We just got multiple new optical fibers out of service on our infrastructure, does a bad equipment or a too high signal could break an optical fiber silica or could cause any others issues ?

  • 1
    The optical transceivers (depending on the version) can break, if they are placed too close to each other. For instance, connecting two 10KM singlemode transceivers with only a 50 cm cable can fry the electronics and thereby break it. In this case you would need to add attenuators between them to lower the dB output.
    – user36472
    Dec 10, 2018 at 13:23
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    Dec 25, 2018 at 10:15

2 Answers 2


does a bad equipment or a too high signal could break an optical fiber silica

Not likely. To actually damage the fiber, you'd need very high transmit power (several Watt) not common with off-the-shelf transceivers. If you had that kind of equipment you wouldn't be asking that question.

It's more likely that either the fiber installation has some problems (nicked/overbent fiber, bad splices, bad termination) or that there is a problem with the transceivers (wrong type, blinded receiver).

If you add more details to your question we might be able to provide a more detailed answer.

  • type and length of fiber (SMF/MMF? OM2/3/4/5?)
  • type of termination (SPC/APC?)
  • type of patch cables (mode conditioning?)
  • types of transceivers (short/long wave? compatible with switches/routers?)
  • a bit of history what happened before the failures - firmware updates, new installations, any other changes

Hopefully I'm understanding the question correctly. If you're asking if bad optics, or an optic shooting light thats too hot (high transmit dbm) can damage the core in the fiber cable itself; then no. Not under normal circumstances, anyway. The light would have to generate enough heat that the cable would be physically hot to the touch and I've never heard of that happening.

If the cables are brand new, it might be possible you have the wrong type. If you're using multi-mode optics, you'll need multi-mode fiber. If you're using single-mode optics, you will need single-mode fiber. The glass/plastic cores in each type are different sizes and will not work correctly if not paired with the correct corresponding optic.

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