KNOW ABOUT 3 POPULAR TYPES OF UTILITY LOCATING EQUIPMENT & THEIR WORKING Utility location is an activity that needs to be carried out whenever there is excavation to be done at the site. The reasons are simple; you could run into utility pipes, power or gas pipes if you haven’t carried out utility location. To avoid such situations, many methods are in use today that help the construction crew map underground utilities to plan out excavations. In this article, you will get to know about three popular types of utility locating equipment and their working. Type #1: Ground Penetrating Radar This is a highly advanced method of locating utilities underground. Ground Penetrating Radar uses radar technology to find metallic instalments below the ground. The principle is simple – the equipment sends out radio waves which tend to be reflected off metallic objects. As the deflected beams return to the device, a bat’s eye map of underground utilities can be easily put together. This is the most popular technology used today. The biggest drawback of using this method is that it cannot locate utilities located deep down if they are too small. Type #2: Vacuum excavation More commonly known as potholing or hydro-digging, this method is a non-destructive method. It works basically by exposing the utilities that are located underground. A high- pressure pump blasts air onto the soil, which breaks up under this pressure. A vacuum pump is then used to clean up the loosened soil. This creates a “pothole” with all the utilities intact – thus giving the workers an idea of what is where. In cases where soil conditions are tough, and it is not easily loosened, professionals make use of water instead of air. This method is also very popular. Type #3: Electromagnetic utility location This is a very common method of locating underground private utilities. It uses a transmitter and a receiver, which generate and detect electromagnetic frequencies underground. Electromagnetic waves are modified when they interact with underground utilities, which can be easily detected by the receiver and mapped on paper. This is a very effective method. The three methods are the most commonly used methods to locate underground utilities.