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It's a Jungle out there. Underground Utility Detection & Inspection Services

Washington State & Oregon's Leader for Locating Power, Electrical, Lighting, Traffic Signals, & Irrigation Control Wires Before Digging

Washington State & Oregon’s Leader for Locating Power, Electrical, Lighting, Traffic Signals, & Irrigation Control Wires Before Digging

metallic Line detection

As we progress into the future, a growing number of underground utilities are being installed, including transmission and distribution lines for electricity, natural gas, cable television, private data services, municipal water, and telephone, among others. As a result, it is essential to properly locate utilities and avoid these services before undertaking any underground digging, drilling, or landscaping projects. Disrupting or damaging any of these utilities can be dangerous, professionally embarrassing, and potentially very expensive. Therefore, you can contact underground utility locating professionals like C-N-I Locates LTD to provide reliable results within 24 hours’ notice, Monday through Friday. CNI Locates has field offices in Tacoma, WA, Seattle, WA, Renton, WA, and Everett, WA, which serves all of Washington State. We also provide services for all of Oregon State from our Portland, OR, and Eugene, OR field offices (our Portland, Oregon location also services the southern portion of Washington State).

There are numerous types of electrical infrastructure that are located underground in Oregon and Washington State, such as high voltage power, medium voltage power, low voltage power, electrical distribution, electrical transmission, electrical services, lighting, traffic signals, irrigation control wires, and more. It is essential to know the exact locations of these utilities before engaging in any subsurface activities. Failing to identify a utility’s location can result in costly repairs, power outages, and even serious injury or loss of life. This is where a company like C-N-I Locates LTD can offer valuable assistance.

Examples of Different Types of Electrical

Below are some types of power/electricity that CNI Locates detects regularly. 

Transmission Power 

Transmission power is the transfer of electrical energy from power plants to substations. Our certified technicians are able to locate transmission power lines to ensure the integrity of the electrical infrastructure in the work area and the safety of the crew while subsurface work is performed.

Switchgear Power 

High Voltage, Medium Voltage, and Low Voltage switchgear are used as safeguards for electrical power generation and to protect equipment from damage. CNI Locates expert technicians are able to locate switchgear power that is high voltage, medium voltage, or low voltage in your work area so you can feel confident when you are performing subsurface work around these types of electrical lines.

Transformer Power 

There are numerous types of transformers, such as power transformers, distribution transformers, instrument transformers, single-phase transformers, three-phase transformers, potential transformers, autotransformers, generator set-up transformers, auxiliary transformers, capacitor transformers, electromagnetic transformers, optical transformers, etc. Transformers can be used to change the impedance of an electrical circuit, change the voltage/current in an electrical circuit, and transfer electrical energy from one electrical circuit to another circuit or multiple circuits. CNI Locates technicians use state-of-the-art equipment to locate power from transformers to help ensure the safety of the crew performing subsurface work and the integrity of the electrical infrastructure in the work area.

Power Services to the Meter 

Power services are electrical lines that run from a transformer, handhole, manhole, vault, etc., to a power meter. These services are used to power homes, street lighting, traffic controls, etc. If a power service is damaged during subsurface work, the outcome can be fatal for the person performing subsurface work or for anyone that relies on power to operate medical equipment. This is the main reason; it is vital to have a certified technician locate power services and any other utilities in a work area before subsurface work is performed.

Electrical Lines Installed After the Power Meter 

Some common examples of electrical lines installed after the meter are power from a house to an outbuilding, electrical to a well pump, lighting, outdoor electrical outlets, sump pump alarms, fire alarms, electrical for surveillance systems, dog fences, irrigation control wires, etc. These utilities are privately owned, and it is the owner’s responsibility to have them located before performing subsurface work. 811 will not mark these utilities, that’s why we recommend hiring a professional utility locating company like CNI Locates to locate electrical lines installed after the power meter to help protect the integrity of your property and the safety of anyone that is performing subsurface work.

Traffic Signals 

Traffic signals are used to provide an orderly flow of traffic, help vehicles cross an intersection safely, help reduce the number of accidents between vehicles, help pedestrians to cross an intersection safely, direct railroad traffic, etc. These signals are extremely important to maintain a safe environment. That is why we recommend using a professional technician from CNI Locates to locate traffic signals before any subsurface work is performed.   


There are many different types of lighting, such as streetlights, parking lot lights, security lights, landscape lights, etc. CNI Locates has certified technicians who use state-of-the-art equipment to locate lighting in your work area so you can safely perform subsurface work while maintaining the integrity of the work area.

Irrigation Control Wires 

Irrigation control wires are used to control different zones on an irrigation system. Damaging one of these wires can cause your irrigation system to not operate properly. That’s why we recommend hiring expert assistance from our certified technicians to locate irrigation control wires before any digging, excavation, or any other type of subsurface work is performed.

And More 

Our certified experts have over 20 years of experience locating underground utilities and performing utility inspection services. If you need any type of utility located or inspected, CNI Locates technicians have the equipment needed to get the job done.

Why is it Important to Locate Electrical Infrastructure Before Digging?

It’s important to locate electrical infrastructure before digging for several reasons:

  1. Safety: Underground electrical infrastructure can be dangerous, and digging without knowing the location of these wires can cause serious injury or even death. Locating electrical infrastructure before digging can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of everyone involved in the digging process.
  2. Cost Savings:Damaging underground electrical infrastructure can result in costly repairs, power outages, and other expenses. By locating the infrastructure before digging, you can avoid these costs and ensure that the digging process is as cost-efficient as possible.
  3. Compliance:In many areas, there are regulations in place that require the location of underground infrastructure before digging. Failing to observe these regulations can result in fines and penalties. By locating the infrastructure before digging, you can ensure that you are in compliance with all local regulations.
  4. Prevent Disruption: Damaging underground electrical infrastructure can cause power outages, which can be disruptive and costly for businesses and homes. By locating the infrastructure before digging, you can prevent these disruptions and ensure that everyone has uninterrupted access to electricity.

