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May 30, 2024
underground service locator

What Is an Underground Service Locator?

You risk damaging water, gas, electricity, communications, or sewage lines if you dig into the surface without first confirming the position of utility lines there. Blindly digging is dangerous since it may result in the loss of utilities, serious injury, or costly repairs. A phone call may get you in touch with dependable utility locator services.

Modern utility locators are necessary to identify electrical, gas, sewage, water, and drainage lines on corporate, domestic, industrial, and municipal sites. An underground service locator is a skilled tradesperson who employs cutting-edge tools, specialised training, and an understanding of construction to find and identify subsurface cables and pipelines.

How Does an Underground Utility Locator Service Work?

You need a utility locator to discover and define underground electricity lines, gas pipelines, and more on private, residential, commercial, and governmental properties. The lines that extend beyond the service meter are considered utilities.

Electrical cables, for instance, that go from the meter to a home or other structure would be regarded as a component of these services. So, it’s crucial to have these markings precisely and correctly designated before beginning to dig for security and liability concerns, even on your land. You will need to contact an underground utility locator to get them identified.

Utility maps are often incomplete, out-of-date, incorrect, or partial. Therefore professional locator teams don’t depend on them. Rather, they use a variety of specialised technologies to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the region.

A professional locator service includes a radio frequency (RF) or electronic pipe and cable finding instruments, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and electromagnetic devices. Therefore, a utility locator is able to provide thorough, top-notch utility maps showing the locations of active and abandoned lines.

Why Do You Need Underground Cable Locators?

Companies engaged in excavation operations may unintentionally strike and damage subterranean utilities. Therefore, this might abruptly terminate a project site. Such an occurrence might lead to missed production, the possibility of staff injuries, and expensive repairs. All of these may also significantly lower profit margins at work.

Modern cable locators provide a variety of service locators to effectively help project owners with underground service discovery to reduce such dangers. These utility locators use the most recent developments in digital signal processing to determine the precise location, path, and depth of pipes.

Additionally, they can consistently and correctly detect, identify, and track individual sub-surface pipelines and wires even in the most crowded places and challenging circumstances. Some of the most recent pipe and cable locators can also find copper services with a 20 mm diameter.

Utility service locators are perfect and crucial for a wide variety of businesses, including industrial and civil development, electrical, plumbing, telecoms, and utility activities like water and sewer maintenance jobs.

Similar to this, utility locator teams also provide a wide variety of very sensitive testing tools, including non-invasive pyrotechnics, vacuum test kits, hydraulic test pumps, anchor testers, concrete cover monitors and ultrasonic leak sensors. Consequently, residential and commercial constructions may benefit from using underground cable locators.

How Do Cable Locators Find Utilities?

Underground Service Locators use hundreds of secondary procedures in addition to two basic strategies to find underground services.

Electromagnetic Pipe Locator

This two-piece set of tools is utilised for most underground locating and can carry out a wide range of complicated operations. It includes:

  • A transmitter that sends an electromagnetic signal into any conductive medium at a given frequency. It can pinpoint the precise position of utilities by sending the signal straight through the ground into any conductive service under it.
  • A receiver catches the precise frequency that has been sent along with the service from the transmitter. The service locator may distinguish one underground service from another by using various and particular frequencies from the transmitter.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

A wheeled cart with an antenna installed atop it constitutes a GPR. Through the use of the pulsed radar, underground cable locators can easily detect the underlying structures when radar waves contact them and return to the surface. This approach is often excellent when working with non-conductive pipe materials like plastic or when the electromagnetic pipe fails.

Do You Need an Underground Service Locator?

You are accountable for safeguarding underground services if you excavate or otherwise penetrate the soil where utilities are present. Suppose you discontinue or interrupt a service that someone else depends on and don’t take the necessary precautions to safeguard it. In that case, you will be held legally responsible and liable for reparations for the financial losses suffered by others.

You will probably also be held accountable if the event results in someone being hurt or killed. Therefore, you need the best cable locators by your side to ensure that an area is safe for digging before moving forward with your project.