A Utility Locator Can Ensure Safe Digging | Engineering Supply - EngineerSupply

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What Problems are Encountered When Drilling into the Earth?

Blog problems when drilling into the earth Public utility systems often run underground — some because of their specific function, and others because of convenience or aesthetics. Before anyone can start digging, they have to get approval from the local government. And before a new underground system can be installed, it also has to be approved. Some utilities are permanently marked with short posts or bollards, which typically done for marking lines that carry petroleum products. It may also be done because of certain venting requirements or to mark the location of an underground facility that’s extremely hazardous if it were to be disturbed.

blog problems when drilling into earth

Color-Coding System for Marking Utility Lines

Many areas have a telephone hotline that will allow you to call ahead before you decide to dig in a specific area, so they can determine if there's an underground utility line. They will typically be marked through the use of a color-coding system, which works in the following manner:
  • Red — Electrical power lines, cables, conduits, and lighting cables.
  • Orange — Telecommunication lines, alarm and signal lines, cables, or conduits.
  • Yellow — Natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or any line that carries flammable materials.
  • Green — Sewer and drain lines.
  • Blue — Drinking water.
  • Purple — Reclaimed water, irrigation systems, and slurry lines.
  • Pink — Temporary survey markings, as well as any unknown or unidentified facilities.
  • White — Any proposed excavation route or limit.
These markings will typically run up to and not past a particular service connection or meter. Any lines located on the other side are considered to be part of someone’s private property and will not be marked. So if you’re working in an area that’s not part of public property, you should used a utility locater before you start digging. Because these lines can be made out of many types of materials, you may have to use a different underground utility locator to find out where the lines are. Metal pipes can be located with some type of electromagnetic equipment that includes both a transmitter and receiver. But if they’re made of some other material, you may have to use a different pipe locator to do the same job. Using a utility locator is important, because maps may not give you the type of precision you need to ensure safe digging.

blog problems when drilling into earth

Quality Utility Location Tools from Engineering Supply!

Whether you need a utility locator or some other tool, you can find what you need at Engineering Supply. We have a broad selection of tools that are meant for professional use, and all of them are from the most trusted brands in the industry. Even if you need a pipe locator to find a line that runs through a specific property, you can find it at our store. Feel free to look at what we have in our inventory, so you can find the perfect underground utility locator for your specific needs. And if you have any questions about our products, feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to speak with you!
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