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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

1-800-dig

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pete black

02-02-2013 08:37:07
166.205.68.44



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rereading the post on locating buried utilities lines there is reference to calling the line location services. in alabama you are encouraged (required) to call them before you dig. now what do you get when you call them? they will notify each utility involved (treated water, waste water, gas, electric, communications) and each individual utility will send out a representative to locate and mark only those lines that are owned by the utility. each utility pays a fee to the line location service and its primary (only) purpose is to protect those lines that are owned by the utility.

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Pops1532

02-03-2013 22:46:07
68.58.114.55



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
We're required to stake out or clearly mark where we are going to dig prior to them locating utilities. They do often tell us 10' but I think legally it's less. 3' sounds right but we try to accommodate what they tell us.
Each utility uses a specific color paint, gas = yellow, water = blue, etc. They don't mark "no electric" here, they just mark "OK".
A contractor I know was going to trench for a new water service for a commercial building. He had his own locating equipment and found all the utilities. He still called JULIE. The guy that located the phone lines located an abandoned line on the wrong side of the street. The contractor told him he was on the wrong side of the street. The phone guy was a jerk about it and wouldn't check on the other side of the street. The contractor dug his trench, hand dug around the 900 pair phone cable then called the phone company supervisor out to show him the exposed cable on one side of the street and the locate marks on the other and told him about his conversation with the guy doing the locating. The locate guy got in allot of trouble.

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PJH

02-04-2013 08:19:05
50.40.240.242



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to Pops1532, 02-03-2013 22:46:07  
You're right Pops - they do mark "OK" in their color of paint. I just deleted a bunch of "proof pics" and noticed a big red OK in one. I've been retired a few years. . .



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Pops1532

02-02-2013 17:00:19
68.58.114.55



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
When you call JULIE in IL they notify the utilities and the appropriate building inspector. As mentioned before, the cable companies don't generally locate.
Very good advise to take pics of the markings prior to digging. The marks aren't exact. Generally they'll tell you to allow 10' on each side of their marks.



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George Marsh

02-02-2013 15:50:59
50.104.244.212



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
There are some lines they don"t mark, like dish or direct TV lines. The water company came out and marked my lines. The were over 5 ft off. They said if I had hit the line it would have been my fault. Can"t trust them to get it right.



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DaveK(IN)

02-02-2013 12:16:26
75.103.134.29



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
Calling for a locate also protects you from liability if they do not mark it correctly. I was trenching at the fire house and dug up the phone lines that knocked out the sheriff dispatch. AT&T came out and was telling me how much it was going to cost us for the repair. I walked him about 30 feet away where they had marked their lines. These were new lines that were run to our new FH. They had left the old ones in service but failed to mark them. Never heard another word about charges. I never put a shovel in the ground without calling.

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MSD

02-02-2013 09:52:18
67.4.60.129



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
Law here in SD "Call before you dig". Doesn't cost anything for the locate but they will only located the public utilities. Your on your own for private.



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Ted in NE-OH

02-02-2013 09:48:10
72.16.19.80



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
Will they go on private property to mark private water or drain lines or can you pay them to do that?



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pete black

02-02-2013 09:53:44
166.205.68.26



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to Ted in NE-OH, 02-02-2013 09:48:10  
i do not have an definite answer for that, but my association, work related, their purpose is to locate or spot their lines to protect their lines, not locate your lines.



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PJH

02-02-2013 09:05:38
50.40.228.214



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
That's what we have here in Illinois. They call it J.U.L.I.E. here, which stands for Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators. After many years of dealing with utility locates, I'd advise you to make the call. Sooner or later, it will save you some money. It requires some planning. Some folks are the spur of the moment type. They think of something, fire up a machine, and cut an expensive cable. Also - after calling them three days before digging, take the time to document everything with photographs, and especially note who doesn't respond. It was common for the cable folks to ignore the JULIE call. You'll notice that after cutting a cable, the first thing the utility guys will do when they show up for the repair is freshen up their paint marks. I've caught them "altering" their marks after the fact. The photos give you a fighting chance, cause they'll show the locate marks before a shovel was stuck in the ground. It's no fun, and a waste of time, sitting in a courtroom. I've been there, done that. I'm not painting all utility workers as dishonest, but like in anything there's always a few that need watching. . .

Paul

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El Toro

02-02-2013 08:45:19
108.3.143.30



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to pete black, 02-02-2013 08:37:07  
We have that here in MD called Miss Utility. You call them and they send out someone to locate buried pipes and mark the area. Hal



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Billy Shafer

02-02-2013 12:22:09
173.184.94.230



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to El Toro, 02-02-2013 08:45:19  
Just hope they get it right. Helping a buddy of mine install a fence. Called the power company to show us where the underground lines were. Guy comes out. Tells us don't worry you are ten feet from any lines. Grabbed the BEER and post hole diggers. First hole no problem. Second hole we had a big blue flame shoot out neighborhood went dark. Cut right thru the main power line.



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PJH

02-02-2013 18:56:00
50.40.228.214



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to Billy Shafer, 02-02-2013 12:22:09  
Well Billy - They should paint "No Electric" on the ground, and before they leave you should take a picture of it, hopefully with the locate guy in the picture. You can imagine how valuable that picture could be.

Even with good locates, you can still screw up, but there's no need to take the blame if it ain't your fault.

Someone said ten feet on each side of the locate. We always figured three feet, and I'm not sure it really isn't 18 inches each side of the paint that you're liable for.

The worst thing you can do is find a phone line and think it's the one they located. There's so many dead lines in the ground - you can think you're home free 'cause you found it, then next bite you cut the good one. If they see that you're making a genuine effort to protect their investment they'll usually go out of their way to be good to you. That all ends when you cut a fiber optic line. Second call to make then is to your insurance company.

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rd 2n in mo

02-03-2013 08:08:34
76.214.61.243



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 Re: 1-800-dig in reply to PJH, 02-02-2013 18:56:00  
Guy in a new subdivision next door tried to put in a new mail box post. He was from Bosnia and did not know about Dig right. He hit the gas line and blew up his house and ruined both houses on either side of him.It was tied up in court for two years before the others could get their houses repaired. He did not make it. Basement was sold and replaced.



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