Witching for Water Lines and Electric Lines
Witching for water may sound spooky, but it’s something that nearly anyone can do. I’m not the best at it, but I do pretty well. It’s a great skill to learn because you never know when it will come in handy.
My friend Mike demonstrates one technique for witching for water lines.
One summer I was over at my sister’s house and she told me about wanting to dig a foundation for something in the yard but wanted to avoid putting it directly over the water line that comes from the well into the house. I told her that it was likely that both the water and electric lines were buried in the same trench, and if she would get me two metal coat hangers and a pair of pliers, I’d locate the lines for her. She looked at me with a funny expression and said, “Really?”
After she came back out of the house with the tool and material, I fashioned two L-shaped wires out of the coat hangers. Short on the “foot” of the L and long on the upright portion. I then went out into the yard and held the wires so they projected outward in front of me, horizontal to the ground.
I started walking slowly, perpendicular to where we thought the water and electric line might be buried. Sure enough, the wires crossed just about where we thought the lines were buried. I approached from the opposite direction and obtained the same results.
Again, my friend Mike demonstrates how the wires cross when witching for water and you come upon water lines and/or electric lines, buried or overhead.
We repeated this several times in various locations just to confirm our findings. Only then were we sure that we could dig a foundation without hitting buried lines.
I don’t know how this works, but it does. The coat hangers will cross just as you pass over the point where the water or electric lines are buried. Keep in mind, it will also detect overhead water and electric lines, so if you’re inside a building looking for the buried lines, take a look overhead just to make sure you’re not being fooled by what might be above you.
My good friend and neighbor showed me this technique years ago. He approached me with, “Unless you don’t believe in that.” I said, “It doesn’t matter what I believe in, what matters is if it works.” He assured me that it worked, and to my amazement, we found the buried water and electric lines on my property in just a few minutes. As I recall, he estimated them to be within just a couple of inches of where they were buried. That’s sufficiently accurate for me to believe in the technique, even though I’m not certain what makes it work.
Clair Schwan tries to approach things with an open mind so he can learn. Even though witching for water is a bit spooky, he has learned this skill and keeps it in his self-reliance toolbox.