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Let Tracer Wire Do the Job

Thermoplastic High Heat-Resistant Nylon-Coated (THHN) wire is not suitable for Tracer Wire applications and Copper Clad Steel (CCS) Tracer Wire is a superior alternative.

Tracer Wire is a single conductor wire laid alongside pipes during installation. The insulations are high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) that provides excellent abrasion, crush, chemical, oil and moisture resistance. The wire carries a radio signal to help find the line later or to detect it before digging.

Carly Roulet, product manager for Priority Wire & Cable Tracer Wire, said there are a lot of customers who use THHN as Tracer Wire just because it is readily available and has historically been used in these applications.

“THHN should not be used because it is not direct burial-rated,” Roulet said. “Tracer Wire is a simple product buried alongside pipes underground, so it helps you find the pipes later. If you need to do construction on a waterline you can trace Tracer Wire and it does not cause damage. It also saves money in the long run to use Tracer Wire.”

Priority Wire & Cable’s Tracer Wire with high-density high-molecular weight polyethylene (HDHMWPE) covering is a long-term solution for underground utility line locating applications. HDHMWPE-structured with long chain molecules and high density, it has excellent mechanical strength to resist abrasion, crush and cut through. It is highly resistant to chemical concentrated acids and alkalis, as well as numerous organic solvents. It is also resistant to water and moisture due to high-density polyethylene’s extremely low-moisture absorption rate. With superior mechanical and environmental properties, HDHMWPE offers a very long life in underground conditions, and would perform as designed in detecting and tracing underground utility lines.

Priority Wire & Cable’s Tracer Wire is made of flexible copper clad steel core, or copper core, coated with 30mils of a HDHMWPE, available in various sizes. For extra heavy-duty applications, 45mils HDHMWPE are offered upon request.

Standard flex is the most common and has the lowest break strength. The company also offers Tracer Wire with extra-high break strength in the thousands of pounds for super heavy jobs and drilling and boring at every level. Each color has its own designation. For example, blue is used with potable water lines and green is used with sewer lines and yellow is used with gas lines.

“These are the three top colors that fit into this market as they work with irrigation, plumbing and waterworks,” said Dave Santoro, national account manager, Priority Wire & Cable. “The main thing about using Tracer Wire in general is that it will save you money in the long haul and allows you to dig property without breaking through a pipe and having to start all over.” “We have all heard the term call J.U.L.I.E., (i.e., Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators)… they use tracer wire to find everything from water to gas lines.”

Priority Wire & Cable, a modern manufacturer where the majority of its sales being Priority-branded products, rounds out its product offering with specialty wire and cable products, sold generically or under other industry-leading brand names. This allows the company to provide a product offering and service level unmatched by other industry factories or brokers.

The company only sells to wholesale distributors and provides same-day shipping from 19 North American distribution centers—18 in the United States and one in Toronto. With more than 2.7 million square feet of warehouse space, Priority Wire & Cable has industry-leading fill rates and next-day delivery to most customers.

Started in 1993, Priority Wire & Cable is a private company still run by its original founders whose backgrounds stem from both manufacturing and distribution. With no corporate overhead or layers of management teams to deal with, the company is very flexible, and customer-centric. Priority Wire & Cable has grown to 650+ employees, which includes 50+ inside sales wire experts and 60+ representative agencies directed by its branch and regional management team

Priority Wire & Cable recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and is very excited to now have 21 locations across the nation. The company proudly offers Tracer Wire and Minisplit Cable among its multiple product lines for IMARK Plumbing distributors.

Besides the rebate and the frequent buyer incentive (FBI) program that IMARK offers, if you keep buying from us, it provides an added rebate on top of the normal rebate. “We pride ourselves on having inventory and shipping it the same or next day,” Santoro said. “Getting materials to the IMARK Plumbing members quickly, keeping the process simple and easy and delivering on our promise, keeps their end users happy while allowing them to earn a better rebate by doing business with us instead of a non-member.”

A member of IMARK Plumbing for seven years, Priority Wire & Cable believes the best benefit of membership is creating relationships that last. “We pride ourselves on our customers satisfaction. We know business goes where it is wanted, but stays where it is appreciated and we appreciate the membership very much,” Santoro said.

For more information, visit or request access to the company’s Priority Portal to view its real-time inventory, track shipments or request quotes.