Should have called 811


Call Before You Dig!


He saved time calling by finding the pipe himself


“Yes hello, wanted to let you know I have just confirmed where one of your gas lines is, I’ll be sending my invoice in the mail”


Oh he gon' get fiiiiiiiiined


A friend of mine works for a gas company and he was called out to a situation just like this. Dude was out in the country and didn’t think he needed any locates. He found a major gas line and it costs him like $10,000. From what my friend told they charge you for the repair and the lost gas.


Town I grew up in someone hit a gas line with a backhoe, turned out they cracked it and the gas ran along the pipe underground into the basement of a nearby butcher. When it got to the pilot light of the smoker the entire building was vaporized, half of the hardware store next door collapsed, and the canopy got launched across the street through the front window of another building. Two people died. A $10k fine is getting off light.


Yeah depending where you're at, digging without calling 811 can result in a fine




Gas companies hate him! ^^^they ^^^really ^^^do.


"Get your own gas with this one easy trick that gas companies hate..."


Now he just needs to grab a bucket and collect all the free gas he wants


Might need the bucket for another job, his shorts ain’t the same color no more.


This guy's got the right idea, he wore the brown pants.


Depends on if this gas pipe is on his side or their side of the meter.


Identify your own gas lines with this one simple trick!


You dig?!


>CAN YOU DIG IT?! -Cyrus


can you dig it succkaaaaaa


5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time.




Love me some Booker T, all the way back to Harlem Heat. Still hate how he got jobbed out to HHH at WM19. However, a character named Cyrus says the “Can you dig it?!?!” line in the 1979 cult-classic film, *The Warriors*. You’re not wrong in shouting out Booker T, but neither are the others for shouting out Cyrus.


Starts clinking three bottles attached to fingers together...






I'm gonna stick that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle.


I'm old and it was Dial Before You Dig. I prefer the alliteration of it.


If it helps it's still dial before you dig in australia


Dial before ya dig ya dopey drongo.


Call before you pound.


Bring 811 around before you pound!


Sound before you pound.


Technically, he ain't digging.


If 811 needed to make an ad, this would be the perfect video.


[0118 999 881 999 119 7253](https://youtu.be/ab8GtuPdrUQ)


So easy to remember.


Exactly this. Save yourself a looooot of wasted effort, expensive repair bills, and you know... death...


Ya never know, he might have called 811 and the brain dead troglodytes were too lazy to go by and check it out. Told him he was good to go. I work with the 811 system….not that it means much.


Installed a fence at my brother's house. We called and had the lines marked. We were digging the second post hole(with an auger on a tractor) and caught the gas line to his house...we were 28 inches from where the mark was. 811 had to pay the $2000+ repair bill. The repair guys said that that was the furthest off they had ever seen the marks.


My lines were 6ft off... found em trenching for the water line. We got lucky no one got hurt (we were using a ditch witch). But dude at 811 got fired.


Hey, we can't let our enemies know *exactly* where our utilities are!


Finally someone admitting that public employees see the citizens as the enemy! /s


Ya. That guy could have gotten someone killed. We were a few feet off of it. We were much further off then we had to be from the mark to be save and drilled smack dab through the gas line.


Y’all could have asphyxiated, let alone the explosion.


When we did my fence the guy from 811 that came out marked the place that the gas goes into the house which is pretty obvious considering there's a giant meter there. Nothing else was marked. I had to call back and they marked it at the street where the shut off valve clearly sticks up. The funny thing was there was no straight line from point a to point b and that's the area I was needing to know about. On the third call they did a very detailed diagram of everything buried in my yard that could possibly be detected or on record. It was definitely worth multiple calls to avoid hitting it though.


That's a shit show. Jesus. I can't say I'd be real confident even after the detailed one.


Shit I should've called them back when my lines were 6 feet off. I remember them saying somewhere officially that they can be up to 10 feet off so I didn't bother. Anyway I hit an electric conduit with my shovel.


>But dude at 811 got fired. He was probably relieved. Now he can find a job where he can have a few hours to himself. EDIT: Spelling


I cant speak on the quality of life/pay at 811. I can speak to the fact that when he got out to mark the 1st time the smell of weed about knocked me over.


