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Where to Install Riser and Plenum Cable?

Communications multipurpose plenum (CMP) and Communications Multipurpose Riser are two of the most sought-after ethernet cables. You will see them being used in all sorts of buildings from giant corporate offices to apartment buildings.

However, not everyone knows what exactly they are, the differences between them, and their design purpose. That is probably because of the wide variety of ethernet cables and the subtleties in their use. For instance, both Cat6 plenum and riser can be run through the inside of walls but only the plenum cable can be run through a raised floor – or above dropped ceilings. Hopefully, the complexity is apparent now, if it wasn’t already.

So, in this article, we will discuss what plenum and riser cables are and where you can install them?

What is a Riser Cable?

A Cat6 Riser Cable is widely used in the construction of Ethernet networks. These are used to connect network devices located in the telecommunications room or the server room to network devices located in the work area or the desktop. The proper installation of a cable is important to ensure the integrity of your network.

A riser cable is usually run around the perimeters of a room – through the walls and floors. It is not just a standard network cable with some extra twists in it. They are constructed differently and are built to meet strict specifications. If the wrong cable is used in your network, the integrity of your network can be compromised and you can experience problems such as signal loss or increased latency. Including the threat of fire hazards.

Riser Cable Examples:

  • Cat5e Riser
  • Cat6 Riser
  • Cat6a Riser
  • Cat7 Riser

What is a Plenum Cable?

Plenum cable is a type of cable that is widely used in data centers, offices, and many other places. It is used for networking, phone, and integrated digital services. The cable is used to pass data and video along with networking. It is made up of a type of material that is fire retardant, waterproof, and can withstand high temperatures.

The plenum cable is designed to support both voice and data transmissions. It is also designed to be easy to install. Plenum spaces are areas where air moves freely such as in drop ceilings or above-dropped ceilings.

Plenum Cable Examples:

  • Cat5e Plenum
  • Cat6 Plenum
  • Cat6a Plenum
  • Cat7 Plenum

What is the Difference between Riser and Plenum Cable?

Plenum cable is a type of cable that is used in a building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. It is a fire-retardant cable used in networking and telecommunications.

Riser cable, on the other hand, is a type of cable that is used in a building’s riser ducts. The term riser comes from the vertical heating/cooling vents in a building. Plenum cable is stiffer and heavier than riser cable, and it is fire-resistant and does not emit toxic smoke in case of a fire hazard. Its jacket is thicker than the jacket of a riser cable.

Where to install a Riser Cable?

As mentioned, riser cables are installed in indoor-contained spaces such as between floors, within walls, elevator shafts, etc. It is important to install these cables in contained spaces so as to contain the toxic smoke in case of a fire hazard. However, also note that the chances of these cables burning are very low.

In any case, prevention is better than cure.

Where to install a Plenum Cable?

As you have probably guessed now, plenum cables are installed in indoor spaces where air circulation is free. The quintessential examples of plenum spaces are dropped ceilings and raised floors.

What makes these cables different is that they can also be installed in other spaces as well. And that is due to their superior safety features. However, it is pertinent to mention that installing them outdoors or in riser spaces would be too costly. And that is why you will never see them used in such places, particularly, outdoors.

In short…

Cat6 Plenum Cables can be installed anywhere due to their cutting-edge safety features. On the other hand, riser cables are installed in riser spaces and outdoors. It ensures that in case of a fire hazard, the toxic smoke from the riser jackets does not result in a catastrophe.

We hope this article was helpful to you and you are (probably) ready to install your ethernet cables.

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