Coming out of the seemingly endless lockdowns which have haunted us for the duration of the pandemic, many people are looking at changing their home space. Whether inside or outside, there are many additions which can be made to improve the quality of life of all residents. Although you want to ensure that any additions you make to your property don’t affect your current plumbing system. One of the more common reasons for people looking for a plumber in Springfield PA and calling us has been accidentally damaging pipes during the installation when additions are made. Whether that’s out in the yard, where pipes may be feet underground, or inside the walls of the house, these can be costly mistakes.

Here is an overview of the different pipes you may come across

Outside

As this problem occurs more with pipes underground than pipes buried in walls, we’ll deal with these first. There are several types of underground utilities which may be buried in your backyard, and recognizing them when you come across them is important. You may also be able to determine where they are before you dig, saving you the pain of expensive repairs.

Utility Location

This is the process of identifying different utilities that may be underground, and includes pipes or lines which may be used for:

  • Cable television
  • Electricity distribution
  • Fiber optics
  • Natural gas
  • Telecommunication
  • Traffic lights
  • Storm drains
  • Street lights
  • Wastewater pipes
  • Water mains

As many of these will be related to the other houses in your area, any damage to these may cause outages for your entire street.

Private Lines

Unlike the above utilities, private lines refer to those utilities which are specific to the residence, and can include:

  • Certain electrical lines
  • Gas lines
  • Private sewer laterals
  • Sprinkler systems

While damaging these lines may not affect your neighbors, they can be costly to repair, in both time and money. Most of these underground utilities and private lines will be buried between 18 and 24 inches deep (1.5 to 2 feet), although this can vary greatly. It’s good practice to call 811 if you’re digging any more than 12 inches deep in your yard.

Call 811

The 811 phone service has been around for about 14 years now, and has likely saved countless residents innumerable amounts of money. Simply put, the service allows an individual to call up and inquire as to whether there are any utilities in their yard. It’s recommended that you call them a few days before you plan on digging, as they can take some time to confirm details on their end and get back to you.

Most customers that come to us for our services like repiping Delaware County PA have failed to call 811, or wait for a response from them.

Common Installations Which Require Digging Deeper than 12 Feet

If you’re still unsure as to whether it’s entirely necessary to call 811, consider the following list of common installations which should require you to call them.

  • Creating a pond in your garden
  • Creating trenches for drainage lines such as for French drains
  • Digging fence post holes
  • Digging foundations for a deck, garage, or shed
  • Digging up sections of your lawn for an irrigation system
  • Digging up the yard for a sewer trench
  • Planting any trees
  • Trenching a base for an intended retaining wall
  • Trenching your yard to add a conduit for an exterior light or outlet

Although just because you don’t see the job on this list doesn’t mean you’re safe to do it. Do your due diligence and act accordingly, as previously stated any mistakes can affect your entire neighborhood. In situations like that, it’s better to call a professional. Advanced Drain and Plumbing Solutions is your reliable plumber in Springfield PA!

Inside

Unlike the outside world, it’s often much easier to identify where the plumbing systems in your home are located. That’s because there are a few easily accessible tools which can help you find both the pipes and wires which run through the walls of your house.

Observation and Deduction

The first thing to consider when trying to decipher if there are wires or pipes running behind a wall you want to modify, is what outlets are around. If there are electrical outlets on that wall, you can assume some cables to be behind it, whereas if you’re in the kitchen or bathroom you may expect to find pipes.

Wall Scanner

An expensive but highly effective option, one can find wall scanner’s which are capable of identifying both pipes and wires. You may also find someone in your area who can professionally come and scan your walls for you, giving you an exact idea of what you’ll find behind them.

Stethoscope

A much more affordable option than a wall scanner, albeit less effective, is the use of a stethoscope. This can help you to hear any water running through pipes in your walls, but won’t help you find or identify any cables.

Professional Plumber Springfield PA

Even if you do your best in trying to avoid the pipes in your yard or walls, mistakes do still happen and pipes are still hit. Never fear though, contact us about our repiping Delaware County PA to see how we can help you get that utility functioning again!