Frequently Asked Questions

Where in Northern California do you provide underground utility locating? Utility locating and mapping services are offered in most of the Northern California area and we do travel outside the region for larger jobs. Following is a general guide of where we do business, but feel free to call or email us if you do not see your exact location listed below.

We locate underground utilities in the following metro areas: Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose.

In the following counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, Sacramento County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Solano County, Sonoma County, and Stanislaus County.

And in the following cities (not a complete list): Alameda, Albany, Antioch, Atherton, Belmont, Belvedere, Benicia, Berkeley, Brentwood, Brisbane, Burlingame, Campbell, Clayton, Cloverdale, Concord, Corte Madera, Cotati, Cupertino, Danville, Dixon, Dublin, Palo Alto, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fairfax, Fairfield, Foster City, Freemont, Gilroy, Hayward, Hercules, Lafayette, Larkspur, Livermore, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Martinez, Menlo Park, Mill Valley, Millbrae, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Modesto, Moraga, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Napa, Newark, Novato, Oakland, Oakley, Orinda, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Piedmont, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Redwood City, Richmond, Rio Vista, Rohnert Park, Ross, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, San Anselmo, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Ramon, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Saratoga, Sausalito, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Suisun City, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Tracy, Union City, Vacaville, Vallejo, Walnut Creek, Woodside.

Which utility locating services do you offer? Pipe and cable locating, including, but not limited to: electrical cable locating, communication cable locating, sewer main locating, gas line locating, water pipe locating, storm drain locating.

What companies have you worked with? Our About Us page lists some of the companies we have located for and references are available upon request.

Are you insured? 1st Call Utility Locating is a fully insured utility locating company, carrying professional liability insurance, commercial liability insurance and commercial auto insurance. Proof of insurance is available upon request.

What training do your locators receive? Our About Us page highlights the extensive training that our locators have undergone.

What are your fees? Our goal is to offer the best quality private utility locating, while keeping our rates as low as possible. We typically have a two hour minimum charge and for projects outside the San Francisco Bay Area, travel charges may apply. Multiple sites and same trip bundling options are available, when appropriate.

Are your fees for residential and commercial sites the same? No, residential utility locating is usually less complex, requires less time and generates less liability for our company, and so, fees are typically less for residential utility locating.

What are your payment terms? For residential services, payment is generally required at the time of service. Major credit cards and cash are accepted as payment.

Invoices will be issued to commercial clients in good standing, however, payment is considered due thirty days after the date on the invoice. New commercial clients may be asked to provide payment at the time of service.

1st Call Utility Locating reserves the right to adjust our hourly minimum and/or rates based on the complexity of the project, distance, increased liability and other factors as deemed applicable. Projects requiring an overnight stay will typically require additional charges.

Why do I need 1st Call Utility Locating if 811 is available? 811 should always be called before you dig - it's the law! However, 811 does not often locate all of your utilities. Once a utility passes through a metering device or other main connection point on your property, it's considered privately owned and detection becomes your responsibility - this is where 1st Call Utility Locating comes in.

Many industrial complexes have privately owned communication systems between main buildings and outlying buildings - this is an example of a utility that would not be located by 811. By locating these types of underground utilities you can avoid design issues, large repair bills and unproductive down time that can increase job costs

The utility locating firms serving our local area for 811 services are contracted out by the government, and therefore, have access to detailed information about the facilities. 1st Call Utility Locating cannot accept liability for damage caused by any public utilities covered by 811 contractors due to the client's failure to comply with the law.