What is the maximum distance for blowing optical fiber cable with compressed air through pipes?

The method known also as Cable jetting.

Taking into consideration no lubricant is used.

I am asking for the existence of a general rule or recommendation which is used by telecoms or if someone of you have personal experience in this field what is the distance for which there will be no problems with cable stuck in the middle of the pipe between two ducts. I am asking because I want to know at what distance will be placed the ducts.

  • 4
    I suspect cable specs makes this a vendor specific variable.
    – Ricky
    May 11, 2014 at 19:13
  • 4
    the friction coefficient does vary from vendor to vendor for non-lubricated blowing. The last time I was involved with fiber blowing was 10 years ago, but my understanding is you get about 4-5x the distance with lubricated blowing. So figure about 20-25% of the distance of lubricated blowing. So my guess would be less than 2k feet. Without recent experience in the industry I decided to give comment instead of answer.
    – nullmem
    May 12, 2014 at 11:55
  • 2
    You also need to factor in the conduit size and if other cable is present.
    – AWippler
    May 12, 2014 at 16:22
  • Yes, it could help and what cable diameter?
    – Noemi
    Dec 29, 2017 at 12:15
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 8, 2021 at 19:57

4 Answers 4


I have no experience blowing cables but the subject got me intereted so that's results of my googling:

  1. From 1994 book "Fiber Optics Installations" about CABLEJET machine:

"With one such an installntion unit it is possible, using an 8 bar compressor, to install fibre-optic cables for the trunk-network (aluminum water barrier, 10 mm HDPE jacket) with lengths up to 1250 meter and with speeds up to 1 meter per second"

About blowing special cables to homes:

Cable contains 32 single-fiber cables has an aluminium water barrier and diameter of 4 mm. These cables are blown up to 400 meters.

Specific distances may be outdated in this book but we can still draw a conclusion that blowing distance depends on fiber cable type.

  1. Industrial suggestion from "Thorne and Derrick UK" - 1 km to 3 km per blowing unit: Three technics of blowing, each suggests 1 to 3 km distance

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with mentioned company in any manner.


I have blown a 432 single mode ribbon fiber 3600' 1 way, then figured 8 another 3,000 ft on ground an blew that opposite way. Done this multiple times no problems. Would like to try an do a 6,000 ft blow. We have a install coming up that's 6,200ft an straight. Would like to see if we could blow it from one end to another, 1 blow. Supervisor an other co worker probably wont take the chance


I have personally blown 6400 ft in 1 blow with 1 machine. Sherman Reilly Superjet hydraulic blower

  • In the metric world, this would be 2000 m. Would be interesting what kind of fiber that was.
    – Zac67
    Nov 11, 2017 at 9:21

There are several factors Such as on cable blowing machine, duct route (humps, edges), cable diameter and weight, duct diameter etc..

Under the optimum circumstances you can blow up to 3000m.

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