fiber installation and repair in Philadelphia area.

6 Steps to Using a Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer

Learn how to use a fiber optic fusion splicer in just a few short, simple steps!

One of the favorite tools used by the Bridge Cable Network Cabling team is our Fusion Splicer. Our Fiber Optic Cabling department was eager to get our Fusion Splicer onboard and train our Entry-level technicians on using it.

Yes, a Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer may be more costly than a mechanical splicer but it is worth it in the end! As our team likes to give back, we wanted to share with you a few steps on using the machine. For those of you who may be more of a visual learner, please feel free to check out our tutorial video on our YouTube channel. Also, see our Philadelphia Fiber Optic Installation page here –

Some of the tools that you will need to utilize during this are:

  • A Cleaver
  • Strippers
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Heat Shrink Wrap
  • The Fiber Optic Cables
  • The Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer Itself

**Prior to doing any work with a fiber optic cable, please ensure that you are following all safety measures. Some pieces of the fiber optic cable are so small that they can penetrate the skin and get into your system that may lead to health issues. In addition, the glass particles can be in the air and unknowingly breathed in or enter your eye. So please follow all protocols.


Step 1: Preparing to Use a Heat Shrink Wrap

Before starting anything, be sure to slide your heat shrink wrap through one end of the fiber optic cable. This only needs to be done once the perfusion cycle and will be utilized later on in the fusion splicing cycle. You also want to do this step first so that you will not be damaging your fiber optic cable later on.

Step 2: Stripping the Fiber Optic Cable

Go ahead and grab your go-to strippers for this step. The Bridge Cable team uses strippers that have 3 grooves. By utilizing the middle groove, carefully remove small sections of the outer jacket. If you attempt to take larger sections, you risk breaking the fiber optic cable and you’ll lose any progress made. After removing the appropriate amount of the jacket, you the smallest groove to remove the clear coating on the fiber optic cable. It will resemble wax, just in case you don’t know what it looks like. Keep in mind that if you don’t take enough of the jacket off, you risk not being able to cleave it later on.

step 2
One of the most important steps – making sure you get all of the jacket and the coating removed.

Step 3: Cleaning the Fiber Optic Cable

After the jacket and the clear coating are properly removed, the most important step is to clean the fiber optic cable. In our earlier referenced Tutorial Video, we are using both alcohol wipes and/or sprays. Whichever is your go-to cleaning method, gently wipe the glass consistently until you hear a prominent squeaking sound. If you attempt to cleave or fusion splice and fiber optic cable that isn’t cleaned properly, you will have issues doing so.

fiber optic fusion splicer
Clean the fiber optic cable until it is squeaky clean!

Step 4: Cleaving Your Cleaned Fiber Optic Cable

The Bridge Cable team has multiple different cleavers available on standby; most all are used in a similar way. Please be sure that you fully understand how your cleaver works prior to starting. Not only will this save you time when you are in the fusion splicing process but it will help prevent any errors or issues.

Gently place your cleaned fiber optic cable into the cleaver. Be sure that the fiber is laid completely flat when it is inserted. This will help to ensure that it is not cleaved on an angle. When ready, in one smooth motion, pull down the lid and push in the cleaver button. **Be sure to properly dispose of all glass shavings carefully.

Repeat Steps 2-4 for the opposite side prior to continuing to use the Fusion Splicer.

fiber optic fusion splicer
Whenever you use a cleaver – be sure to properly clean out the tray for safety reasons.

Step 5: Bring in the Fiber Optic Fusion Splicer

Carefully insert each side of the fiber optic cable into its corresponding tray and get them both into position. While the fusion splice that you may be using has different prompts, the next step on ours is to close the lid and hit the “SET” button. During this time, the LCD screen will show you a live preview of the machine bringing both ends of the fiber cable together and lining them up. You will see a clearer picture of your cleaves and your cleaning result. At this point, if everything is not up to par, the machine will give you an error in regard to whether the fiber optic cable was too dirty, didn’t have a straight cleave, or if the dimensions are not alike. Assuming everything goes well, the LCD screen will continue to display the different tests showing how much dB loss you may or may not have. In addition, the system will also perform a tension test!

step 5
Our favorite part of using a fusion splicer is when the live view screen shows your fiber ends!

Step 6: Let’s Get Back to the Heat Shrink Wrap

After the fiber optic fusion splicer completes all of its tests, you can remove the newly formed cable and carefully slide the heat shrink wrap over to the center (remember this from step 1). Make sure that there is an even amount on both sides as this will later ensure an even amount of strength! Then move the heat shrink wrapped area to the heating element and carefully place it in. Our machine automatically triggers the door to close and lights up the heat lamp in red. When the red light goes off, carefully remove the cable and place it in the cooling tray. Be sure to wait at least 15-20 seconds before moving forward with the cable. However, please inspect the areas, if there are bubbles, this means that the heat shrink was overheated; if the ends are still turned up, this means that there wasn’t enough heat.

All Done!

fiber optic fusion splicer
The last step – the heat shrink!

Be sure to check out our entire YouTube channel for our exclusive Tutorial Series! Like what you see? Give us a call today at 877-832-1206 to book your Network Cabling project today! Have a project or construction job in the Philadelphia or New Jersey areas? Call us TODAY! Our network cabling team can help you from start to finish!