Private Utility Locating: What Homeowners Need to Know

, Private Utility Locating: What Homeowners Need to Know

When do you need help from a utility locating service? Below, we’ll discuss what it is and what you need to know about it as a homeowner. Not all utilities are the same and it’s time for you to know the difference between private and public ones.

It’s also important that you learn about the value of private utility locating services

Private and Public Utilities: What are the Differences?

Public utility lines are provided by utility companies and they can define exactly where their lines start and end. By dialing 811, you can get information as to where public utility lines are located. Typical public utility lines include water, gas, sewer,  phone, cable, fiber, and others. Each state has its own guidelines regarding public utility lines.

On the other hand, there are private utility lines that have no state guidelines controlling them. In fact, there are more private utility lines than public ones. About 65% of all utility lines are private.

Examples of private utility lines include electrical lines going to a shed or a garage, a gas line connected to a grill, irrigation lines, and sewer laterals. Knowing where these lines are located is just as crucial to safety as knowing where public utility lines are. 

Utility lines, whether private or public, are all dangerous when they are struck during digging and can cause damage.

Private Utility Locating 101

If you are planning on digging around your property, then you need to call 811 or maybe visit the respective 811 website for your state and request that utility lines be marked properly so you don’t hit any line or pipe underground.

Keep in mind that 811 will only locate and mark public utility lines. For buried private utility lines, that would be your responsibility. And with that, you will need to get help from a utility locating service provider.

Technicians of utility locating service providers undergo extensive training to be sure that they can cover the entire ground and they can locate all lines, conduits, valves, pipes, and cables under your property.

They use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate where hidden lines are. GPR uses radio waves to detect and identify objects that are hidden. It’s inevitable that some lines cannot be identified by traditional methods. Without GPR, these lines would not be identified at all.

Just relying on the traditional methods of looking for lines is not enough, especially when there is a good chance that private utility lines have been buried on the job site.

Get Help from a Trusted Utility Locating Service 

So, if you are digging in your property and you are unsure if there have been utility lines buried there, it would make sense to get help from a utility locating service provider. 

If you need assistance in locating utility lines under your property, you may fill out our online form to get help from a top-notch private utility locating service, or contact us at 888-885-6228 at Util-Locate today!