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Tech Tip: Know the Difference? UL® Classified Cable Runway vs. Universal Cable Runway

November 07, 2017

CPI Cable RunwayCable runway (also known as ladder rack) is a vital part of your IT infrastructure, providing support for horizontal, vertical, and backbone pathways from data center to workstation. When used as an equipment grounding conductor, the National Electric Code (NFPA 70) requires Classification by UL® on cable pathway products, ensuring a safe and efficient network.  

When evaluating cable runway solutions, consider products that carry a UL Classification Mark as a suitable equipment grounding conductor. Products that are Classified by UL will provide the peace of mind, assurance, and protection that are vital to today’s high-speed networks.

Chatsworth Products (CPI) offers number of cable runway styles that are Classified by UL for suitability (as equipment grounding conductors only). 

CPI’s most popular cable runway options are the 11275 Series UL Classified Cable Runway and 10250 Series Universal Cable Runway. While both styles are Classified by UL and meet ANSI/TIA/EIA installation guidelines, the required installation methods in which to achieve a properly bonded and grounded cable pathway are different. 

Consider the following when making your product selection:

UL Classified Cable Runway

  • UL Classified Cable Runway can be used in any standard cable runway application
  • Similar in construction to TELCO style Cable Runway
  • Each cable runway section is 9’ 8-1/2” long, cross members (rungs) are 1” wide by ½” high and welded at 9” intervals to comply with TELCO standards
  • Available finishes are gold or black chem film over zinc plating
  • Electrical bond is achieved via simple mechanical connections using CPI UL Classified splice kits
  • Does not require ground straps between cable runway sections®
  • Significant labor savings compared to powder-coated (painted) cable runway

Universal Cable Runway

  • UL Classified for suitability as an equipment grounding conductor only 
  • Most popular cable runway designed for value conscious customers
  • Each piece is 9’11 ½” long, cross members (rungs) are 1 ½” wide by 3/8” high and are welded at 12” intervals
  • Finish is a powder-coat paint
  • Paint must be removed under splices or a separate ground strap used across each splice to create metal-to-metal contact necessary for electrical bonding of cable runway sections
  • More time required to remove paint at the splice points, but the price per piece is less

Click here to learn more about the differences between CPI’s UL Classified Cable Runway and our Universal Cable Runway or simply check out the FAQ.

Duke Robertson, CPI Product Manager, Open Systems
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