Service Locating

When you think of cable and pipe locating, it is highly likely that this is the locating technique you are thinking of.

Need to locate an underground cable or pipe?

The original and still one of the best methods used to locate underground utilities, when people think of service locating, this is normally the technique they think of. 
The exact name of this technique is Electromagnetic Field Locating (EMF Locating) but there are many other different names it can go by such as; 

And these are just the main ones. There are many more, but regardless of what people call them, they all achieve the same goal, which is to locate the underground power cable, water pipe, telephone cable, gas pipe or any other underground ‘conductive’ (as in it is made up of some kind of metal material) buried utility that you are trying to locate.

Not sure what service locating is?

Still not sure if this is the locating method you need? Well, it’s actually a pretty straight forward 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 this video of us out on site, using a cable and pipe locator to locate an underground phone cable

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

Now, of course in this video, we were locating a telephone cable, but this equipment can be used to locate, power and electrical cables (both high 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

Service Locating Finding a underground cable using a Radiodetection RD8000 cable locator
Using a Radiodetection RD8000 cable locator to mark out an underground service
Geelong Cable Locations locating gas pipe crossing train track
Locating a gas main going under a train line.
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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. This means we can then induce our signal onto that wire, which in turn makes the pushrod traceable – so we can then locate where the rod is. Of course, locating where the rod is means we are actually locating where the sewer or stormwater pipe is.
Locating conduit which contains optic fibre cable, using locatable fibreglass pushrod

If the pipes are of a larger diameter then we can use other similar methods, just with different equipment to locate them, such as CCTV cameras that we can drive up the pipes, or use sondes, which are
self-contained transmitters.

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 should be discussed individually to get the best outcome.

If you want to get a better idea of what we are talking about when we say fibreglass push rod, the video here from a job we did in Colac, shows the method used to locate an optical fibre cable.

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’t push anything up it? Well, if you asked us 15, maybe even 10 years ago, we would have said, sorry there is not much else we can do. But today, technology has changed, and we have invested heavily, not only in the latest equipment but also in training.
There is no point having access to a fighter jet, if you only know how to fly a drone. We have pretty much every piece of underground locating equipment available, so that we offer you a range of options, in order to make sure we have located every underground service you need found.
Some of these options include;
Ground Penetrating Radar—perfect if you know there is an underground pipe in the area that is not conductive, like a PVC water main, or a gas main or even an underground storage tank
Acoustic locating—ideal for poly water pipes or even plastic fire services
Non Destructive Digging / Excavation—for those times where no other method will work, but you know it’s in the area and you just want to dig down and expose it. However, you don’t want to dig by hand as it will take far too long and you can’t use a backhoe or an excavator as it’s likely you will damage the underground service. 
Located gas pipe with ground penetrating radar. Now just waiting for the guys on the NDD truck to expose it.
Geelong Cable Locations using acoustic locating to locate a plastic water pipe
Using the acoustic locator to locate where a garden tap is getting feed from
Exposing rail signal cables with NDD truck

What’s next?

If cable and pipe service locating is what you are after, then the next question you probably should be asking is: why are we the right company to come out onsite and to work with you to locate where your underground cables and pipes are?

Geelong Cable Locations has now been around for over 20 years. We were one of the first locating companies in Victoria and have close to, or by the time you are reading this, have probably just passed, 50,000 real, on site, locating hours. This gives us more experience and knowledge than the majority of other locating companies in Victoria.

So why does this matter to you? This means we have already learnt from our mistakes—over time we have put systems, procedures and checklists in place, so that when we come out to your site you can rest assured you are with working the best in the business.

We understand that our work is critical. People’s lives can be on the line, mistakes cannot happen.

We are passionate about what we do and take a lot of pride in being able to perform a service that few others have the skill, experience and knowledge to perform to the level that we can.

So, if you need some underground services located, don’t risk using anyone else, click the book online button below, find a time that suits your schedule and let’s get out there and get the job done right.
Can we be of assistance to you?

You can book our services online directly

or call us on