Locate cables before digging

Question: We have a house that is just 10 years old. We are now looking at landscaping and putting in retaining walls. It was suggested that we should first make sure we know where the underground pipes are that go through the area before we start digging. Can you help us with this, or should we call the builder and see if he remembers where the services are?


You’re certainly welcome to try the builder and hey it’s only a phone call or an email to him, so it can’t hurt. But unless your house was out of the ordinary, or he took detailed underground utility plans with coordinates of where everything was laid, then I would say he is unlikely to be of much assistance to you.

You could do a Dial Before You Dig request and see what plans come back from that. They might not have everything on there, but they offer a free service so it really can’t hurt doing the request and seeing what comes back.

Really though, if you’re serious about this and don’t want to hit and damage any of the underground cables and pipes you have on site, then really you need to get us – or another professional locator – to come out and help you find where everything is, this way nothing gets damaged when the works begin.

If you do decide to use a locator and haven’t used one before then if you have 5 minutes free, have a watch of this video we made up to show you how long (in general) it does take to locate the services at a standard residential property.

Of course just keep in mind this is only a guide and some properties take longer and others we can do faster, but I reckon yours sounds similar to the one we did in the video.

Hope this helps, and let us know if we can be of any more assistance.