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Locating cables is a vital part of any construction project because it helps to prevent damages to underground utility cables. Notably, improper location of wires can cause damage to underground utility cables which is both expensive and detrimental to a company's reputation. The fact that the most affected utility lines are telecommunication cables is enough to make rookie cable locators feel uneasy on the job. Telecommunications companies, therefore, use underground cable locators to ensure precise location of telecommunications lines. However, using the devices is not enough if workers fail to implement best practices. Nonetheless, this article highlights the best practices that rookies should observe to complement the correct usage of underground utility line locators.
Maintaining Markers -- When locating underground cables, you are expected to mark the positions of the cables using flags or utility paint. The markers are meant to guide the excavation process and avoid cable damage. However, maintenance of the tags largely determines the direction that an excavation process takes. For instance, if you are using flags as markers, and the wind blows a flag away because you did not secure it correctly, then excavators will dig where the flag lands. Consequently, it increases the chances of damaging underground cables. Therefore, as you operate the underground cable locating device, ensure that you maintain the markers properly until such a time when the excavator reaches the marked area. Failure to do so will negate your efforts and that of the locator device.
Using the Right Colour-Coded Marker -- The different underground utility lines are supposed to be marked with colour-coded markers so that excavators approach the dig with appropriate care. For instance, orange markings indicate the presence of telecommunications cables, while yellow marking means underground gas lines. Due to the close similarity of the colours, it is easy to use the wrong markings, and this can cause serious problems. While such confusion might be innocent, it is essential that rookies use a manual to verify that they are using the right colour-coded markings.
Remove all Markings after Excavation -- Once you have located an underground telecommunications cable and the excavation exercise is through, it is crucial that you remove the utility markings. It is, however, a step that most underground cable locator rookies forget, and they end up pulling the flags before the excavation process is complete. It is wrong because if you remove utility markings haphazardly, then the excavators might end up digging an already backfilled utility line. Therefore, it is advisable to wait for the completion of the entire excavation process so that the excavation team knows the location of the underground cables during the duration of the operation.
If you're unsure about your abilities then you can use the cable locating services of an established company like One Step Ahead Communications to ensure that the cable locating process goes smoothly throughout the entire process.