Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is plenum cable?

"Plenum" is a fire code rating. It is sometimes identified by the designation "CMP" meaning a communications plenum rated cable.

Plenum cable has a jacket made of Teflon rather than PVC (which you will find on CM or CMR rated cable) and is used in spaces designated for air-handling, such as drop ceilings that conceal return air vents in office buildings. The Teflon gives off much less poisonous gas than PVC when it burns. Thus by using plenum cable in air-handling spaces one prevents poisonous gas from being created and spread throughout the building through the air ducts during a fire.

Many commercial installations require the use of plenum cable. To make certain you are installing cable that is up to code, you have to check with your local fire marshal or building inspector. The laws vary from state to state and town to town.

If you have a copy of the NEC (National Electrical Code) book, take a look at section 800.51 (A). This states that one test used to define CMP cable is the Standard Method of Test for Flame Travel and Smoke of Wire and Cables for Use in Air-Handling Spaces. You can also take a look at the UL July 2004 Cable Marking Guide (page 21 under CMP) to see the UL requirements for a CMP rating based on this test.


At March 25, 2009 at 7:08 AM, Blogger Along Parker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At May 28, 2009 at 2:12 AM, Anonymous Uninterruptible Power Supplies said...


Informative post.but can you let me know what is structured cabling for computer lAN networks?

At June 17, 2009 at 10:57 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Plenum cable still has PVC components in it. So although it is resistant to flame, once it does catch on fire, it is still extremely toxic.

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At March 15, 2012 at 5:09 AM, Anonymous Paul Jackman said...

Good one author. In my opinion, a Plenum CAT 5 cable has an outer sheath that complies with ANSI standards with regards to low smoke production and flame retardance. Standard cables can put off hazardous fumes should the house or building catch on fire. In areas where the network cable will pass through the actual living or working space, fire codes may require that you use a Plenum cable. In order for cable to meet the standards of most fire codes, it must be difficult for the cable to catch fire. Also, if it were to catch fire, it must not produce hazardous fumes. Plenum cable is made of a flourinated ethylene polymer (FEP) or a low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In terms of data transmission, plenum and standard are the same.

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At March 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM, Blogger Mohrac said...

plenum cable in air-handling spaces one prevents poisonous gas from being created and spread throughout the building through the air ducts during a fire.
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At April 22, 2013 at 7:26 AM, Blogger Sahar Services said...

With several techniques of installing Cate Cable, it becomes easier with

At September 10, 2013 at 5:09 AM, Blogger Vincent Zajiek said...

Thanks for sharing quite knowledgeable post on Ethernet plenum cable. Keep on sharing such posts..

At November 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM, Anonymous LAN Wiring said...

The plenum is Associate in Nursing open area found on top of a building’s born ceilings, and it's usually used for air circulation in heating and air-conditioning systems. additionally to being utilised for routing air, plenum areas usually house phonephone and network communication cables that ar being run from one location to a different. Any cables that ar being routed through above-ceiling air circulation areas ar thus referred to as plenum cables, and wish to stick to special fire-safety standards.

At January 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM, Blogger Michelle Courtney DeFiore said...

Just as a I thought, a Plenum Cable is definitely important. I've been seeing nothing but negative stuffs about it since it is expensive. I didn't know that it was this good.

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