Underground Cable Locations | Most Common Inspector's Defects Series

Underground consumer mains need to have a map or a plan detailing where the cable runs underground. 

The inspectors were saying that this is such a common one found and spotted within a couple of seconds of opening a switchboard door. A simple visual check of your switchboard will prevent a lot of defect notices from being submitted so please take the time to look over your work and ensure that these items are done to standard. 

Have you ever had to search for a fault on a consumer mains but then had no idea where the cable actually runs? It's time consuming stuff for any electrician coming in after you and trying to do works on these services. A simple plan can eliminate all of these issues for that returning electrician and only takes you a couple of minutes. 

Not only this, it works as an indication of where excavation work can safely be performed without endangering themselves and others if they were to hit the consumer mains with their machine. This also starts to become a very expensive exercise for the owner of the property when a simple plan or map would have prevented these issues from occurring in the first place. 

How to ensure you don't get a defect for not indicating the consumer mains location: 

  1. Find an easy visible space in the main switchboard so that you can fit a legible drawing in there. 
  2. Use a permanent marker to indicate items like the road, the building, the switchboard, the pillar location and any other notifiable items that would help a reader understand the cable location.
  3. Use a permanent marker and dot a line from the pillar to the main switchboard on your drawing.
  4. If you want you can add some extra details lie the consumer mains size and type.

Hopefully this will help you get a better understanding of why it is important to ensure that this consumer mains location map or plan is completed on the main switchboard. Please comment and share to help make an electrically safer and more reliable community for people to live and work in. 



Hi everyone, it's Greg Allan, founder of Response Fire & Electrical and the World's Greatest Electrician Training and today we're going to talk about some of the most common electrical defects found by inspectors out there. In today's session we're just going to talk about section three of the AS 3000 and this one specifically is marking and recording of underground cable locations. 

To drive straight into it, a plan or a map must be drawn in permanent marker to indicate the location of, I've got a triple leaflet here, consumer mains. Some people choose to get a digital plan or map designed specifically for the site, but it doesn't need to be anything special. It's just there to indicate where the consumer mains are running for any other excavation works or any other services that need to be installed so that they can steer clear of it and maintain the appropriate distance between services. 

What we want to do is make sure somewhere on the switchboard if it's a domestic drawing lift up the board, you can draw it on the door. On the commercial boards, just get it on the main switchboard so it's very clear where the cable is running. Some things that you might want to do to make it easy is to draw the road. Just say road. I'm just going to do a residential dwelling here. You might have a house that looks like this and the main switchboard's over here. Something like that. What you want to do is locate the pillar's location. There might be some stuff that you have to go around. You just draw and come back in like this. That's where it goes. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter how you get it there, just some other things you might want to put in there is some extra information. Sixteen MM. Just to make it easy for people to see exactly what's underground.

Remembering also when you're installing a consumer mains to get your warning tape 250mm below the surface of the ground so that if people are digging, they'll hit that tape first before they go right through into the cable, into the conduit and break the cable. Just remember in some places the pillars, this cable here isn't protected by short circuit protection, so it has to travel all the way back up the road to trip out and it can be quite a dangerous situation. That's why it's so important that we indicate exactly where those mains run so that people know.

This must be kept in the main switchboard at all times. All you have to do is draw something like that, indicates exactly where the consumer mains are running and that should eradicate any defects being sent out to your company because you're not doing it. Just remember, every time you get a defect, you're putting not only yourself at risk, it's usually other people, the community, and also your company is at risk as well. Please share this around. Try to get it to as many electricians as possible just so that we can start to get a better understanding.

These are the most common defects found so these are happening out there. Get it out there. Share it around. If you've got employees that do this, send them this video. If you've got friends who do this, share it with them. I hope it helps. I look forward to sharing some future videos with you. If you want to get on board with the World's Greatest Electrician training, just jump to the website and sign up. I'd love to have you on board. Have a fantastic day and we'll talk to you soon.