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What Does an Underground Electrician Do?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

An underground electrician is a person who installs and repairs the underground wires that are necessary for providing homes and businesses with electricity. These individuals must travel to work sites and are often responsible for digging holes to access wires and cables. Due to the somewhat dangerous nature of this occupation, an individual must follow safety guidelines and be knowledgeable on a variety of electrical equipment. Some primary duties of an underground electrician include transporting equipment to job sites, digging holes or trenches, laying wires or cables, installing or repairing poles and other equipment and documenting project completion.

Prior to starting an assignment, it is usually necessary for an underground electrician to first transport equipment to a job site. This typically involves driving a designated work vehicle that's equipped with the proper tools and equipment for the job. In some cases, he may also need to communicate with other workers and bring additional electricians along for larger jobs. To ensure safety, an underground electrician will usually inspect a job site for hazards before beginning any work.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

In many cases, an individual will need to dig either holes or trenches in the ground to access wires or install new poles, often using an auger or other digging device to reach the necessary area. Sometimes, he can use a small auger and dig a hole on his own, while in other cases he may need to use a larger one and enlist the help of another worker. Consequently, an underground electrician must be skilled at using this type of equipment and routinely inspect it for proper functioning.

After a hole or trench has been dug to the proper dimensions, an underground electrician will lay out new wires or cables, placing the correct length of wire or cables and connecting them to a conductor. In some cases, he will also place insulation around them to minimize future complications and extend their lifetime. For some jobs, an underground electrician will be required to install or repair poles and other equipment; for example, if a pole is hit by a car, he would need to either straighten it to its normal position or install a new one. If other equipment like circuit breakers or transformers become damaged, he will usually remove them and install new ones.

Additionally, it's the responsibility of an underground electrician to document the completion of each project. He might fill out a form that states the location and time of a project. Along with this, he might record what equipment was used and how long it took to complete the job.

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