How to Search for Underground Power Lines with a Digital Multimeter


Before breaking ground on any outdoor project, you must first locate any existing underground power lines. Using a digital multimeter is an easy way to find underground cables and can determine if they are active and how deep they are buried. You can use the digital multimeter to determine signal strength through audio and visual indications on the meter. Using a headphone accessory attached to the multimeter allows you to operate it in noisy areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Fluorescent spray paint
  • Install the required number and size batteries into the digital multimeter.

  • Hook up the inductive antenna to the multimeter, if it is not permanently attached to the housing unit of the meter. Place the meter on the ground in the location you wish to look for underground power lines. Turn the meter on.

  • Watch the indicator screen for visual signal strength. Listen for the beep of an audio confirmation of power line detection. Adjust the transmitter output and receiver sensitivity by rotating the appropriate dials.

  • Move the meter to another area to determine the path of the power line. Spray the fluorescent spray paint in a broken line on the ground to indicate the location of the discovered power line.

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