What is Riser Cable?


Are you looking to understand the world of riser cables? You're in the right place. This guide provides all you need to know about these unique cables.

What is Riser Cable?

Riser cables are designed to run between the floors of a building. Unlike plenum cables, they are not suited for air circulation spaces but are still fire-resistant to some extent.

They are often recommend for residential use and business / office building use.

Key Benefits of Using Riser Cable

  • Fire-Resistant: While not as fire resistant as plenum cables, they still offer a degree of fire-resistance.
  • Code Compliant: Suitable for vertical shafts, risers and comply with many building codes for such installations.

When Should You Use Riser Cable?

Riser cables are used in vertical shafts that don’t circulate air to other parts of the building. They are common in multi-floor residential or office buildings. They can also be used for open space installs such as one side of the room to the other.

Riser rated cable is most often used for residential cabling installations.

Riser Cable vs. Plenum Cable

  • Riser Cable: For vertical shafts, CMR fire-resistant compliance.
  • Plenum Cable: For air circulation spaces, highly fire-resistant.

Choosing between these two has to do with the location you are installing your cabling.

Identifying Riser Cable

Look for markings such as “CMR” to identify these cables. They often have a thicker jacket compared to other types such as CM rated cabling.

For example on our Elite Cable you will see on the jacket marking:

C(UL)US CMR --- ETL Verified

This marking shows that the cable meets regulatory testing standards for CMR cabling.

We recommend to use only certified riser cable. You might come across low priced cable such as CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum). This is not an approved structure and not recommended to use.

Applications of Riser Cable

Common in multi-floor buildings, for applications such as internet connections, telephone lines, surveillance systems, Access points, WiFi Extenders and more.

Regulatory Guidelines

The National Electrical Code (NEC) sets the standards. Always check your local building codes for specific requirements.


That’s your quick guide to riser cables. They are your go-to for vertical installations, offering a balance between safety and functionality.

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