FAQ / Tech Tips

What is a cabling warranty and what is covered?

Most cable and connectivity manufacturers will provide some type of warranty related to their products if these products are sold and installed by a company which is certified by the manufacturer. Warranty periods are generally from one year to as much as the lifetime of the cable. Some companies warranty only the product and some offer warranties covering both materials and labor. In most cases, the end user will receive a certificate noting project registration and warranty information. All manufacturers require cable certification documentation to warranty a project.

What are the differences between category 3, 5e and 6 cables?

Category 3 cable is used primarily for telephone key system cabling and paging applications. Category 5e cable has been the standard data (computer) cabling for about the last seven years, although still in use, companies have started to migrate toward gigabit network designs which category 5e was really never intended to serve. Category 6 and 6e cable has become the cable standard for gigabit networks especially involving cases of voice over internet protocol (VOIP) where the voice and data networks are converged.

When do I need to use fiber optic cable?

Fiber optic cable comes in basically two types, single mode and multi-mode. In most cases, commercial companies will use a version of multi-mode fiber. The fiber is used to facilitate thru put of large amounts of voice and data files and is standard in use between communication closets as well as main distribution facilities (MDF) and intermediary distribution facilities (IDF) which links servers as well as other hardware.

What is cable certification?

Cable certification is the process of mechanically testing each drop of cable using eleven TIA/EIA testing standards. This procedure gives the end user the confidence that their cable was installed properly and meets all stated category criteria. It is always recommended to use a contractor who has the ability and skill to certify all categories of cable and can issue a hard copy test result to the end user.

Do I need plenum rated cable or PVC?

Plenum rated cable is required in buildings with an air handling plenum area above the ceiling. i.e. no return air ducting. Approximately 50% of all new buildings constructed today require plenum rated cable. Contrary to popular belief, plenum cable will burn in the event of a fire but it does not produce chlorine gases as does PVC cable.