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Cabling Cat6 and City Fire code

Posted on 2014-02-24
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Last Modified: 2014-02-25
I was wonderring why CAT6 cable price is so much different and looked into it.
There's a few variations.
CCA: Copper Clad Aluminium.
Bare Copper.

I think I should avoid CCA cable.

Then, there are ratings as below. I'm rewiring a room where I have to bring cat6 cables from computer room to the room over ceiling where there's a 2 feet space between concrete root ceiling and the drop down ceiling board. So, I guess I have to use CMP cables. But is cabling regulated law by cities or recommendation?


UL - The National Electrical Code (NEC), published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), details advisory safety considerations for electrical wiring. NEC Article 800 Communications Cables are manufactured to meet these different cable types.  Most network cables have some sort of basic UL rating.

CMP (R-733, R-753) - The 'P' in CMP is for Plenum. Cables meeting type CMP requirements are suitable for installation in ducts and plenums without the use of conduit. These cables are designed for fire resistance and low-smoke and toxin producing characteristics.  The 'P' in CMP is for Plenum.

CMR (R-731, R-751, R-756) - The 'R' in CRM is for 'Riser'.  Riser type cables are engineered to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor and are suitable for vertical shaft applications.

CM (R-732, R-752, R-757) - These are cables for general building wiring. CM cables are used in areas other than plenums and risers. These cables are resistant to the spread of fire and pass the UL 1581 Vertical Tray Flame Test.
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Question by:crcsupport
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8 Comments
 
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 167 total points
ID: 39884327
Anyone can pass their own Electrical Code.  Los Angeles County has it's own based on the NFPA's NEC and I believe many states do too.  Electrical inspection departments go by the NEC also.  

But the 'biggy' is building insurance and they all expect you follow the standards of the NEC and if you don't, they may not pay for fire damage.  In addition, they expect you to have it installed by trained and certified installers.  That goes for anything installed in the walls, risers, or plenums.  And you thought that the cable was expensive...
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LVL 44

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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 166 total points
ID: 39884351
> But is cabling regulated law by cities or recommendation?

It's regulated by NFPA part 70 (NEC)... it's enforced by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction. That's usually the electrical inspector, but could be any construction inspector. Better to be enforced then than to be sued out of business by an insurance company later when they determine you installed the wrong cable and caused a fire (or worse, one or more fatalities).

Personally, all I buy is Plenum rated cable, since it meets requirements for all uses except running under carpeting (which I never do anyway... but if I did I would use CMUC cable).

If you're going to exceed Cat5e ratings, I recommend you go to Cat6a (if not Cat7) instead of Cat6.
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by:crcsupport
ID: 39884378
This is  funny. I was looking at CCA cat6 $58, then CMP rated Cat6 at $199, now am looking at $599 CAT6A for 1000ft.
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LVL 82

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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 83 total points
ID: 39884405
CAT5E is fine for gigabit, you will want solid vs stranded cable. CAT6A cable and connectors are a hefty premium, I can't see 10G ethernet in a home in the near future.
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LVL 44

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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 166 total points
ID: 39884548
> CAT5E is fine for gigabit
That's why I said, "If you're going to exceed Cat5e ..."
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:crcsupport
ID: 39884558
I just looked around  the building to see what cables were used, I see CM, CMR.
I wonder why the insurance company didn't ask for what type of network cables we used.
Anyway, I'm on talk with my boss. It's his building, so he will choose.

I'll keep this post till tomorrow because I'm thrilled what my boss will say about. lol.
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LVL 83

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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 167 total points
ID: 39884577
The insurance company didn't ask but that doesn't mean they won't hold your company responsible if there is a problem.  It's probably in one of the clauses of the policy.  Let us know what your boss says.
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LVL 3

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by:
sgt_best earned 84 total points
ID: 39885388
If that empty space between the roof and the dropped ceiling is used for returning air from the room back to the HVAC system then it creates a plenum and you must use plenum cable.  You should see a grid here and there in place of a tile.
If there is duct work that returns the air back to the HVAC system then you can use PVC or "non-plenum" cable.  When PVC cable burns it puts off toxic chemicals.  This requirement helps the spread of toxic smoke from being spread to other parts of the building through the HVAC system.
There are different requirements for different types of cable.  Outdoor rated cable can only have 50 ft. inside the building.
For data / telecom specific wiring practices consult EIA/TIA 568 & 569 which will parallel any related NEC requirements.
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