Locating Conduit in a Hotel Before Chipping; A Cautionary Tale

Nashville, TN, Ground Penetrating Radar Systems of Tennessee was contacted by an out-of-state general contractor in Nashville doing work on a hotel downtown. Unfortunately, he called too late. They were updating approximately seventeen bathrooms on seven floors and the bathtub drain had to be expanded from 2 1/2-inches to 6 inches. It appears they had decided to “chip carefully” instead of having the area scanned ahead of time with GPR. As it happened, there was a fire alarm conduit in almost every single location, and they ended up damaging several of them. This ultimately cost them approximately $14,000 after the repairs were completed. Fire alarm repairs are often very costly.

After we scanned the rest of the bathrooms, he thanked me, and said that they did not have to pay for a single incident after that. I was proud to have been able to help him on this project, but I wish that I was able to help him BEFORE his bottom-line took a down turn. I hope that this serves as a cautionary tale for others; adding GPR into bids and estimates that require concrete cutting and coring is just good business, not merely from a safety standpoint, but it will preserve the integrity of your projects and the relationship with your clients. For those of you who have damaged a critical conduit in the slab or cut a tension cable in a parking deck, you know, it can be really bad. Blame goes around and relationships sour, but what is important to know is that it is preventable.

Perhaps the old adage, “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure” says it best.

When you are cutting or coring concrete on your projects, it is important to have it checked for subsurface inclusions. Utilizing GPR scanning on your project can help mitigate risk, remove delays, and preserve the incident free professionalism that your clients demand.

GPR is the best technology to locate and map tension cables, conduits, and reinforcement within concrete slabs and can be done fairly quickly. This includes depths. No post processing is required.

Ground Penetrating Radar Systems of Tennessee is available to service the concrete scanning and private utility locating needs of Nashville and surrounding area.

For more information about GPRS’ services please contact Jonathan Deputy at jonathan.deputy@gp-radar.com or 615-418-7367.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *