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Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

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Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish


 Cold Weather2.jpg


Are you concerned that snow and ice will interfere with your TV viewing? 


No worries; we’ve got you covered.

  • DIRECTV Satellite Dishes are designed to prevent snow and ice accumulation on the surface of the dish. NO need for external devices or sprays!
  • Extensive testing has shown that dish covers are ineffective and might cause problems with signal reception.
  • DO NOT spray silicone, PAM or any slippery oily coating on your DIRECTV Dish. The chemicals in these substances can damage the surface.


What about locations with extreme wintry conditions?

  • A dish heater can be used to prevent snow and ice accumulation on the dish.
  • What is a dish heater? It is a peel-and-stick adhesive that holds the heating element to the front of the dish.
  • You can purchase it online from satellitemart.com or cyberstore.com for approximately $80-$180.

NOTE:  DIRECTV Technicians do not install dish heaters.  Please hire a professional. 

DO NOT attempt to install it yourself.

AT&T Customer Care

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For additional support, please visit us at our AT&T services hub.
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*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 1 of 28

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

Yes is does interfere my all my Three tv in my house for the entire day! my son will be mad he can't no longer watch tv again because of the snow....
Message 16 of 28

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

Direct TV told me that the dish is my property and that is why  when you cancel or move they do not take the dish  back.  they don't want it, it is your property.  Nor are they responsible for snow .  My dish will not work if I get 1/4 inch of snow I get error 771.  Only option is a dish heater.... at my expense...  Problem is for them to work must have ac connection.  My dish is in the back yard so I would have to run cable to outlet 50 foot to opposite side of the house. Also transformer is not made for cold weather... needs to be inside....  I have dogs running in my fenced back yard leaving 50 foot of cable on the ground is not s good thing.  This is not an option for me.  So I am still stuck with directv and no picture when it snows.  Open to ideas.

Message 17 of 28
ACE - Expert

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

@Iceraterr89, a couple of suggestions ...


When the snow has cleared from your dish, check your satellite signal readings.  Be sure that the majority of signal readings on each satellite are up in the high 80-90s.  If not, then your dish alignment is off and even the slightest bad weather or snow will mess up your reception.  Call DirecTV to have them come adjust your dish.


Assuming your dish is optimally aligned, when it snows, your best bet is to clear off the snow using a broom or sooper soaker squirt rifle with warm water.  

ACEs are customers too, NOT employees. Answers are based on experience. I strive to give honest answers, even if not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 18 of 28

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

this is good to know. thankfully i only have a one year contract and will not be renewing.

Message 19 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

This feels like a smart alec remark from an "expert".
I live in an area that is well known in the region for excessive snowfall. My Direct TV dish was installed exactly as the "experts"recommended by Direct TV's certified technician. It sits 3 stories up on a sharp pitched rooftop where no one could clear accumulated snow from it. It is angled in a way that the blown snow adheres to it and builds. After our storm 2 days ago I was afraid it was going to snap off from the weight.
Our reception has been almost none existent. If a heater was required for decent reception, why was it not recommended, or at least mentioned?
Message 20 of 28
ACE - Expert

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

Most of the time it is not needed and you can try having DTV put a new dish on the ground since DTV can no longer leave the ladder without proper safety equipment to service that dish.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 21 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

I'm in the same boat as many of you.  When we signed up for the service, we were told that weather or snow related loss of signal was extremely rare. And the guys who installed the dish and system also said that they both had the system and it was very rare to have signal loss.


Further, they talked me out of mounting the dish down near ground level and instead mounted it up on the roof of our garage.  This isn't super high, and I can reach it to brush it off with a special extendable handle and brush I got at the local Menards store (recommended by two of our neighbors who also have satellite TV).


But the problem is that we primarily record shows to watch later.  And we like to be able to fast forward through commercials.  When you stream or record from the Internet connection, you cannot then fast forward through the commercials, so we prefer to set up recordings to happen "off the air" so to speak, rather than streamed off the internet.


So, since we cannot be around to brush snow off of the dish every fifteen minutes all day and all night, we lose out on recordings of shows due to snow.  We've only had DTV for a week and a day, and in that time, two snowstorms have killed our reception.  One for only an hour or so, but the one last night killed it for about 12 hours straight.  I did go out and brush off the snow repeatedly, and if I did it every 15 minutes or so, we had good reception.  But a number of recordings were ruined.


So this brings us to the only solution that makes any sense to me:  A dish heater.


A dish heater will, theoretically, come on by itself any time the temperature gets low enough, and therefore should allow us to receive a good signal even if we're not there to tend to the dish manually.


I've got one on order (a bit under $150 for the whole kit with heater, power supply (24VAC, 7A transformer) and 100' of cable.  I like the idea that the heater runs from low voltage (24VAC) so that it's not a shock hazard if something goes bad with the wire insulation.  But as someone noted above, the transformer must be kept indoors.  So I'll need to run the cable from the transformer in the house out and up to the dish.  That's not much of a problem the way our dish is installed, but I can see how it might be more work if the dish was sitting away from the house.  You'd want to trench the wire into the ground a bit so it wouldn't be a tripping hazard or get whacked with the lawn mower, etc.  Ideally, you'd have run that in the same trench with the coax to the dish.


