Utility lines run all over the place. This includes power lines, water lines, gas lines, cable lines, and certain types of internet-specific lines. Anything that a company provides from afar must have a way to get to the customers. For utilities, these means have lines run from them to the customer. Most people are familiar with power lines stretch in all directions way up above on poles. However, many utility lines are underground. These lines are cannot be seen which means that, unless you were involved with putting them there, you are not going to know where an underground line might be. Now consider digging into the ground for a project. Maybe you are putting in a permanent swimming pool or are building a cellar. Now consider that there are utility lines running right underneath where you are digging. If you do not know they are there, you are likely to hit one. If it is a water line, it will cause a disruption in service and most likely some hefty fees. However, what if it is a gas line? There could be an explosion or at best a leak of toxic fumes. This is a dangerous situation. This is why you should never dig way down without first finding out if there are any utility lines in the area. Unfortunately, not many people know how to go about finding out this information. Thankfully, it is a simple process. What you will find here is information on what you need to do when you need to find utility lines.
There is no way for you to be able to find the lines on your own without digging and that defeats the purpose of looking in the first place. One option is to call all of the local utilities and ask if they have underground lines on or near your property. They will be able to provide you with any information they have about underground lines in that area, but there is a problem with relying on this method. Old lines can be present that current companies do not know about. Also, if the company installed new lines, they will have the information on them, but if they left the old lines in place, they may not retain records of those, especially not for an extended period of time. This means that contacting local companies is an excellent starting point but there is no guarantee that you will have all of the information. You can also check city plans, but this is often less reliable than calling the companies.
At this point, you may be wondering what other options there could possibly be. If you can not guarantee that the information from city plans and the utility companies is complete, how are you going to determine whether or not there are lines in your way? Thankfully, there are professionals for just such an occasion. There are a few options that you can rely on in this respect. If you are a contractor, a fire department, or a company looking for information, there are special resources available that can help you. However, there are also resources that the average homeowner can rely on. At this point, it is important to differentiate between public utility lines and private ones. Public utility lines are the ones owned and maintained by the utility company. Private lines are those that the homeowner is responsible for. This can include lines run to other buildings on the property, sewer lines, and several others. The problem with private lines is that, unless you are the one that put it there, there is no way to know exactly what is underground and where it is located. These lines will not be part of the 811 system which is a number that is a required call before any excavation can take place. This system keeps a record of all public lines, past and present. This is a vital step in the process, but it still leaves the question of private lines. This is where a private utility locating service is necessary.
If you find yourself in need of a private utility locating service, there are many available. All you have to do is look in the right place. You may be able to find the information you need in a phone book, but chances are, it will be a difficult number to search. Instead, consider utilizing the internet. This way, you will be assured to find the type of company that you need and you will get much more information than just a phone number. You will be able to peruse the company’s website as well as their social media pages, any reviews written on the company, and much more. All you have to do is have a strong internet connection and input a few choice keywords into your favorite search engine. In this case, you will need to use the term “private utility locating service”. You can also substitute “service” for “company”. You will also need to use a descriptor for your location so that you can find a company in your area. Even if you have to look in neighboring cities or even counties, you want to find something fairly local. This means that you need to be specific about location in your search. The name of your city is generally best, but if you need to broaden the results, you can try the name of your county along with state name. You must include the state name because there are similarly named counties in various states and you want to ensure you are getting results for the correct area. If that does not provide the necessary result, try searching with just the state name as a location descriptor.
Once you find the necessary results, simply find an email address or a phone number and reach out to the company closest to you to set up an appointment. If they are booked up, try the next one in line. Keep in mind that you may have to wait a bit for an appointment, but it should not be too long.
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