You dream of putting a beautiful patio or garden in your yard and have finally saved up enough money to do so. The shovels and tools you need have all been purchased and you are ready to start digging, but there is one important step you may have forgotten.

Have you located all the underground pipes and cables in your yard? Unless they have already been mapped out for you, then the answer is probably no. 31% of people fail to check for underground cables before digging, which can have catastrophic results.

You are going to want to get an underground cable locator right away, but what is that, and why is it so important? Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about underground cable locators.

Brief History of Electromagnetic Scanning

In 1831, a British scientist by the name of Michael Faraday laid the groundwork for the first underground locating tools. By 1910, underground devices were being used to locate specific faults in pipes and cables. The job was not as easy as it is today, requiring many people to carry around the equipment and only providing basic information.

Over time, the devices became smaller and portable and were able to detect power lines. They could also tell how far down pipes and cables were located. By the 1960s, the need for devices such as an underground cable locator became popular and was used to avoid any drilling mistakes.

Importance of an Underground Cable Locator

By using an underground cable locator, you are ensuring not only the safety of yourself and those around you but also eliminating unnecessary costs due to the possibility of hitting a power line or pipe. This could potentially affect not only your own home but homes in the surrounding area, which could leave you with a bill costing thousands of dollars.

If you shop for underground magnetics transmitters and are looking at doing your home excavations yourself, do your research and learn how to use the device properly. Thoroughly read over the user’s manual and become familiar with the different settings and frequencies that can be utilized.

How an Underground Cable Locator Works

An underground cable locator is a type of electromagnetic device that detects the signals put out by the energized utility lines. The two types of underground cable locators are passive and active detectors.

Passive detectors use the currents of the cable itself to find their location. Active detectors use the power source from within to energize the cable. Detecting in passive mode alone could cause significant amounts of buried cables to be missed, especially if you are detecting for dead lines.

Know What Lies Below

The best thing to do before breaking ground on any excavation project is to call 811, the nationwide call before you dig number. This goes for not only major projects but simple ones like putting in a mailbox, building a deck, or putting up a flagpole.

You can call about 3 days before the project you need to be completed. Someone will mark utility lines for you using a state-of-the-art underground cable locator. So before your next digging project, be safe and know what lies below.

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