Both Cat6 riser and Cat6 plenum cables are proved to be one of the most transformed additions in the modern tech cabling system but they still differ in various ways.
Cat6 riser cables are best used for residential installations and to be run between floors in non-plenum spaces. They don’t follow strict safety measures thus they are used in outdoors. However, Cat6 plenum cables are best used in indoors for easy and smooth installations because they are made of high quality yet low-smoke producing material.
There are numerous other factors which differs both Cat6 riser cable (CMR cable) and Cat6 plenum cable (CMP) from each other however, the most noteworthy of them all is safety standard, cable jacket material, speed and frequency and price range.
Both the Cat6 riser and plenum cables meet different safety standard and thus their demand is different on different occasions. They are UL (Underwriter Laboratories) certified cables which guarantee that they are 100% solid copper cables. However, difference is the fact that Cat6 riser cable meets the safety standard of UL1666 and it’s a little linear. On the other hand, Cat6 plenum cable meets the safety standard of UL910, which is considered as one of the strictest safety standards. For the very reason, the demand for Cat6 plenum cable is high as compared to the Cat6 riser cable. Moreover, in most of the cases Cat6 plenum cables are being used as the alternative of Cat6 riser cable however, it cannot be reversed.
Cable Jacket Material
Cat6 riser cable uses low quality (inexpensive) PVC which may release dangerous chemicals, thick smoke and highly polluted gases in a fire. It can support an operating temperature from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, Cat6 plenum cable uses very good quality PVC which produces low-smoke, has great electrical properties and chemical resistant abilities. It also produces less dangerous smoke in a fire. The operating temperature of Cat6 plenum is from -25 to 125 degrees Celsius.
It’s quite clear from the above mentioned two points that Cat6 plenum cable is more expensive than Cat6 riser cable because of its relatively great features. The price range of Cat6 plenum cable is mostly double the price of Cat6 riser cable. It’s simply because of meeting the strictest safety standard and using high quality PVC as a jacket material which ensures health benefits. Customers usually prefer to buy plenum cables because of their great features despite of their high price. However, in some cases, mostly for outdoors, customers prefer to buy riser cables instead and spend less. It’s also because of the fact that extreme weather conditions destroy the cables anyway so it’s better to use less expensive ones so that they can easily be replaces frequently.
However, both the Cat6 riser and plenum cables are used as per their requirements on various situations. No doubt, Cat6 plenum is recommended by the experts in most of the cases.