15 May 5 Summer Maintenance Tips For Your Fiber Optic Network
Despite what the weather reports might say, summer is here, and that means it’s time to start scheduling your summer maintenance to ensure that your fiber optic network continues to run optimally. Wake yourself up from winter’s hibernation and kick-start your summer network maintenance program with these 5 tips:
Dry out wet splices
Splices are the weakest point of any fiber optic network, and water’s long-term negative effects on exposed fiber are well-documented. Summer is the best time to dry out any splices that have filled with water, and reseal them for next winter.
Address ground fault issues
Utilizing the metal conductor buried with your fiber is the most reliable way to locate your underground structure. Whether it’s trace wire or the inner metallic sheath that’s serving this purpose, ground faults will eventually lead to an inability to locate your cable. If you can’t perform a locate, you can’t protect your cable from damage caused by accidental encounters with backhoes.
Handhole and Pedestal inspections
Handholes and pedestals get damaged, especially in winter. Handholes fill with water, freeze, and splice enclosures periodically leak. Ground rods can migrate due to frost heave. Snow removal equipment can also damage your handholes and pedestals. Periodic inspection of your handholes and pedestals keeps you informed of these issues so you can fix them before they become a major (and costly!) problem.
Ground rod inspections
Ground rods provide a low impedance path to ground for lightning strikes and play a crucial role in helping locate signals travel effectively along the metallic conductor. Inspecting ground rods for proper connections protects your infrastructure and increases its locate-ability.
Locate, Locate, Locate
Although not usually considered a maintenance activity, locates are your primary line of defense against damage to your outside plant. The primary objective of any fiber optic outside plant maintenance program should be to enhance the plant’s longevity and decrease network downtime. With that in mind, ensuring that locates are performed accurately and in a timely manner is extremely important, especially during the busiest construction period of the year.
Right Tools for the Job
As with any job, having the right tools for the job makes all the difference. Norscan provides cable management systems that offer constant monitoring of the conditions listed above, while also facilitating faster, safer, and more accurate cable locates.