Can I use Cat6a Riser Cable instead of Cat6a Plenum?

Cat6a riser cable is designed for indoor spaces which are contained, such as the ducts installed within walls, between floors, and elevator shafts. Air does not flow freely in these spaces.

Whereas the Cat6a plenum ethernet cable is designed for indoor exposed spaces. For example, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts above dropped ceilings and raised floors.

The difference in using these Cat6a Ethernet cables does not arise from their design entirely. Although they are differently designed, they can be used interchangeably. For instance, the Cat6a plenum is made from top-of-the-line materials and therefore it can also be used in riser spaces.

But because it is rather expensive than the Cat6a riser, it is not usually preferred. The innovative quality of the plenum-rated Cat6a Cable 1000ft is overkill for riser spaces.

These are the basic facts about the use of the Cat6a Cable 1000ft types. Let’s look into it in more detail in this blog.

Cat6a Cable 1000ft Core Features

You might be interested in knowing the differences in the cores of the riser and plenum Cat6a cables. Both are the same. Which features 23 AWG twisted-pair conductors (4), separated by a spline or a wire separator. Further, both cables have ample measures against electromagnetic interference and crosstalk.

The data transfer rate reaches up to 10 GBit/s over 100 meters, with the bandwidth reaching up to 750 MHz in both cables. Ideal for almost all high-speed ethernet applications, including PoE, PoE+, and PoE++.

The Cat6a cable 1000ft is standardized by IEEE and terminates in RJ45 8P8C connectors and keystone jacks. It can be wired using either of the ANSI/EIA/TIA T568A or T568B wiring schemes.

Cat6a Plenum Features

Cat6a Plenum cable, as mentioned, is made from the best material available. Particularly, this material is called LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogens). As its name implies, it neither burns nor emits toxic smoke.

This is a mandatory quality for the cables that are installed in indoor exposed spaces. Because if they burn and emit toxic smoke in the event of a fire, it could be fatal for people and animals living in it.

The plenum jacket of the Cat6a cable 1000ft is a durable material. It can withstand not only heat but is also resilient to other environmental extremities such as humidity, sunlight, cold temperatures, etc.

That is why, when budget allows, people use it outdoors and in riser spaces as well.

Cat6a Riser Features

A riser space is an indoor vertically rising space that is enclosed and air does not flow through it. The inside of walls and space between floors are the best examples. This cable, the Cat6a riser, is installed in these spaces.

Its jacket has a special fire-retardant coating that prevents it from catching or carrying the flame in a fire event. However, if it catches fire, the cable can emit toxic smoke.

That is the reason it is installed in indoor enclosed spaces and is strictly discouraged from being used in open plenums.

This cable is not allowed to be installed in indoor plenum spaces but if used outdoors, it can hold pretty well. The riser jacket is not as good as the plenum in terms of safety features, but it is just as good at resisting harsh weather.

Using Cat6a Riser instead of Plenum

The Cat6a riser can be used instead of the plenum Cat6a ethernet cable in a select few settings. And it must not be installed in indoor plenum spaces. You can use it outdoors where people would generally use a plenum or a direct burial Cat6a.

But if your budget is limited or if the plenum or direct burial cable is not available, you may use the Cat6a riser cable.

Another factor that makes the riser cable preferable to the plenum is the ease of installation. Cat6a plenum cable is rather stiffer as compared to its riser counterpart because of its thicker jacket.


In conclusion, use the Cat6a riser cable instead of the Cat6a plenum if you prefer the ease of installation and affordability. Also, note that using the riser is not a compromise on the quality. It is a well-built cable with high heat resistance and fire-retardant features. The only bargain is that it emits toxic smoke in the unlikely scenario of catching fire.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Use the information to make wise decisions and build an impeccable LAN network.

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