Don't Say "Oops!", Call OUPS BEFORE Digging!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Digging ProjectDon't Say "Oops!", Call OUPS BEFORE Digging!

Dear BLiz,
How do I find out where the utility lines are on that new house you helped us buy?
Dig Dug

Dear DD,
That's a valid concern!  Where are the gas, water & electric lines? Bigtime safety issue if you start slicing into these!

How about that TV cable line?  You want to make your family mad?  Sever that line that provides their lifeline to the TV and Internet!  And do you think you'll get the cable company out there the same day to fix it?  HA!!!

But did you know getting these lines located is actually pretty easy, and FREE (restrictions apply!).  And actually, if you're planning any digging projects (footers for your new deck for instance), it's Ohio LAW to notify the utility companies and have them come out and mark the lines so you know where it's safe to dig. 

So how to you get this FREE marking service?  It's just a phone call away.  Call 811 or 1-800-362-2764.  Per Ohio Law, you're required to contact OUPS (Ohio Utilities Protection Service) at least 48 hours prior to digging and no more than 10 working days prior to your project start.  Once you file the request, OUPS notifies the applicable utility companies and someone  will be out to mark the lines.  You DON'T have to be home for the service.

When they're done you'll have some painted lines and marker flags in place Utilitiesto identify your utility lines (we've had this done ourselves a couple of times over the years before planting shrubs).

Now they don't tell you how deep the lines are, just WHERE they are.  For instance, we know our TV cable line is barely covered in dirt in some places because we watched the line replacement some years ago.  The water and electric lines are much deeper!

What WON'T they mark?  Any non-publicly provided services.  For instance that private septic system, the line from your propane tank to the house, or privately installed extras (for instance do you have water & power out to the barn?).  For those items you'll have to hire your own marking service if your digging project is going to bring you anywhere near them.

For more information, visit  Note that is a DOT ORG site, NOT DOT COM.  If you want to shop in German, go to the DOT COM site!

We hope this helps you avoid any digging accidents!  Hitting a gas or electric line with a shovel or excavator won't end well!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good morning Liz and Bill. We have Miss Dig here in Michigan and it drives me insane people dig without having it marked. I guess from my construction back ground but a phone call beats hitting a 16" fiber optic any day. lol. Enjoy!

May 10, 2012 11:32 PM #1
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

This is great information for Ohio residents BLiz.  Getting those line marks are imperative when you go to dig!  Taking out your own cable and internet is bad enough, but mess up other folks electricity...that could be bad news indeed :)!

May 10, 2012 11:33 PM #2
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Excellent advice!  Suggested and Liked.  Hope you both enjoy a great weekend in all you do!

May 10, 2012 11:34 PM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Liz and Bill -- a phone call can certainly help avoid a potential(and costly) mistake.    Great advice and community service to anyone but especially new homeowners.

May 10, 2012 11:41 PM #4
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Randy, And for us once we had everything marked the first time we know where not to be going with the shovel. 

Brenda, Take out the neighbors power or blow up their house and you lose all the HOA popularity contests!

John, The topic idea has been in the draft title mode for a week, time to finish it off and get it out there!  Thanks!  Hope you have a great weekend too!  Some business to do, and also planning to watch that Capitals-Rangers Game 7 Saturday night!  Bill

May 10, 2012 11:42 PM #5
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Michael, It's always good to know where the lines are.  I know when we're dropping the yard sign in for a new listing I'm eyeballing where the gas meters and such are, and if they have a lawn sprinkler system I'm asking the sellers where the lines are.  Those sharp metal points on the sign could definitely cause some trouble.

May 10, 2012 11:46 PM #6
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Incredibly important information here you guys, especially for those do it yourself types who think they don't need any help.

May 11, 2012 12:37 AM #7
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Liz and Bill,

So important, and a great reminder to everyone...know BEFORE you dig and hit something you don't want to.

Have a wonderful weekend!

May 11, 2012 01:15 AM #8
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Craig, One slip in the wrong place and the spouse is collecting life insurance.  This is a clear case of better to be safe than sorry.

Lisa, If the digger is lucky it's JUST the TV cable.  Too many things can go wrong if you don't know where it's safe to dig.

May 11, 2012 01:25 AM #9
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

BLiz.....always an important reminder!  Around here we have DIG SAFE - 1-800-DIG-SAFE - easy to remember!

May 11, 2012 01:42 AM #10
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Christine, It's great to see these easy to use marking services.  Hopefully each area has something equivalent.

May 11, 2012 02:10 AM #11
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