Vacuum Excavation: Three Critical Tips for Preventing Property Damage

Posted on: 24 April 2020

If you are planning on conducting excavation in an area with important utility networks, you should think about using a vacuum excavator. In general, traditional trenching and digging is favourable because it is direct and cheap. However, if this rough approach is used around pipes, cables and conduits, the damage to these elements might be significant. This will lead to financial losses and inconvenience. Vacuum excavators use suction, promoting safety, efficiency and overall convenience.

Here are some simple tips for ensuring optimal results during vacuum excavation.

Choose a Good Contractor

It is important to choose a reliable contractor for the excavation work. When selecting a professional, you should not only consider the cost of the service. Instead, inquire about their qualifications in this specific area. A good contractor should be trained, licenced and experienced in vacuum excavation. It is also worthwhile to discuss the safety protocols undertaken to ensure the protection of utilities during a project. In addition, inquire about the availability of suitable equipment if you do not want to procure an excavator separately.

Inspect the Excavation Site

Proper inspection of the site is essential before beginning an excavation project. Under normal circumstances, you should check out the site alongside your chosen contractor and discuss potential problems that could arise. For instance, it is advisable to evaluate the space available on the worksite so that you can plan for the placement of equipment, movement of workers on site and safety precautions. In addition, consider conducting a utility location survey. This will help in identifying the position of critical underground elements before the breaking of the ground, promoting safety and efficiency.

Check Equipment Pressure

Vacuum excavation equipment depends on the release of water under high pressure and the suction of liquefied mud using an air vacuum. This approach ensures that the utilities on the site are exposed quickly. In addition, the risk of damage to the pipes and other elements reduces because there is no contact with hard components like buckets and augers. Unfortunately, the pressurised water can still cause some damage to utilities.

If the pressure is too high, the integrity of some underground units will be compromised. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the water pressure is managed. You can achieve this by choosing equipment with appropriate pressure. Also, encourage the equipment operators to inspect the machinery before any work session. Additionally, the nozzles releasing the pressurised water must never be placed in direct contact or too close to the utilities. 


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