | Which Trace Safe is Best for Your Application?

Published 07 Jan 2020


  • uploaded by Chris Dodds - Thorne & Derrick Sales/Marketing Manager

NEPTCO revolutionised the tracer wire market when it introduced Trace Safe, the world’s first tracer wire that incorporated water blocking technology to protect the solid copper conductor from water ingress. There are two distinct products that incorporate many of the same features but there are key differences.

While both products are available in all standard utility colors and have an HDPE outer jacket, water blocking yarns, HDPE wire insulation and a tin coating over the solid copper conductor; the key difference is the strength rating of each product.

Trace Safe gets its strength from the water blocking polyester core that surrounds the solid copper 19 AWG conductor.

The core is made from high tenacity polyester yarns, like those found in car tyres, that are treated with a super absorbent powder.

If the outer jacket is damaged, the super absorbent powders swell up like a baby diaper to prevent any moisture from meeting the solid copper conductor. This helps to ensure a long lasting reliable tracer wire.


Trace-Safe is the only water-blocking tracer wire on the market manufactured by NEPTCO

The amount of core material is the distinguishing difference between the 1800 lb. RT products and 600 lb. TST products. Less core material lowers the cost of the TST products but each product has distinct applications that it is best suited for.

The RT products have an overall rated strength of 1800 lb. and are ideal for horizontal directional drilling applications.

RT products can be attached directly to the drill shaft and pulled back along with the conduit and does not need to go inside the duct. The super tough jacket combined with the 1800 tensile strength means that RT Trace Safe can withstand the rigours and tensions generated during pull back.

RT Trace Safe 1RT Trace Safe 2







The TST products have an overall rated strength of 600 lb. and are ideal open trench, micro trench and nano trenching or can be pulled back alongside dielectric cables inside the duct.



Trace Safe is a system which use no strip wire connectors.

Each connector comes with a TST adapter so no matter which wire is used the same connectors will work in any situation.

Trace-Safe and TST adapter

Trace-Safe and TST adapter

So, which Trace Safe is best for you? 

It depends on the application.

For directional drilling applications always choose the RT products, for everything else, the TST products.

For simplicity, some utilities prefer to stock only one wire and choose the RT products because of its universal utility.

However, others are more explicit and will only use RT for directional drilling situations.

Consider the application and be sure to always use the Trace Safe connectors to complete the system.

Further Reading

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Thorne & Derrick International are specialist distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Duct Sealing, Substation & Electrical Equipment – servicing UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV.

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