Locating Underground Utilities Before Excavating
We’re out here on a project in Escondido. We’re getting ready to put an ADU in, and I want to show you a cool way that we’re actually locating some of the underground utilities today. So I’m going to show you right now.
Using a Thumping Mechanism to Vibrate Non-Metallic PVC Water Pipes
So we’re locating some water pipes, and some electrical and cable conduits before we start putting up an ADU project here in Escondido. This is a thumping mechanism they put on the water lines. Since the water line’s PVC, and not metallic, you cannot locate it with a typical locating device like we use for electrical, cable and gas lines unless it has a tracer wire installed. This one did not have a tracer wire. The thumping mechanism creates a vibration in the pipe. The gentleman down below, is using a device that is going to be able to hear this thumping noise in the pipes and he will locate the water main with this technique. When we start the excavation here, we will be putting in a septic system as well as grading the pad for the house. By locating these lines it will allow them to steer clear of it and not damage it when the excavation starts.
Make Sure You Test the Shut Off Valves for the Water Main
The first thing we did was we went and shut off the water main at the house and then the irrigation lines so we knew what pipes were being fed by the water main at the street. We then exercised (turned it on and off) the valve on the water main at the street to make sure it shut off properly in case we had a problem. This thumping mechanism can actually break a pipe because of the vibration so you want to know where the shut off valve for the water main is and that it is working just in case it breaks.