You’re not supposed to dig with machines within 6’ of those gas lines I’m told. We have to pothole them inside of that. Those locates are always off.


Standard in my industry is to not dig within 5’ of a marked line. And if you must, to clear via hand or non destructive tools to 5’ below the ground surface


3'-4' seems to be average from what I'm seeing online. I know in my area of Canada it's no machines,carefully digging with hand shovels only within 6 meters (~20') for major gas/high voltage and 1 meter (~3ft) for communication lines until you can dig it up and visually verify its location. Having worked with our locators, it can be very difficult to track down an exact location, as sometimes the signal bleeds off into multiple directions, or disappears for 30 feet because it can't get a signal through whatever it's buried in.


You shouldn’t have had to pay a dime for that. They have investigators wuith the locate company and the gas company come out and make a determination. The most important thing is documentation…..did you happen to take pictures of where the damage occurred and where the marks were? If this wasn’t terribly long ago I may be able to help you get your money back. I don’t want anything of course, right is right and wrong blah blah. Did they tell you why you were liable? And if you need some help, I can point you in the right direction. Just dm me 👍 Edit- I’m a slow one, I see 8 11 had to pay. My bad…..actually, it’s not important, but 811 is a nonprofit organization that just coordinating the 811 system. I’m sure the locate company paid that bill.


Ya 811 took care of the bill. Still Screwed us on half a day waiting while the gas company got out and repaired the line. They were shocked that the locate was so far off.


I used to be a utility locator. The issue in my state at least, is that the laws are terrible for utilities and locators. I can call in a locate right now for my entire city, and in 48 hours if the utilities in the entire city are not marked, I can put a backhoe bucket anywhere in the city limits, cut a 1,200 pair phone line, and it's not my fault unless it was marked. So as a result, the locators in my state are working 85+ hours a week to try and get things marked, because people will call a locate for an entire property instead of where they are actually digging. So a locate that should take five minutes could take an hour or even all day. And those locators aren't experienced, because after they've been doing the job for a year, they typically come to their senses and leave.


I totally empathize with you. That’s how it used to be here but now they are putting a lot more on the contractors with different laws. Making it to where it’s illegal to do anything until each utility has signed off on it. Those wild Wild West days are over with here. It’s turned into a litigious world.


> Making it to where it’s illegal to do anything until each utility has signed off on it. That works great until the gas company takes 15 days to mark their lines and the electric company takes 24 days to come out and sign off that they don't have any buried lines, but by that point it is past the 21 day expiration, so the water line marks are no longer valid. Then it takes another week and a half for the other utilities to come back out and verify none of their lines decided to move on their own in the past month. And by that point, the contractor had had to move on to another job and can't start for another 2 weeks, so we are past the 21 day on the electric companies marks, so we have to start the process over again after these marks expire. And by the time everything finally gets coordinated, it is past the 6 month deadline the city gave us to fix the uneven sidewalk, so we end up with fines from the city, adding to the mess.


We have to pay for 811 services for our fiber optic services. Let me explain what happened to us and how we fixed it. When a call location comes in, 811 has a locator come out if a tagged location is within 150 ft. of a known buried utility. We were getting slammed with locate costs for a location 2 streets over and we didn't know why. It turns out, when having your utility marked in their mapping system, it draws a 150 ft area around the utility. Then when a digger calls in a locate service they create a 150ft circle around the dig location. If the two circles intersect, a locate is dispatched out to mark that utility, this means **every utility within a 300 ft radius of the dig location gets tagged and located and you have to pay every time** add in that a locate is only good for 7 days and have to be retagged and road projects end up costing a fortune. We fixed it by having the circle around our utility reduced to 5 ft so we only get charged if the dig site is within 155 feet.


I work for a utility we have no idea where about half of our underground stuff is located.


I think biggest thing is the responsibility gets transfered from you to them.


