End Face Cleanliness (EFC)

A clean connection is a requirement for maintaining an error-free fiber optic network. Dust, lint, oil or other foreign particles may obscure an end face, compromising the integrity of the optical signal. Therefore, it is essential that fiber optic users develop the necessary disciplines and habits to ensure clean connections during the manufacturing, testing, installation and maintenance of fiber optic connections.

Cablcon fiber assemblies are built to meet or exceed GR-326 Issue 4 standards for End Face Geometry and IEC-61300-3-35 End Face Cleanliness.

Criteria Threshold Count Status Criteria Threshold Count Status

A: Core 


0 + μm 0 0 Pass 0 + μm 0 0 Pass

B: Cladding

25-120 μm

0≤size<3μm any 1 Pass 0≤size<2μm any 1 Pass
3+μm 0 0 Pass 2≤size<5μm 5 4
5+μm 0 0

C: Adhesive


- - - N/A - - - N/A

D: Contact


0+μm any 0 Pass 0≤size<10μm any 0 Pass
10 + μm 0 0


Inspect and clean both connectors in pairs! Inspecting both sides of the connection is the only way to ensure the connector will be free of contamination and defects.
  1. Inspect: Use a probe microscope to inspect the fiber. If the fiber is dirty, go to Step 2, Clean. If the fiber is clean, go to Step 4, Connect.
  2. Clean: If the fiber is dirty, use a simple cleaning tool to clean the fiber surface.
  3. Re-inspect: Use a probe microscope to re-inspect (confirm fiber is clean). If the fiber is still dirty, repeat Step 2, Clean. If the fiber is clean, go to Step 4, Connect.
  4. Connect: If the fiber is clean, connect the connector.
Be sure to inspect both sides (patch cord “male” and bulkhead “female”) of the fiber interconnect. Many tools exist to clean fiber, and many companies have their own “best practices”. Dry clean first, then try wet cleaning. Always finish with a dry cleaning process.
*Per BICSI recommendations.

CAUTION: Always use approved fiber optic cleaning materials, solvents.
WARNING: To prevent serious eye damage, never look directly into a fiber optic cable connector or mating adapter. Never assume laser power is turned off or the fiber is disconnected at the other end.