What is Riser Cable & Where Can You Install It?

Riser cable, as evident from its name, is a cable that is used to transfer data or information between different floors of a multistory building.

It’s the primary part of in-building cabling that runs hidden behind the walls of a building. In industry, it is named ‘CMR’ which means Communication Multipurpose Riser.

Fire Retardant

CMR has a fire-retardant rating that gives it a nod to be installed in buildings. It comes in all used categories of network cables such as Cat6 Riser cable, Cat6a, and Cat5e cable.

The other components that are mandated with the Riser cable are cable pathways, closets, required hardware, and other equipment and support facilities. Cable requirements differ for each service, so it becomes difficult to plan its installation.


The minimum required Riser cable for installation is Cat5e Riser cable. It is widely used as a regular networking cable in both commercial and residential areas. Plenum cable is also being used in riser places but that increases the cost of installation and maintenance. 

Cost and Quality

A plenum cable is almost double the cost of a riser cable because the material cost is increased while producing bulk plenum cables. The riser cable tends to be glossier and gives a very smooth feel to the outer jacket that differentiates it from other types of cables. 

Its quality may vary depending on the purpose and category of network cable used. Therefore, you should have some prior knowledge about different types of cables if you are planning to buy one. Cat6 Riser cable provides you with the most optimum performance required within the available budget.

Why the Proper Installation of Riser Cable Is Important?

While inserting cables into a building, you need to know where you can install the cable. Because different types of spaces require different types of cables. The plenum and riser are the two most known places for inserting cables. 

Concerning this, cables are rated as fire-retardant such as rated Cat6 Riser Cables. The installation of the Riser cable needs attention because the services for which the cable is being can vary with time. 

For getting the desired results from the telecommunication network, the installation of a Riser cable becomes more important.

The cables planted in risers should be fire-proof although the rating requirements for risers are less strict than those of plenum areas. Knowing the required useful life of the riser cable and the size of the site is also important for a reliable and sustainable installation. 

Experts advise that there should be separate riser systems for different applications such as for transferring data and voice. The cables being installed in buildings should meet some standards such as flammability and the type of smoke produced when they catch fire. 

Riser cables provide more resistance to fire and produce less toxic smoke when compared to basic Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). For instance, the Cat6 Riser cable performs better than the Cat5e cable concerning the above factors. 

How Can You Install the Riser Cable?

After knowing the basic features of the riser cable and the importance of its proper installation, the next step is to install the cable. The installers take into account a flexible medium keeping into consideration the application of these installations. Cat6a Riser cables provide the maximum prevention of cross-talks and signal loss but Cat6 cable is most commonly used because of its cost efficiency and high performance. 

Fortunately, there are standards available that provide a guide about the specifications of these cables and their uses.

The Ethernet Cables should be RoHS compliant, TIA/EIA certified, and Fluke tested. The riser cable should be equipped with all necessities and a room that houses the main cross-connect.

The riser cable will pass through assigned closets using the slots and the connection should be extended above the floor level by at least one inch. Telecommunication closets must be separated from electrical closets to avoid interference. Cat5e Riser cable should be the minimum required riser cable for installation.

Cat6a Riser cable can provide 10 Gb per second data transfer speed at a frequency of 750 MHz along a length of up to 1000 ft. A riser system is the backbone of every telecommunication system, so it must be assured that the specifications of the cable are well aligned with the building requirements.

You can use a rated Cat6 Riser cable that is well suited for building concerning the cost and performance of the installation. During installation, cables must be permanently identified to avoid any future confusion about which cable carries what.