Sometimes locates are just off. It’s frustrating when pot holing to get actual visual sight on buried utilities only for it to be 6ft off. Sometimes asbuilts for utilities are wrong or companies fudge numbers to make everything match and look good on paper. Like you said though, some locators are shit and everyone should do their due diligence to make sure they aren’t cutting through underground utilities. Property owners have less of an excuse because you should have a survey done when purchasing a property that shows all existing easements, RoWs, features, and utilities.


What's 811?


It’s the number you call and companies (that subscribe to the service) will come and mark out their underground utilities in the area that you say you want to dig in. It usually only works for public utilities. AKA ones in roads or public right of ways. If you want the utilities in your yard marked you will need to hire someone.


>It usually only works for public utilities. True >AKA ones in roads or public right of ways. If you want the utilities in your yard marked you will need to hire someone. Incorrect. The public utilities still go all the way to your house, and they are supposed to (and will) mark them for you.


> It usually only works for public utilities. AKA ones in roads or public right of ways. If you want the utilities in your yard marked you will need to hire someone. Depends on your area. Usually a certain distance into your yard will be covered by 811 services. It's usually enough for the majority of people.


Call 811 so you don't need to call 911


I call EVERY year before I garden. They have never once come out. This year I said I was removing 3 feet of ground in my entire yard, they still never came out. All lines to my house are underground...


I called them to come out earlier this summer and they were like no problem gave me the date. Never came I called and they said “yes they were there” I was like “no, no they weren’t” and she said “I’ll have them go again” I was so mad I just said k and hung up. They finally came 2 days later.


You would be exonerated if you dug into the lines then.


Exoneration doesn’t help much when you’re dead


Well first lets light up a smoke and check out why the grounds farting


Definitely should have, because now they’ll have to call 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3 for emergency services.


“I’ve had a bit of a tumble”


Excuse me I believe the number is 0118 999 88199 9119 725 3


I call them since they have better looking drivers.


It's easier to just send them an email.


Dear sir, or madame Fire!!! Love, marsman706


It is a free call and they locate for free. Doesn't cost the guy a dime.


Expensive mistake.


I had a friend who was a lawyer that worked for a telco that would sue people who damaged telco equipment because they didn’t call beforehand. She said the whole point of her role was to drive those companies into bankruptcy so that they couldn't dig/drill anymore.


As a former locator, I had to plead my case to the utility company at every damage. Terrible construction companies dig where they want with little regard or safety to what's in the ground, even with well marked lines.


It a lot you can do when the flags and the lines are 15 feet apart lol


I was about to say I've never had 811 mark anything anywhere remotely correctly. The paint lines and flags are almost always 10-30' off and you end up digging thru shit depending on excavator size and how good ur spotter is.


The important point there is that you are protected from liability if you don’t dig near the marks. If the marks are wrong, that’s on them.


Conversely, someone locating poorly could literally kill you


True, but your death won’t be your fault. Or whatever.


There could be some lawsuit money for the family. A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.


Seriously, drop a chalk line at least. Something.


As someone that often has to deal with fiber murdered by construction, I support this endeavor.


Whenever you go hiking always carry a piece of 12 core single mode fibre. That way, if you get lost, just bury it in the ground. Within a couple of hours, a guy with a backhoe shows up to sever it and you can hitch a ride back into town with him.




The real tip is always in the comments.


We call that “backhoe fade” in the communications industry. Anyone have the picture of the oversized bore drill with cables wrapped up like spaghetti?




Because those folks are why your internet service goes out without warning, and the reason my last employer (a university) had to have an entire, 2nd wiring closet & trunk main with service from an entirely separate provider. Sooner or later, you're always on the wrong end of a fiber cut, somewhere, because some fool with a backhoe or other heavy equipment didn't call before they dug, or didn't check the mirror before backing up.


Or the locator or provider fucked up. Everyone wants to blaim the contactor but every problem I've run into has been from the utility provider or locator.


Called the line locate number and started a ticket to have my power line marked. 6 months and dozens of emails later they send me a google map of my property with a hand drawn dotted line on it and close the ticket. Like thats real fucking helpful when i go to dig.


Reminds me of that dude blowing up his backyard with gas when he was trying to get rid of the anthill


This video: https://youtu.be/msY6IzNsRrU I can't even imagine his explanation to his wife.


