Potholing: The Safest Way to Access Broken Underground Electrical Lines

April 12, 2017 4:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Sometimes things can go wrong with buried electrical lines. The wire may get cut, damaged by rodents or even just wear out over time. Whatever the cause may be, fixing an underground line can be an expensive and tricky job. You have to be able to locate the wire and then dig down to it without causing further damage to any other buried utilities, but that’s actually where Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. can help.

At Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc., we are one of the only underground utility contractors in Roseville, CA to use an innovative process called potholing that allows us to take all the guesswork out of repairing broken underground electrical wires. We can safely locate and create an access point to the broken wire without running the risk of damaging other underground utilities, which will save you time and money. Here’s how it works.

The process

We use a self-contained unit that uses pressurized air and/or water to displace soil and create what we call “spoil”—waste material brought up during the course of an excavation or dredging. This spoil is then removed from the area through a suction hose, leaving behind a “pothole” that allows us to now access the broken underground electrical lines.

The benefits

There are several benefits to using the potholing process to access buried electrical lines:

  • You can see exactly where the line is: Although locators have become more accurate at finding where a broken line is, it’s still important and helpful to actually see where the line is located.
  • No need to worry about “safe zones”: A safe zone is usually an area spanning from a few inches above an electrical line to a few feet on both sides of the line that a contractor is not allowed to dig in with an excavator. Only soft forms of digging are allowed in the safe zone, which used to mean digging by hand. Potholing, however, is considered another form of soft digging that is allowed in safe zones, and is much faster and more effective than doing the work by hand.
  • There’s no guesswork: Today, many utilities are installed using horizontal directional drills, which leaves the surface ground almost completely untouched. This is great, except when you need to locate where the wires are buried. Underground utility contractors in Roseville, CA used to be able to obtain clues as to where a line was buried simply by looking at the surface ground, but now that’s not always possible. Using potholing takes the guesswork out of locating underground lines that have been installed using horizontal directional drills.

If you have an underground wire that needs to be repaired, call the experts at Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. Our innovative process of potholing will allow us to locate and access the broken electrical line without running the risk of damage to your property or other buried utilities. To learn more about our processes or to schedule a service, give us a call today!

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