If you are planning to install an Ethernet network, Cat6 plenum cable is a great option. It has a high bandwidth capacity and can support gigabit speeds. However, it can be expensive, and if you are on a budget, you might be wondering how to save money on Cat6 plenum cable. In this article, we will share tips and tricks for smart buyers to save money on Cat6 plenum cable without compromising on quality.
What is Cat6 Plenum Cable?
Before we discuss how to save money on Cat6 plenum cable, let’s briefly discuss what it is. Cat6 plenum cable is a high-performance Ethernet cable that is designed to be installed in plenum spaces, which are areas in buildings that provide air circulation for heating and cooling systems. These spaces are often used for networking and communication infrastructure, and Cat6 plenum cable is specifically designed for this purpose.
Why is Cat6 Plenum Cable Expensive?
Cat6 plenum cable is more expensive than regular Cat6 cable because it is made with higher-quality materials and meets stricter safety standards. The insulation on plenum-rated cable is made from a special low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH) material that does not emit toxic fumes in case of fire. This makes it ideal for use in plenum spaces where fire safety is a concern.
Tips and Tricks to Save Money on Cat6 Plenum Cable
Now that you know what Cat6 plenum cable is and why it is expensive, let’s discuss some tips and tricks to help you save money when buying it.
Compare Prices from Different Suppliers
The first and most obvious tip is to compare prices from different suppliers. You can easily find Cat6 plenum cable online or at local stores, but prices can vary significantly. Do your research and shop around to find the best deal.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can often save you money. If you are planning to install a large network, buying a spool of Cat6 plenum cable can be more cost-effective than buying individual cables. Just make sure that you have enough space to store the spool.
Look for Discounts and Promotions
Keep an eye out for discounts and promotions. Some suppliers offer discounts on bulk orders or have special promotions during holidays or other events. Sign up for newsletters or follow suppliers on social media to stay updated.
Choose a Reputable Supplier
When it comes to buying Cat6 plenum cable, it is important to choose a reputable supplier. Quality varies widely between suppliers, and choosing a low-quality cable can end up costing you more in the long run. Look for suppliers with positive reviews and certifications.
Consider Generic Brands
Generic brands can often be cheaper than name brands. However, make sure to do your research and read reviews before buying. Some generic brands may not meet the same standards as name brands, and you don’t want to compromise on quality.
Avoid Unnecessary Features
Cat6 plenum cable can come with a variety of features, such as extra shielding or armor. While these features can be useful in certain situations, they can also add to the cost. Consider your specific needs and avoid paying for features you don’t need.
Use a Cable Calculator
A cable calculator can help you determine exactly how much cable you need, which can prevent you from buying more than you need and wasting money. Many suppliers have online calculators that can help you estimate the length of cable you need.
Installing Cat6 plenum cable yourself can save you money on installation costs. However, if you are not experienced in cable installation, it is important to do your research and follow proper installation procedures to ensure a safe and effective installation.
Consider Used or Refurbished Cable
If you are on a very tight budget, you might consider buying used or refurbished Cat6 plenum cable. However, this option comes with risks. Used cable may not meet current safety standards and could be damaged or degraded. Refurbished cable may have been repaired, but it is important to ensure that it meets safety and performance standards.
Choose the Right Length and Color
Choosing the right length and color of Cat6 plenum cable can also help you save money. Avoid buying cables that are too long or too short for your needs, as this can result in wasted cable and money. Choosing the right color can also prevent the need for additional cable ties or markers.
Consider Alternative Cabling Options
If you are on a tight budget and Cat6 cable is too expensive, consider alternative cabling options such as Cat5e plenum cable or non-plenum-rated Cat6 cable. These options may not have the same performance capabilities as Cat6 cable, but they can still provide reliable network connectivity.
Don’t Skimp on Installation Equipment
While it is important to save money on the cable itself, it is also important to invest in quality installation equipment. Choosing low-quality equipment can result in installation errors and costly rework. Invest in quality tools and equipment to ensure a safe and effective installation.
Planning ahead can also help you save money on Cat6 plenum cable. Consider your long-term networking needs and plan accordingly. This can prevent the need for costly upgrades or expansions in the future.
Ask for Professional Help
If you are unsure about any aspect of Cat6 cable installation, it is always better to ask for professional help. While it may cost more upfront, it can prevent costly mistakes and ensure a safe and effective installation.
Recycle Unused Cable
Finally, if you have any unused plenum cable, consider recycling it. Many suppliers offer recycling programs that can help you dispose of your unused cable in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Cat6 plenum cable is a great option for high-performance Ethernet networking, but it can be expensive. By following these tips and tricks, you can save money on Cat6 cable without compromising on quality. Remember to compare prices, buy in bulk, choose a reputable supplier, and consider alternative cabling options. With proper planning and research, you can achieve a cost-effective and reliable network installation.