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He was a homebuilder for years and told me about a subcontractor that he had worked with on numerous occasions who could quite accurately locate underground pipes for him using dowsing rods, and could even judge the depth they were buried at by judging the reaction of the rods. My Dad was so impressed by this guy that he wound up walking around our suburban yard with coat hangers, demonstrating it for visitors...
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The plumbing subcontractor that he worked with--the one I mentioned previously-- was once on the scene when Dad was working on remodeling parts of an older country club. The place was old enough for all of the original plans to have been lost, and a new drainage line had to be run from the building across part of the golf course, which, of course, already had plenty of underground plumbing running through it. Naturally Dad needed to dig as little as possible to place the new drainage line, but also had to somehow find all the pipes, etc that were there, to avoid hitting anything. His plumbing subcontractor proceeded, pretty quickly, to chart a safe path across the course by using dowsing rods to locate and mark every single water line, sewer line, and drainage tile in the area. I asked how many spots the plumber had to locate, and Dad laughed and said, "Dozens."
Dad said he was definitely impressed, and he must have been, because he apparently went on to use dowsing rods very often on subsequent job sites. On a job in downtown Cincinnati in the mid 80's, he needed to add on to the existing sewer pipe below a building's basement, and, again lacking plans, he located the pipe perfectly using the rods. I asked how big the room was, and he said about 75 feet long, so he obviously had a decent-sized playing field to search. One thing that I found very impressive was that the pipe turned out to be buried 13.5 feet deep! He said the rods reacted very clearly, but very slowly. I guess that could give an indication of how sensitive dowsing rods can be.
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