Repair fiber optic cable?

Our network is Cat 5/5e, with two sections of fiber optic cable to run between buildings. Recently one of these fiber cables stopped working, I suspect a cable break or perhaps one end needs to be re-terminated.  I'm experienced with troubleshooting and fixing cat5, but have never worked with fiber.  
Opinion question: Is it worthwhile for me to take a class and buy the tools and learn how to do this myself, or just leave it to outside contractors?  we will probably be using more fiber in the near future, but I don't anticipate it being a huge amount.  I've "fixed" the fiber problem by running Cat 5 to connect the two buildings, just like the fiber does.  It works, but is not optimal.
Thanks
LVL 3
maharlikaAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would just hire the contractor.  I worked in an environment with about 20 buildings connected with fiber - it just doesn't break often and it's otherwise expensive equipment.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jhanceCommented:
Repairing fiber required special tools and training.  It's not for the do-it-yourselfer.  So unless you think this is going to be a regular thing (i.e. you have or are installing a lot of fiber) just get an outside contractor to do it.  I think the tools alone (and usually they are only good for a specific make/model or fiber) are several thousand US$.
d-glitchCommented:
When you run a fiber, it is good practice to run spares.  If we need one, we run a quad and terminate them all.

We have six people in house that have taken the fiber termination course.  Only two of them can do a reliable job.
It is very precise work.  As jhance has said, the tools are expensive.  One item you need to do a good job is a microscope to check the end of the fiber after polishing.

Go with a pro.
Discover the Answer to Productive IT

Discover app within WatchGuard's Wi-Fi Cloud helps you optimize W-Fi user experience with the most complete set of visibility, troubleshooting, and network health features. Quickly pinpointing network problems will lead to more happy users and most importantly, productive IT.

Wooky JackCommented:
I took a network cabling class with fiber optics at Cuesta College in California and it definately isn't for the feeble minded.  Its a delicate process to work with even if you do know how to do it.  Its almost an art and its at its best when you've made your first one :)

Take a class on it, I'm sure you will benefit, because it certainly wouldn't hurt to take one ;)
ECNSSMTCommented:
yeah, you are better off with hiring a contractor, besides having the ability to terminate fiber, they will also have the equipment to determine how good the termination is.   This is a must for a production system.

You can take the course just to learn about the technology.  It won't hurt.

Regards,
ort11Commented:
Ok, I'll "pile" on also.  Get someone that has done this before.  They can tell how far out the break is, find it, patch it.  I had one go bad once do to building vibrations in a heavy mfg location.  Guy came out, found the break near one of the termination points and fixed it.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.