Fiber optic cable (optical fiber) nowadays is deployed everywhere to feed the insatiable bandwidth needs of mission-critical applications. However, fail to pull fiber optic cable properly will eventually lead to serious network problems and disasters. So, to ensure a smooth and efficient fiber optic cable pulling, installers should get fully prepared, while taking various factors into account to avoid damaging the optical fiber. Here, we offer you this guide for pulling fiber optic cable, and advice to get the work done.
Before Pulling Fiber Optic Cable: Some Precautions
Through the whole fiber optic cable installation process, preparation is the very primary phase — which would have a profound impact on the optical fiber pulling task. To get well-prepared, the following factors must be valued.
1. Avoid Fiber Optic Cable Damage
When pulling fiber optic cable, the first step is to measure and cut the material. The glass fiber within the cable is fragile and requires greater care during the process of optical cable pulling. Generally, broken fiber optic cable is difficult to detect, so extra attention should be paid to avoid damaging fiber optic cable.
2. Despooling Optical Fiber Properly
Improper fiber optic cable pulling and despoiling can cause optical cordage failure. One should also avoid cable twist when despooling fiber optic cable to prevent stressing the fibers. Therefore, optical fiber should be reeled off the spool, not spun over the edge of the spool.
3. Fiber Optical Cable Pulling Force
The pulling force must be kept below a designated limit for the specific fiber cable being installed. This is usually 600 pounds for outside plant (OSP) cable and 300 pounds or less for other cables. When using power equipment to pull OSP cable, tension monitoring equipment or breakaway swivels must always be used.
4. Avoid Bending Optical Fiber Too Tightly
Bending fiber optic cable on too tight a radius is a common problem. A minimum bending radius of 10 cable diameters must be maintained over long-term, static conditions. When fiber optic cable is placed under a tensile load, a minimum of 20 cable diameters is recommended.
Procedures for Pulling Fiber Optic Cable
Step One: Inspect the cable run to ensure there are no sharp bends or corners that exceed the minimum bend radius of the fiber cable.
Step Two: In many runs, if the pulling distance is short enough and the pathway straight enough, fiber optic cable can be pulled by hand. However, first make sure the pull does not exceed the tensile-loading limit established by the manufacturer for installation.
Step Three: With some fiber optic cable, such as outside-plant cable, it may be necessary to attach the pulling grip to strength members that surround the fiber cable core as well as the outer jacket. This is done by sliding the grip past the end of the optical fiber and then cutting the cable jacket back to expose the strength members.
Step Four: Use a swivel when pulling to make sure twists in the pull rope are not translated to the fiber optic cable. Also, use a tension meter to monitor the tension being applied to the fiber cable during the pull.
Step Five: After pulling fiber optic cable, cut off approximately 10 feet of cable from the pulling end to remove any portion of the fiber cable that may have been stretched or damaged during installation.
Note: Leave enough fiber optic cable at either end to reach the work-area and closet terminating locations. You are now ready to terminate or connectorize the fiber cable.
Pulling fiber optic cable is a rather important part in optical fiber installation. During the process, installers should avoid fiber cable damage, despoiling it properly, and take pulling force into account. Since the real optical fiber pulling environment could be more complex, the recommended procedures for fiber optic cable pulling here simply provide guidelines, hope it can be helpful.