My dad used to drive propane delivery truck and so got propane at cost….used it for everything and even converted his truck into a gas/propane hybrid back in the 70s! We had a bad groundhog problem so he would go out and stamp down their exit holes and then shove hose down one with propane tank connected. About 2 seconds of propane and no more groundhogs. Just glad he didn’t smoke or do something stupid like the guy in the video.


Is your dad named Hank?


Hank Hill, Assistant Manager at Strickland Propane in the great city of Arlen Texas. Would NEVER misuse propane like that.


He'd use butane for killing groundhogs on account of it being a bastard gas.


Just saw the bastard gas episode last night. Cannot recommended King of the Hill highly enough.


I didn't watch it for the longest time because I thought it would be stupid, but it's painfully funny.


It hits extra hard if you have ever spent time in Texas. The capturing of the DFW culture is perfect.


It's coming back for new episodes too.


Anybody else also hear those words in that voice?


I heard that classic Hank Hill shudder. [BWAAHHHH](https://youtu.be/YGcdYB8vF_c)


I heard it in disappointed hank voice while he shakes his head slowly


There's no way Bobby wrote that paragraph.


Dang it Bobby! I told you we don't talk about the dark side of propane in public!


Did they suffocate or explode. :0


Suffocated, he didn’t kaboom them.


Probably isn't the worst way to euthanize a ground hog. My neighbor beat one with a bat until it quit moving. I probably should have called someone. You'd've sworn the thing was porking his wife or something.


> You'd've


this is one of those comments with an absolutely perfect ratio of disturbing to hilarious


I’ve seen an open 20lb tank thrown into a beaver’s den and then shot with a Roman candle firework.


Most of the ants probably lived, too.




This guy: Blows up back yard Ants: It's free real-estate


How to aerate your lawn with one easy trick.




Imagine being one of those ants


Easy soil tilling


The poor dog in that video, must’ve been terrified


There’s 2 terrified dogs in that video. XD


There are 3 types of people, those who can count and those who can’t


There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.


There are 11 types of people: those who know binary, those who don't, and those who don't but can figure it out from context clues


jesus that bounce on that second to last hit should have been a warning, that’s hitting cone thing pretty damn solid


Yeah, that's not a plastic pipe like others have speculated. The previous hit didn't go too far either. Then the hammer fell and bounced. That's pretty solid.


To his defense, if it had been me digging I would probably just have assumed that it had hit a hard rock or something and attempted again. His mistake was not checking wether anything was under the ground he was digging. That bounce could have been anything.


Yeah, I thought the same thing after thinking about it. Big rocks can cause exactly the same thing. If I'd have been hammering in a post with a sledgehammer seeing it stop would only drive me to whack it harder...


Heard from a friend in the industry this was a cast iron main in the UK


Nice, that's what I like about Reddit. It reaches so many people that information even if it was relatively obscure frequently manages to end up in the conversation. Reddit is truly a global community that has enormous reach and power. I'm sure it will be one of the first casualties if we were to ever end up in another global conflict. Governments wouldn't want the people to talk behind their backs...


Talk behind my front, bitch


I briefly considered that, but realized the same bounce could be caused by a rock.


Used something similar on our Farm years ago, you’d get that bounce all the time going through hard bits, e.g rock. No way to tell what you’re hitting, that bounce is no indicator of something that could go wrong.


Yea, unless there was a sound difference to make it stand out, can't imagine it felt much different than hitting a rock.


Call Miss Utility


We call her Julie in my area


Yup, she’s still just Julie to those of us that grew up with her.


I install these natural gas lines. You can see in the second to last hit, he was hitting something solid. Which tells me he hit a steel line. If it would have been plastic, that post would have gone through it like butter. And it’s hard to tell from a video, but it looks to be a little higher pressure than your average distribution line. (Typically 60psi or less, depending on location) either way, I’m sure the guy shit his pants, and is also deaf now. You’d be amazed at how loud a screaming damaged gas line can be. Sounds like a jet engine.


How would they stop a leak like this? Turn a valve somewhere?


