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Thread: Australian Tips and Techniques

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    Default Australian Tips and Techniques

    Although the principles of EMF are the same universally, the systems are different in various countries. Being a newbie to locating in Australia, I thought I'd start a thread on Aussie peculiarities (yeah, yeah...we have a few ) in relation to our power and phone systems etc.

    I've already had some great help from a fellow Aussie, Groundscope, so I hope to have this as a place where we can compare systems with our friends in the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada etc.

    I hope this is OK with the forum admin as I know it is mainly a US utility locate site but we don't seem to have a working forum over here.

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    You are the reason this forum is here. The basics of all locating are the same. The peculiarities lie in the systems being located. If we can't learn from our Australian friends then we have no need to visit this board.

    As far as a working forum in Australia... you are looking at it. I couldn't imagine limiting this forum to any one country. All I got to say is that you are just as welcome here as my fellow locators who live in the same city/country as I do.

    BTW... I've been to Rockingham and Perth and met some wonderful people there.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    Still learning lots about locating in Australia. I'm only doing resiential stuff and mainly for my own digging business but here are a few tips for other newbies starting out.
    To locate residential power, do a passive and radio sweep to see what shows up, then clip your red lead to the meter box, black lead to a ground stake at 90deg to where you assume the line goes and fire up your generator. You should get a good signal out to the pillar box and beyond and it should light up any other power (power to the shed etc.) in the yard. For phone, find the conduit where it enters the house and use your clamp to clamp around the cable. Turn on your generator and trace the line out to the road. I've been using simple 33kHz Cable Avoidance Tools and they generally work really well for this sort of stuff. Recenlty bought a used RD4000 and T3 and it's like a Rolls Royce compared to the more simple tools. Also in Australia we use Orange for 240V power, White for Telecom, You can use Red for HighVoltage power, I think its blue for potable water and storm water, purple/lilac for sewerage. I use a spring metal electricians snake to trace short runs of storm water and it works ok. I always get plans first so I can check where the pits and pillars are and if there are any services running through the property on easments, or any high risk lines nearby. I've often found that there is fibre or high voltage lines nearby and it pays to get the plans first. In Australia our OneCall centre, nationwide is called Dial Before You Dig.

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    I thought in Australia that the excavators had to pay for the utility lines to be located themselves or suffer liability? Did that recently change?

    And a white color marking for telephone? Why did they pick white. I thought the color coded marking guides were universally accepted?
    TRUST no one !!!
    QUESTION everything !!!
    Find the TRUTH for yourself !!!
    Sound a bit paranoid ???
    That's what this business is. - Don Lyng

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by FailedSafetyAudit View Post
    I thought in Australia that the excavators had to pay for the utility lines to be located themselves or suffer liability? Did that recently change?

    And a white color marking for telephone? Why did they pick white. I thought the color coded marking guides were universally accepted?
    What color does you guys use for telephone we don't as yet seem to have set a standard color system but I have noticed that I think all here use white for telephone

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    Our standard colors are:

    Blue-----water
    Green---sewer
    Orange-communications i.e. phone, cable tv, fiber optic cable
    Red-----electric
    yellow--petroleum i.e. gas, crude, jet fuel, ammonia lines, LPG
    Purple--reclaimed water
    White--proposed excavation
    Pink----survey

    A good dite to look at is the CGA.

    http://www.commongroundalliance.com/...BP_8.0_Web.pdf

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    Yep White for Phone in Australia. The conduits are the same colour.
    As for diggers having to pay, ...who pays for locates, or whether they are done at all depends on who your working for. As a small business, mainly digging on private property, we make sure we locate before we dig, we use our own locators and the customer just gets charged a small amount of extra time to locate and avoid his cables. Most of them have no idea about how easy it is to cut them and how much it costs to fix them. It's about educating them and doing what needs to be done. We didn't always do it this way and many of our colleagues still don't. Now days, even if the customer doesn't really understand what I'm doing or why, I am a lot happier because at the end of the job, they've got their post holes, or trench and I've saved them a shit load of drama, even when they don't realise it.

    NULCa Australia have a forum and someone there proposed a National colour code, I presume that this is what everyone is using down here.

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    It sounds like Australia doesn't have alot of contract locating companies at the moment. Not alot of competition currently? You guys should start your own company while the fields are virgin.
    TRUST no one !!!
    QUESTION everything !!!
    Find the TRUTH for yourself !!!
    Sound a bit paranoid ???
    That's what this business is. - Don Lyng

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    Default Re: Australian Tips and Techniques

    Here's one for the experts, probably easy when you know how but...
    Why, when I hook onto the meter box, get a good ground on 8kHz can I easily find the main power lead in to the house, 240V from house to shed etc, BUT always seem to have trouble finding the line(s) to the electric pump(s) on the septic or grey water. Is it because the pumps are internally grounded? Should I diconnect the pump from the power point first? Even running the pump doen's seem to make much difference (using passive). On both recent cases there were a lot of metal star pickets and fence posts nearby and an overhead power line in one case. Eventually I got a reasonable signal by upping the power and changing to 65kHz but it still has me confused. Any advice appreciated.

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