A lot of times in older schools, electricians placed conduits in the pour of the concrete. It’s always hard to know the actual paths of the conduits 20-30 years after. There is technology such as ground penetrating radar & radio detection that can help identify where the conduits were placed. It is always good practice to have the floors scanned prior to any saw cutting to ensure existing utilities don’t get compromised.
In this situation, a general contractor began to saw cut the floors without having GPR & radio detection utilized. Once they began the saw cutting, numerous conduits were struck immediately. GPRS of Michigan was contacted by the general contractor to investigate the concrete floors before saw cutting any further. Once notified of the situation, GPRS was able to mobilize to the site the following day. They used a high resolution concrete antenna along with a radio detection device to scan the rest of the proposed saw cutting areas. As you can see from the photos it was a great idea for the general contractor to contact GPRS to scan the floors going forward. Numerous conduits were marked directly on the surface with the depths provided. It would’ve have taken days to figure out the paths of where the conduits ran to if they were cut & had to be replaced. Plus, the school was still in session so there would’ve been some power knocked out that was feeding the classrooms. The GPRS technician walked the site contact around to ensure everyone was on the same page with what had been located. In the future the general contractor mentioned they will no longer saw cut without having the floors scanned prior.
Ground Penetrating Radar & Radio Detection are both great methods to locate underground utilities, sub-surface voids, conduits, reinforcing steel, etc. If you would like more information regarding the capabilities of GPRS, please contact Regional Manager of Michigan, Thaddeus Bullock, at 734.377.4551 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the website at www.gprsinc.com.