The 5 Best Pipe Laser Level of 2022

Are you looking for a laser level to easily construct maintenance holes and underground pipes and tunnels? You will find a pipe laser level helpful and practical! The pipe laser levels benefit piping tunnels, mines, and even alignments. 

You will enjoy the pipe laser level for your micro tunnel and pipe jack devices if you are professional. The pipe laser level features plumbing and leveling functions which are regular features of most laser levels. But there’s more to know about the pipe laser level. Explore this comprehensive guide about pipe laser level! 

Pipe Laser Level Buying Guide 

Generally, buying any laser level should be a carefully thought out process. They are expensive and require some sort of experience and expertise. This pipe laser level buying guide will help you make better and informed decisions. 

1. What is a Pipe Laser Level? 

A lot of planning goes into the construction of underground pipes. The construction of underground pipes involves a lot of excavation. Hence, pipes need to maintain a consistent grade along their length. To set the grade of a pipe accurately, you can’t go wrong when you use a pipe laser level. Underground contractors use pipe laser levels to select the grade of the pipe run. 

A pipe laser level is a construction laser. It is used to measure the correct grade for the pipe. It also determines what grading will work best for the pipe. They are used at an electronic level. The workings of pipe laser levels are pretty simple. The pipe laser level shoots a very high-powered beam of light. The high-powered light beam is fired at a predetermined angle, which helps establish the pipe’s correct grade. 

2. Who Uses the Pipe Laser Level? 

For the most part, pipe laser levels are used for underground jobs. They are used by contractors, the underground utility industry, and municipalities. These people use the pipe laser level when they wish to install underground gravity flow pipes. Some underground gravity flow pipes include storm drains, pipe systems, and maintenance holes. Contractors also use the pipe laser level to build access points that connect to maintenance holes. 

3. How is the Pipe Laser Level Used? 

Before understanding how pipe laser levels are used, you must first understand pipe grades. The simple definition of a pipe grade is the incline or decline in which a pipe is set. The incline and the decline are usually expressed as a percentage. A pipe grade is essential for managing liquid flow for underground construction projects. When the elevation difference is divided by the pipe’s run, the pipe’s incline or decline percentage is obtained. 

Here is a basic example: If a hundred feet of pipe is set in a way that the beginning of the pipe and its end have an elevation difference of four feet, then the grade of the pipe is at four percent. Many construction experts prefer to set the grade at a low percentage. Even though the grade is low, it is sufficient for liquid flow. The most crucial part of using a pipe laser level is ensuring that the grading is consistent at every pipe run. This would provide not just a steady flow but also prevent blockages. It would also ensure that the pipe capacity doesn’t reduce. 

Pipe laser levels have revolutionized the underground laying of pipes. Formerly, older survey techniques required the grade to be carefully measured using string lines and stakes. These processes take a lot of time, and a surveyor must be present to set accurate reference points. A minimal error could result in a lot of inconsistencies in the grading. This could result in long-term issues with the laid pipe. However, it is easy to grade pipes correctly, thanks to pipe laser levels!

Pipe lasers have made the leveling of pipes a lot easier because they do not need stakes to act as reference points. The pipe lasers substitute geometrics for simple physics yet provide highly accurate results. It provides accurate results through the combination of laser technology and self-leveling compensation. Pipe laser levels usually come with an obvious beam that is easy to use in different pipe lengths. When the pipe laser levels are aided with electronic targets, it can be effective for up to 500 feet. 

Pipe laser levels look like small cylinders. They have a laser on one side with a digital display and control buttons on the other side. Pipe laser levels are small enough and can fit into an eight-inch pipe. However, despite their small size, they are rugged and can be used on construction sites with a lot of activity.  You don’t have to worry about mounting pipe laser levels because they come with their own feet. However, you can also mount them on stands and even adapters if you want them on a particular height. They also come with a built leveling system which ensures accuracy. 

4. How Are Pipe Laser Levels Used in Construction? 

During the construction process, there are a lot of laser levels used. A laser level is just one of the laser levels used during construction. Below are some ways a laser level can be used:

Grading 

Many construction teams use laser levels and grade control systems to grade and move the earth. The lasers provide a visual aid in grading operations. Their visual support is significant, especially where the ground needs to be moved. Furthermore, the beam is a flat plane used to visualize the grade of the slope. Whether you choose to use a  pipe or another kind of laser level, we can’t deny that laser levels help speed up the grading process. 

Leveling 

A pipe laser level helps to provide a flat reference plane between two points. This allows for better control of the level and elevation in a job site. Laser levels are excellent for applications where a standard optical level doesn’t work. 

