DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:hammer:I was reading a few posts and one had to do with springtime projects like fences and decks. I just wanted to throw a reminder out there about calling for utility locates. Its free and easy (for you) to call a few days in advance to your local locate call center:batman:. Most locates are done in 2 or 3 days.:scooter: As a locator my self,:sailor: I see first hand how easy it is knick a main power line just enough to cause a grid wide power outage and put a line crew, backhoe crew and splicer team in your backyard for 3 days.:thumbdown: On a smaller scale,:icon_redface: I also see how embarassing it can be to ask your neighbor to borrow theyre phone because you cut your phone line....:laughing: I almost cut MY OWN cable line a few years back, thinking I knew right where it was:eek:....Anyway, just a reminder..:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,194 Posts
Nine icons in a single post. That must be a record.
That aside, good information.:thumbsup::(:):furious::eek::no::laughing::mad::whistling2::censored:
Ron:jester:
 

·
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
Joined
·
7,556 Posts
Sounds like a drum-up for one's own business.

It's like a painter, reminding Home owners that ladders are dangerous = Remember to have professsional painters to do the work.

Now on the other hand, I do agree with the principle of the post = always call a locating-service, to mark utility lines (etc), before starting a dig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
not sure if this is the same, we have a call-before-you-dig number. As far as I know there is no charge, they mark out the buried lines. As long as you called, if something goes wrong, you don't get the bill for damaged utilities.
 

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like a drum-up for one's own business.

lol....:thumbsup:

Its a good message though... I remember about 7 years ago, showing a homeowner a direct burried f48 fiber optic cable that ran through his front yard at about 20 inches in depth on average and only 15 inches over from where he just drilled a hole 3 feet deep for a mailbox post.:eek:

I guess I missed the connection on the ladder thing...lol...but if I were a painter, I would use that line, its a good one.:thumbup:

Smileys are cool, they can way over dramatize everything..:donatello:
 

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yup, here its Dig Safe

Next Town over they matked the gas line ....wrong
The gas line was hit, house is gone
Its a good thing they called for locates first. If they did not, than the liability would be on the digger and not the locator. By the way, do you have a newspaper clipping or link of the mismarking leading to a house fire or something? Everyone has that horror story to tell and most of the time its just an urban legend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Just because the lines are marked, don't assume they're correctly marked.

Digging in my uncle's front yard, the main street gas line was incorrectly marked by 8 feet. It turns out that they moved the line when they redid the road and it never notated.

Still call before you dig.

Added: Dave types faster than me
 

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Just because the lines are marked, don't assume they're correctly marked.

Digging in my uncle's front yard, the main street gas line was incorrectly marked by 8 feet. It turns out that they moved the line when they redid the road and it never notated.

Still call before you dig.

That is the most common cause of mismarkings...relocation or upgrade of plant and no updated plant information. EVERY utility I have ever contracted for has had that problem. It leads to a mistrust and lack of faith in the locating system. I have heard before, "I didnt call because you guys are always wrong". Bad or outdated prints are the achilles heel of locating. But, just like any big company, if its not making a profit, its the first to be cut, and the engeneering, mapping, records, locatings, damage prevention parts of a utility company are not generating profits. You would be amazed at the skeleton crews that struggle to maintain the utility that advirtises how great they are at providing you a service.

Anyway, it is always a smart idea to call ahead for locates. It also a smart idea to take pictures of locates before you dig and hand dig within 24 inches of the markings. If you do uncover an unmarked line, call back to the call center and inform them that you need an emergency locate to identify the line. Remember, it may be one universal number you call for locates, but that is just the dispatch center. you may have several different locators show up to account for theyre utility individualy. For instance, a normal subdivision will have phone lines, power lines, cable lines, gas lines, streetlighting lines, water/sewer lines and the possibility of underground transmission power lines and/or fiber optics. Some utilies have outsourced locates to a lowest bidding company who may do several different utilites and other utilities will do theyre own locates. Its a good rule of thumb that if you do not see lines of paint in red, orange and yellow and do not see where the locator sprayed the words "no ....." than they have not been there yet.

:red_indian:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,248 Posts
Its a good thing they called for locates first. If they did not, than the liability would be on the digger and not the locator. By the way, do you have a newspaper clipping or link of the mismarking leading to a house fire or something? Everyone has that horror story to tell and most of the time its just an urban legend.
It's not an urban legend
It was on the news here
I'm sure the owners of the home feel so much better that they are not liable

I call, but I also verify the location as much as possible myself
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Being careful is key, we called, they marked the buried line with spray paint, we still found the buried electric cable putting in new fence posts going through asphalt. We dug careful with shovels and uncovered it, no damage to the cable or us.

