Did you know that there are over 7.6 million construction workers in America? If you’re one of them, you may be in a position where you need to locate underground utilities. After all, the last thing you want to do is hit a water line or buried cable during a project.
Keep reading to learn about the 5 tools that make locating underground utilities easier!
- Pipe and Cable Locator
When you need to locate underground utilities, this device comes in handy. Essentially, it consists of two parts. These are the receiver and transmitter.
The transmitter generates a signal, while the receiver can find the signal from a gas pipeline or electrical cable. This device only works with metallic utilities, so it won’t work well to locate plastic pipes.
- Vacuum Excavation
Utility workers may turn to vacuum excavation as another way to dig safely while looking out for utility lines. With this process, an air stream penetrates the surface of the ground. As a result, the risk of hitting a metal pipe using a traditional metal shovel does not exist.
As the high pressure from the air stream removes dirt, a worker will be able to notice utility lines. That way, the construction team can avoid hitting an existing pipe or line as they remove dirt.
- Ground Penetrating Radar
With this approach, radar pulses can help uncover structures that sit beneath the surface of the ground. And using a ground penetrating radar (GPR) means that you won’t need to dig in order to know what sits below the surface.
Just be aware that using a GPR requires significant expertise. Even so, the effort can be worth it. This method can help detect pipes, gravesites, and storage tanks.
- Magnetic Locators
When you’re hunting down water or electrical lines, one of these devices works well. This tool is particularly useful for surveyors plotting property lines. In other words, if you just bought a house and want to install a fence, a surveyor could use this tool to provide a definitive edge to your property.
Magnetic locators can detect iron water pipes, meter boxes, and steel gas valves. They also can detect items buried as much as 15 feet below the ground.
- Utilities Beacons
As another option to locate underground utilities, use beacons. These devices can locate sewer and water lines. Find more here when you’re trying to find a beacon with the right frequency for your needs.
You can use a beacon to detect metallic pipes and non-metallic pipes alike. You can find the pathways formed by pipes and even locate blockages with these handy devices. Some long-range beacons can find underground materials as deep as 30 feet.
Make Locating Underground Utilities Easier
Locating underground utilities is a challenging but critical job to ensure a safe construction site. Magnetic locators and pipe and cable locators remain common tools to detect underground utilities. But beacons, vacuum excavation, and ground penetrating radars also can work well.
When you need more tips to make work in the construction industry easier, check back for new articles!