Locating Services FAQ's

The most common question we get is "Are you the same as Dial Before you Dig?".  The answer is  No.  DBYD will send you drawings from any service providers in your area.  The plans all have small writing at bottom of drawing stating they take no responsibility for the accuracy and anyone doing excavation work should get services located properly. We find errors every week from DBYD plans where services are missed, incorrectly drawn, incorrectly identified as the drawings are not updated. Nor do DBYD take any responsibility for services within your property boundary. 

Do DBYD plans show what’s on your property?

No, DBYD plans stop at your boundary and its never a good idea to assume route and depth of services once on your property.

Do Dial Before You Dig Plans (DBYD) not show you where everything is?

No, a common misconception is that the DBYD plans are enough to give you all the info you need prior to starting work. The DBYD plans “should” tell you of all the services/assets in the area you have stated but they are not always complete and/or accurate and also put the liability firmly with who is doing the excavation to investigate (engage location services) further and identify actual routes prior to starting.

Can you identify breaks/blockages in pipes?

Yes, we have successfully done this for numerous clients who had spent a lot of time (and $$$) digging trying to locate blockages before engaging our services.

Does the power need to be off to locate power cables?

No, we use specialist clamps which go round the cable/conduit to push a signal through the cable.

Can you locate through concrete?

Yes, although steel reinforcing within the concrete can distort signal although utilising specialist techniques we can and do still locate the services.

Can you locate plastic pipes?

Yes. Similar to fibre we cannot locate using the EMF locator on its own but use the Traced Rodders to feed into the pipe before putting a signal through it to get route and depth readings.

Can you location fibre services?

Yes, however fibre itself is not picked up by EMF and we cannot put a signal through it. So what we do is utilise a Tracer Rodder to put in the conduit with the fibre and then we can follow the route and get depths reading from the EMF equipment we use. In a lot of cases fibre will utilise same conduit as Telstra which is traceable by EMF.

What depth are power cable layed at?

Australian standard is that it should be (unless under concrete) 600mm below the service.   We regularly find this is not the case which can be for numerous reasons e.g surface erosion over the years, tree roots can pull the cable towards the surface, installation error etc.  K and J Scanning have found power at less than 100mm on a property which was due to tree roots pulling it up over the years. 

How much does it cost to obtain a location plan from DBYD?

Lodging a Dial Before You Dig enquiry is FREE. However in some instances, infrastructure asset owners may charge for the supply of infrastructure information – although this is normally only for large development related enquiries or planning/design enquiries where no excavation is taking place.  Please remember, the plans provided by DBYD DO NOT pinpoint the exact location of the infrastructure asset. Therefore, Duty of Care must be exercised when working around any infrastructure assets, we suggest you engage K and J Scanning to determine the exact loacation and depth of your services.

Why do I need Scanning Services?

You can be liable for any damage caused to services on your property. Court proceedings may commence against individuals and/or companies for the recovery of the cost of repairing or reinstating damaged assets where negligence appears to be a contributor.

Should I use Dial Before you Dig?

The Dial Before you dig service can be found at https://www.1100.com.au. They provide a great service and should always be utilised.  Any excavation, irrespective of size, has the potential to damage assets located around the worksite, leading to service interruptions, delays to the project, costly repairs and in the worst-case scenario, injury or death.

Obtaining information from Dial Before You Dig Members significantly minimises these risks by providing information about the worksite.  Safety is a fundamental aspect of any excavation project and so Dial Before You Dig should always be the first point of contact.

NB: They DO NOT pinpoint the exact location of the infrastructure asset or service. Therefore, Duty of Care must be exercised when working around any services.  This is where our location services are so important.

Do you encounter many snakes?

Yes we do and Kevin has trained and has a permit to handle venomous snakes as and when required he has also developed a passion for them and is always more than happy to talk with anyone and everyone about them...........at great length if you let him!!

How do you locate a pipe blockage?

We use a sonde transmitter on end of a rodder to go down pipe to blockage and we can then pin point exactly where the blockage is, saving a lot of time and effort to dig down and repair. Last blockage I located was for a client who phoned me a few days later to say my marks were within 20mm of where it was.  

A Near Miss

K and J Scanning received an urgent call to go to a job for a shed installer.  They had already started breaking ground and the client had stopped them proceeding due to her belief there was a gas pipe in the vicinity.  

Sadly, the Client had lost family members in a gas explosion many years ago and was very concerned and asked for the services to be located.  K and J Scanning located the gas pipe going straight through the planned excavation.

The pink circle is where the hole was being dug and the yellow line is the gas line.  The gas line was only 400mm below surface.  The shed installer was planning to go to 700mm which could have resulted in a disaster.

The client also mentioned a smell of gas around the meter that had been there for some time.  We did a soapy bubble test and found the leak at the meter and gave the client the number of who to call and what to say.  We were happy to hear later that the service provider had fixed the leak within 2hrs of the call.

There were no detail of the gas line on the DBYD supplied plans!!!

Please be careful.