Ethernet Cables

What Is Cat6 Plenum Cable And Why It Is More Expensive Than Cat6 Riser Cable

Why is Cat6 Plenum Cable Expensive Than Cat6 Riser?

Many customers purchase flame-retardant cables due to safety concerns, with Cat6 plenum cable and Cat6 riser cable being the two most popular flame-retardant classes. In these two kinds of Ethernet cable, Cat6 cables are frequently used. What exactly is a Cat6 plenum, then? Cat6 riser cable: what is it? Why is the Cat6 plenum cable more expensive than the Cat6 riser cable?

Ethernet cable jacket finishes that are flame-resistant

You should first understand the flame retardant Ethernet cable jacket coatings before learning what Cat6 plenum cables and Cat6 riser cables are. Nowadays, PVC Insurers Labs wire and Minimal Smoking Nil Halogen wire are the two most popular forms of fire resistant wire. Cat6 plenum cables and Cat6 riser cables both falls under the umbrella of the UL cable type, which also includes a number of cables that are separated into five classes based on safety requirements and operating conditions: CMP cable, CMR cable, CM cable, CMG cable, and CMX cable.

Cat6 Plenum Cable

The most selling wire in the UL fire prevention grade is the Network Multifunctional Cable, Plenum. The safety regulation is UL910. It is intended to prevent smoke emissions during a fire and to limit flammability to no more than five feet. Cat6 CMP cable, which is appropriate for installation in air plenum areas, is referred to as cat6 plenum cable. Cat6 plenum wire jackets are typically constructed of either reduced smoke due to PVC or a FEP.

Where Cat6 Plenum Cables Should Be Installed?

The Cat6 plenum wires are intended to provide paths for structures’ returning airflows, increasing cross ventilation for HVAC systems. These Cat6 wires are often employed in ductwork or supply air equipment’s air return compression enhancing mechanism above a ceiling or under floor, for instance. The Cat6 plenum wires are necessary to stop the fire from escalating since the flames and smoke can swiftly spread through these plenum areas full of fresh oxygen, potentially damaging the furnishings and endangering people’s lives.

Cat6 Riser Cable

The infomercial wire in the UL standards that applies to the UL1666 safety standard is known as Cat6 riser, sometimes known as Cat6 CMR cable. Its design prevents fires in vertical installations from spreading from floor to floor. Typically, it is employed for floor vertical wiring. Cat6 riser cable typically has a jacket covering composed of PVC, which is less expensive than Cat6 plenum.

Where Cat6 Riser Cables Should Be Installed?

With the exception of pleural spaces and air ducts, non-plenum wires can be utilised wherever. In places without plenums, cat6 riser is often inserted between floors. At the main entry point, it serves as the main conduit for a structure’s supply system, audio, and visual into its many spaces and levels. When connecting floors through risers or vertical shafts, Cat6 is required.

Cat6 Plenum VS Cat6 Riser

A higher place can use Cat6 plenum wire, whereas a plenary area often is unable to utilize a Cat6 riser wire.  In the case of an electrical fire, using the incorrect cable type can give rise to legal problems. If CMP-rated wires were employed in a plenum area where riser area cables ought to have been employed, the HVAC system might be brimming with smoke and toxins from flaming wires, which could cause property damage or even fatalities.  Check the NFPA National Electrical Regulation if you are unsure. It will specify the appropriate wire type for each location.

Why Does Cat6 Plenum Cable Cost More?

 Safety Criteria

The safety requirements for Cat6 plenum wires and Cat6 riser cables are significantly different. Plenum wires are the most rigorous since the former one complies with UL910, the tightest specification. While the latter satisfies the UL1666 standard, it is not as stringent as the former. Plenum wires can typically serve as a viable substitute to riser cables because they have fewer restrictions, as was previously said, but not the other way around. As a result, some installers could decide to keep solely plenum cable on board in order to simplify stocking management and reduce space needs.

Cable Jacket

Reduced smoke Polyvinyl Chloride PVC or Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene FEP, that has outstanding chemical resilience and electronic qualities, is used in Cat6 plenum wire. It is chemically inert and can withstand operation temperatures between -25 and 125 degrees Celsius. On the other side, cat6 riser wire employs fairly affordable PVC, and this PVC substance may generate toxic fumes like hydrogen chloride and dense smoke in a fire. A Cat6 riser cable may operate in temperatures ranging from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius. One of the causes a Cat6 plenum wire costs more than a riser wire is because of this.


In conclusion, although both Cat6 plenum wire and Cat6 riser wire are flame-resistant Cat6 Network wires, the first is more expensive due to greater standards for the wire cover quality and reliability. Since CMR wire typically costs half as much as CMP wire, employing it is less expensive. Confirm the building standards in your location and with your insurance carrier before buying anything. If choosing between riser and plenum wires is still causing you stress, keep in mind that choosing the proper wire classification is always best done with safety in mind. The ideal approach will prevent structural damage, safeguard from liability, and ensure the security of individuals. Make an informed decision based on your current needs.

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