Alignment 

Pipe laser levels are also used as alignment references on job sites. They work well for both vertical and horizontal planes. These lasers work great when aligning concrete forms and suspended ceilings. They also work well for interior walls and act as excellent visual references for aligning features of a concrete form before placement. 

5. Advantages of Pipe Lasers

Pipe laser levels are highly functional. They are waterproof and very durable. They can handle the rigors that come with construction sites. This makes them perfect for full-function leveling. So, if you desire a pipe laser level, you might want to check more of their advantages below:

Speed 

Pipe lasers are high-speed and also easy to use. Pipe lasers can go inside or outside a pipe, providing visual level. The provision of the optical level ensures that the pipe is evenly graded. Also, a pipe laser level gives very reliable measurements, which are more effective than manual methods. This can save you time on projects and help you and your team deliver fast. 

Ease-of-Use

The operation of the pipe laser level is effortless. They can be used through radio remotes and also computerized leveling. A single person can use modern pipe laser levels. 

Accuracy 

Pipe laser level removes the need for manual measurements. They ensure an accurate and consistent grade which is very important for pipe placement. The alignment system of the pipe laser level adds a lot of accuracies, keeping the pipe in the proper alignment as it is moved from one maintenance hole to another. 

Operation 

When using the pipe laser level, you don’t have to worry about how long it will operate. This is because a pipe laser can work for thirty to fifty hours. This can help maximize productivity, cutting down on the cost of batteries. 

Cost 

The cost of the pipe laser level is a bit on the high side. However, due to their durability, they are an excellent investment to make for a long time. The pipe laser level technology helps speed up the excavation process. They allow you to save on labor, saving money that will be otherwise used for costly rework. 

These benefits make the pipe laser levels a valuable addition to any of your construction projects. If you are a skilled operator of the device, you will likely utilize all of its benefits. Pipe laser levels are elementary to use. However, it should be operated by a skilled operator. With a pipe laser level, you’ll skip the work and calculation needed in the manual grading process. This makes it easy for you to train other people to operate the device. 

6. The Types of Pipe Lasers 

Pipe lasers come in several models. Some advanced models come with even more visible beams. Some pipe laser levels come with green or red beams. Red beam laser technology has been around for a long time, but green lasers are becoming increasingly popular. Advanced diode technology has enabled laser levels to produce visible long-range beams effective at long ranges. For high-end precision, your best bet is the spectra precision laser. The best models of pipe laser levels will be reviewed further down this article. 

7.  How to Use the Pipe Laser Level 

We have established that a pipe laser is an invaluable tool for making the grading of a pipe faster. But, do you know how to use your pipe laser? The following paragraph guides how to use the pipe laser level: 

Step 1 

The first step is to know the grade through calculations. The calculation of the grade is know before the project is even started. You can measure the distance between the two maintenance holes you are about to grade. This is called the run. Then, the next step is to determine the elevation contrast. Next, you divide the difference in elevation by the run. Use the percentage you get to choose the grade. 

Step 2 

Next, you have to place the laser. You can set the laser either inside the laser or outside. However, the placement is determined by the pipe you’re using. The pipe laser can be set up on a tripod or any other mount you deem appropriate. It is essential to place the laser on a stable platform. 

Step 3 

Now that you have placed the laser level. The next step is to level it. If you buy a modern laser level, it should automatically calibrate itself. This makes it easy for you to drop out before beginning your project. However, if you don’t buy a self-leveling unit, you must manually level your pipe laser. To manually level, you will have to use a bubble level. When you use the bubble level, you can adjust the pipe laser to a level with the ground. 

Step 4

When the laser is placed, proceed to turn it on. For this step, you must know how to work out the reading of the laser level. It would help if you used the digital display and the calculated grade to set the pipe laser level. The pipe laser level reading should match the needed grade. If the grade is positive, it will show an incline. However, if the grade is negative, it will show a decline. Once you enter the value you want, the laser should automatically adjust and shoot a beam down the length of the pipe at the grade value you have set. 

Step 5

The fifth step is to place the laser’s target at the opposite end of the pipe. The target is usually plexiglass on a stand. It is helpful to place the plexiglass before turning on the laser. This would reduce the risk of you shooting the laser into someone’s eye. If the laser is discharged into the eye, there is a high risk of blindness. 

Step 6

The final step is to adjust the laser. Proceed to turn on the laser and check the object at the end of the pipe. You can use a radio-based remote and adjust the laser horizontally. Adjust the laser until it is centered on the target’s bullseye. 

