How to Clean Fiber Optic Connectors

20th December 2017 - IT Systems
How to Clean Fiber Optic Connectors

Fiber optic connectors are inexpensive pieces of equipment, and are easy to maintain. Cleaning these equipment is absolutely essential for their proper operation. This ensures that they don’t fail when you need them most as part of an integrated network comprising of hardware like optical transceiver modules and media converters.

Studies indicate that just a micrometer of dust can block up to 1% of light and cause of loss of 0.05 dB to the signals sent through the single-mode fiber. A fiber core is about 9-micrometer in size, which is very small indeed. That’s why you need to use special techniques to clean fiber optic connectors. Let’s discuss how.

Fiber Optic Cleaning Techniques


How to Prepare for the Cleaning Process


How the Cleaning Process works


Mistakes to Avoid

The problem with the cleaning methods as described above is that it could leave behind a residue on the end-face of the connector. Here are some mistakes to avoid as much as possible.

Don’t touch any of the equipment that have not been grounded.

Don’t connect the end-face of the connectors.

Don’t pull or twist the fiber optic cable.

Don’t connect the cable to the fiberscope when the lasers are on.

Make sure not to touch the cleaned surface with a tissue or cleaning fabric.

Don’t reuse the swabs or tissues.

Don’t use alcohol anywhere close to the spark.

Don’t touch the swab or tissue.


Best Practices

In case you have resealable connectors, make sure that the endcaps are stored in separate containers where you have all the cleaning equipment. The interiors of the connectors should be free from dirt and as clean as possible. Make sure that the lid is cleaned shut to prevent any form of contamination.  The cleaning alcohol should not be allowed to evaporate from the connector as that could damage the fiber core.

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