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Installer says dish must be within 15' of electric meter


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#1 OFFLINE   CrustyOldGeezer

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:51 PM

I'm a new customer, or at least I want to be, ordered a Home Media Center HD DVR and 5 HD Recievers. Installer showed up today and said the dish had to be within 15 feet of my electric meter. Said the dish had to be grounded to the electric service ground and that the wire could be no longer than 15 feet. I understand that the dish needs to be grounded, but within 15 feet? The problem is there are several large trees I'd have to take out to put it there and that's just not going to happen. I have a clear LOS to the south on the other side of the house where my old DishNetwork dish is located but he said no go, can't put it there, has to be THAT ground. He said I could have another installer come out and give me a second opinion but he'd tell me the same thing. Something about new policy since AT&T is running the show now. Didn't really know what else to do so I let him cancel the order.

I started looking around, and several of my neighbors have Directv and none of their dishes are anywhere close to their electric meter. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. Kind of odd that they don't want my money.

Has anyone ever heard of this 15 foot requirement or was my installer just ready to go home?

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#2 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:19 PM

The installer just did not want to do the job. There is no such requirement, distance wise.
Call Directv and complain, ask for a credit for waiting all that time for nothing, and get it rescheduled with a different (Supervisor) tech.

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#3 OFFLINE   Phil17108

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:36 PM

I would check with your city or county electrical code, but sounds like B.S. to me. I just had a second dish add onto another part of my place and I asked the installer a few questions about his materials, a single wire RG6 with a ground wire, he told me that the dish need to be grounded and ran the ground from the dish to the mount and the mount is bolted to the house only contacting the stucco and the stud, in other words it ain't grounded. In side the place the RG6 is just that RG6. I"ll bond it myself. Years ago when cable tv first started the ground for that was a grounding rod driven about 6 feet into the ground and it still there, and I'll bet that the code my still be the same. I live in southern california and lighting is not a big deal here. Maybe thats what you need, a grounding rod.

#4 OFFLINE   mopar73082

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:42 PM

I'm a new customer, or at least I want to be, ordered a Home Media Center HD DVR and 5 HD Recievers. Installer showed up today and said the dish had to be within 15 feet of my electric meter. Said the dish had to be grounded to the electric service ground and that the wire could be no longer than 15 feet. I understand that the dish needs to be grounded, but within 15 feet? The problem is there are several large trees I'd have to take out to put it there and that's just not going to happen. I have a clear LOS to the south on the other side of the house where my old DishNetwork dish is located but he said no go, can't put it there, has to be THAT ground. He said I could have another installer come out and give me a second opinion but he'd tell me the same thing. Something about new policy since AT&T is running the show now. Didn't really know what else to do so I let him cancel the order.

I started looking around, and several of my neighbors have Directv and none of their dishes are anywhere close to their electric meter. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. Kind of odd that they don't want my money.

Has anyone ever heard of this 15 foot requirement or was my installer just ready to go home?





SBCA states that you must be 15-20 ft away from powerlines.. But directv has no such rules. It sounds like you got a lazy tech that was useing the SBCA guidlines to not install your jobs..I have been installing Directv for 6 years and have used such guidlines to cancell a job if it was going to be a pain in the ass. Id call Directv an have a second tech re role out there and i beat it goes in.. any other questions feel free to ask

Edited by Stuart Sweet, 27 January 2012 - 08:59 AM.


#5 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:46 AM

I think the dish is supposed to be grounded to the same point as the service entrance acc. to the rules. But, my dish is on the opposite side of the house from the meter/ground rod in order to get the clearest shot at the satellites. My installer said I should sink a ground rod near the ground block to connect the ground, but I grounded it to the aluminum screen enclosure like it was before for my old dish. Actually, when I looked into the grounding requirements, I read that there was no limit specified for the length of a 10 AWG ground wire that can be run back to the meter/ground rod. Which is kinda nuts, if you ask me. A 100 ft of 10 AWG wire is not going to provide a better ground than the already grounded aluminum screen enclosure 1 ft away in my case. But, "dem's da rules". Maybe the installer you got is a "stickler" for the rules. Another installer might not be.
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#6 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:48 AM

SBCA states that you must be 15-20 ft away from powerlines.. But directv has no such rules. It sounds like you got a lazy tech that was useing the SBCA guidlines to not install your jobs..I have been installing Directv for 6 years and have used such guidlines to cancell a job if it was going to be a pain in the ass. Id call Directv an have a second tech re role out there and i beat it goes in.. any other questions feel free to ask


I would think that requirement is meant to ensure the dish is a minimum of 15 ft away from any powerlines, or in other words, more than 15 ft away.
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#7 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:54 AM

A 100 ft of 10 AWG wire


I think that is the answer right there. If he is a contractor who pays for his supplies, he won't want to run 100' of 10 AWG copper at 25-30 cents per foot.

#8 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:25 AM

I think that is the answer right there. If he is a contractor who pays for his supplies, he won't want to run 100' of 10 AWG copper at 25-30 cents per foot.


Good point. Maybe the OP could have a ground rod sunk near the desired location of the dish. Dollars to donuts the next installer will hook up to it, no questions asked.
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#9 OFFLINE   CrustyOldGeezer

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

Thanks for all the responses. The nearest powerline is probably 100' away from my house, it's run underground from there to my meter, so powerlines aren't the issue here. It's all about grounding with this guy.

The location I'd like to install the dish is probably 50' from the meter (ground rod). The same location my old DishNetwork dish is... which currently has a grounding wire run to a grounding rod installed directly below it. He said he couldn't use that rod because it wasn't the power company's ground and that if the dish got struck by lightning and burned my house down, directv could be sued.

