Difference between Plenum Vs Non-Plenum Cables Leave a comment

In the field of cabling, new items are presented every day. Cable products are more essential than ever before, because of advanced networks, greater technology, and large organizations’ activities. If we need a cable for use, the first question to ask is whether it should be plenum or non-plenum?

Plenum and non-Plenum Cables are both used for network connectivity, usually from a server to a patch panel or a patch panel to PC or some other device. It has twisted pairs of a certain color code. Plenum and non-Plenum cables are designed with different flame ratings for different applications. The Plenum cable is a little tougher. Non-plenum cable is used to travel through places where there is no air circulation.

We’ll look at the differences between plenum and non-plenum cables and how to figure out which one you’ll need.

Plenum Cables:
Plenum cabling, referred to as CMP by the NFPA’s NEC guidelines, is cable that has a jacket made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP). These cables are more fire resistant and release fewer harmful gases.
The main reason you used plenum cable is mainly just for temperature ratings. Plenum cable has a higher fire rating. Plenum cable are normally used in airspace or up walls. Plenum cable is typically used in business environments because the insulation of plenum cable has a different fire rating than non-plenum cable.

Plenum cable is usually stiffer and less elastic. These cables are constructed with a jacket comprised of low-smoke-emitting materials. It also slows the spread of fires. When compared to non-plenum cables, plenum cables are more expensive.

If you need a higher temperature rating you will use the plenum in most hospitals, schools and anything of the nature where you are concerned in the environment of higher temperature rating because this will affect to have better temperature controls and more time to allow the cable to perform its duties before an emergency occurs.

Non-Plenum Cables:
Non-Plenum cable is also known as PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is another name for these cables. Polyvinyl chloride jackets contain chlorine, which can be a problem if they catch fire and emit poisonous smoke into the atmosphere.


They are less costly, and many organizations will choose non-plenum rated cables except if planning laws and other regulatory requirements require plenum cables. Significantly bigger facilities, such as factories and malls, prefer non plenum cables.

Non-plenum is frequently used in electrical cable construction. Riser-rated, CM, and some PVC cables are examples of non-plenum-rated cables. As a result, they are not permitted in plenum areas. Otherwise, toxic gas will quickly spread throughout the structure.

Things to Know When Choosing Plenum Vs Non- Plenum Cable:
The primary distinction between non-plenum and plenum cables that will assist in avoiding fires and charges is that plenum cables must be used among floors, walls, in ceilings, and under floors that give back air.

Neglecting this distinction could result in serious destruction. So here are some differences you should know when choosing plenum vs non-plenum cable:

1. Plenum cable is fire resistant and produces little smoke. Because it is a self-extinguishing wire type, it reduces the spread of fires.

2. Non-plenum cable is more long lasting, which tends to help inner wires retain their system for a longer period of time.

3. Plenum cable takes up relatively little space and so allows for air circulation to be employed by the HVAC system.

  1. Plenum cable includes the version of twisted-pair, coaxial, HDMI, and DVI cables.
  2. Plenum-rated cables are typically more expensive than non-plenum cables.
  3. Plenum-rated cables are required by many building codes in upper airways, such as roofs that return air to Air conditioning units, because they perform well in some settings.7. Non-plenum rated cables are frequently more usable and less expensive because they are in high price and quantity.
  4. Plenum-rated cables must adhere to plenum cable insulation and Cat5e Plenum Cable standards, which makes them more difficult to manufacture than that of most non-plenum-rated cables.9. Non-plenum-rated cables should be used in the space between your building’s floors or vertical passageways, any space which does not propagate air.
    10. Plenum cable has the highest fire resistance, while non-plenum cable has the lowest.
  5. Plenum cable was designed for use in plenum airspace; however, it can be used everywhere. Apart from that, non-plenum cable is primarily employed in risers and high applications, although it can also be used in non-riser locations.
  6. Non-plenum cable has a PVC jacket, while plenum cable does have a Limited PVC or FEP jacket.
  7. When plenum cable is burned, it produces fewer dangerous gases, whereas non-plenum cable produces more poisonous fumes.

14. Plenum cable is the most expensive, whereas non-plenum cable is the least expensive.

15. Also, Plenum cables are commonly connected at cameras, alarm systems, telephones, and computer hardware.

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