How Does C-N-I Locates LTD Locate Electrical Infrastructure?

C-N-I Locates LTD uses a wide variety of tools and techniques to locate electrical infrastructure. We offer an array of services specifically tailored for our customers’ needs that include Aerial Drone Imagery, Design Survey Locating, Electrical Fault Detection, Ground Penetrating Radar, Leak Detection, Magnetic Detection, Metallic Line Detection, Non Metallic Line Detection, Plastic Water Pipe Detection, Sewer Crawler Inspections, Underground Utility Mapping, Sophisticated Reports, Structural & Concrete Scanning, Video Push Camera Inspections (VPIs), and much more in all of Washington and Oregon State. Our certified technicians have the experience, knowledge, and equipment needed to locate any type of electrical infrastructure accurately.

What are the Consequences of Hitting a Buried Electrical Line?

Electrical lines are frequently buried just a few feet beneath the surface, making digging operations particularly risky. Accidentally striking a power line can result in severe injury or even death to the equipment operator and nearby individuals. The electric shock can also damage or destroy equipment, and the cost of repairing underground electrical lines is usually much higher than replacing traditional lines. Damaged lines can cause outages that must be addressed promptly, leading to costly project delays. If your project requires utility locates, CNI Locates can provide services within 24 hours’ notice Monday through Friday.

What Is Underground Utility Locating?

The process of identifying and labeling underground private and public utilities is known as underground utility locating. There are various types of utility lines such as telecommunication, electrical, gas, cable television, fiber optics, traffic signals, streetlights, storm drains, water mains, wastewater pipes, irrigation, etc.

Millions of miles of essential utilities, such as water, electricity, and natural gas, are buried beneath the earth’s surface. It is essential to take the required precautions to avoid accidentally hitting underground utility lines, as it could result in significant damage and project delays. To learn more about underground utility locating services, contact a professional company like C-N-I Locates LTD.

Locating Underground Electrical Faults

Ground faults can occur on main power lines, power services, lighting, electrical lines installed past the power meter, well pump power, surveillance systems, alarms, etc. Electrical ground faults can cause power outages, electrical shocks, fires, burns, etc. CNI Locates uses state of the art equipment to identify electrical ground faults on directly buried electrical lines. If your electrical wire is directly buried (not in conduit) and faulting to the ground, our technicians can use electromagnetic transmitters and receivers in conjunction with an A frame to identify the location of your ground fault. We recommend using a professional company like CNI Locates to locate electrical ground faults properly. For more information about ground faults, please visit our electrical ground fault detection service page.

Why Should You Call an Underground Utility Locating Service?

C-N-I Locates LTD utility detection and inspection services are dedicated to minimizing the disturbance of vital underground utilities, such as gas, fiber optics, water, steam, telephone, cable, sewer, drainage, electrical, etc. Digging without having professional utility locates performed can result in property damage or loss of life. It’s essential to perform underground utility locating and inspection services before starting any subsurface work to ensure the integrity of the utilities in the work area and safety of the people performing work. When underground utilities are located, the chances of encountering costly surprises are significantly reduced.

Underground excavation should never be taken lightly, even on your property, as there is a high risk of hitting a pipe. This could cause disruptions in gas, water, or electricity supplies. In extreme conditions, it may even result in explosions or electrocutions. To avoid such unfortunate accidents, it’s necessary to enlist a professional utility locator service such as C-N-I Locates LTD.

Specialized Equipment 

C-N-I Locates LTD certified technicians can provide you with peace of mind knowing that the job is done to a high standard, helping prevent any risks to your property or the surrounding area. We use specialized detection and inspection equipment like ground-penetrating radar, electromagnetic transmitters/receivers, electronic pulse transmitters, push video cameras, traceable rods, sewer crawlers, sondes, etc., coupled with modern training to identify any utilities or structures hidden underground. This ensures the safety and practicality of your future projects. It’s crucial to hire professionals, as one small mistake while digging could lead to a costly repair and even disrupt your neighbor’s phone service. Don’t take any chances and call our experts at C-N-I Locates LTD for your next project.

Certified and Qualified 

Choosing a fully certified and qualified utility locating service like C-N-I Locates LTD is crucial. CNI Locates technicians are NUCLA certified, NASSCO certified, CPR & first aid certified, confined space trained, fall protection trained, OSHA certified, weekly trained and educated on services and advancements in the industry, and more.

Dig Safe: The Vital Role of Utility Locating Professionals 

To ensure safety, regulatory compliance, and cost-effectiveness, it is crucial to locate electrical infrastructure before digging. C-N-I Locates LTD is Oregon and Washington States leader for locating power, electrical, lighting, traffic signals, irrigation control wires, and more. We use advanced equipment and highly skilled professionals to deliver precise and dependable information to our clients. Do not take chances when dealing with electrical infrastructure – get in touch with C-N-I Locates LTD now to discover more about our services.

C-N-I Locates LTD Washington State & Oregon Field Offices and Contact Information

For general inquiries, please contact (877)826-1177, email [email protected], or schedule a work request/estimate through our website. All we need is 24 hours’ notice, Monday through Friday, to schedule an appointment for the next business day.

Everett, Washington Field Office (425)407-9400

Renton, Washington Field Office (425)407-9399

Seattle, Washington Field Office (206)681-0034

Tacoma, Washington Field Office (253)831-6350

Portland, Oregon Field Office (971)312-6745

Eugene, Oregon Field Office (541)650-9324