De-Icing a Receiver

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by dismayed, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. dismayed

    dismayed Cool Member

    30
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    Dec 24, 2011
    So I've been without D* for a few days now. Everything here is covered in an inch of ice due to a particularly nasty recent ice storm. I'm wondering if anyone here has ever purchased a chemical de-icer from one of the big box stores and tried spraying it on their dish... If so just wondering if you had good results?
     
  2. lesz

    lesz Legend

    225
    1
    Aug 3, 2010
    Over the years, I've used automotive windshield de-icing products on the dish a few times. They have worked okay, and they don't seem to have done any harm to the dish. But what I've found has worked even better is to hook up a garden hose and run a strong stream of water on the ice-covered dish until the relatively warmer water melts the ice. Then, I have tried to wipe off any residual water before it has a chance to re-freeze. Where you want to be careful is with using any sharp objects to scrape ice that might have accumulated on the plastic LNB covers.

    The good news is that, if you have a properly pointed dish and a strong signal level, a thinner coat of ice should not be enough to block the signal. On the rarer occasions when the ice build up has been sufficient to block the signal, a stream of water will do the job. We had a pretty good ice storm here a couple of days ago. I had about 3/8 of an inch of ice covering the dish, and when I checked the signal strengths, they were still all in the low to mid 90s. In 19+ years as a DIRECTV customer, I'd say that I've only had a few times when ice build up has been sufficient to block the signal. On the other hand, once or twice a winter, I will have a build up of heavy and wet snow that will block the signal, but that is easily taken care of by brushing off the dish with a brush that I have attached to an extension pole.
     
  3. gov

    gov Legend

    1,101
    50
    Jan 11, 2013
    And a caution;

    if there is that much ice on the dish, then it's also all over your roof and sidewalk. BE CAREFUL.

    I've 'bout had it with this 'I've fallen and I can't get up' stuff !!


    :coffee
     
  4. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    9,492
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    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    I'm thinking this much ice may have gotten in the LNB
     
  5. dismayed

    dismayed Cool Member

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    Dec 24, 2011
    Thanks for the ideas. Well after getting outside and looking the situation over I've decided it's just too dangerous to do anything about right now. It looks like ice is thick and everywhere, yep even the LNB is absolutely covered. So I'd be up there a while. It's so slick it'd be too dangerous, and on the off chance my roof decided to thaw at that very instant and eject the sheet of ice off of it that is currently covering it I'm pretty sure I'd end up being the 2013 Darwin Award winner.
     
  6. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    9,492
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    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    Is your weather normally like this or can this classified as a freak event?
     
  7. lesz

    lesz Legend

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    Aug 3, 2010
    I have seen people say that they have had success using water toys like a Super Soaker to get a strong stream of warm water up to the dish from the ground. The one time that I tried using a similar toy, I didn't have success, but, perhaps, I didn't have the right toy. In any case, that is one more thing that you could try.

    Another piece of good news, though, is that, even if the temperatures remain cold, sunlight hitting the dish will generally cause the ice to melt enough and fall off of the dish fairly quickly.

    I do applaud your wisdom and self control in deciding that safety should be the primary concern. I have to admit that my judgment and self control have not always been that good.
     
  8. bpratt

    bpratt Godfather

    664
    7
    Nov 24, 2005
    Salt Lake...
    We recently had an ice storm in Salt Lake City where I live. It covered my driveway with about an inch of ice. None of it stuck to my dish however because a few years ago I installed a dish heater. Since then I have never had to clean ice or snow off my dish. Here is a link to the dish heater I am using.

    http://www.satpro.tv/Slimline-Satellite-Hot-Shot-Heater-Element-Blanket.aspx

    It will attach to the front or back of your dish. I installed mine on the back by removing the 4 bolts that mount the dish to the rest of the frame. This does not disturb the LNBs and I did not need to realign the dish after installing the heater. My dish is attached to my chimney two stories up and not accessible in the winter.
     
  9. sbl

    sbl Icon DBSTalk Club

    934
    3
    Jul 21, 2007
    In my experience, ice on the LNB is more of a problem than ice on the dish itself. I deliberately mounted my dish where I could reach it out a second floor window - this has come in handy for clearing snow and ice. A dish heater would not help with ice on the LNB.
     
  10. LynnW

    LynnW Cool Member

    38
    1
    Jul 9, 2012
    The dish heater linked to previously has an LNB heater as an add on. My experience has been the opposite. I find that ice/snow build up on the dish to cause more loss of signal.
     
  11. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,541
    617
    Dec 2, 2010
    Monterey...
    For a moment I visualized an open window, a DVR next to it, covered in ice and snow. Glad it's just the dish!

    If any outdoor bibs are workable, even very cold water should help remove ice. Or run a hose from an indoor faucet. When the sun is shining!
     
  12. mrdobolina

    mrdobolina AllStar

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    Aug 28, 2006
    A Mile High
    I will also vouch for the dish heater. I installed mine this fall, and I'm glad I did. I didn't do the lnb heater add on, but we mostly get snow, so I'm not really afraid of buildup on the lnb.
     
  13. dismayed

    dismayed Cool Member

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    Dec 24, 2011
    Fortunately this was a freak event... We don't normally get ice storms like this one. The worst part is the sun hasn't been out in days. I think if it came out for a bit that'd solve things. It's still below freezing here so I don't know if I'll end up doing the hose thing or not, although with each passing day the option becomes more tempting. Honestly have been thinking of buying a super soaker. :)

    I am getting locals now so that's a start. Also, there are so many more options these days. It's nice that I can download On Demand PPV stuff.
     
  14. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    9,492
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    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    Lost, but not permanent damage. Ice getting in a LNB is disastrous.
     
  15. dueport

    dueport Mentor

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    Dec 2, 2009
    I installed one this fall too - very happy with it so far. We've had two big (foot plus) snow storms and an ice storm and haven't had any trouble unlike prior years without a heater. I did install the arm heater addon and I'm glad I did because I could see snow building up in prior years. Note that the addon is an attended heating element along the lnb arm and not around the lnb itself at all. Obviously couldn't have something on the front of the lnb but there is nothing hearing the top of the lnb which does allow some snow and ice in that location but hadn't been a problem for us. Dish heater took a lot of work to run the cable (I ran extra coax for expansion at the same time though) - but a great addition considering that our dish is on the second floor and totally not accessible in the winter.
     

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