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To Plenum or not to Plenum, that is the question

Thursday, Mar 19th

When it comes to choosing the right wire and cable for your project, the choices are plenty and at times confusing.  At Remee Wire & Cable, we love to help our customers find the best product for the job so we thought we would offer some assistance when it comes to deciding if you should install Plenum or PVC cable.  Often times the deciding factor is how the wire or cable performs in the face of a fire.  Because wire is generally run in air handling spaces and in risers, the combustibility of the materials they are made with and resulting fumes can be harmful.

 

The Definitions

  • PLENUM – the term comes from the HVAC world and refers to the area set aside for air circulation in a heating or air conditioning system.  Wire and cable is often installed in this area thus, the industry has adopted the term to refer to wire that has been tested safe for these spaces.
  • PVC – Stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, a common plastic that is often used as insulation or jacket material for wire and cable.

 

The Differences

  • PLENUM – If a fire occurs, Plenum will burn at a lower & slower rate than traditional PVC, but will still produce toxic fumes.  This provides a safer material but due to the increased cost of the raw materials, it can be more expensive than alternative materials. 
  • PVC – Is more flammable than plenum.  It can spread fire and is known to emit toxins when burning.   However it is less expensive and can be easier to install. 

 

What is the question?
There is no one wire or cable that is perfect for every application but the bottom line question is this:

Where is your cable being run?

If you are running wire in air handling space then Plenum is the way to go and very well may be a requirement. 

Keep in mind when considering the costs involved in the project, although the upfront costs for installing Plenum may be more, in the end it will cover more requirements when compared to PVC.

Still confused?  Give us a call.  The experts at Remee Wire & Cable would love nothing more than to help you find the type of cable you need for your particular project.

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