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What is Riser Cable?

by Tom Niswander on September 19, 2019
what is riser cable

There's many different types of cable you can use whether you are in your home or a commercial building. The important decision to make when shopping for cables that you want to put inside the walls is making sure you get the one that is most suitable. Some of the cables made to go inside the walls are CMR (Riser) and CMP (Plenum). In this article we will focus on riser cable and go over just what it is.

Getting To Know Riser Cables

example of riser cable in pull box

Riser cable is cable that is ran between the floors in non plenum areas. They get their name because of the way riser cable is ran which is rising up to each floor. Riser cable is important in that it can be a buildings backbone that transmits data, audio and video signals.

The way Riser cable is termed through the industry is "CMR" which stands for communications riser. CMR is the fire retardant rating on riser cable which gives it the ability to be put in the walls. The common materials you can find in these cables jackets are flame retardant PVC and an insulation around the wires of Polyolefin (PO). These types of compounds help the cable against the spread of flames and performance at higher temperatures.

These compounds are important because they will give you the performance you need in certain areas. Let's now get in to where you and install this cable.

Where Can You Install Riser Cables?

diagram of riser location

Riser cable is going to be the type majority of households install inside the walls of their homes. It can be ran floor to floor and also be used for general use purposes like computer to switch, router to computer and much more.

It's construction makes it great for long runs which you want when you put it in risers or walls because the majority of these cables are going to have solid conductors. Solid conductors help give you better signal strength over longer distances and are stronger for pulling through the walls.

There's also different ways in which you can connect this type of cable. Riser cable can connect to RJ45's and Keystone Jacks. Depending on your specific installation, your cable and location will determine the best connector for that situation.

For example a riser cable channel usually has riser cable in the walls connected to keystone jacks then from the jacks a patch cable is connected to your end device. The keystone jack can be placed in a wall plate which is mounted to the wall in a bracket.

what is riser cable

Types Of Riser Cables?

Riser cable is available in multiple categories of copper ethernet cables. This ranges from Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6A, Cat7A and Cat8.

Each category has it's different capabilities and is meant for different speeds and applications. We dive deeper into each of these categories through out our website and our blogs. To read more on the various categories check out Infinity Cable Products blog.

Not only can you get Riser cable in different categories but you can also get it in different structures. CMR cable is available in unshielded or shielded versions. To briefly explain this, For everyday use in your home in non EMI areas you want to go with an unshielded cable. For areas that contain EMI, such as doctors offices, near towers, heavy machinery, a shielded cable can be uses to protect your network from unwanted interference.

The type of unshielded structure you will see in these cables is UTP. This term stands for Unshielded Twisted Pairs. For shielded Riser cables it is common for the structure to be F/UTP or also know as FTP. This stands for Foil Twisted Pairs and has an overall layer of aluminum foil over the copper wires. This layer is what give you the protection from EMI. If you find yourself needing shielded cable its important to keep your whole channel comprised for shielded connectivity. This includes keystone jacks and RJ45s.

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Riser Cable: CMR rated cables are perfect for in wall installations, between flooring and in commercial risers.

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Happy Cabling!

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