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Video: Find Water Lines Before Digging Using Water Witching

How does water witching work? Well, nobody's really sure of that. But the simple, cost-effective technique can save you a lot of time and money when you need to dig without hitting your water lines.

When it comes time to dig around the farm, you need to know the location of potential lines. It’s worth noting right at the top, though, that you should always contact the local locator service when it’s a question of power or gas lines.

But for private water lines on your property? You don’t want to encounter these while digging and either have to change your plans or, in the worst case, bust your pipes.

Well, that’s where water witching can come in handy.


Read more: Water dowsing can help you find water for a well, too. Here’s what to know.


What’s Water Witching?

Water witching (or dowsing) is commonly used to locate water for a well. But you can also use this ancient (and, to some, of dubious scientific repute) method to locate water lines before digging.

So how does water witching work? Well … nobody’s really sure about that.

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But the method by which witching does work is as follows. First, you need two “divining rods.” These don’t need to be anything fancy, and many people (including me in this video) just cut and bend two metal clothes hangers into L shapes.

The technique for using these rods is simple, too. Loosely hold the rods parallel to each other in your firsts. They should move around freely—you’re not gripping them or anything.

Then you just walk around the area you suspect contains a water line. When you’re above the water line, the rods will “sense” the metal or water, move toward each other and cross.

Put a flag into the ground at this point, then keep walking around the area. When the rods cross again, place another flag. Once you’ve got a few of these points marked, you’ll have a good idea of where the water line runs underneath the ground.

You can call it what you want. I’ve heard witching called everything from pseudoscience to hogwash to dark magic. And while I can’t say what exactly is happening when I’m dousing for water, there’s one thing I know for sure—it works for me, and knowing where my water lines are saves me when I want to safely dig on my land!

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