Discover network loops

Loops are areas of the network where flow direction is ambiguous and resources can flow in either direction. Loops are expected with mesh networks, but usually indicate error conditions in radial networks. You can discover loops using the Trace tool with the Loops trace type set.

To learn more, see Utility network trace types.


To perform a network loops trace, the following requirements must be met:

  • The subnetwork or subnetworks have one or more subnetwork controllers.
  • The network topology must be enabled.
  • One or more starting points exist.
  • When working with an enterprise geodatabase, the Input Utility Network parameter must be from a utility network service.

Trace network loops

  1. Ensure the utility network is available in an active map view and click the Utility Network tab.
    Utility Network tab

    The Utility Network tab is activated.

  2. Ensure one or more starting points exist in the map view. In the Tools group, click the Trace command to open the Trace pane. Set Starting Points and Barriers to use in the trace.

    For tracing network Loops, starting points must be specified, while barriers are optional.

  3. On the Utility Network tab, in the Tools group, click Loops in the tools gallery.

    Use the down arrow to browse in the tools gallery for Loops.

    Tools group

    The Trace tool opens for the utility network in the active map using the specific Trace Type.

  4. Apply additional configuration parameters as needed. Reference the Trace tool for a full list of tool parameters. Also see Configure a trace.
  5. Click Run.

Features participating in loops are returned by default as a single selection set. Loops are not tracked individually, so the number of loops is unknown.


The Loops trace is not a subnetwork trace and does not use the subnetwork trace configuration from the subnetwork definition; however, an implicit condition barrier is specified using the Is subnetwork controller network attribute to constrain the trace result (Is subnetwork controller = True).