New 3M System Helps Identify Underground Plastic Pipes Without Using Tracer Wires

3M today announced the first product in a series of solutions for marking and locating the path of underground plastic pipes. The 3M Electronic Marking System (EMS) Caution Tape 7600 Series and the 3M Dynatel EMS Marker/Tape Locator Model 7420 is ideal for gas, water and telecom utility owners as well as contractors and excavators.

The 3M EMS Caution Tape 7600 Series, a new plastic pipe location system from 3M, helps utility customers identify underground plastic pipes without using tracer wire or installing access points. (Photo: Business Wire)

The new plastic pipe location system from 3M helps utility customers identify underground plastic pipes without using tracer wire or installing access points. The 3M EMS Caution Tape 7600 Series does not need an external power source. If part of the caution tape is cut or removed, the locator is still able to identify and locate the tape. In addition, the tape is corrosive resistant and has a long design life.

The caution tape will be available in three different frequencies (gas, waste water, and telecommunications), providing positive identification of the desired target utility.

“We believe this new plastic pipe locating technology will significantly improve productivity and safety issues from accidental strikes of buried underground assets. It will help minimize third party damage to critical infrastructure,” said Ed Scott, business development manager of 3M Electrical Markets Division.

The ability to identify and positively locate underground plastic pipes and infrastructure for global utilities has long been a critical pain point. Accidental strikes of underground utility lines pose worker safety risks as well as service outages that affect gas, water and telecom utility customers, contractors and excavators, as well as local utility contract locators.

EMS caution tape is easily and positively identified with a 3M EMS Marker/Tape Locator Model 7420. The locator emits a radio frequency signal, which is received by the tape and reflected back to the locator, providing path location of the underground utility. The locator’s screen displays which type of utility has been identified and the depth of the tape. The locator is able to detect the 3M EMS Caution Tape 7600 and also locate all EMS markers as well as read and write to 3M iD Markers. For more information about 3M Locating and Marking Solutions, visit

Since the invention of vinyl electrical tape in 1946, the 3M Electrical Markets Division has designed and manufactured reliable products for some of the world’s leading industries, including energy, commercial and industrial electrical construction, oil and gas, mining, water, transportation and manufacturing. Today, the division deploys technology to create new solutions to help meet energy and infrastructure challenges.



  1. Detectation Geophysics Detectation Geophysics United States says:

    This is a good idea, hopefully it's going to be installed soon in PVC underground utilities.

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