Cleaning fiber optics is one of the best ways of maintaining them in good working condition for long. While this is the case, you need to ensure that you do the right things for you to clean the units thoroughly. Here are some of the things that you should and shouldn’t do when cleaning the units.
Before you start cleaning the units you should inspect them and see if there is any dirt. When inspecting, you should not look directly at the laser-energized fiber optic termini with your eyes. You should also avoid exposing your skin to direct or scattered radiation.
The reason why you should not do this is because the LED light sources used in fiber optics usually operate near-infrared and infrared wavelengths and although they are invisible to the eye, they are harmful especially to the cornea and retina. They also bring about skin burning.
To be on the safe side you should only view the termini using special equipment that is designed to allow you to easily and safely inspect the optic fiber endface.
When inspecting, it’s paramount that you learn how contaminants look like. This way you will be able to tell when the unit is contaminated and when it’s not.
It’s recommended that you thoroughly examine the optic fiber so that you can know the type of contaminant that you are working with. For example, you should be able to know whether the contaminant is dust, oil, or salt.
Knowing the contaminant plays a major role in saving you time as you know what you are dealing with and as a result you reduce the number of cleaning rounds.
Before you start cleaning the units you should ensure that you thoroughly wash your hands. The aim of cleaning your hands is to ensure that you don’t transfer dirt or oils to the fiber optics.
Once you hands are clean, you should not apply a moisturizer or lotion as this will attract more contaminants and cause the oils to transfer onto the cleaning wipe or swab. This will in return bring about transfer of contaminants onto the endface that you are trying to clean.
When working with wipes and swabs, you should not wear gloves. This is because the gloves will add more particulates to the endface.
To ensure that no contaminant ends up back on the endface, you should throw away all the wipes and swabs that you use.