The Importance of Locating Private Utility Lines Before Doing Outdoor Work

water leak detection

In the past, most utility lines were strung overhead. But nowadays, more and more lines and wires have moved underground, from telephone lines to internet cable. When you are ready to do some work in your yard, you will want to have your private lines located and marked before you begin to dig.

Miss Utility (the “call 811 before you dig” folks) is a free service that will mark the public lines. But did you know the portion of the water line from the curb or meter to your house is almost always considered private? And the electric line that runs from the house to your barn is private. That means Miss Utility won’t mark it.

Line Locators, Inc. is a private utility marking company based in Leesburg, Virginia. We can send our trained technician to your site to mark private lines- including but not limited to water, electric, communication, sewer, septic. Hitting any one of these lines or pipes will make your renovation or yard work take longer and cost more and could cause physical harm to you or those around you! So have them marked out before you start your job.

Electric Lines/cable lines are essentially wires wrapped in a protective covering. These can be energized and marked out, in most cases, using radio frequency. The same goes for metallic water lines. However, using PVC for water lines has been the norm for decades. PVC lines should be installed with a tracer wire or tracer tape so pinpoint locating in the future. But we find many times the tracer wire installation is overlooked or skipped. To locate plastic lines like this, we use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) or may need to thump the ground and listen for the line. This is the same way we find leaks in water pipes! Check out of blog on water leak detection.

Line Locators, Inc. has been locating and marking lines at homes from Arlington to Ashburn, from Rockville to Bowie, from Fairfax to Columbia for years. If you are going to do some outdoor renovations at your home this year, make sure you call Miss Utility/811 and hire a professional locator to mark all of your private utilities too!