Why You Should Clean Your Fiber Connectors

July 19th, 2018

Even when you have a new cable assembly

Even when there is a dust cap!

Why is it so important to clean fiber connectors?

The kind of dirt that can affect a fiber core is everywhere. What is Dirt, Anyway?) We’re talking about oil from your hands, epoxy resin, saliva, dust and other microscopic particles.

A single particle mated into the core of a fiber can cause significant back reflection (also known as return loss), insertion loss, and possible equipment damage. Visual inspection is the only way to determine if fiber connectors are truly clean.

By following a simple practice of proactive visual inspection and cleaning, poor optical performance and potential equipment damage can be avoided. Many contaminants are too small to see with the naked eye, it is important to inspect all connectors with a microscope prior to making final connections. Microscopes are designed to magnify and display the critical portion of the ferrile where the connection will occur.

When to inspect and clean connectors:

Fiber connectors should be checked as part of a routine inspection to prevent costly fault finding later. All fiber cables are tested before leaving our manufacturing plant and each cable arrives with a test document stating the results.

Upon receiving the cable, it is recommended the cables be inspected to ensure no damage occurred during transportation. We recommend the connectors also be inspected before installation and before testing. Even when there is a dust cap, you should clean the connector surface. Since the cost of installation is usually higher than the cost of the materials, testing, inspection and cleaning at all stages of work can avoid unnecessary additional expenses and help meet important deadlines.

Also note the components in which the fibers are to be connected. Equipment, test cables, testing equipment and adapters should also be inspected and cleaned. If these are contaminated it may transfer and damage the good clean connector.

With good, clean connectors you can take advantage of all the speed fiber offers!