Introduction about Riser Cabling
Riser Rated Cables are designed as the CMR by NEC. This is one such cabling system where it meets all the basic standards of fire resistivity for the installation. Hence, this installation is merely done in between the vertical riser or possibly in the area which is designated as the non-plenum environment.
One such perfect example is the HVAC system. It makes use of ducted-return configuration just because some separate ducts have been also used. Their main purpose is to recirculate the air into the system besides using the whole space just above the main drop ceiling. This will possibly help you to prevent the smoke or the toxic fumes from getting spread through the HVAC system.
As we summarize the main differences between the riser-rated cable and plenum, then cost is the major element that plays a vital role. If you are using it for the first time, you should know how much smoke will be emitted if you will burn it. Higher resistance of the fire from the plenum cables will be lowering the risk of getting fire from the building as compared to rider-rated cables.
When you should be using Riser-Rated Cables
Most of the building codes mandate that just the bulk riser cables can be utilized in the air ducts. When it comes to public places such as schools, airports or hospitals, or towns, the need and importance of riser-rated cables become so much evident.
Hence the most common Riser-Rated Cables are the open spaces which are below the drop ceiling and the one which is below the floor.
In most of the commercial buildings with HVAC systems, air ducts will be supplying the air from the external HVAC unit within the inside of the building. But the return air will be going all through the main open space which is above the drop ceiling. This will be hence making it a plenum space.
All such spaces are very much essential for air circulation. But they are hence posing upon a major condition of fire hazard due to the higher rate of airflow. If you are using a plastic cable for this space, then it will spread the entire fire much faster and hence it distributes the thick toxic smoke throughout the main building.
The main purpose of these bulk riser cables is just to stop the fire from completely traveling all along the main cable and spread itself into the whole building area. This is the moment when the usage of Riser-Rated Cables comes in.
Why should you use Riser-Rated Cables?
Riser Rated Cables are having an outer jacket that is made out of fire-resistant material such as Teflon. Its main purpose is to stop the fire from fully spreading. As soon as the fire hazard will happen, the Riser-Rated Cables is manufactured just to:
- Add some restrictions over the flame propagation at a distance of five feet
- Limit the quantity of some harmful smoke released
Material of Cable Jacket
Cat6 riser cable makes the use of some low-quality PVC which probably releases some dangerous chemicals or thick smoke. You might even experience some polluted gases in the fire. Hence, it even supports the operating temperature which is between 0 to 70 degrees Celsius.
As we talk about Cat6 riser cable, they also make use of excellent quality PVC for producing low smoke and have some great electrical properties. You will find it add up with some chemical-resistant abilities. It even produces some lesser dangerous smoke out of the fire. It has an operating temperature that ranges between -25 to 125 degrees Celsius.
Well, both Cat6a riser cable, as well as plenum cables, are meeting various safety standards which differ from one another. They act as the Underwriter Laboratories certified cables which make it sure enough that they are working as 100% durable copper cables. But the difference comes up in the fact that Cat6a riser cable will be meeting some basic safety standards of the UL1666 which is a bit linear.
Contrary, Cat6 plenum cable often meets some basic safety standards of the UL910 which is known to be the strictest form of safety standard. This is the main reason that today the demand for the Cat6 plenum cable is quite higher in comparison with the Cat6 riser cable. In the majority of the conditions, these Cat6 plenum cables can also be used in place of Cat6 riser cable as its alternative. You cannot reverse it.
The majority of the customers prefer the use of plenum cables due to their great advanced features. But when it comes to outdoor use, the use of riser cable is the most common one. Harsh weather conditions can easily ruin the cable so it is always a better option to invest in the least expensive one which is riser rated cable.