Troubleshooting Common Fiber Optic Problems

  1. Home
  2. Fiber Optics
  3. Troubleshooting Common Fiber Optic Problems

So, you bit the bullet and converted your network to fiber optic for the top speeds and now it’s not working. How frustrating! Let’s look at some of the common issues that occur when using single-mode fiber optics and multi-mode fiber optics and how to handle the repairs.

featured_fiber_opticWhat many people don’t realize when they ditch their copper cables for fiber optics is that fiber is actually a more delicate material. The installation process, maintenance, and troubleshooting are all different for fiber than your standard cat6 network.

Troubleshooting fiber is a complicated process and there are many different components that can go bad, but with many years of experience you start to see some issues over and over again. So, that’s where we’ll start.

The Most Common Causes of Fiber Optic Failure:

  • Broken fiber because of excessive bending
  • A disconnected cable
  • Signal loss due to a cable span that is too long
  • Signal loss due to a bad connector
  • Signal loss due to faulty splices or too many splices
  • Inadequate transmitting power
  • Faulty connection to the patch panel

Usually, you’ll find that if you have no connection at all, it is because of a broken cable. If you think you know which cable is bad, there is a quick and easy test you can do yourself with a laser pointer or bright flashlight. Simply shine the flashlight or laser pointer in to one end of the cable, if you don’t see the light come through the other end, the cable is broken and will need to be replaced. An intermittent connection, on the other hand, can be a lot of things and as a result is harder to diagnose.

The Most Common Causes of an Intermittent Fiber Optic Connection:

  • Installer allowed too much of a loss budget
  • Dust, fingerprints, and humidity
  • Scratches on connectors

To determine the cause of the problem, ask yourself has anyone disconnected or moved anything in the network closet or around the computer stations recently? You’d be amazed at how often this ends up being the problem. People who aren’t experienced in handling fiber optics should not be touching them. Has there been any construction or repair work done in the building recently? Often telephone repair technicians have a knack for cutting cables or disconnecting cables.

Troubleshooting an issue with your network, especially if it is intermittent can be difficult and may require signal loss testing equipment or a fiber optic microscope. Save yourself a lot of headaches and hire a professional fiber optic installation and repair company to handle the maintenance of your fiber optic network for you.

For more information about fiber optic installation and repair, contact Ring and Ping Communications – the leading fiber optic installation and repair company in Southern California at (714) 617-4025. We will send out one of our expert technicians right away to help diagnose your connection issue and repair it quickly and accurately.