Plenum Definition

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 Question by Bruce Moss posted 16 Sep 2005
 Plenum Definition
I have a buiding with lab areas and within the ceilings the sealed air ducts. Is the area around the ducts considered "Plenum" area?
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 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 16 Sep 2005
Dear Bruce,

A plenum area is typically used for the return air of an air conditioning system. If your ducts are only a "supply" then you most likely have a return plenum environment which will require plenum rated cable. If you have separate supply and "return" ducts then the void above the dropped ceiling is not being used for a return air plenum. Another easy way to tell is if you have open grills or grill space around the lighting fixtures then is is most likely a return air plenum.

Sonme locals require plenum rated cable for communication cabling even if it is not renning through a return air plenum space. Please check will your local inspector or the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction for the final say.

Sincerely,
Joseph Golan, RCDD

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