Fibre optic connectors can be contaminated from a wide range of sources that are usually invisible to the naked eye and are only visible under a microscope, causing a range of problems. This includes oil from engineers handling the cable as well as dust that enters the connector while it is exposed or particles from a construction site. Even pollen can be a contaminant!
This doesn’t apply to existing cables either – even brand new, fresh out of the package connectors can be contaminated.
So what are the top reasons for cleaning your fibre connectors?
1. Avoiding Performance Degradation
Fibre optic cables are able to transmit a huge amount of data over long distances. However, if the connectors become contaminated, this can lead to data loss and even failure of that connection or permanent damage to the fibre end face.
This is because the core of a fibre lead is very small (much smaller than a human hair). So, even the tiniest particle can block a large section of the fibre core which means that part of the signal cannot reach the end of the connection.
2. Troubleshoot Less
If you ensure that your fibre connectors are free of any contaminants, this will naturally reduce the amount of troubleshooting needed.
A cable can still fail, of course, but if you know that the connectors were all completely clean before they were mated, the likelihood that any issues are due to contamination decreases substantially.
3. Create Good Habits
Humans are creatures of habit. When we spend a lot of time repeating a task a certain way, it’s difficult to get out of that habit.
It stands to reason then, that you should make a habit of always cleaning your fibre connectors to avoid the problems we touched on above, so that it becomes second nature.
You should be cleaning each fibre optic connection before every mating! If you make this a habit, you will encounter far less problems in the long run.
As you can see, fibre optic cleaning products are a necessity! When you clean your connections, the likelihood of data loss and cable failure decreases.
At Cable Intelligence, we stock a wide range of fibre optic connector cleaning products to help you achieve this, just check out the related products below this post.