More and more utility crews these days are using potholing in construction to expose lines while keeping them safe and sound. Utility potholing uses a portable vacuum excavator instead of a shovel or backhoe to find utility lines during construction or repairs. Want to know exactly how it works? Have a look at our full description of the potholing utilities process.
Utility potholing is used to locate known utilities below surface level by excavating holes. Workers start with a simple pothole of around 8 to 12 inches in diameter and use a vacuum excavator to dig straight down until the utility is found.
Vacuum excavators are portable pressurized units that use air or water to remove soil through high-speed suction when potholing in construction. The displaced wet or dry soil is then stored in a holding tank to be replaced later. Depending on the size of the job, an excavator can range between 100 and 1,200 gallons of capacity. By using low-pressure water or air, they are the safest method of digging below ground when utilities are nearby.
In the past, backhoes were used to dig up the surface when potholing utilities, but using a backhoe to create potholes can destroy the very line they need to protect. The force of the metal tool can easily cut through a water or electric line, creating the need for major repairs. Shovels are problematic as well as they can slice through electric or phone lines just as easily as a backhoe. Using water or air instead, safely excavates the soil around the utility lines, leaving them intact.
When you want to pothole responsibly without damaging the lines, the best process today is to proceed with a vacuum excavator. Without metal to cut through sensitive utilities, you can protect the community while also making the job easier.
The Professionals of Advanced Line Systems are experts in the field of Utility Potholing!
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