Before starting excavation works for a new building, you have to keep in mind that under your feet there is an unseen complex network of utility pipes. The pipes can be found in any place and at any depth, which makes guessing a bad choice. Especially hard to guess, is when the excavation is to be done in a city or near an inhabited area, where the underground network is particularly dense and complex. The solution to avoiding any damage to the pipes when digging with heavy machinery is cable locator service. Here is what you need to know about this service and profession.
1. What is pipe cable locator?
People working as pipe locators do exactly what the job name suggests. Their task is to locate underground utility pipes and cables, with the aim of avoiding accidents and damages during excavation works. The locator uses special equipment and tools that are also called cable locators or cable avoidance tools. These locators are meant to detect different types of pipes and cables, using various means, such as radio frequences, magnetic fields, and electromagnetic radiation.
2. How do you locate underground pipes?
An important thing you should know about pipe location is that you don’t locate the pipes themselves, instead, you locate electromagnetic signals that travel back and forth from the metallic underground utilities to your detecting tool, making the indicator’s needle instantly jump, which lets you know that a pipe or cable is now under you. Each underground locator has its own way of using and relies on a different way of operation, such as radio frequences, magnetic fields, or ground-penetrating radargrams.
3. How do you become a cable locator?
If you have enough experience in handling cable locators and basic knowledge of magnetic fields, you can perform the locating operation around your house by yourself. But, the lack of credentials will not allow you to work in a company that provides underground service location. For that, you need to be a certified locator, fully accredited by proper authorities. You need to have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance which are meant to make your work safe for you, as a service provider, and for the customer. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering or a related field or have a large experience of working in a similar position. To become a certified cable locator you also have to attend additional training courses that will cement your practice skills required for this job.