Service Locating FAQ’s are many and varied, here are a few of our most common questions and answers.

We provide service locating and additional services in the areas of Ballarat, Golden Plains, Geelong, Wyndham, Melton, Moorabool, Corangamite, Hepburn, Colac-Otway, Borough of Queenscliff, Western suburbs of Melbourne and beyond. Contact us to discuss your project and location.

If you have a question that we haven’t answered yet please contact us at Contact and we will reply promptly and update our FAQ’s.

This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables, including, type of service being located, depth, soil conditions and potential interference from other service or the built environment (fences, building and concrete),

It is our aim to always achieve Australian Standard Quality Level B (500mm vertical and 300mm horizontal), in preparation for Quality Level A which is potholing for visual confirmation of the asses.

The Australian Standard 5488 sets out a standardised colour system for service locators, however engineers, surveyors and others may also use paint marks with different or contradictory colours.

In general though, locators will use….

  • Yellow = Gas
  • Orange = Electricity
  • White = Communications (Telstra, NBN, Optus and other providers)
  • Blue = water service
  • Pink = unknown or unconfirmed type of service

This is one of the most asked FAQ’s we get.

We can find conductive assets such as copper Telstra cables, copper trace wires on water or gas services, steel and cast iron pipes.  

In addition to metallic pipes and cables, where there is a suitable access point where we can use a traceable duct rodder, we can also locate storm water, sewer, Fiber Optic (NBN) and empty conduits.

This is one of the most common FAQ’s, but it is hard to answer… long is a piece of string?

How long service locating takes really depends of a few factors –

Are the assets accessible – by this we mean, can we access to pits, valves, meters etc. If we need to move a pile of wood to access a water meter or there is a traffic barrier sitting on top of the pit we need to access, it will obviously take a lot longer or we may not be able to complete the job.

How congested the area is with other services – the more congested the area the longer it will take. A single Telstra cable is generally quick and easy to find, but if it runs parallel to a gas main, water main, NBN, low and high voltage power cables, it become a bit more complex and time consuming to ensure accuracy. In addition, steel fences and temp fencing can also slow down the process as they are conductive and create additional challenges for locators.

Short answer, no our equipment wont interfere with any other services.

Slightly longer answer, as we generally operate at frequencies very different to other services there will be no impact. However, it has been known to happen that service locating can interfere with rail signals, and this why it is important to engage BYDA certified locators. 

A gas supply pipe or LV cable is only small but can have significant impact if it is unintentionally damaged.

When deciding if you need a service locator there are a number of things to consider –

  • Where are you working – at home in front or back yard? A quiet street? At a factory or industrial site? At a school or industrial site? One the edge of a highway or in a paddock? The type and likelihood of services can vary greatly depending of where you are working. 
  • How deep are you excavating?
  • Are you hand digging or using machinery?
  • Do you have any plans of the area? How old/accurate are they? How confident are you reading plans?
  • What is the risk of not getting the area located?

In most cases we are able to provide you a depth as this may impact your plans, we can also provide information if permits may be needed in close proximity to some services.

At times, plans need to change to work around existing services, or the services may need to be moved depending on the scale of the project.

Where there are assets within your work area it is always recommended to confirm the position/depth of the service with hydro-vaccing or hand digging. We can assist with hydro vaccing for your project.

It does look simple, I can’t disagree with you there, however looks can be deceiving!

The sheer number of settings on our equipment, different connection methods, potential for poor and crossed signals and inherent risks of service locating actually makes it far more complex than it looks, so we are unable to hire our equipment out.

For those that really want to hire equipment you could try Kennards Hire.

Quality Levels of Underground Service Locating, often just denoted as ‘QL’ on either reports or plans or marked on the ground provides a uniformed standard of the quality of locations. This system allows locators to communicate to clients, contractors, surveys and other how accurate and reliable the locations of serves are.

  1. QL-A Potholed Verified  +/- 50mm
  2. QL-B Reliable EMF location. +/- 300mm Horizontal, +/- 500mm Vertical
  3. QL-C Identify buried assets by surface features but not able to achieve QL-B. No spatial accuracy
  4. QL-D Identify asset in the vicinity by plans but not able to achieve QL-B. No spatial accuracy