What's Covered

Communication and data transmission lines

Underground communications wiring brings service for telephone, Internet, cable TV, closed circuit television, intercom and computer networking into the home and sometimes outbuildings, detached garages, pool and patio and other areas. The right type, installation and protection of wiring can last many decades. Shorting due to power fluctuations and excavation damage are common causes of failure.

Drainage system piping

Rainwater and groundwater leave your property via underground pipes which can be damaged by excavation and invasive trees roots. Most of the piping is buried below the freeze lines, though piping closer to the house may not be as deep. These drainage pipes can freeze and burst, especially if a clog allows water to build up and sit in one spot. It’s critical to know where your underground pipes are before digging and important to be covered in case an accident happens.

Electrical power lines

The main reason underground wiring fails is damage inadvertently caused during excavation for construction or landscaping. Moisture can get into power lines that are not rated for underground use and cause grounding or shorting of your electrical supply and damage to your electrical circuit. To prevent problems, don’t dig until you know where electrical lines are buried and be sure any lines installed for you comply with applicable codes.

Geothermal ground loop piping

Geothermal systems use hundreds or thousands of feet of pipe, most of it buried underground. Failure occurs when sections or loops of piping are not properly connected and leak. Some materials used for piping can break down from exposure to ground chemicals and cleaning agents. Damage from excavation is another cause of failure. If you install a geothermal system, be sure pipe connections are thermally fused and pipes are high performance material.

Public or private waste disposal piping

Pipes that carry wastewater away from your home to the sewer or septic system are buried below the frost line to prevent freezing that can stop the flow or crack the piping. The piping can be damaged during excavation and by tree roots, crushed by heavy vehicles passing over and cracked by freezing during unusually cold weather. Some older pipes are made of materials that crack or burst more easily and deteriorate faster than newer piping.

Public or private water supply line

While excavation is the most frequent cause of damage to water lines that come into the house or outbuildings, cracking and collapse from tree roots is another common problem. Freezing and earth movement can also cause damage. In many cases, due to age or piping material, the entire line must be replaced, not just the damaged section – a big, but covered expense. Before excavating, find out where your service lines are located. Plant trees at a distance.

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