Question: What Is The Proper Hand Digging Method To Locate And Uncover An Existing Utility?

How deep are residential power lines buried?

24 inchesWorking around buried facilities Main lines are generally found at least 24 inches deep, while service lines are gener- ally found at least 18 inches deep.

Keep in mind: existing grades can change and the current depth of an electric or natural gas line may be different than when originally installed..

What are common signs that you may be getting close to an existing utility?

These signs should be obvious—look for marking flags, paint, pedestals, fire hydrants, and other above-ground indicators. Even though these indicators may signal there are no underground utilities within the dig area or drill site, be alert to additional warning signs as you start the excavation.

How do you hand dig around utility lines?

Whenever you hand dig near buried utility lines, take care to prevent damage:Use a rounded or blunt-edged shovel. … Begin digging off to the side of the marked utility line. … Proceed cautiously. … Never pry against a utility line to remove soil. … Dig until you find the actual line, not just a tracer wire or warning tape.

Can you pour concrete over utility lines?

Do: Plan Carefully If possible, try to build around any underground utility lines. If you’re building a shallow concrete slab, you should be able to build it on top of existing lines, as long as you take the proper precautions.

How deep can you dig without calling 811?

There is no allotted depth before a person needs to call 811. Whether you are just planting small shrubs or installing fences, CGA says any time you are putting a shovel in the ground you need to call due to the fact that many utilities are buried just a few inches below the surface.

How far from the utility line flags in the ground should you hand dig?

18 inchesTips for Digging Around Utility Lines Keep your trenches or holes at least 18 inches away from 811 markings. The tools used to locate underground wires are not always precise, and 811 guidelines say that holes or trenches should be kept at least 18 inches away from either side of marked lines.

How far away can you dig from a gas line?

Laws typically require hand digging within some distance (18″ in my state) of a marked line. If you do find a gas line with your shovel and notice any damage beyond, perhaps, very minor scraping, call the gas company back.

Does 811 mark gas lines?

Your call to 811 connects you with your state’s “one-call center,” which arranges, at no cost to you, for utilities like us to locate and mark our buried utilities in your yard. We will send a professional to locate underground natural gas and electric lines with colored flags, paint or stakes.

How do I find my buried electrical lines?

Advantages of Using Pipe and Cable Locators Pipe and cable locators offer an effective way to locate buried electrical lines and conduit. They operate slightly differently than magnetic location devices, allowing them to find a signal from a non-ferrous metal. Some utilities have a signal running through them.

What is the hand expose zone for a utility line?

The “hand expose zone” is the zone lying within 1 metre of each side of the locate marks that identify the location of the buried facility.

How deep are water and gas lines buried?

Common utility services such as electricity, gas, water and communications cable are usually buried at a depth of 200 – 600mm beneath the surface.

Can tree roots break gas lines?

Many gardeners are aware that tree roots can damage water pipes, but the roots are a threat to gas lines, as well. When planted too close to a gas line, vigorous tree roots are capable of moving the lines and destroying the protective coating on the pipes. Tree maintenance and accidents can also damage gas lines.

Is it against the law to dig without calling 811?

The law, in all states, generally provides that anyone excavating must call the 811 utility-locate hotline before digging begins to have all utilities located and marked.

How close may you get to a marked utility when digging?

It’s best to dig a few test holes, and make sure they are at least a foot away from the markers. Sometimes, you will have to expose those lines by hand to ensure you can find and follow the line.

Where are utility lines usually located?

Main electric lines are generally buried in conduit under or behind the sidewalk in a utility easement. The utility’s locator will use red paint to mark where the electric cable runs underground from the sidewalk area to the meter on a house, usually located on the side of the garage.