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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/8/2002 7:21:05 AM EST
Just out of curiousity who is responsible for an underground line being cut when digging? Basically I have been looking into getting a fence put in, and have decided on fiberglass. We were ready to sign the contract when I see on one of the pages, if they cut a line and either of us gets a bill for it, we are both to pay half of whatever it costs to fix. For some reason this gauls me to no end. Now I know it is unlikely they will hit a line. All of my utilities run on the otherside of the house. Nothing for them to cut into. But something about just having it in the contract bugs me and I can't let it go. Even if I had to pay half of it, I called the utilities and it normally runs around 500 bucks to fix a line so it isn't that much in the grand scheme of a 7000 dollar fence. Am I wrong to even care about this?
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 7:33:38 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 7:48:10 AM EST
Andrewh, Check out [url]www.texasonecall.com[/url]. Also, I would steer clear of that company. Part of doing business is fixing screw ups and they should know how to locate and avoid lines. However, if it is on your property, not in the right of way, you may be responsible anyway. If they get located and the contractor still hits it, that's his problem. If he hits your unmarked irrigation line or something, then I could understand asking you to pitch in to fix it. Best bet, call around and ask different contractors point blank how they handle those situations in the contract.
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 7:53:53 AM EST
I called that digtess company that is required to locate lines before digging and asked them too. I guess I am asking for a reality check here. How important is this little clause to me. I figure at worst if they cut all the lines it might cost me 600 bucks. less than 10 percent of the fence. I also know there is almost no chance of them cutting into my utilities because they are on the other side of my property. Yet I can't get over being pissed off about this clause being in the contract. Do I just say screw it and forget the whole thing, or should I just get it over with and done. Basically am I over reacting to this?
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 8:01:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/8/2002 8:05:22 AM EST by Valkyrie]
I happen to do this for a living(utility locator). You should have a One-Call system or similar agnecy that will take a toll free call from you and alert all the utility companies and they in turn come within a predertimined time period(usually 3 days) and mark all of your underground utilities. I would not sign any co-liability agreement with anyone. Although you may know where YOUR lines are you don't know what else is there like your neighbors utilities, the buildings or houses behind you, mains, primary lines, transmission lines etc. However it is unlikely but you would be surprised how many residential neighborhoods have gas transmission lines, electric trans lines, fiber optic trunk etc running right through back yards! As a matter of fact we have tons of Texas Eastern gas lines in my district. Be careful at what you sign. Repairing the line is usually not the total damge cost. In most instances there is down time for the contractor, sometimes cost of gas volume lost or cost of electric service outage, possibly repairs to taps and mains if they were pulled apart or seperated, there's lots that can happen. What if the guy with the auger get electrocuted and is burned real bad or even dies? You wanna pay have of the settlement? Believe me our company had to pay a McDonald's 8k for one simple service hit after all was said and done and the repair to the line was only $500! Today we had a primary 34kv line hit with an air spade and the operator is lucky to still be here. Sounds like this outfit is reckless and has had to pay before. It is not your responsibility if you are contracting him to dig. Get in touch with your local utility providers and ask if they have a One-Call or simailar system. If not hire a professional utility locaor to mark out your lines and don't sign anything because Murphy is alive and well! Edited to add the Texas One Call #'s 1-800-344-8377 or 1-800-245-4545. They will have all the answers you need but make sure the CONTRACTOR calls this in! Ask him for his ticket and do not let him dig before it is valid. Again don't sign anything.
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 8:14:32 AM EST
Valkyrie qoutes [b]They will have all the answers you need but make sure the CONTRACTOR calls this in! Ask him for his ticket and do not let him dig before it is valid. Again don't sign anything.[/b] This is the best advise you could have. This is a subject I know all to well. Get the dig ticket # from the fence guy and cross out the clause in the contract and have him sign the crossed out clause. Have you gotten other EST. on the fence do the other companys have the same clause ? I would be shocked if they do.
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 9:39:16 AM EST
Well thanks for the reality check. I called a couple of fence contractors and a few buddies and they too said I was nuts if I signed that. So I called and told the fence guy I wouldn't sign it with that in and I wasn't going to bother with the job. That got him and he said he would dump the clause from our contract. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 9:44:07 PM EST
I worked a fiber cut a few weeks ago and I would not want to push the wheelbarrow carrying the bill for that one. Not to mention the potential lawsuits. Who is responsible depends on who is left with the blame. If you don't call, you're SOL. CYA bigtime when it comes to underground stuff.
Link Posted: 8/8/2002 10:17:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2002 7:31:34 AM EST by A2cat-man]
You are NOT wrong to be concerned about this. I'm the guy who will come out and make the repairs on any telephone cable that gets cut in my area. It should be the responsibility of the excavating contractor to establish contact with the one call locate center and be on the site to maintain any marks that are painted on the ground. The marks will be color coded so he will be able to determine which utility is which. It should also be the responsibility of the contractor to pay for the repairs of any utilities that are damaged or cut. It's good that he decided to eliminate that clause in his contract as he knew he was in the wrong for putting it in there to begin with. I'm glad to see you did not sign his contract with the existing language. You could have been in for some really sticky legal problems if he did damage any underground utilities. I hope this helped and good luck with your fence project.
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