When it comes to the maintenance of your communications system, cleaning your fiber patch cables constitutes an essential task in order to guarantee the proper functioning of your equipment.
Go to the end of the post... is important for your next fiber optics purchases and hey! its a free add on for all our products.
Allegedly, the source of almost 90% of fiber related problems in communications systems is represented by dirty connectors and/or end-faces. At the end of the day, we’re talking about connections here, so make sure that each one of its elements operates in a flawless way will enable you to keep that system as a whole working at the highest quality possible.
Don’t forget that, in regards to your fiber optic system, you should be able to do anything under your control to ensure that your system provides you with what it’s been designed and built for.
That being said, let us walk you through a few great practices for cleaning your fiber patch cable. Grab a pencil and a notebook and take note of them so you can start applying them!
- First of all, examine your connectors and determine the level of dirtiness so you can establish the amount of cleaning you should invest in it
- Make sure that the area you’re going to be cleaning your connectors in is clean, that it’s slightly below room temperature and that its surfaces are strong and stable
- We strongly recommend taking a look at specialized cleaning kits available in the market, since they include proper cleaning tools and liquids. One common mistake among beginners or amateurs in the fiber optic arena is that they will try to use equipment that is not suited for properly cleaning connectors and end-faces. (Don't clean the connectors with your shirts!)
- Disconnect the cables from both ends and make sure that every single one laser source is turned off.
- Make sure that you don’t touch the end of the fiber cable with your bare fingers, or with any other surface that compromises the safety of them.
- Do not bend, by any means, the fiber cable during the cleaning process. This may lead to breaks, misalignment or leaks that will result in a loss of performance quality.
- When handling the fibre optic cables, make sure to always use gloves.
- Handle the fiber optic cables in a very delicate way. If you feel you’re forcing them or putting too much pressure on them, for example, then find another way to clean them.
- Isopropyl Alcohol should be the only cleaning substance allowed to be used during the cleaning process. That being said, do not use Acetone!
- Make sure that any tissue or small towel that you’re going to use is new, clean and has a soft texture. If you suspect that a particular surface will harm your connector, do not even dare to start using it! - Lint-free wipes are necessary.
- Before inserting a connector into an adapter, make sure that it is painstakingly clean. Otherwise, it will incorporate contaminants into your connections
- After cleaning the connector, make sure its surface remains clean. You can pull this off by using a magnifying glass. These spots need an in-depth inspection because even when we think they may be totally cleaned, sometimes they can still hold contaminants
- The final step of the cleaning process should be covering the connectors with dust caps or a protective cover.
Cleaning your fiber patch cable should become a habit. As time goes by, also dust can get in the way of maintaining a high level of performance for your communications system.
Remember that any practice that ensures the quality of your connections should not be disregarded. On the contrary, make sure to always take action so you can anticipate unforeseen and disfavorable scenarios.
There's one more thing...
Now all our new patch cables, (A selected amount of them) will include a new lint-free wipe for cleaning your replacing cables and adapters. We believe in great connections and this add-on free of cost is to achieve a best and better connection to your fibre infrastructure.
At Beyondtech, we really hope you can find this article very useful and that it can allow you to have your system operating at the highest level!