How Does a Utility Locator Work?

utility locator

Safety is key when it comes to construction and excavation work. Utility lines might lie underneath. These utilities can pose a threat to your health and safety.

Each year, several thousand cases are reported due to someone hitting a utility line. Being proactive is a must to prevent safety hazards. If you’re planning to dig or drill in an area, you should use a utility locator.

It’s a good idea to know how a utility locator works. Read on to learn how this type of equipment works so you can use it properly.

What Is a Utility Locator?

A utility locator is a device used to locate most underground utilities. This device can locate exterior electrical lines and water cables. It’s also capable of locating fiber optics and Internet cable among others.

You might see signs that say “call before you dig” when there’s a need to use this device. Even if you don’t see any signs, it’s important to use a utility locator.

Using a utility locating device allows you to find out what lies beneath the surface. It allows users to identify major power, gas, or water lines. It helps them from coming in contact with the lines.

It’s an essential piece of equipment. It can help prevent major incidents like an explosion due to a punctured gas line. It can also aid in preventing setbacks that can put a project behind schedule.

How Is a Utility Locator Used?

An underground utility locator is the professional responsible for using this device. The goal is to assess the site, or read the terrain, to detect the location of all buried utilities. All locations will then be marked out or mapped with care.

After your utility line locator gives you the green light, you can start your project. It’s your job to stay clear of the utility lines. You don’t want to damage them.

Types of Utility Locators

The type of underground locator you’ll use will depend on your needs as well as your budget. Electromagnetic locators are perfect for locating underground utilities. These use an electromagnetic frequency that transmits through a conductive material.

They’re effective for detecting rebar or water pipes. These can detect up to a depth of 15 feet.

Pipe and cable locators are available as well. These induce a signal onto a pipe or cable. You can use the receiver to find the signal that the line is producing.

These are perfect for detecting gas pipelines. They’re also great for detecting cable TV and telephone wires.

You can choose to buy refurbished Sonde transmitters. There are several DigiTrak options available. These are among the most reliable utility line detection devices on sale.

Using a Utility Locator

You should never dig or drill a hole in the ground without first checking for utility lines on the property. This is a mistake that can lead to poor outcomes. The best thing you can do is to use a utility locator to look for lines.

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