Abut Inwall HDMI Cable, Are you planning on running an HDMI cable through a block of concrete or drywall?
You were right to doubt yourself how your cable won’t cut itself.
You’ll need an in-wall HDMI cable with specific features for such applications to survive and adhere to your local codes.
Read on to learn more about inwall-rated HDMI cables.
Table of Contents
- What is an Inwall-rated Cable?
- Why Do Cables Need to be Inwall Rated?
- Types of Inwall-rated Cables
- Do You Need an Inwall-Rated HDMI Cable?
What is an Inwall-rated Cable?
An in-wall rated cable is simply approved for installation within walls because it doesn’t overheat during operation.
If you already own a monitor or TV connected to an HDMI cable, you can try touching the cable while watching a movie or playing a game.
You’ll find that the cable is running rather hot depending on how long it’s been in use.
Most home building codes require HDMI cables that disperse heat to prevent overheating.
The in-wall rated cables don’t overheat even under prolonged use because the wire has extensive insulation.
It sends heat to the device connected instead of dispersing heat along the wire’s length.
But you need not worry about your device overheating because it can vent out the heat.
If you find it hard to believe this, test it using a thermometer.
You’ll need a heavy-duty thermometer to do this, but even a simple cooking thermometer will do the job.
After a long gaming session or prolonged TV watching, place the thermometer on your HDMI and note the temperature.
Standard HDMI cables can reach temperatures of 600C for a few seconds before they start burning.
However, you don’t have to worry because this is normal and doesn’t damage your TV or monitor.
When installing an unwall cable, you need to first pull out the cable to run a diagnostics and repair test.
Why Do Cables Need to be Inwall Rated?
The following benefits have made in-wall cables a popular choice.
An HDMI cable is classified as low voltage; therefore, the risk of sparking a flame is minimal.
However, this risk is not entirely impossible because HDMI cables tend to generate smoke due to the fiber around the cable.
Also, if there’s no heat escape space, the cable’s conduit will gradually overheat, which melts wires.
Although rare, in some instances, the melting of the wires could spark a flame.
That will likely spread through the wire, burning the coating outside until the flame comes into contact with something flammable.
To adhere to your local codes
The NFPA and NEC strongly recommend using inwall-rated cables for residential applications because many walls are wood.
If you install a cable in a house, industrial, or commercial space with concrete walls, the risk dials down.
Professionals regard concrete walls as safer, but the smoke will still stick to the wall, leaving behind a black, smelly residue on the surface.
Within the plenum space, the smoke may move to other areas of your house to affect more than one room.
Further, burned HDMI fibers and rubber produce toxic fumes that harm human health.
Inwall cables increase the room’s aesthetic appeal by remaining out of sight to create a clean look.
Types of Inwall-rated Cables
According to house building codes, choose a CL2 or CL3 cable when choosing an inwall-rated cable.
CL3 and CL2 are classifications that notify you of a cable’s fire resistance level, as stated by the NEC.
Caption: Fire Resistance Icon
The CL2 refers to a cable under the category ‘’Class 2 Remote – power limited, control, and signaling’’ cable.
CL2 cables use materials resistant to burning even when exposed to sudden electrical bursts of 150 volts.
Plus, the cable itself doesn’t propagate flames.
CL2 cables are designed for in-wall installation and for low-voltage applications.
Some applications include speaker wires, intercom wires, and burglar alarm wires.
Like CL2, CL3 refers to the category ‘’Class 3 Remote – power limited, control, and signaling’’ cable.
Both CL3 and CL2 share a resemblance because they are both ideal for in-wall installation and are flame resistant.
However, CL3 has a 300-volt threshold which is twice as much as that of CL2.
CL3 applications include speaker wires, intercom wiring, signal wires, security systems, and TV wall installations.
Caption: Security System
CL3 vs. CL2 Rated Cables
|Voltage threshold||300 volts||150 volts|
|Application||In commercial and residential buildings, but by far superior to CL2 cables||Further, categorize to provide further specifications|
|Further categorize to provide further specifications||CL3R vs. CL3P||In commercial and residential buildings, but a CL3 cable is in place for a CL2 cable but not the other way around|
Do You Need an Inwall-Rated HDMI Cable?
There are two main factors to consider when deciding whether you need an inwall-rated HDMI cable.
- The local fire and electrical codes.
- The material of the wall you’re planning on running your cable through, for example, drywall or concrete.
As previously mentioned, most local codes require the minimum use of a CL2-rated HDMI cable.
Regarding the material, most houses’ walls are made using drywall.
Therefore you might need professional assistance determining where you’ll run the cable.
In most cases, you can cut through a wall or go through the ceiling.
Keep in mind that ceilings could be made of plaster or drywall.
Plaster ceilings’ issues aren’t as pressing as drywall’s, so using an inwall-rated cable is still the best idea.
Running an HDMI through a wall may seem simple, but with the wrong cable, it will likely fail.
The inwall-rated HDMI cables allow proper operation and improve safety by eliminating the risk of a fire starting.
But it’s important to remember that HDMI cables are rather fragile.
Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise when your cable’s connector rips off your regular cable, CL3 cable, or CL2 cable and contact Cloom Tech.