Snap-Lock, Tee Type IDC Connectors for Underground Service

Revolutionary New Tracer
Wire Technology

Tracer wire systems can now be repaired remotely through a small hole excavation.  Locating mark-out accuracy can now be improved by remotely adding test stations anywhere in the system.
These direct burial, 3-way lockable connectors and “mainline to lateral” connectors are specifically designed for use in #12 and #14 AWG underground tracer wire systems. The installation process is quick and easy because no wire stripping is required. You simply insert the wires into the connector and snap it shut using common hand tools or the Tellus hand tool. These connectors have an additional advantage in that they can be installed from above, at street level. If a wire break occurs these connectors can be installed using “keyhole” methods with the specially designed Tellus extension tool. This long-handed tool facilitates a flawless installation, from street level, through a small-hole excavation.
Tracer wire connector for IDC connectors
Tracer wire connector installation
Tracer wire connector installation at keyhole excavation
Connector installation in an open excavation.
Connector installation in a keyhole excavation.

High-integrity permanent connections 

Underground tracer wire systems are only as good as their weakest link and the use of the best tracer wire does not ensure a high-integrity system—the connections that join the system together are critical. The installation process for the Tellus underground tracer wire connector exposes a minimal area of the conductor, minimizing areas where conductor corrosion can begin. These connectors are also filled with dielectric, non-hardening viscous silicone sealant to ensure that the conductor never loses continuity caused by corrosion over the life of the utility system. 

Keyhole technology can provide the safest and most cost effective method for the installation and repair of tracer wire systems 

Similar to revolutionary medical advancements in microsurgery on the human body, keyhole technology is replacing conventional utility maintenance and repair methods for the installation and repair of underground utilities. Keyhole methods such as core cutting pavement has dramatically reduced paving and street restoration costs while specially designed long-handled tools have made it possible to perform work on underground utilities from above, at street level, thus eliminating the need for workers to enter the excavation. These new methods have created a demand for the development of tracer wire connectors that give utility workers the ability to install and repair tracer wire systems using keyhole methods. 

Traditional or Keyhole Excavation Use 

Tellus has two types of crimping tools for making connections in any tracer wire system. The hand tool is designed to be used when the operator has direct access to the tracer wire system in the excavation. The long-handled keyhole tool permits remote access to the tracer wire system from above the excavation at street level. 



It is essential to test and evaluate any product that is to become part of an underground distribution system that may operate for 50 years or more. 

To satisfy this need, GTI was engaged to establish testing protocols and perform the testing to evaluate the reliability and integrity of the connectors used to join the coated wire that is used in tracer wire systems. A salt fog test provided a controlled corrosive environment for corrosion testing, and a tensile/pull-out test was also conducted. These tests demonstrated that the Tellus tracer wire connector performed exceptionally well, while other underground distribution systems connectors demonstrated unsatisfactory performance. 

Underground utility tracer wire connectors


Direct access tool


While common hand tools such as channel-locks can be used to close and lock the Tellus connector this unique, inexpensive clamping tool can be used to complete tracer wire connections.

Keyhole tool


This long-handled connector installation tool is typically supplied in a 6-foot length but can be supplied in any length to accommodate any tracer wire depth.


Load connector top and bottom 


Place tracer wires in connector 


Crimp then release connector 

Tracer wire connector steps 1-3


  • Designed specifically for underground installation

  • No wire stripping needed

  • Locking connectors insure a permanent and corrosion free installation

  • Tooling available for both conventional or remote installation (Keyhole method)

  • Permanent connections that will last the life of the utility system

  • Designed for use for both “Open Trench” and “Directionally Drilling/Boring”

  • Manufactured in the U.S.A.

Keyhole excavation tracer wire connector
Tracer wire system for excavation safety



It is now possible to repair and assemble tracer wire systems without the need for workers to enter into the excavation 

Conventional tracer wire installation methods require that a worker climb into the excavation to complete connections between a service line and a main line or to repair a broken tracer wire anywhere in a system. The Tellus wire connector, along with the specially designed long-handled crimping tooling, gives workers the ability to add connections on an existing system or to make repairs from above ground. 

The Tellus keyhole crimping tool delivers high-integrity connections quickly and easily