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Tile locator
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Posted 11/25/2021 16:36 (#9341247 - in reply to #9338279)
Subject: RE: Tile locator

Actually using the excavator is my favorite method. If you have a general idea where the tile are at, you can often see a line in the dirt clay barrier. I actually found a one inch water line this way this fall doing this. We had a general idea of the location based on where it came out of the basement and where the hydrant was at, but needed to T into it for a new line and new hydrant about midway and we did not know how deep it was. It must have been trenched in because we could barely see a line. We had to look at the side of the trench and find a slight distortion. Then I just kept digging a tiny bit at a time with the excavator until we had the line uncovered. It was down deep enough that we had almost given up finding it there. Make sure you have a straight edge on the excavator though.

I do a similar thing out in the field with tile. Often it is quicker to just repair a small break than to spend the whole day searching. I have also been convinced that tile that are supposed to be there were actually the figment of someone's strained memory only to find them 100 feet over from where they were supposed to be. What could have been a long frustrating day of probing could be a relaxing hour of digging and a half hour of fixing if dug too deep. It is not uncommon however for me to do a combination of digging and probing to avoid the half hour of fixing. It is way easier to probe down a foot in a trench than 3-4 feet above only to find out you were following a rock line.

Unless it is a grid system, after a while you kind of get a sense for where they would have run a line and know where to start digging.
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