That’s one possibility. If there is previously installed valves in the area, you could shut the valves off and make a repair. Otherwise, at least for a steel line, you would have to dig a hole on either side of the damage (a safe distance away), and weld specific fittings onto the main, tap a hole in the main at both locations, and set stoppers. It’s really hard to explain via text, but that’s kind of a shitty explanation.


[Like this?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFEsa0fxTMU)


Exactly. The video is better than my explanation. Lol


Would you just have to do that with gas spewing out?


You'd have to throttle the line pressure first before welding stopples on. You wouldn't want that volume of gas venting to atmosphere for any amount of time.


Good thing they got a bunch of dads together to make the music.


That’s pretty cool! Thanks for sharing that.


Hiring a pile driving machine - NO PROBLEM. Doing some basic research about gas mains before using it - WTF ARE YOU INSANE, WAY TOO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT!


Good thing he saved all that money by doing it himself.... He'll need it.


How do we know that this isn't a "professional" that was hired to do this? Plenty examples in my area of "pros" hitting gas lines, water lines, fiber optic cables, etc.


Lol, and it's literally just a phone call and spring a dashed line where you will be working.


I knew a guy who worked for the city. He came out for the "Call Before You Dig" calls to survey the area and let you know if it's ok to dig there. He was a minimum wage, treated like crap, city employee. Slight drug problem. Anyways, he said "Yeah man, I honestly don't know if it's ok to dig there half of the time and just tell them it's cool". Terrifying.


That's on your shitty town. Ours have always been super professional looking. Came with his polo tucked in and showed us the map of our property. Traced our lines with a detector and marked every one with paint. Even pointed out where the detector showed a discrepancy between the city utility map and reality.


Lol "polo tucked in," you just painted a perfect picture.


Cell phone holster and house keys clipped to the belt.


Professional and efficient, just the kind of guy I want working on my stuff.


Y'all need to quit attacking me like this


I'm literally here in a tucked-in polo and khakis with a braided brown leather belt with a multitool in my pocket that has a laser level, tape measure, box opener and screwdriver, and a belt clip for when I need it. (It's also has a calculator, a clock, and a compass but I don't use those)


I'm gonna need a link to that piece of hardware, you know that right? Lmao


Looking for it but I can't find it anywhere online. No serial or patent number or anything, and nothing that I can find from Phillips Screw, which is the only branding on it. [Here's a couple of pictures.](https://imgur.com/a/mEE9Lyp) The laser can be seen shining on my keyboard in the first pic, and the flashlight is on in the second pic (both of which use the same switch, which is definitely annoying) The level is a spirit level, you can just barely see it peeking on the left side of both pics


The "Hank Hill" type.


That’s scary and absolutely hilarious. Sounds like something from a show lol.


Had exactly this happen to me when I was working for a guy who installed fences. Guy comes out, says it's okay, we get to making the fence and hit a water line on the third post. Luckily that's all it was but the worst part is the city refused to pay for the repair to their own line and made the property owner do it.


>Guy comes out, says it's okay >the city refused to pay for the repair Uhh that's not how it works. Whatever company "Guy" works for legally should have paid for it. Property owner fell for a scam.


