The first underground cable locator was created around the year 1910, as a necessity to detect buried telephone cables. It was the telephone men who noticed for the first time that the magnetic flux of the earth was modified by the cables and who thought about using this information to create  a tool able to detect them.

Soon after their creation, underground cable detectors became a necessity and therefore people worked on improving them. The first high-performance cable and buried pipes locating instrument is known as the Metalloscope and has been produced between the two world wars. But the Metalloscope was not the only one; other models from the same period were The Sharman Main Finder, the Twin Aerial System and the Depthometer.

As the years passed by, more and more cables, pipes and other structures begun to be put underground and consequently not just the equipment but also the technology improved, minimizing the interference with other buried utilities, and many brands appeared worldwide.

Today, the variety of the existing equipment can make the purchase of an underground cable locator difficult, precisely because you have so many factors to consider: the particularities of the scanned area, the type of the locator, the cost etc.

The purpose of underground cable locators

Underground cable services are used in all kind of digging projects, in order to prevent damage to buried cables and other utilities that will likely turn to be very expensive, involving excavation and repairs, insurance claims and even downtime that may affect an entire community. It is much better to use the right technology and prevent accidents than damaging and reducing the integrity of buried cables.

Locators are basically classified into high-frequency and low-frequency; although today`s technology is very efficient, it is still estimated that about 10% of the underground cables still cannot be located completely. That`s because the equipment must be always used by properly trained and experienced technicians, and also because there are various possible interferences that might affect locators` performance.

The benefits of hiring professional locators

  • You will receive high-quality services provided by a fully insured and accredited company that works exclusively with qualified, experienced and responsible technicians, who understand the importance of accurately locating buried utilities
  • You will prevent unintended consequence related to damaging cables and other underground utilities, that may include property damage and personal injuries
  • Adequate equipment and methods will be selected according to the particularities of the scanned area, in order to obtain deep electronic readings, increase safety, accuracy and reduce human error as much as possible.
  • Besides locating services, you can also benefit from cable fault finding services, archaeological investigation, concrete scanning, geophysical feature investigation and even locating services for utilities in walls, floor or roof cavities – all provided by the same company.
  • Many companies in this business offer emergency services, 24/7.

Remember that any type of digging (building a deck, installing a fence etc.) requires a call to professional locators. 811 is a federally designated number, available in every state, from any phone. It is also free, and you should consider using it a few days before starting a digging project, to allow professional locators to properly do their job.

Underground Cable Locating Services – History, Description And Benefits