The Best Method For Locating Plumbing Lines

Schedule Now

Underneath the ground in your yard is buried your main sewer line, water line, gas line, cable or internet line, and sometimes your electric line. As a homeowner, you must know where they are located if you plan to do any digging.

These lines can be costly to fix if you damage any of them. So, if you plan to plant a tree, bury your gutter lines, dig a drainage ditch, or anything else that involves digging in the ground, get your buried pipelines and cables traced so you know exactly where they are.

residential underground pipe and sewer system illustration infographic

How to Find Buried House Lines as a Homeowner

Before beginning any excavation, it is required by law to have your lines marked to avoid accidents. 811 services in Ohio, Kentucky, and most states offer free buried service line markings. Ohio homeowners can go to OHIO811 to request that buried service lines be marked. For those in northern Kentucky, go to

utility marking flags underground pipes and cables under home residential lawn

Both services require at least two full working days’ notice before you plan to begin excavation. After the lines are marked, you must begin excavation within ten days, or the marking period will have “expired,” and you’ll have to request the markings again.

How Close Can I Dig to the Marked Lines?

Eighteen inches of room is required on both sides of any marked line. If the marked line does not have a marked depth, assume two inches, and then go 18 inches on either side. Trees should be planted at least ten feet away from a water or sewer line, but further away is better.

Tracing Plumbing Lines For Sewer or Water Line Repairs

Emergency plumbing problems don’t always occur in easy-to-reach locations. Leaks, breaks, clogs, and other troubles can occur with underground lines and can be difficult and expensive to find and reach.

811 services work off of public records. If the records are incomplete or private lines were installed, the markings will be inaccurate or missing information. The best method for finding underground plumbing lines is a two-step process using cameras and ground-penetrating sonar or radar.

First, the plumber sends a camera down into the pipe or drain system. The start point may be inside your home, or there may be a better access point outside. By noting which direction the camera travels, the plumber can get a general idea of the underground location of the pipes.

The camera will allow the plumber to see damage, rust, scale, clogs, tree root penetrations, and other problems. The camera allows the plumber to identify the issue causing the problem, such as a break, crack, or clog.

Once the problem has been located, the plumber can use a sonar device or ground-penetrating radar to create a map of the plumbing pipes and water lines. As the sonar or radar equipment is rolled along the ground, it sends a signal into the earth to detect where the pipes are buried. The device indicates the location on a mapping display, allowing the plumber to dig up the lines without wasting time.

The plumber might send an electronic transmitter into the pipes in certain circumstances. These devices can be used to find buried water lines. This transmitter can be detected with electronic above-ground locators, which pinpoint the location of the plumbing lines.

Apollo Home Plumbing Line Services in Cincinnati

After over a century in business, Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is one of Cincinnati’s oldest and most trusted HVAC and plumbing services providers. While we are one of the oldest HVAC and plumbing companies, we stay current with the latest technology and equipment in the HVAC and plumbing industries.

Contact us if you need help locating plumbing lines, or if you encounter a plumbing emergency in Cincinnati or nearby areas. Or better, get to know us before an emergency arises. Should an emergency develop, you can call us with 100 percent confidence.

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.



    Apollo Care Plan