When you hit the wrong hole


Wonder how much that ended up costing him


I can’t speak for gas in particular but I used to investigate fiber-optic lines & and would estimate the costs (that not only includes everybody’s response time, the trucks on site, every piece of equipment down to the tape used to hold it all together - but in more cases than you’d expect - the cost to replace the entire facility front to back like it was brand new since it may result in an ‘integrity damage’ one day down the line). Utility laws & liabilities are generally pretty similar across the board (if anything, harsher the more dangerous a utility is), and while I can’t say for gas, I would safely estimate a mainline fiber-optic cable of relative importance could easily go into the 100k to several $100k range. With gas tho, it’s even harder to even say. Often times it depends a lot more on the fallout from it (and companies are a lot more invested in collecting on it w gas) from what I understand. I went to 1 gas damage in particular that was at a theme park (I didn’t tally up the expense for it tho) and they were talking about making the contractor pay the ticket cost for all the the people evacuated (probably loss of sales, spoiled food product, etc - all that goes w that as well) but I’m not sure how much of that sticks in court. I do know a buddy investigated one where a guy cut a gas line crossing a railroad switch yard tho and the RR stuck them w a million $ AN HOUR for being shut down. That’s where stuff gets real crazy. Most of the time if it’s a homeowner (like this guy looks like) they won’t stick them w the bill (and most of the time can’t do so legally if they wanted too, provided they were digging w hand tools and it was unintentional). Unfortunately, this guy brought mechanized equipment into the mix which takes of his failsafes out the window. From what we can see from this video, he appears very much liable for the entirety of this damage provided he didn’t take precaution by calling underground damage prevention services (811, aka Miss Utility in the US). Overall, regardless of the cost, it’s better to call and not afford the risk. I mean, a small stupid cut of anything could cost you a couple hundred to a couple thousand. Why the fuck risk that? Edit: noticed a few typos - no changes to content


Or the utility company if they mis-marked it.


Pretty sure no one will see this comment but that's exactly what happened in our country, that lead to the worst disaster we ever had. Workers hit the main of a gas pipeline in the morning, then the pressure increased (due to usual operations), and it lead to an incredibly huge explosion. Following that incident many reforms and laws have been put in place. Read more here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghislenghien_disaster


If that was me i probably would have been smoking lol rip


Happened to a neighbor of ours. Nothing left of him


To shreds you say?




The gophers wearing hard hats approve of this message


My dad knocked out the cable for the entire neighborhood digging a hole with a spade for a new tomato plant. The cable company was all up in arms wanting him to pay until we pointed out that their lines were supposed to be 6 feet underground and this one was 3 inches…


Next season on Clarkson’s Farm…


You unsuffurable pillock!


do these gas mains have some sort of safety valve that would be able to detect a massive change in pressure like this? Or does someone have to turn it off manually?


Call before you dig!


That went way better than I expected. Was just waiting for flames to engulf the guy.


How did that not ignite?


Air fuel mixture not correct






Natural gas has an explosive limit of 4.5-14.5% gas in air. That means it will not burn if it is outside of those limits.


Yeah, which is lucky! Had a construction crew hit a gas main behind my old job hit a gas main with a backhoe. Sounded like a jet engine but no fire or explosion!


I’m a safety and quality specialist for a natural gas distribution pipeline construction company, and yeah a blowing gas situation is no fun. I’ve never seen one ignite, but I’ve seen my fair share of damages. The bad thing is, even if you call in locates, and you have a clear dig ticket, that doesn’t mean everything has been located. We have a big job going on right now replacing 3 miles of PVC gas main and services, and we’ve had a couple gas damages due to old lines not being on prints and not having tracer wire or tracer wire that has been damaged rendering the line un locatable.


I do leak survey for a gas company and can verify this. Blowing gas is INSANELY loud. A buddy of mine accidentally punched a half inch hole in a small service line and the sound of that alone was enough to send us both running haha. This level of blowing gas is deafening and that dude might have some hearing damage (if he didn’t have protection). My department also had to deal with encroachments so line locating was fairly common for us to see if gas lines ran under structures. Missing or damaged tracer wires was a huge pain to deal with. I’ve seen my fair share of bad locates or even old lines that no longer show up on our maps but were never actually decommissioned.


Yeah, I laid water pipes for a few months and we hit a gas main once. I can confirm that the sounds is so much more intense than you would expect.


I think you can see his exhaust flashing a bit but I'm with you.


It's flashing before. The cap is flapping and it's shiny I think


Only thing you can do in this situation is sit down, light up a smoke and call the authorities


If only there were a free service with a simple phone number a person could call atleast 3 days before you dig/pile drive, to have someone come mark all under ground utilities, so this doesn't happen. But apparently there isn't a phine number like 811. Too bad.


I work in utilities and saw a tractor hit cable, no locates, with an 811 sticker on the side and front of the tractor


I was on a job years ago that an excavator hit a high pressure gas line. I was maybe 200 yards away and to this day the sound of that gas escaping is by far the loudest fucking thing I have ever heard