Surface Penetrating Radar Services

Locating utilities with state-of-the-art technology 

Cable and pipe location services are an important aspect of any construction project. More often than not, utility lines are buried under the ground where they are not visible — if undetected, they can be damaged during construction. If accidentally damaged, utility cables and pipes must be repaired, which can prove quite costly. You can minimise the chances of this occurring by taking the steps to hire experts who will ensure accurate cable and pipe detection.

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Whenever you break ground, you run the risk of causing damage to underground cables. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by utilising a buried cable locator service.

Because of an increase in urbanisation, New Zealand contains more hidden cables than ever before. Since you have no way of knowing exactly where they are when starting a construction project, you’ll want to make finding out a priority.


When cables and pipes are damaged, the entire construction project is halted. Workers can also become injured in the process, and the surrounding environment may be negatively impacted in the process. Proper cable and pipe detection will supply you with the information you need to keep your job running smoothly and without interruption.

Surface Penetrating Radar Services

Before you begin ripping up earth near buried cables and pipes, it’s a good idea to trace them so you’ll know exactly where and what to excavate. Historically, locating them involved finding buried water, gas or sewer lines. The locating process has become more complex over the years with the advent of telecommunications cables that now co-mingle under the ground with utility lines.


Though it may come as a surprise, the cable and pipe detection technology of today works much the same as it did in the beginning. An electrical signal is used to pinpoint the exact location, and sometimes it can even indicate problems with telecommunication lines.


The equipment used can differentiate the target cable from other types of lines, while also providing an estimation of depth. This information is useful when planning construction projects as it can help assess whether alterations to the initial design are necessary.

Surface Penetrating Radar Services

Once they have a picture of the utilities, the underground utility locators can form an accurate map. This map will outline where the buried cables, pipes or utility lines run. They can then mark on the ground where they are, and the company can use hydro excavation equipment to safely and precisely dig up the utility lines.

Hydro excavation or vacuum excavation is the preferred digging method because it uses pressurised water to break through the soil and a sucker truck to draw the broken up soil away from the work site. There's no digging with heavy equipment that can accidentally damage the lines, and hydro excavation allows you to dig through even frozen ground without a problem.

Underground utility locators are traditionally used for a broad range of projects ranging from civil, domestic and industrial projects. For example, you can map utilities to ensure that you'll have them where you need them in order to build new residential housing or even to extend existing utility lines to new property developments. It's also popular for repairing old or broken utility lines or adding new lines in.

There are various types of signals and location techniques used when conducting cable and pipe detection across New Zealand. Passive signals naturally occur around a conductor, which, here, is present in the form of an underground utility. When this is used, a passive sweep searches for utilities that are abandoned, inaccessible or unknown.


This type of buried cable locator service does not identify the utility type because the same passive signal may show up on multiple utilities in the area. Therefore, an active signal is needed to identify each line.


When searching for secondary water, electric and gas lines, a direct connection is used. Here, a cable is plugged directly into a transmitter which then outputs to the target line using connection clips. The clips are typically used when applying a signal to metallic pipes.


There are various methods used for performing cable and pipe detection. Before beginning any construction project, be sure to include pipe locator and cable locator services in your plans.


If you're in need of a reputableunderground utility locator in Auckland, Wellington or anywhere in New Zealand, we invite you to contact us at Vac-U-Digga NZ today! We have the industry knowledge, tools and equipment available to help locate your buried utility lines and to make you an accurate map. 

Contact Vac-U-Digga NZ today to arrange a personalised obligation-free quote.

Vac-U-Digga NZ is proud to be part of the Christchurch Rebuild Program and to be engaged on the delivery of the high-speed Ultra Fast Broadband and other major projects across New Zealand.

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