Was told that damaging one of those fiber optic lines, if you didn't call ahead, will cost you some big bucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
Here in Ohio we have the OHIO UTILITIES PROTECTION SERVICE, we call it OUPS... like oops. great name!

never really needed the service before but I AM moving my mailbox to the other side of my drive, I had no idea stuff might be buried just a foot or so deep, so I'll utilize the service my tax dollars pay for.

So how do they locate this stuff, off of papers? I've seen them with a little device scanning the ground and painting markers before.

Welcome to the Ohio Utilities Protection Service!

Call 1-800-362-2764 before you dig: It’s the law!
By law, everyone MUST contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, 1-800-362-2764, at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning ANY digging project.
 

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here in Ohio we have the OHIO UTILITIES PROTECTION SERVICE, we call it OUPS... like oops. great name!

never really needed the service before but I AM moving my mailbox to the other side of my drive, I had no idea stuff might be buried just a foot or so deep, so I'll utilize the service my tax dollars pay for.

So how do they locate this stuff, off of papers? I've seen them with a little device scanning the ground and painting markers before.
It is well worth calling for locates if your moving your mailbox. You may not have any conflict at all or you may be moving it into an easment that runs along a different side of your property. Lines frequently run along side propertylines to connect rear lotline easments. Yes there codes that stipulate depth requirements for burrying cables, but you need to take in mind grade changes, erosion, yardwork, lowest bidder quality, bedrock,large rocks,soil type...etc...This is why no locator will tell a home owner the depth of a marked cable. It can change frequently in just a few feet. If your using an oggar, than make sure you are atleast 24 inches away from the outside marking of the nearest line. If within 24 inches, hand dig the hole.

The way a locate is done depends on the utility being marked and the locator doing the work. Most locates are done by transmitting a frequency through the line from the nearest access point and using a frequency recieving device to locate the line.

Tax dollars are not part of the locating process. The funds are generated through the profits of the utility companies. Some states fund the call center partialy but they are usualy paid for by the utilities as well.
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
6,520 Posts
Are the locating companies legally responsible to pay for down time of a contractor if not located correctly?
Not to my knowledge, but the contractor or homeowner is almost always subject to fines if locates are not called in and utilities are hit. Here it is $1000 if you don't call digsafe and you hit something. Plus, you're responsible for the labor and materials costs for the utilities to repair their work. Hit a fiber optic bundle and that gets REALLY EXPENSIVE.

Locates are a prudent and easy process. The locate laws apply to homeowners/DIYers as well as contractors.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
3,634 Posts
We used to "Call Candy" here in Florida. Now it's "One Call" and all utilities are notified. Worth doing because it's a minimun of $250 fine.
 

·
Household Handyman
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
From what I know the people doing the locating are contracted to a local entity, such as an electric power co., telephone co., water supplier, etc. They provide a valuable service to anyone who is planning on digging even the simplest little hole in their yard, as I experienced. I wanted to plant a tree some years back, I called the locator as I knew I was in the area of the underground electrical service to my house. When the locator came he quickly "beeped" the electrical service and marked it as such, but he got a strange beep on something right where I had marked for the tree, about three feet from this cable. He kept sounding out the strange beep and finally asked for permission to dig at that spot. Sure! Who knows what it down there. He dug around, carefully, and found a telephone feed line coiled in this area. He had already found the phone line on the other side of the electric feed. He called the phone company, they sent an engineer out to look at it. Short side: Evidently the contractor who installed the phone line had only a small amount of cable left on the spool, as this was new home construction (at that time), he just used all the cable on the spool, coiled it and placed it on the ground knowing it would be covered up with the final landscaping. The phone company had to remove all of this extra cable as it passed over the electric feed to my house, at their expense of course. So, there's a good side to having the locator come out. Thanks, David
 

·
transmitterrecieverpntgun
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
""He kept sounding out the strange beep and finally asked for permission to dig at that spot. Sure! Who knows what it down there. He dug around, carefully, and found a telephone feed line coiled in this area.""



Sounds like a contact drop burial crew that got paid by the foot and not by the job... That locator went above and beyond with great customer service. Sounds like a contract locator doing two utilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Locating underground utilities

I am starting a minor landscaping project on our property. In some areas we will use a bobcat to scoop up rocks and weeds in a culvert. In others, we are digging about 1 foot deep just to get up stubborn weeds like overgrown blackberry vines and burdocks. I contacted the diggers hotline in Wisconsin and will have an answer for what is around our house, but need to call a private locater for detached buildings. We have several outbuildings on our property.

For this project, calling a private locater for the detached buildings is not an option. It would cost a small fortune as the closest is about 70 miles away. I just need some general guidelines, like the depth of electrical, water and gas lines. I plan on being very careful but am concerned about one shed in particular. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top