Does in-wall HDMI "have" to be rated CL2 or higher? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-15-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not looking for shortcuts and I certainly don't want to burn my house down over a wire.

Here's my issue:

I am running two 5' CL2 24AWG high speed HDMI cables with the net jackets from monoprice through a wall with insulation. I've got 2 dual port HDMI wall plates. I connect and install one wall plate no problem. When I go to install the other wall plate, the net jackets are so stiff and there is enough extra length on the cables that it is impossible to shove the 2 HDMI cables and the leads on the back of the wall plate into the wall so that I can attach the wall plate to the wall. I actually find it hard to believe they are that stiff but they are.

What I am wondering is if conduit is installed behind the wall and the HDMI cables are run through it, is the CL2 cable still required? If I switched to 28AWG, I'm sure there would be enough give in the cables to shove them into the wall.

If CL2 is required no matter what, does any company offer custom length HDMI cables?

How much bending of an HDMI is OK before the wires start to have issues? I guess one option is to pull the cables out, bend them enough so that hopefully the extra length gets taken up behind the wall, and run them again.

Thanks for any help.

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-15-2012, 05:18 PM
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Short answer: Yes, your cable needs to be rated for in-wall use. Conduit cables typically need a heavier-duty exterior due to sharp conduit edges. In other words, going with a conduit solution won't solve your cable stiffness issue. Blue Jeans Cable sells custom length HDMI cables and they are supposed to be pretty flexible (and are fully rated for inwall or conduit use).
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-15-2012, 09:30 PM
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It has to be a gentle curve, just like cat6.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-17-2012, 11:42 PM
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You could try a port saver on the in-wall end that you are having difficulties with.

The description doesn't say CL2 but if you look at that large image it clearly says "TYPE CL2 SHIELDED" on the side.

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-20-2012, 01:48 PM
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First, the CL2/3 codes (NEC article 725) are not for electrical safety. There is hardly enough power in AV/computer cables to cause a fire. It has to do with the plastic burning and releasing highly toxic smoke into the building. In a large commercial building with thousands of CAT5 cables, this could be a life and death situation. In a residential setting - hardly. But nevertheless some (many?) local codes do enforce article 725 even for residential. Installation in listed conduit usually removes article 725 requirements.

I you must use a non listed cable, just check with your local building department. They may not force NEC 725 in residential construction or just pleading your case, you might get a variance if the risk is minimal.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 04:34 AM
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Cl2 and cl3 are voltage ratings that are there to make sure that the insulating sheath won't burn under normal and surge conditions. Nec wants to ensure that the cables in the building will not catch fire if there is ever an inadvertent surge of power that finds its way to the wiring. The
Cm designations are for the cables ability to resist
Burning by an actual flame and in the case of cmp it is resistant to fire and lower levels of a toxic smoke.

An installation grade hdmi cable will generally have a cm or a cmr rating which ALSO meets the cl requirements. An hdmi patch cable may or may not but most likely not meet any of said requirements. Straight PVC Is tons cheaper. A 5' cable from anyone is most likely not going to meet any of the ratings unless the explicitly advertise it. In your case, does any of this matter? No not really, so any flexible cable or swivel head would help. I would suggest a flat cable, they are super flexible and at 5 feet the extra shielding you lose With flat cable really maKes no difference
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