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  • Ever hit a utility line? Woops

    Just read a farmers story.Called Miss utilitys,marked 1"phone line 5 Ft. off.
    Guys augering post holes with tractor. Cuts cable. utility repairs. Expect 3 to $5,000 bill,to come in mail. Calls ins. co. Now farmer owns 120 acres. Come to find out , The utility installed it ,in and out of His property for 1 mile. Now Here's the good news. He never gave them an easement! They now have 30 days to re-locate. Who Says there's no God!
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

  • #2
    Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

    Tool,

    I once had the guys working with a walk behind trencher installing some yard drains on my side yard. To our surprise (and dig-alerts) they ran into a 50-pair cable of phone wire. The Phone Company came out and repaired it free of charge and then made arrangements to move the main pull location from the box on the side of my house. Apparently the Phone Company had made a temporary repair right after the track was built and lost the location of the pull.

    I am currently working with the Utility Companies in Utah for my subdivision. They will end up with a one-mile by 20-foot wide easement and I need to make sure now it is where I want it not where they want it.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

      Back in february we were replacing a sewer line. We obey the law and called in a locate before we started digging.

      First time the bucket goes into the ground we cut the customers power lines. The power line was not marked.

      Next day We were on the job for thirty minutes and cut the lines to the neighbors house. again the power lines were not marked.


      It starts to rain right after the neighbors lines are repaired. We come back the next day. On the job for an hour. we hit the mis-marked phone line.

      THe steel gas pipe was mismarked by four feet, but it is steel an we did no damage and we were being EXTRA careful.

      I also cut the power main to my street when replacing my own sewerline. It too was not marked at all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

        Wow ,I call My 16,000 backhoe a utility locator! Real EZ to get in trouble!
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
          Wow ,I call My 16,000 backhoe a utility locator! Real EZ to get in trouble!

          LOL! been there, done that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

            chris, the scout and navitract both have an easy to use 60 cycle locator that works great. no need to go in blind.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

              I was trusting the people that have the state contract.

              besides, where is the adventure in double checking ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                Originally posted by ChrisConnor View Post
                I was trusting the people that have the state contract.
                Originally posted by ChrisConnor View Post

                besides, where is the adventure in double checking ?


                There is an increased chance for life in double checking.

                Luckily no one died in your past 'adventures'.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                  we've hit a transnsformer feed,shut down 1mile radius.No charge from sce.

                  sounded like a couple of sticks of dynamite.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                    I was once replacing a water line on the last town home in the row so there was lines everywhere.

                    The whole yard was spray painted, Miss Utility even said good luck as he left.

                    So my old boss decided to dig it. Technically we shouldn't have dug at all. We nailed several lines, one being the main line for the whole row of town homes, and it was loud as **** when we hit it. There was 2 guys watching/looking for lines plus the operator but it was still too late.

                    We ended up going back to the shop and grabbing some generators for the people as BGE repaired it.
                    Proud To Be Union!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                      For eleven years, I owned a new residential construction plumbing company, so I can't even guess at how many utility lines "I" have hit, but I do know that most of them were due to mis-marked utilities. The second-most common cause was from rocks rolling off the spoil pile. Some of the cuts were due to pure laziness, where the guy in the ditch or the operator thought he could save just a little bit of effort by scraping-off a few inches with the machine before hand digging -- pure laziness and stupidity in my opinion.

                      When the utility company can prove that one's negligence lead to the damage of their property, the cost is dear. I can't think of any repair that cost me less than $5,000.00. Then, to add insult to injury, the notices start coming in the mail. Here, in Virginia, you have the State Corporation Commission to answer to, then the State Board for Contractors, etc., etc.

                      Laziness and stupidity are not good traits for those who dig ditches for a living -- contrary to the beliefs of most who work at a desk.

                      Bruce
                      Last edited by brucestorey; 09-16-2007, 09:06 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                        Aaron,
                        It's a lucky thing no one got hurt,and the fact it happend so early in your career without you having it on your dime.

                        Lots of horror stories out there.

                        The one that allways sticks in my mind is the one about the crispy critter still stuck to the digging bar(bless his soul).

                        I hit one leg on a missmarked and unprotected-nonsanded 220 feed under a driveway with a digging bar.I guess it was my day to get off with a warning.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                          Dirty- Thats for sure, safety first. Most residential plumbers, around here at least don't pay much attention to safety, and I get in pissing matches with them over it, which is a shame. Safety is one thing I do speak up and mouth off about.

                          And man your lucky about that 220 feed line.
                          Proud To Be Union!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                            Hit a buried phone line as big as my arm 5 feet off Miss Utility marks. I did miss the fiber optic line at least

                            Took out about 20 houses. Man those things have alot of wires in them.

                            Neighbors came by to see what was happening and asked if he could borrow my cell phone as his land line wasn't working. He spent 20 mins. bitching to his internet provider because his DSL wasn't working

                            Should I have said it was my fault?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ever hit a utility line? Woops

                              Worked on a project at an air port in Waterville Maine. Fiber optic line that feeds all of N. Maine ran right through the middle of the entire project. Had to find and dig around the line several times. At one point we were removing the old drainage system (via excavator) and putting in new as we went. When the excavator operator went to remove the piece around the fiber optic line the boss said Stop and find that line first. The operator and I couldn't believe it ,what a PIA we were thinking. The pipe was back filled with 4"angular stone so I had to remove it all with my hands as a shovel was useless. After a half hour we found the fiber optic line. When they underground bored it they went right through the middle of the pipe. If we had pulled on that pipe it would have ripped that fiber optics all to hell. Even though our bosses were pretty easy going At $2000 a Min for every Min that line is down I think the operator and I would have been looking for a new job.

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