Why Use Digital Service Locating

Service locating finding a underground cable using a Radiodetection RD8000 cable locator

Service locating using a Radiodetection RD8000 cable locator to mark out a underground cable

Do you need to locate an underground power or telephone cable? Then EMF cable and pipe locating is exactly what you are after.
EMF locating is the original and still one of the fastest ways to go about locating an underground utility. There are several different ways the technology works, but the most common use of EMF locating and the one we use, day in and day out, is known as induction locating, in which we induce a signal onto the cable or pipe that you are trying to find through the use of the transmitter and then locate that same signal that we have just produced with a receiver.


We need a locator, but I don’t think it is called EMF Locating

EMF locating stands for Electromagnetic Field Locating. There are also a heap of other names it goes by as well, such as;

  • Digital Locating
  • Service Locating
  • Utility Detection
  • Electromagnetic Locating
  • Inductive Locating
  • Service Locations
  • Passive Locating
  • Underground Cable and Pipe Locating
  • EM Locating
  • Conductive Locating
  • Cable Locating
  • Wanding

And these are just the main ones, there are probably so many more as well, but regardless what name they go by, or what people call them, they are all still the same thing. If you are trying to find an underground cable or pipe that is conductive—as in it is made up of some kind of metal material—then this is the service you are looking for.


I’m now more confused than before

OK, so it might sound a little confusing, but it is actually a pretty simple technique. But rather than try and explain it in more detail and or break down the science behind it all, probably the best way for us to show you what it is and how it works is with a video of us using an EMF cable and pipe locator.  

In the video below we have Ben Minutoli, our manager at Geelong Cable Locations, using an EMF locator to locate a telephone cable out the front of Simonds Stadium in Geelong.

Just click the play button below to watch the video.   

Have you seen all you need to see? Is this the kind of service you would like us to do for you? Click here to be taken to our online calendar in which you can book a time in that suits you.

Now, of course in this video we were locating a telephone cable, but this same equipment can be used to locate, power/electrical cables (both high voltage and low voltage), irrigation cables, satellite TV cables, signal cables, lighting cables, and actually not just cables—this gear can also do water pipes, gas pipes, oil pipelines, fuel pipelines, basically any type of pipe or cable, just as long as it is made up of a conductive material.

What if the pipes are not conductive?

We can also use EMF locating to locate pipes that are not conductive, such as sewer pipes and stormwater or drainage pipes, so long as we have access to one end of the pipe.

The reason for this is because we can push a fibreglass rod up the pipeline and in the middle of the push rod is a conductive wire that we can hook onto, which means we can then induce our signal onto the wire, which in turn makes the pushrod traceable—meaning we can then locate where the rod is; and of course locating where the rod means we are actually locating where the sewer or stormwater pipe is.

Pretty clever, right?

If the pipes are of a larger diameter then we can use other similar methods, but just with different equipment to locate them, such as driving CCTV cameras, that we can drive up the pipes, and/or using sondes. But if you do need to locate large diameter sewer or drainage pipes, then it’s probably best to get in touch with us and we can go through it with you in more detail, as each case will be different and will need to be discussed individually.


What if you can’t get access to the pipe?

So what about if you need to locate something on site that is not conductive and you don’t have access to it so you can push anything up it? Well, only a few years ago there would be not much more we could do, but today we have pretty much every piece of underground locating equipment available, so we have a range of options that we can offer.

There is Ground Penetrating Radar—perfect if you know there is a underground storage tank in the area or a non-conductive pipe like a water main or gas pipe in the area, but are just not sure exactly where it is. Here is the link to the Ground Penetrating Radar page on our website that has a range of information for you, including a video of the GPR in action.

There is acoustic locating—perfect if there is a poly water pipe that you need to locate or even a PVC fire service. Here is a link to the acoustic locating page on our website, which again has a video of the gear in action and a lot more info about it all.


What’s next?

So, where to from here? If EMF cable and pipe locating is what you are after then the next question you probably should be asking is: are we the right company that you would like to work with to come out onsite and help you locate where your underground cables and pipes are?

At time of writing this web page we are happy to say that we are still the only locating company in Victoria to be qualified and, more so, accredited from Dial Before You Dig themselves to be classified as a Dial Before You Dig certified locator. To date, no other locating company has managed to pass this stringent online test and onsite assessment that they put you through. In fact not only are we the only locating company to have passed the test, we have actually had 2 of our locating technicians complete the assessment and become fully qualified.

What are we talking about with the whole Dial Before You Dig certified locator? Well, if you are unfamiliar with it, then let me direct you to this blog post that Ben wrote when it initially came out. He also updated it again in late 2015 when there were a few more changes made to the DBYD certification.

Why else would you use us? Well, being one of the first locating companies in Victoria means we have more experience and knowledge than the majority of other locators out there. With real onsite locating hours coming close to the 50,000-hour mark, there are few others that can come close.

So why does this matter to you? This means we have already learnt from our mistakes—we have put our systems, procedures and checklist in place, so that when we come out to your site you can rest assured we know what we are doing, there is a reason behind why we do what we do, and that at all times it is so that we can do the job right, without making mistakes and make sure that you, the customer, gets value for money.

So if you happy with all of that, then the next thing you need to do is book us in to come out to your site.


Sounds good, let’s get you out to site

There are 2 ways you can make a booking. You can ring 1800 449 543 and speak to one of our lovely receptionists, who can take all your details down. If we haven’t done a job for you before, or even if we have but it has been a little while, then they will send you out a new customer pack. We need you to read it, sign it and send it back and then we can confirm a time to meet onsite.

The second way is to click here and this will take you to our online booking system. You simply select the service you are after—so in this case you would select service locating—then our actual calendar will open up on your screen. Find a time that is still free and suits you, then go ahead and select it and fill in your details and the job details. If we haven’t worked for you before, then someone from the office will be in touch to confirm billing details. If we have worked for you before and you are set up as a current customer, then we will just confirm we have all the details we need and then will confirm to you in an email who it will be that will be coming out to meet you onsite and locate all the underground services on your site.

So what are you waiting for? Click here now to be taken to our calendar and go ahead and book that job in.

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