Locating is very important in repairs, and installs. On installs we trace gas lines to confirm the dig service, and to locate cable etc. I also believe the degree of usefulness is regional. In Texas I am not sure you can call yourself an irrigator without one. This is because we scatter valves all over the yard in the middle of each zone, and the grass quickly covers the valve boxes. In a lot of other parts of the country valves are installed in a manifold, which would reduce the importance since that generally means a short wire run and the valves in one spot.
In Texas and some other states it is a must, some regions can probably get by without it.
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