Ethernet Cables

Facts About Ethernet Cable Jacket Ratings

Ethernet Cable Jacket Ratings Information

An Ethernet cable for data transfer has a covering that shields the inside wires. This jacket is available in numerous versions made for various uses. All jacket kinds are derived from the National Electric Code (NEC), a 600-page document that may be difficult to understand and was produced by the National Fire Protection Authority. Permit us to provide you with the most crucial information regarding Ethernet cable jacket grades.

Here are some of the more popular abbreviations taken from the NEC.  While a few of these you might not understand, the majority of them are.  The kinds that relate to this piece of writing are highlighted.

  • CMP: Communications, Plenum – can be installed in any space
  • CATVP: Cable TV Plenum
  • CL3P: Class 3 Plenum – for in-wall installation in plenum, riser and general spaces
  • CL2P: Class 2 Plenum – for in-wall installation in plenum, riser and general spaces
  • CMR: Communications, Riser
  • CATVR: Cable TV, Riser
  • CL3R: Class 3, Riser – for in-wall installation in riser and non-riser spaces
  • CL2R: Class 2, Riser – for in-wall installation in riser and non-riser spaces
  • CM or CMG: Communications
  • CATV: Cable TV
  • CL3: Class 3 – for in-wall installation in non-riser, non-plenum spaces
  • CL2: Class 2 – for in-wall installation in non-riser, non-plenum spaces
  • CMX: Communications, Outdoor / Residential
  • CATVX: Cable TV, Residential
  • CL3X: Class 3, Residential – for in-wall installation in non-riser, non-plenum spaces
  • CL2X: Class 2, Residential – for in-wall installation in non-riser, non-plenum spaces

Whether the wire is Cat5e or Cat6 or something else within the cable has nothing to do with the outside jacket’s composition. In actuality, whether we are discussing Ethernet data cable or cable TV cable cover kinds have no impact on the exterior jacket materials.

Here are some phrases you should understand before learning about the Ethernet cable grades you will likely see for sale and how to use them.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is referred to as HVAC. This phrase refers to a commercial norm for how air is circulated inside buildings.

Plenum refers to the areas above and below floors that the HVAC system typically occupies. This open area of air is frequently utilized to move air, either with or without the use of a specialized duct.

The riser is a term for vertical, generally used between floors and inside buildings.

The bulk of cable coats is made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. PVC is just your standard vinyl.

Installers of network information cables are likely to employ jackets of the CM, CMP, CMR, or CMX types.

Plenum Rated (CMP)

The development company constructed an HVAC system inside the Plenum of an office building.  Connecting cabling is probably best done in the Plenum area.  As easy as this is, it raises unique fire safety and harmful smoke concerns.

  • The Plenum area is a fantastic way to quickly direct smoke from a fire from one region of the structure to another.
  • PVC cable without a Plenum rating will help a fire propagate, and the extremely toxic smoke that results may end up contaminating shared living and working environments, perhaps leading to instant death or long-term health problems.

A Plenum cable evaluation was created since fire prevention is so crucial.  Plenum cable is frequently made of FEP.  In a sense, FEP has plasticized Teflon.  Burning FEP produces little smoke and has low risk.

The cost of Plenum cable is higher than non-Plenum cable.  The installers won’t have the final say in the matter.  If Plenum is required, it will be determined by local fire codes, insuring needs, or even client requirements.  In a Plenum environment, however, you should NEVER utilize ordinary PVC cable.  Although plenum-rated wire can be put in any area, the per-foot cost usually makes this impractical.

Buy: 1000ft Cat6 Bulk UTP Ethernet Cable Solid copper Conductor – Plenum CMP Rated

Riser Rated (CMR)

PVC wire is rated for risers.  The cable that is rated for risers can be used inside walls and between floors.  Usually, the Teflon coating on the cable or fiber strands baked into the jacket, which reduces the cable’s ability to conduct a flame, is responsible for fire protection.  If the cable were to really catch fire, deadly smoke and gases would be released.  The most popular and least expensive jacket type available on the market is for riser-rated cable.  You may utilize riser-rated cable everywhere in your structure, but not in the plenum.

General Use (CM/CMG)

Again made of PVC, CM-rated cable lacks any further safety features this time.  This cable will generate poisonous smoke and fumes when it burns, just like any unprotected plastic.  CM-rated cable is appropriate for interconnections inside of a single room in business programs, such as already prepared cables for patching from the wall to a computer.  Additionally, it can be used in straight, uncovered metallic cable trays that don’t obstruct plenum space.  This cable jacket type is rarely used in this application due to its very limited use in commercial buildings. Usually, riser and plenum-rated jackets are utilized because of binding, coverage, or legal requirements. Although CM-rated cable may be used anywhere inside the building for use in homes, it might not be any more cost-effective than risers graded.   Due to the additional level of fire safety, (company name) suggests that riser-rated Ethernet cable be used for interior-only deployments.

Outdoor (CMX)

The main application for CMX-rated Ethernet cable is outdoor use, including open-air as well as immediate burial.  There are distinct regulations limiting whether and in what manner it can be installed because CMX-approved jackets are UV rated rather than fire rated.

According to NEC Article 800.113, CMX-rated Ethernet cable placed outdoors can be run inside for up to 50 feet before being terminated in businesses.  There are no limitations on using CMX outside of the business framework.

The NEC Article 800.113 permits the use of CMX-rated Ethernet wire as indoor/outdoor cable without limitation in households provided that the following guidelines are followed:

  • The overall length of the cable is no greater than 0.25 inches.
  • The building can only be a single-family or duplex home.

Please take note that if the runs are solely indoor, a riser-rated Ethernet jacket is still preferred. The justification is that riser-rated jackets are frequently less expensive, a little easier to remove due to width, and have some fire safety.

The outer covering for CMX-certified cable often uses LLDPE rather than PVC.  Weatherproofing and UV resistant by nature, LLDPE.  This cable type can be acceptable for direct burial as well as for extra cable construction.  Due to the way the cable is built, CMX cable can be pricey, but it is not as pricey as Plenum-rated wire. The information provided on Ethernet cable jacket grades should help you understand the various Ethernet data cable jacket types that you may encounter on the market and which jacket is best for the task at hand. Unless you are installing cable outside or in the plenum space, Riser Rated cable will typically offer some level of safety and good value.

In accordance with our website terms and conditions, (business) provides our clients and other website visitors with the content on our website, including the blog and live chat assistance. Although this website contains information about electrical and data networking concerns, you should not rely on it because it is not expert advice.

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