Plenum vs. PVC

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I was told that we are required to run plenum CAT 5e and RG-6 cable for a residential high rise project instead of pvc because the building is more than 5 stories tall. This is for the low voltage cable and telephone cabling within the individual units, not riser. As I understand it plenum wire is only required if the space above the ceiling is used for air return, which in this case it is not. Is this incorrect?

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
Re: Plenum vs. PVC

Yes basically, but there is another class of cable called riser. But plenum cable is not that much more. This may be a local requirement. The cable types and permitted subsitutions are in NEC Article 800.


EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Re: Plenum vs. PVC

Yes, must be a local requirement. I also can't see why you would need to use CAT 5 for voice wiring especially since there is no reason to believe this is all it will ever be used for. The cost difference between CAT 3 and CAT 5 plenum is significant.

I say use whatever is right for the use today. Trying to ward off future obsolescence is just wasting money because this stuff becomes obsolete so quickly.
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