8. Why You Need to Use a Pipe Laser Blower 

A laser blower is essential when working in a site that can cause the laser beam to refract and bounce. The refraction happens when the temperature of the air in the pipe is rapidly changing. Refraction can also occur when there is a large amount of dust in the trench. You can do the following to reduce laser drift and refraction: 

  • Rotate the pipe as you are installing it into the trench. This would ensure that the part of the pipe facing the sun is now facing the trenches. Turning the pipe would drastically reduce the bouncing of the rays. 
  • Alternatively, you can install a laser blower. The model of the spectra precision is model 929. You can use the chart on the face of the blower and select the right fan speed. When you choose the correct fan circulation, the air will be homogenized to reduce any beam bounce. Please note that you should not use just any air blower for this process. If the air is too high or misdirected, it can cause even more refraction. The spectra model 929 has a unique angle hose end and louvers with a variable-speed blower. The variable-speed blower ensures the air is swirled in the pipe, effectively removing beam refraction. The size and run of the pipe will determine how long the air needs to circulate to set the beam back into position. 

The 5 Best Pipe Laser Level

Johnson Level Pipe Laser 40-6690

The Johnson 40-6690 pipe laser is made from cast aluminum. The cast aluminum is nitrogen purged and sealed for waterproofing. The internal components of the pipe laser are protected with rugged housing and is made to withstand tough work conditions. There is a large illuminated LCD which makes information easy to see. It comes with an easy grade input for quick setup changes. There is an infrared remote control designed to work over long ranges. You can trust the laser dot center feature, which will automatically center the laser dot on the target. 

Topcon TP-L4AV Red Beam Sewer Pipe Laser 

The Topcon TP-L4AV is one of the most versatile units in the market. The unit is small-sized, spots a long-lasting battery, and comes with an android app. The device makes it unnecessary for team members to enter maintenance holes to make adjustments. This increases safety. Topcon has a mobile app that puts you in control remotely. The mobile app can virtually assist with configuration settings and adjustments made. One of the fully charged batteries of the device can last a week. The battery also comes with multiple functions. This means that the battery can be used to charge other Topcon devices. 

PL-100G PIPE LASER

The general PL-100G pipe laser has a motorized leveling. It comes with a green beam and a dial-in option. It has interchangeable feet you can select based on the pipe size you’re working on.  The manual flat fine tuning moves the laser in both directions in a way that aligns with the targeted object. It has an ultra-bright green laser beam, and the nitrogen is pressurized. The general PL-100G pipe laser package contains a remote control, hard carry case, tiny laser target, and target mount. 

GENERAL PL-100R PIPE LASER

The general PL-100R pipe level also comes with motorized leveling. However, unlike the PL-100G, the PL-100R comes with a red beam. It also comes with interchangeable feet that can be selected based on the pipe. The bright red laser beam means the pipe laser works excellent for underground pipe installations. It has advanced motorized leveling technology and a horizontal fine-tuning laser or dot. The general PL-100R pipe laser has an operating range of 300m, and the optimal temperature is between – 20 degrees Celcius and +40 degrees celsius. The battery type is rechargeable and made of alkaline. 

POWERLINE APL PIPE LASER

The Powerline is excellent for underground excavations because it comes with a red beam. You can trust the interchangeable feet to serve for whatever pipe you use. It features an automatic self-leveling and laser class of two. The powerline APL pipe laser has an IP rating of 65 and can withstand the rigors of underground wet work. The unit has a warranty of three years with a grade range of – 20% to +40%. The package has an interchangeable foot, the powerline APL, a carry case, and more. 

Accuracy Level 

The accuracy of the pipe laser level is very high, especially if you purchase a premium unit. The alignment system of the pipe laser level adds a lot of accuracies, keeping the pipe in the proper alignment as it is moved from one maintenance hole to another.

Ease of Use 

The operation of the pipe laser level is effortless. They can be used through radio remotes and also computerized leveling. A single person can use modern pipe laser levels. 

Mounting Capability 

A pipe laser level can be mounted on a tripod or a flat slope. Tripod stands are generally more stable and provide better support. Some units of the pipe laser level also come with interchangeable feet that can be used for different types of pipes. 

Final Verdict 

If you are involved in a lot of underground construction, excavation, and pipe laying, you can’t go wrong with a pipe laser level! However, always use a pipe blower to avoid the beams refracting badly. When rays refract carelessly, they could hit a worker’s eyes and cause severe damage. Armed with this guide, we are confident you’ll get the best unit on the market!