Fiber Optic Cable Damage

by Network Cabling Guy on June 7, 2011

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Non-Armored 24 strand Fiber

This existing single mode fiber optic cable was damaged by a cable pulling crew. The crew was pulling a new 12 strand armored fiber. One of the guys in the middle of the run did not have a ladder. He was pulling the armored cable from the ground. There was a bundle of about 20 armored fiber cables coming through a hole in the wall above the ceiling. The new cable being pulled was laying on top of the larger bundle of fiber. As he was pulling from his spot on the ground he was pulling the new cable down on the existing bundle. He was burning the outer jackets of the existing cables. All of the cables would have survived except for the one in the middle of the bundle that was not armored. The new armored cable burnt through it very easily as you can see.

This knocked out 3 floors of one wing in a NYC Hospital. We were called in for emergency repair work. We were able to patch it up temporarily that night. A couple of days later we did a permanent replace. When we started troubleshooting we had no idea where the problem was. We only knew there was a crew working in the data center the night before. We shot a laser light through the fiber from one of the connectors in the data center. When we looked around we saw some light in the ceiling. As we looked closer the hole through the wall where the large bundle of fiber was coming through was lit up red like a Christmas tree. We had isolated the problem to this area. We were able to pull back some slack and you can see from the pictures what we pulled out from inside the wall!

This can be a dealbreaker!

The moral of this story is use the proper equipment and some common sense please! Simple laws of physics will tell you, you can’t pull down on a cable that is rubbing against another cable or bundle of cables for an extended period without catastrophe. This was very costly to fix and created an embarrassing situation for the contractor. Think before you pull!!


optical cable

Image via Wikipedia


Has anyone else had this happen to them? Please share your comments below.



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