Why contacting 811 before digging is important to me, a homeowner

Posted by Bill Bergner on 03/04/2016

Are you a do it yourselfer? I am not and never have been. I was never taught how to do basic jobs around the house as a kid and I am still not any good at it. My dad on the other hand could figure out how things work and then could take them apart and put them back together just fine. I think he thought it would be easier to just do it himself rather than teach me or my brother how to do things.

When my wife and I purchased a newer house several years ago, the homeowner was a DIYer. There were plenty of things around the house that showed how he liked to do things and how he did them. But that did not stop us from buying the home. In addition, it was a good house and home for us for many years.

The only thing that was a problem was the cable TV. It was snowy and blurry. I called Cox and the repairman came out and fixed the cable, which had been cut. We figured out later, the cable was cut when the sprinkler system was installed.

Now, certainly, I don’t know if he got any bids on having the sprinkler system installed by a professional, or being a DIYer, he just wanted to do it himself. Regardless, he put in the sprinkler system. Overall, it worked pretty well, just the normal replacing of a sprinkler head occasionally or adjusting one when it got a little out of balance and wasn’t covering the area designated, but the TV reception was very poor.

Apparently, while trenching for the pipes, he cut the cable for the TV and who knows what else. Obviously, they just lived with the resulting TV snow and fuzziness. Of course, he tried to fix the cable, but it just did not work right. Coaxial cable is not as easy to splice and reconnect as a regular copper wire is.

I found all this out when I called the cable company to come check out the problem. Since it was not their fault, I had to pay for a service visit as well as the cost for repairing the cable.

He was fortunate that the only long-term problem was the cable TV. There are many lines that may be under a residential yard and some could cause a serious problem if cut or ruptured.

Are you a do it yourselfer? If you are, check all the proper methods of doing things. Oklahoma law puts the liability and responsibility for any damage to the underline facility is on the excavator.  So, if you want to dig in the yard, call OKIE811 or submit a Web Ticket at www.okie811.org before you dig to avoid problems with cable lines, telephone lines, electric lines or any other line that might be buried under your yard. The call and the service is FREE. The cable or utility company will come out and mark the location of whatever they may have buried under your yard. You will save yourself some headaches and maybe for whomever may purchase the home from you.

Tags: 811, DIY, OKIE811