Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have some questions? We have some answers.  


What is a locate?

A locate is the name given to the detection, marking and reporting of buried utility services on a job-site or work location.
Utility lines are detected using the transmission of radio-frequency signals applied to the line and read by a portable Radio Frequency (RF) receiver scanning over the ground above the line’s location.
The detected signal is then marked on the surface of the ground using temporary marking paint, stakes, or flags in order to indicate the horizontal position of the line.
A Private Utility Locate provides a report, delivered to you on site, or by fax or email. The report details the site address, requesting party, and the nature and location of detected utility lines in the form of a sketch. The sketch is a guide to marking in the field, and generally not to scale. This process is called a “locate”. It may be applied to both public and private utility lines.

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What's the difference between Public and Private Locates?

Locate It Inc. is a Private Utility locating company. This means that we are legally able to locate and clear excavation projects regarding Private Utilities only. The “all clear” to dig around Public Utilities must be given by a Public Utility company, reachable for free through Ontario One Call. Most people assume that utilities are deemed public or private based on property lines, but this is not the case at all.

Service utility lines are designated “public” where the providing utility company is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the transmission lines. This designation ends at a demarcation point, typically a valve, a meter, or a transformer. Transmission of a service beyond this point is the responsibility of the end consumer. We refer to this part of a service as the Private Utility. Remember, it is your responsibility to contact ALL public utility owners prior to excavation. It is the law.
These Private lines will not be located by the Ontario One Call service, but can be located by Private Locate companies, such as Locate It Inc.
Try our request form  to contact us on-line!

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Can you find plastic lines?

Plastic lines are only locatable if they run concurrently with tracer lines, or can be fished with either a tracer line or miniature transmitter (sonde). Otherwise, plastic lines remain undetectable by conventional locate methods.

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How accurate is a locate?

Locates are accurate to +/- one (1) meter horizontally, but in specific cases, may be much more accurate.
No mechanical excavation work should take place within one (1) meter of marked utility lines. At Locate It Inc. we prefer to use paint markings as opposed to flags as they are not subject to being moved inadvertently. No mechanical excavation is to take place within one (1) meter horizontally of any marked utility line, regardless of its identity. Please use extreme caution in this regard.

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What services are not locatable?

Non-conductive service lines that cannot be fished with a sonde (miniature transmitter) or fish wire cannot be located. Lines that cannot conduct electricity such as plastic sewer and drain lines, asbestos-concrete water lines, clay drainage tiles, plastic irrigation or service pipes, etc., are not locatable by conventional means.

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Why should I get a private utility locate?

It is in the best interest of the excavator to retain a private utility locator regardless of the information provided by Utility Companies or property owners to ensure the safety of the crews engaged in the excavation and to prevent damage to personnel, property and utility lines. Excavators are required by law to exercise due diligence in this regard. Damages can cost time, money and lives.


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