I'm surprised that since the installers and sales people all live in the same town with me, they didn't mention this problem.  They really should have suggested the heater right up front.  I'm sure they know this is an issue, so I'm disappointed that it was not mentioned.

I'm also with the folks above who are surprised that DTV doesn't sell dishes with the heaters already installed.  This HAS to be a very very common problem.  And if a version of the dish was mass-manufactured with the heater already in place, the cost would be far less than what it is for the consumer to buy one of the kits.  I think most of us who live in snowy locations would gladly pay, say, $100 extra for a heated dish.  That would be good customer relations and a potential extra source of revenue for DTV.


On the one hand, they probably just don't want to even bring up the idea of weather-related issues with the system. But on the other hand, anyone who thinks even a little about all of this knows that you need a good signal path as well as a good parabolic reflector to focus the microwaves into the LNB.  So it seems like it would be better for DTV (and Dish) to just acknowledge what pretty much all half-way intelligent people understand, anyhow, and simply offer a technical answer to the problem (i.e. a heater).


For us, so far, the problem has been snowfall when the temperature outside is very near freezing.  So the snow is heavy and wet and adheres to the surface of the dish.  This may not happen when it's colder outside and the dish itself is well below freezing so that the snow would just bounce and slide off of the surface.  It just happens to be fall, and we're getting snow at temperatures very near the freezing point.  But this sort of snowfall isn't that uncommon here, particularly in spring and fall.  So I can't believe this is rare.


Anyhow, I am hopeful that the heater will do the job, melting the snow as it hits the dish surface.  I'm looking forward to being able to have programs record reliably, unattended (that's really the whole point, isn't it?).  And I'm willing to shell out the $150 and do the installation myself.  But it really does seem like DTV/AT&T should recommend these heaters and sell dishes that already have them.  I think they'd sell very well to most folks in this area, and having it all done during the initial installation would be far more convenient for everyone involved.  Especially for folks like the ones above who will need to string wire out across their yard to reach the dish.  How much easier it would have been to just put the heater power wire in the same trench that holds the coax to the dish at the time it was first installed!


And for me, I'll have to get up on the roof or stand up on a ladder to remove the dish, bring it into the house where it's warm and dry, and install the heater.  Then climb back up and re-install the dish and then run the power wire and attach it securely and run it into the house.  This could have been done with minimal extra effort at the time the dish was being installed to begin with, but Noooo!  😉

Message 22 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

Just a follow-up.  I got the heater kit and installed it.  Since then, we have had two more "freezing rain turning to snow" type snow storms.  And the heater did the trick just fine.  You can see the snow sticking to the unheated areas, but the majority of the dish remains clear, and the received picture quality remains just fine.


Installing the heater was a but tricky.  I got on the roof and removed the dish from its mount and brought it inside where it would be warm, dry, and comfortable.  I mounted the stick-on heater carefully onto the back of the dish because I felt it would be more protected from wind, weather, and sunlight.  (Read the instructions carefully first!).


Then I brought it back out and up onto the roof and re-mounted the dish.  The alignment must have stayed good enough because it all still works fine.

I ran the power wires for the heater down along the coax for the LNB, and used cable ties to secure it well because we have a lot of wind.  I ran it into a new hole I drilled, and it all works well.


But this would have been so much easier to have had it installed this way to begin with.  I, and most customers would gladly pay extra if this was an option offered by DTV to begin with.  Two neighbors of mine now want heaters on their dishes!

Message 23 of 28

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

Every year, every first wet snow of the season, a lot of snow sticks to my DirecTV dish. I cannot watch live TV or record anything. If I want to watch something, it has to be something I recorded before. I should not have to purchase something to keep my dish warm so the snow melts. There has to be something that can correct this. 


My neighbor, who also has DirecTV, did spray silicone coating on his dish and he never has an issue with snow! The dish should be designed to keep snow from sticking!


Pretty disappointed in DirecTV. 

Message 24 of 28

Re: Snow, Ice and your DIRECTV Dish

What utter LIES, "designed to prevent snow and ice accumulation on the surface of the dish."


You have no clue.  The dish constantly accumulates snow or ice whenever it snows or sleets or freezing rain.  Tell the truth!!!



Message 25 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

ill tell the truth nothing but the truth. The best way to prevent this is as follows. If there is a line of site for the dish get a ground level pole mount installed in the yard. Customer charges though you are responsible for if this is requested you would have to pay the tech that does the install for the pole mount cash in hand just be sure if you rent get permission before and home owners association if you have one. This way you will be able to safely reach the dish to remove any snow or ice from the dish. Also 72 hours if you do the pole mount call 811 this is a service that to be completed to survey the land and flag for utility lines. 

Message 26 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

This is a dog-face lie!! I have already cleaned mine off 3 times in 5 hours, and I live in Missouri.

Message 27 of 28

Re: Snow, ice and your DIRECTV dish

Well as well if it's still snowing and bad weather other factors play in like cloud cover etc.. even though your dish is clear as long as you didn't knock it out of alignment once the weather is clear service will return. Mean while you can use the app for the streaming service or just watch recorded programs that are already recorded before the weather related issue. 

Message 28 of 28
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