A trained professional would use the Mighty Probe from T&T Tools to try to find buried lines without ripping up half the yard. After de-energizing the lines, they’d keep sticking the probe into the ground where they thought the line was buried until they hit it, or until they give up and get the shovels.
If a pro ever contacted an energized line, the Mighty Stick provides up to 50,000V protection from shock. That’s because six inches of high-strength reinforced composite insulates the 11″ vinyl-covered solid-steel handle from the probe.
Three different shaft types, 3/8″ round, 3/8″ hex, and 7/16″ hex for the Mighty Probe are available in many different lengths. The shafts and tip are threaded for easy replacement. The tip is special alloy steel which has been heat-treated and has tapered edges for easy penetration and withdrawal.
As stated there are many configurations for the probe, and the retailers are a little sparse on specifics, but it looks like a 48″ Mighty Probe runs about $90. But don’t get any wild ideas — go call the dig line.