Why is important to clean optical fibers?

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

A high percentage of fiber optic transmission problems are the result of contaminated connectors and couplers. Dirt not only impacts the speed and performance of a network, but also damages equipment.
As a manufacturer of fiber optic cables Datcom is keenly aware of the implications of improper cleaning of end faces and recommends the following points to ensure that your fiber networks are always up and running.
Dust caps are for protection only and do not mean that the fiber inside is clean.
Inspection of ferrules with a scope is a must and if possible used with an analysis software. Even the most experienced technician cannot visually determine the cleanliness of a fiber.
Do not use alcohol when cleaning fiber. It is hygroscopic which means it attracts water molecules from the air.
Use a wet to dry cleaning process to avoid electrostatic attraction.
Use an optical grade cleaning fluid for the static to dissipate.
Use optical grade lint free wipes that have high absorbency and strength.
Use cleaning sticks that are made from multiple fibers and can spread and contact the entire surface of the end face when port cleaning.
Proper installation practices, coupled with advanced inspection procedures and professional cleaning products will not only save a technician repeated onsite visits and time. But also eliminate customer complaints along with loss of confidence and money.
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