#10 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

A 100 ft of 10 AWG wire is not going to provide a better ground than the already grounded aluminum screen enclosure 1 ft away in my case. But, "dem's da rules".

Actually, it is. You're delving into the dark world of dissimilar metals and the associated anodization that happens when you mix metals. At some point, the connection point in the aluminum is going to deteriorate due to oxidation and will no longer provide a good ground. Aluminum is much more willing to oxidize than copper.

Remembering that the job of the dish ground is to sink voltages before they build up, a long wire of the prescribed type will do just fine.

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#11 OFFLINE   cabletech

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:39 AM

The installer just did not want to do the install. He could have replaced the execiting dish net with the new dtv dish, ran a RG6 with intergraded #17 ground wire back to a point on the out side wall that has your house electrical service, installed a ground block at that point, then connected to any cable runs.

NEC and SBCA and all local electrical codes, state that all services must be grounded to the house main grounding system.

Now with that said, a grounding block for Satellite systems can be installed UP TO 25 feet from the main house ground and MUST BE CONNECT WITH A MINUMIAM OF #10 solid wire.

As a electrical contracter, if I install a ground block over 8 feet from the house ground, I use #6.

As for the 15-20 feet from electrical, recheck NEC and must local codes, and you will find that the wording says NO CLOSER THEN 3 feet to electrical mast head & wiring.

#12 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:42 AM

I would think that requirement is meant to ensure the dish is a minimum of 15 ft away from any powerlines, or in other words, more than 15 ft away.

That's my understanding too.

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#13 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for all the responses. The nearest powerline is probably 100' away from my house, it's run underground from there to my meter, so powerlines aren't the issue here. It's all about grounding with this guy.

The location I'd like to install the dish is probably 50' from the meter (ground rod). The same location my old DishNetwork dish is... which currently has a grounding wire run to a grounding rod installed directly below it. He said he couldn't use that rod because it wasn't the power company's ground and that if the dish got struck by lightning and burned my house down, directv could be sued.


Ay yi yi. You should have asked him how big a lightning bolt that little 17AWG wire they run with the coax from the dish can handle.
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#14 OFFLINE   netraa

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:34 PM

The dish must be 10 feet away from overhead power lines.

The dish should be grounded to the house bond per NEC specs.

That means, the 17ga ground wire from the dish to the ground block, plus the no more than 20 feet of 10 ga ground wire must be shorter than the shortest cable from the ground block to an IRD.

The ground block can not be located more than 20 feet from the house ground. the only limit on the wire from the odu to the ground block, is the shortest run to ground rule. So, if you had an IRD on the wall with the ground block, and it's run is 15 feet, then the furthest the odu could be from ground would be 15 feet.

If the guy installs the dish AND does not ground it AND the dish is struck by lightning, AND you sue, then the installer can be held liable for the damages because the install is not up to NEC.


I'm sure someone is going to nit pick this information apart, and dozens more will say 'my install isn't grounded and it's not a problem' and even more will say that the ground wire can't handle a lightning strike... and well... rules are rules, and they are there to be followed.... but if everyone followed the rules, we would not need speeding tickets, would we.

#15 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

My installer never even got out his calculator.
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#16 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:18 PM

Grounding the dish will not protect from lightning damage.....period.

#17 OFFLINE   ndole

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:27 PM

The ODU itself has to be a minimum of 10' away from any overhead lines. There is no requirement for how close the ODU has to be to the house ground. There is an NEC requirement (which is technically an requirement for installation) that the ground source is no more than 20' away from the ground block. In recent years, the NEC has pretty much eliminated all other ground sources besides the house's common ground.
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#18 OFFLINE   Old_School

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:33 AM

I need to send this thread to my installer... He ran a ground wire from my dish to the SWS-8 he used... connected it at the SWS-8 and not the dish...

When i called him on it he drummed up some kinda BS that the dish was bolted to the house with lag bolts and was pretty well grounded to the house:lol::lol:

Sad part is that the main grounding block is less that 10ft away!

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#19 OFFLINE   ndole

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:40 AM

I need to send this thread to my installer... He ran a ground wire from my dish to the SWS-8 he used... connected it at the SWS-8 and not the dish...

When i called him on it he drummed up some kinda BS that the dish was bolted to the house with lag bolts and was pretty well grounded to the house:lol::lol:

Sad part is that the main grounding block is less that 10ft away!


Huh? Usually we used an attached #17 copper clad ground wire that comes with the coax to bond the ODU with the grounding block/approved (for grounding) splitter.
Are you saying that he ran a separate #10 Ground wire to the ODU, but then didn't attach it to the ODU?
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#20 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:12 AM

Thanks for all the responses. The nearest powerline is probably 100' away from my house, it's run underground from there to my meter, so powerlines aren't the issue here. It's all about grounding with this guy.

The location I'd like to install the dish is probably 50' from the meter (ground rod). The same location my old DishNetwork dish is... which currently has a grounding wire run to a grounding rod installed directly below it. He said he couldn't use that rod because it wasn't the power company's ground and that if the dish got struck by lightning and burned my house down, directv could be sued.


To be in compliance with the National Electrical Code, the dish should be grounded to the rod close by, AND that rod should be bonded (connected) to the electrical service ground point. This will provide a path to ground for lightning strikes through the closer rod, and eliminate the possibility of a ground loop by unifying all grounds.

Your local state, county or municipal code requirements may add to the NEC by specifying cable gauge, or routing requirements, etc., but most areas just use standard NEC guidelines.

Bottom line, if there is a minimum ground cable length (20 feet in the NEC and unlikely to be less in your local code), it would apply only to the distance from dish to the nearby rod. That rod should be bonded to the electric panel ground, but the cable length there is irrelevant, since it exists only to negate a ground loop, and so can be light gauge (e.g. AWG 18).
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