Plenum Cables
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Plenum Cables

DataPro Tech Info > Plenum Cables

The plenum (pronounced PLEH-nuhm) is hidden space within a building, which is used for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and can be used to run cables. Plenum space is normally above a suspended ceiling or under a raised floor. Plenum cable is a particular qualification of wire that has been fire code rated and approved to be run through plenum spaces.

Plenum cable must meet two requirements to meet most fire codes:

  • Plenum cable must not burn easily
  • Plenum cable must not emit toxic fumes when exposed to extreme heat

In the US, plastics used in the construction of plenum cable are regulated under the National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 90A: Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems. Plenum cable is jacketed with a fire-retardant plastic jacket of either a low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP). Because of these requirements, plenum cable is more expensive than non-plenum cable. Plenum cable is also less flexible and more difficult to work with than regular network cable.

Cables designated to be run between floors in non-plenum areas, including isolated conduits and drywall, is classified as riser cable. The fire requirements on riser cable are not as strict. Thus, plenum cable can always be used in place of riser cable, but riser cable cannot replace plenum cable in plenum spaces.

Plenum rated cables can be special ordered for a limited number of our products. Additional production time and minimum orders may apply; check with a DataPro customer service person for specifics details. Please contact us for more information.

Written by DataPro International Inc.
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