Pipe lasers, also known as utility construction lasers, are the primary grade and alignment positioning tool used by utility contractors who install gravity flow pipe in the ground. If you are new to this type of work or are considering a new or used unit, this article provides basic information can help you make an informed purchase. As tough environmental conditions are often found in pipe trenches, quality pipe lasers are a combination of a precision instrument inside an enclosure that is tough, shock resistant, waterproof and corrosion resistant. Utility construction lasers can be set up on their own legs, on a tripod (for over the top set-ups), or a base plate and pole with adapter plate. The most common set-up is on its legs resting on the invert inside of a pipe, used with target sets sized to correspond to the diameter of the pipe being installed. Usually pipe lasers include sets of legs of varying lengths to correspond with a specifically sized target set.
Pipe lasers are typically aligned with the use of a transit, sometimes mounted on a manhole transit tower, so that the laser beam is aligned with the sighting line to where the pipe is being routed (such as the next manhole).
The following is a summary of utility construction laser performance information and features that may be available (depending on manufacturer, model and age) to help you decide what is important based on the type of pipe installation work performed and jobsite conditions that may be encountered.
The highest quality, durable time-tested pipe lasers are made by Spectra Precision, Topcon, Sokkia, Leica, Apache, AGL, David White and CST/Berger, and well maintained used units by these manufacturers from reputable dealers are generally a good value.
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